Former mayor becomes chairman of community group

Peter Halse. Ref ehr 45-16TI 1681. Picture: Terry Ife

Peter Halse is the new chairman of Honiton's u3aPeter Halse. Ref ehr 45-16TI 1681. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Terry Ife

At their annual general meeting on March 17, members of Honiton u3a unanimously elected Peter Halse as its new chairman.

Like so many other of their activities over the last 12 months, this meeting was held online via Zoom. 

Peter Halse is a well-known figure in Honiton. The third generation of his family to enter local politics, he was elected to the town council in 1981, later becoming mayor. He became a district councillor two years later, before being elected to the county council in 1989.

Peter is also well known in the town for the long-established family business, now called Halse SW, which can trace its history back to the corn chandlery set up by John Halse in the early Victorian period. Peter’s father established the present farm machinery business on the former Mickelburgh Foundry site in the 1940s. The business recently moved to new premises at Daisy Mount.

With all this history, it is no surprise that Peter says he became a u3a member in order to join the popular and successful history group run by Stewart Raine, as this subject had always interested him. 

He is looking forward to learning more about the 28 activity groups run by Honiton u3a. Its work was recently highlighted in the national u3a magazine, Third Age Matters, focusing on four of its members, including Howard Lyne, who runs the meteorology group.

Members of u3a are determined that more people should have the chance to join in the rich array of activities they already enjoy. Therefore, Honiton u3a will be taking part in u3a Day, to be held nationwide on Wednesday June 2 to promote the organisation’s activities.

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Sue Stokes, the national co-ordinator for the event, said: “u3a Day is the opportunity to collectively showcase and promote the benefits of membership. At the same time, we can challenge negative preconceptions of older people.”

Depending on restrictions in place at the time, there will be a mix of activities online via Zoom and hopefully a chance to meet the public in Honiton. Details will be announced later.

During its AGM, u3a members took the opportunity to thank Janet Driscoll, who was stepping down after four years as Chairman. The committee paid tribute to her hard work on behalf of members, and to all she had achieved in spreading the word about u3a.

For further information about Honiton u3a, go to their website: u3asites.org.uk/honiton

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