With restrictions on physical meetings likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, many people are missing the interesting talks and presentations offered regularly by Whale Coast Conservation and U3A Overberg. Both these organisations have therefore decided to make it possible for their members to participate via Zoom.  

“You may have read that there are questions around the security of Zoom meetings, but we will take precautions and we won’t share any environmental secrets on the platform. Breaches in security arise when the meeting URL link is shared indiscriminately. We will therefore ask you to register for each talk and the meeting link will be sent only to those members who registered,” says Anina Lee of WCC. 

“Some of our members may have attended a Zoom meeting with U3A, so you will be familiar with the programme. Those members who would like to do a dummy run to test it, can send an email to anina.wcc@gmail.com with ‘Test run’ in the subject line and I will set up a practice meeting for you.”

WCC’s first Zoom meeting will be on Thursday 7 May at 12:00 (noon). The speaker is Jenny Cullinan and her topic is For the Love of Bees. To register for the talk on Thursday, contact anina.wcc@gmail.com and instructions on how to join the meeting will then be sent to you. On the day before the talk, the link will be sent to all those who have registered. 

The COVID-19 lockdown regulations also forced U3A Overberg to suspend all lectures and meetings for the foreseeable future. However, Zoom technology has made their lectures and conferences accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connection, prompting them to start introducing online lectures.

U3A Overberg kicked off their Zoom presentations last week with The Spanish Flu Epidemic by Phil Harries-Jones and this week’s lecture was on The History and Reconstruction of Rwanda – Land of a 1000 Hills by John Bristow.

“From the feedback we have received, these sessions were very successful and most members seemed enthusiastic that this should continue,” says Gert Claassen of U3A. “We know that some had a few technical problems and that the internet capacity was problematic in some areas. But, as we all become comfortable with the new technology, this will probably become a routine activity in our lives.

“The U3A Committee is therefore pleased to announce that we will continue with regular presentations – initially every Monday at 12:00. We have decided on 12:00 because it appears that there is less activity on the internet at that time. The frequency may increase as we progress.”

The next U3A Zoom talk will be presented on Monday 11 May by Letitia Snyman and the topic is Wordsworth: A Revolutionary genius who still speaks to us today. Since there are more than 600 U3A members and the Zoom only allows 99 participants per session, you will have to register separately for each session. If you wish to participate in either or both presentations, send an email to gc2441@gmail.com and the access codes will be emailed to you on the Friday prior to the presentation.

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