Just for fun, there is a video of the committee members in festive spirit, produced by Mike Hender. Click here.
Mike Hender thinks that some members of the committee have been practicing for the next ‘Dancing for the Terrified’ group concert. Click here.
Click here if you want to know about the roles of each of the committee members,
and other members who are invaluable to the running of Chiltern-U3A
Mike Hender (Chair)
I was originally an academic with a PhD in atomic physics and space science from University College London. In 1970 Jill and I moved to Windsor, Canada and then Pittsburgh, USA where Paul was born. Rachel arrived two years later after we’d returned to Amersham. Then for 25 years I worked for high technology companies where, latterly, I was MD of Tandem Computers and on the board of Compaq Computer UK. After retiring from the corporate world in 2002 I had several non-executive board positions with small businesses and Government agencies, specialising in management and leadership development.
Since joining CU3A in 2012 I’ve set up and convene two technology groups and contribute to several others. We enjoy travelling to see our far flung family (Australia and Wales), walking, reading and activities that involve innovation and new ideas.
Sarah Jones (Vice-Chair)
There are many fantastic things about U3A. I love the fact that we are all in the same boat. Everyone who comes to U3A is looking to expand and enrich their lives by doing things that are fun, learning things that are new, reinforcing things we have met before and meeting others. There is no pressure, so it is all upside’.
I had to stop full time employment much sooner than I had expected. It was a major shock. Like many of us, I focused so much on my work that I had spent no time developing my ‘third age’. I missed structure, thought provoking challenge and other people. As a psychologist, I know that to be happy and healthy, it is important to have focus, exercise your brain, feel you are contributing to society and spend time with like-minded people. I think I’ve just described the U3A! Looking at all that U3A offered I was excited by the choice.
Ernest Newhouse (Secretary)
I finished my career as Financial Controller, BBC World Service, and after a year or so as a pensioner, unexpectedly found myself at the Barbican Centre as Director of Finance for 3 years. When that came to an end, I was asked to be Treasurer of the Amersham Museum, which was a lovely job as it had just received a large bequest which enabled it to modernise and to employ a part-time curator. I also became a trustee of the Amersham Almshouses. Ever since my wife Jean and I came to Amersham, which was our first home, I have belonged to the Lions Club and now have a 40 years service badge. I have lived in Amersham most of mymarried life, but spent 9 very happy years in Wells, Somerset, having gone there to work for Marley Tiles, and coming back at the behest of the BBC. I belong to St Mary's church in the old town and for many years I administered the Planned Giving scheme there. I joined the U3A just before the barrier came down and waiting list was introduced. I belong to a number of groups; currently I convene Local History 2. The U3A does not dominate my life , but it has certainly enhanced it.
Sue Harold-Berry (Treasurer)
Originally a Materials Science graduate, my final job before retirement was as a technical intellectual property manager in the diamond industry. I am a step-grandmother to ten and grandmother to one. When I joined Chiltern U3A in 2009 I already knew many of the members as I was following in the footsteps of my husband Robin who had retired before me. I volunteered as an Excursions organiser, and joined a number of groups. In 2012 we were struggling to find not only a Chairman but also a Treasurer. I felt that CU3A was too important for me not to step forward and do what I could by standing for election as the latter. I have been very glad that I did.
Helen Beaumont (Membership Secretary)
I have been a member of Chiltern U3A since 2006 and Membership Secretary since 2009. I worked for the Bank of England and met my husband Kevin there. I have lived almost all of our married life in Little Chalfont. We have a daughter Alexandra, a son Christopher and three lovely grandsons. When our children reached their teens I retrained and worked for a number of years for Old Amersham Travel and laterly Allways Pacific.
I am a keen follower of rugby union and introduced my husband to the sport. I was a season ticket holder for London Wasps when they played at Adams Park, High Wycombe but did not renew my season ticket when they moved to Coventry. My husband introduced me to cricket and we go to watch international games at Lords and also Bucks County Cricket Club matches home and away.
Kenneth Bodman (Speaker Organiser)
I trained in upholstery at Harrods, then worked for some years in the exhibition industry, preparing stands and travelling the country. I then joined the BBC and worked in the drapes and upholstery division of the scenic design unit, manufacturing furniture and soft drapes, and then dressing the TV set – and again travelling the country. When the BBC closed down its in-house scenic design unit, two of us set up a private company, VisionDrapes, to carry on the same work for BBC and other designers. After about 6 years, we closed the company and I took early retirement. I joined Chiltern U3A shortly after we moved to Amersham in 2004, and soon became involved with the Garden Interest group, as co-convenor. After 10 years I passed on the baton, and when the post of general meeting organiser was advertised offered my services.
