In finalizing our plans at the start of our year we recognized that the economic environment may impact the PPU and that we might have difficulties in attracting many people to our functions and events, However we have been very pleased with the support given as all the events were well attended despite the current environment. Yes, we are disappointed that a few events were not possible, but we are trying to overcome that and the first of these is the forthcoming event in the Midlands, planned for Saturday 22 May in Kilkenny.
One of our priorities as a Past Pupils Union is to consider others less fortunate, so we focused on ensuring we provided funds to help our Bursary Funds that help people who may, for whatever reason, have fallen on difficult times and may not be able to send their children to the college. Currently we are supporting 15 pupils in the college. Our thanks for the support for this worthy cause.
We continue to be one of the most active Past Pupils organizations. I was delighted to meet many of you at our events eg, the Golf Outing, the Bridge evening, the Dinner, the Quiz night and the London reunion and at other places.
We have been focusing on attracting younger members, we are heading for having nearly half the PPU committee, who would now be considered “ younger members” or maybe every committee member would still consider themselves – “ young”. In that regard we experimented using one of the social networking websites – Facebook, to attract some interest from potential young members. We see great future possibilities using these type of communications.
A key challenge for the PPU is to grow the membership. The demographics are clearly weighted, in that the vast number of members being at the upper end of the scale. We have to find ways and activities to gain the interest of younger members so this has to be a recurring item for the PPU.
The PPU in conjunction with College are finalizing plans to commemorate the start of co-education in the College when the first girls attended the College – Sept 1911 – nearly 100 years ago. More news later, suffice to say, one event, the Annual PPU Dinner on Sat 1 October 2011 will be a big event.
I was pleased to represent the PPU at all our kindred Associations dinners and other events, where one had the opportunity to meet many old friends and make new acquaintances.
Nothing can succeed without having an interested and supportive hard working committee, to them my thanks, but in particular to thank our officers, Valerie Grimes, Hon. Secretary and Alison Galbraith, Hon. Treasurer for contributing so much to the success of the PPU.
President elect, Hazel McCullagh, will follow me and I wish her a wonderful year. I have no doubt all of you will give her the same support as I received. I have enjoyed my year and know that the PPU will continue to remain active in supporting the Past Pupils of Wesley College.