Christmas Greetings.

When I was first introduced as the U3A’s Almoner, a member, surprisingly, asked me what the almoner did. I told him I send condolence or speedy recovery messages to our members. Not an enormous job, but important.

I didn’t tell him that it comes from a 13th century Old French word, almosne,   ‘a person who distributes charity (alms) on behalf of a household or institution’. 

I do not send ‘alms’, of course, but simple messages which, I hope, helps the recipient realise U3A is thinking of them. (I rely on you to keep me informed of members’ death or illness.)

Regretably, from about 1920 onwards, that lovely old word was gradually phased out and the term ‘Social Worker’ became its mainstream replacement.

What’s this got to do with Christmas, you ask? Nothing, really, but as Almoner, on behalf of U3A’s Executive Committee, I wish to send to all members and their families, best wishes for a very happy Christmas and safe but merry New Year. 

Angela Dold