It is with great regret that I have to advise you that I have taken the decision to cancel the November reunion in Liverpool. Although I personally feared this would be the outcome, on the principles of democracy about one week ago I contacted all the ROA committee and a few regular reunion attendees seeking their opinion on whether the reunion should go ahead. The end result was a resounding NO.
Speaking personally I could see an argument where perhaps a meeting in the bar pre dinner might work I could see no way how 60 people could sit down to dinner in tables of 8 and achieve social distancing. Many agreed with me but there was also a strong feeling that we are not out of the woods yet, many of us are over 70 and many were not comfortable attending an event of this nature until an effective vaccine is available.
Whilst perhaps expected, the end result is very disappointing for anyone involved with the ROA and all regular reunion attendees. For many, our reunions are the highlight of the year. This was a decision taken without contacting the hotel and, of course, not knowing what government policy would be between now and November. In fact I tried to contact the hotel yesterday and found out they are still closed. This slightly surprised me as my general feeling was that many hotels had re-opened under strict guidelines. When I can re-establish contact it is my intention to try and ‘postpone rather than cancel’ this event from the hotel’s perspective and carry our deposit over until the planned April 2021 reunion at the same location. This is by no means guaranteed as they have carried the deposit over once and may not do so again. They might not even commence trading again or they might not agree to carry the deposit over. It has been agreed that the ROA will bear the costs of the cancelled deposit if this is the case.
We are now left with the situation where the earliest we can meet is the planned reunion at The Liner Hotel on 20 and 21 April next year. If the second spike hits us and we all enter lockdown again God knows what will happen but we must hope for the best. At the moment we are still planning to visit Hamburg in September 2021 but Paul Hag from SFK has the same problem as me in that he cannot contact our chosen hotel and Cap San Diego.
As you can imagine this is not a decision I have enjoyed having to make but in the end it was an easy one.
I hope you are all keeping well and I look forward to seeing you all again as soon as possible.