Holiday Inn Taunton
Hotel Leisure Centre
St Mary Magdelene Taunton
Meeting Taunton Mayor
Awaiting the Gala Dinner
Association of Open University Graduates
AGM and Social Weekend
4th - 6th June 2010
The 2010 AGM weekend was held at the HOLIDAY INN - TAUNTON. As usual the weekend was open to all Open University Graduates, their friends, family and guests.
This 2010 weekend followed the more traditional format of the previous years.
Attendees arrive from 1pm on the Friday afternoon to be greeted by AOUG members at our special Reception desk. After booking in with the hotel, they l received their weekend information pack and then settled themselves in their room, or to sit and chat over a tea or coffee with others attending the event. Displays of both AOUG Foundation for Education and AOUG Trading were on display and it is hoped that attendees were able to browse awhile and maybe purchase some souvenirs.
Then the weekend was off in full swing with the first of the optional excursions :- where else but to a cider farm! Although guests, friends and adult family are always made most welcome, most graduates attend on their own, so this excursion was an excellent opportunity to put all in the mood to socialise. After the evening meal, there was an in-house event :- a sing along of "traditional songs" (in the loose term) from around the Regions and Nations organised by our host members of AOUG in the South West.
Saturday morning was the formal part of the weekend with the AGM meetings and members workshop. Non members are always welcome to attend these meetings but had not of course have voting rights and were only able to participate in the debates at the discretion of the Chairman.
After lunch the Executive Committee held another meeting that welcomes observers but for all other attendees, there was the second of the optional excursions:- a vintage coach and steam train outing. Then the evening is the time to don glad rags for the formal Gala evening. Some members wore Dinner Jackets or evening dresses but any smart attire is acceptable. (However we do not permit jeans, t-shirts or jumpers, however smart you may feel they may be).
The Gala Evening began with a drinks reception, then the gala dinner and was followed by a speaker and then entertainment. This year's speaker was Dr Tweeney and the entertainment was dancing to the music of "The Friendly Folk". Special invited guests including from Open University and the local area were present to share the festivities and stay to dance with us long into the night. During the evening members also had the chance to purchase raffle tickets to try to win the donated prizes.
Sunday saw our final excursion, this time to Taunton itself, offering the chance to follow the Heritage Trial, explore the shops or simply relax and chat in a coffee shop. Then back for our final meal, Sunday lunch, before wishing fond farewells to all our new found friends.
Anyone who has never attended an AGM/Social weekend before can be reassured that, unless they decide to hibernate in their room, they will soon be part of the mix of other first timers and old hands and will quickly wonder why they had never attended before. AOUG is a sociable, face to face organisation and it is at events like these that life long friendships develop.