Dear AOBA Members.  I hope this finds you all fit and well and wherever you are, keeping safe.  

Well, here we are in February 2021 and we are still in lockdown.  I don’t know about you, but I’m finding this one harder than the others, it may be the dark mornings and evenings, perhaps it’s the weather, or perhaps it’s just that I’m just getting tired of ‘groundhog’ day; I just know I’ll be glad to come out of this one.  Remaining positive is the key and keeping busy of course.  I think it’s never been more important to reach out and contact our mates and see how they are doing.  This morning I took a call from an old colleague of mine, and before we knew it, we were both spinning ditties and laughing out loud.  We were on the phone for just over an hour and he really lifted my spirits; I urge you all to do the same and pick the phone up and ring a mate.  You’ll both feel better for it.  

In my last message I remarked that I was living in Tier 2 well, within a few days we were in Tier 3 and a week later – full lockdown.  I think it’s all for the best and while some commentators out there are giving the Government a hard time, I think they find themselves in a very un-enviable position, with conflicting information from all sides.  I think they are doing their best and I’m delighted that, as a country, we are well ahead of the game as far as the vaccine is concerned.  Being a youngster (76B2 – I’m sure you can work it out) it will be some time for me, but I hope you are all close to getting, or have already had the vaccine.  I’m looking forward to getting back to life as normal and I’m sure that by the summer we will all be vaccinated, have a good degree of protection, and we will be well on our way.  

Talking of the summer and our reunion, I’m not sure yet if this will go ahead, as we have several issues to deal with.  My feeling is that we will do something towards the end of the year as I think hotels are going to take some time to bed in.  I think there are almost certainly going to be restrictions on the numbers that can gather indoors, and it may make things impossible.  The other issue is going to be trying to get someone to organise it.  As you know, Shirley from Isle of Wight Tours was our chief organiser for three years but her business sadly folded due to the pandemic.  I’m still in touch with her and I hoping (fingers crossed) she will return to help us out.  There is plenty of uncertainty, but rest assured we are on it, and we will do our best.  

I’ll close by reiterating that we need to stay safe and follow the rules… ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’.  We’ve witnessed some terrible statistics in the past month and we are getting so close to receiving the vaccine now, and it would be such a shame to relax too soon and get caught out.  Before you know it, the next OBAN will be on your doorstep and ‘spoiler alert’ we’ve arranged for a small gift in this one.  I’ll say no more.  

Let’s look forward to better times ahead and remember to Stay Safe.      

Mike Tizard, your Chairman.  

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