Anne Caine (Minutes Secretary)
I joined U3A three years ago after retiring from 18 years with the Science Museum Group as Finance Director and Secretary to the Board of Trustees. I previously held finance roles with Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) mainly in the food sector over 19 years. I moved to Amersham 18 years ago with my husband, Dave, who guides school parties on the WW1 battlefields, and two young children.
My children are now at university and I spend increasing time since retiring supporting older relatives and being walked by our two springer spaniels. However I have managed to undertake archaeology, history and art classes, attend choir and I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in History and Archaeology from Birkbeck last year. I also attend football matches in Manchester and go to rock concerts and museum/art exhibitions. I have much enjoyed the General Meetings and attend the Sustainability and Archaeology groups (until the latter stopped recently) and look forward to others when my free time increases. I really appreciate the sense of a community of friends and potential friends within the U3A.
David Bender (Webmaster)
My first degree was in Biochemistry, from the University of Birmingham, then I came to London to take a PhD at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, where I remained (after the merger with University College London) until I retired in 2011 as Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry at UCL. After we moved to Amersham in 2004, I was desperately jealous of all the activities offered to retired people by Chiltern U3A, and like many members I find my diary is fuller now than it was before retirement. Managing the website is a pleasant, if sometimes time-consuming, activity, but U3A members and Convenors are considerably less demanding that medical students - for 10 years I ran the "virtual learning environment" (i.e. on-line teaching material) for the 700 preclinical medical students at UCL, who demanded that material be available immediately - at any time of day or night!. To boost my ego, I have a personal website at www.david-bender.co.uk.
Jenny Jobson (Data Coordinator)
I qualified as a librarian working in special libraries; then ran a business followed by roles in sales and marketing, administration and management.
Volunteering has always been part of my life: librarian in two schools, knitting blankets for charity, delivering parcels to the elderly and singing Christmas carols in geriatric wards. I ran a mother and toddler club, then helped in my boys’ school library.
Fascinated by computers, I studied logic at school and attended an evening class on ‘Computers in libraries’. After a Sinclair ZX, Commodore 64 and word processors with eight-inch floppy discs, we got a PC in 1995. Microsoft Office applications (apart from Publisher) became the tools of my trade.
For fun I read, we travel, I’m re-designing the garden and decorating the house. Then there are the eight grandchildren….
When I retired I joined the U3A to continue learning and volunteered for a local charity - learning to manage the website. I joined the CU3A committee and the newsletter team – at last a chance to learn how to use Microsoft Publisher. Now I’m the Data Coordinator and having fun with spreadsheets again.
Allan Ferrier (External relations and acting Groups Coordinator)
My working life, before U3A, was based in Europe, the Middle East and the USA as a chartered accountant. On retirement I was keen to contribute to the community, and this will be my eighth year as a committee member in a number of different positions.
I was born in Singapore and attended several schools in the U.K. and Malaya (as it was then known) before becoming a boarder at a school in Aberdeen. I attended Aberdeen University where I did an MA and a BSc Honours in Chemistry. My first job was teaching Chemistry and General Science at Cheltenham Ladies College. I later moved to York and when my two children both started school I got a job teaching Chemistry at York College for Girls.
In 1990 I started a Property Letting and Management Agency which I sold twelve years later. I had been doing quite a lot of amateur acting and in 2003 decided to do a summer school at Rada. I continued with my amateur acting and directing but also did quite a lot of television work and a small amount of professional stage work.
I moved to Amersham in 2018 to be near family and shortly after moving I joined U3A. Everyone has been very welcoming and I have already made so many new friends.
Most people live long these days. When you are at work all day you do not get much time for hobbies. Now that you have retired you have the world as your oyster. Therefore instead of sitting at home watching the box, You can now get out and do things. You should be able to find one group of interest, to start you off. ``You may not have the initial skills but the others often do or they will help you in the right direction. It is a great way of making new friends, as often one is now left on their own.
I first heard about U3A through an old friend and neighbour, Ivan Hirsh, who just happened to be one of the founders and the first chairman of the Chiltern committee, 20 years ago. At the time, I was actively working in the City, involved with setting up investment businesses, managing global portfolios, travelling the world and advising institutional clients. As I began to wind down from full time work, I started to think about the kinds of things I would like to do when I had more leisure time.
Although my academic degrees were in physics, maths, experimental psychology and economics, and my career was heavily quantitative and technical, I wanted to broaden beyond those things. Remembering CU3A, as a group dedicated to life-long learning, I thought I would explore additional interests such as Photography, Chess and Computers. In the three years since joining, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of new people, making many new friends and getting reacquainted with old ones. I have even become the convenor of the Opera Appreciation group and co-convenor of the Writing for Fun 2 and the Drama groups. Leisure indeed!