© 2017 The Harpenden Society
That is an exceptionally brief title for a mighty theme – thank you, volunteers of The Harpenden Society.
The Society, apart from its officers, committee and Working Groups, has two major voluntary brigades of quite distinctive brands. One is the skilled group of library volunteers who ensure that on every Wednesday afternoon and evening the Harpenden Library Express Service is sustained. The other is the hardy band of newsletter distributors without whom this august journal would lie unread and unheralded.
On Tuesday 7 July a party, attended by senior library officers as well as the volunteers and their partners, was held in the garden of Chris Marsden, The Society chairman, as a way of saying 'thank you' to the Society members who maintain that important Wednesday service. Wine and soft drinks flowed as easily as the fluent conversation as, in mellow mood, all enjoyed the proceedings.
On Saturday 22 August a party for the newsletter distributors, with several members of the committee in evidence, was held in the garden of Susan Vinther, the Society's highly effective Membership Secretary, who had recruited widely among her kinfolk to act as charming waiters and waitresses. After splendid eats and fortifying drinks the assembled party-goers enjoyed – and vociferously joined in with – the songs and music of the tunefully ebullient Mike Hodge, 'the Harpenden Busker'. It made for a most delightful occasion. As both the photographs show.
A word about Mike, who is a Society member, and an entertainer as indefatigable in his great work for charity as he is gifted as a guitarist and pleasing presenter of songs that certainly resonated with those in attendance at the second of these two superb events...
….and both events were blessed by sunshine
(Editor's note; we were lucky with the weather for both these occasions but, then, one can be positive about any meteorological condition. In my native Manchester there used to be enormous church processions of witness on Whit Monday and Whit Friday with thousands of white-clad children on parade. If the sun shone the mothers would fondly remark 'God knows his own'; if – the likelier prospect - it was raining. the comment was 'God waters his little flowers.')
Above all else, these gatherings celebrated the truism that a civic society is only as strong as its members are active. The Harpenden Society is, like any such association, totally reliant on committee members and other supporters who do things rather than say things. It is the difference between a neighbourhood talk shop and a community commando unit.