There are many of us who take the view that the end of 2020 is a consummation devoutly to be wished. It has been a turbulent year in all sorts of respects. This is mostly because of the COVID-19 virus, of course, the lockdowns, the new strains, social distancing and for some families heart-breaking losses and deprivations (only this morning I was talking to a grandparent who has never met her 9-month-old granddaughter). As if this weren’t bad enough, there is still political turmoil both close-to-hand and affecting influential overseas partners. Opinions on Brexit are divided, of course, but surely no-one can be pleased at the threat to students’ development and opportunities posed by the evisceration of the ERASMUS exchange scheme. Current and future Wills residents will be affected by this.
Still, it doesn’t pay to dwell on crises. Those of us with a naturally optimistic streak hope for improvement, even if it’s likely to be halting and slow.TheWHA continues to function well, even if its new Chair struggles sometimes to emulate his predecessor’s efficiency! We had a tremendous summer lecture by Dr Clare Barlow, and a useful discussion on the debate – now temporarily shelved, I think – about renaming University buildings that are or seem to be associated with slavery. Charles Gunter is the very deserving recipient of the Alumni Association Medal to commemorate his dedication to the alumni community in general,and to the WHA in particular. Plans are shaping up nicely for an action-packed (if online) event in lieu of the summer reunion and dinner – we’ll keep you informed as these become firmer. We have a Hall Photographer sponsored by the WHA, too (Rowan Humphreys), and if his task is harder this year than usual because of the absence of high-profile events, he is managing to document this unique time with skill and flair. And there is always the OldWills Gin! It has proved immensely popular and is still available (see link below). Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating that generations of former Wills residents take to the bottle to drown their sorrows! But for those of you not averse to a modest tipple, it’s very cheering!
With best wishes for a very different, entertaining, and fulfilling 2021,
RobertVilain – Chair
The full 2020 End of Year Bulletin can be downloaded here: