The Harpenden Society celebrated a very active and successful year with their novel approach to an AGM. ‘Celebration 2013' was held at the Harpenden House Hotel on Thursday 11 April and had the theme ‘Looking back - Looking forward'. Approximately 120 people attended, they knew from the start that it was different when they entered the room and were greeted with the jaunty music of the Sir John Lawes school jazz band.
There was none of the traditional glum routine of a conventional AGM, the Society celebrated in style. Attendees could enjoy a drink, see a mini exhibition with display boards describing the year's achievements and chat informally with the Society's officers and committee members. The formal business of the AGM was kept as short as possible leaving time to announce competition winners and the launch of a membership drive. Details of the ‘double the membership' drive will be announced in the Society's summer News magazine.
The Society's primary schools competition attracted more than 2,000 entries from eleven of the town's thirteen primary schools. The theme was ‘What do I like about Harpenden'. The expert panel of judges made 42 awards and every single child who entered received a certificate. The categories covered art, photography, drama, music and creative writing. Pupils of The Grove Junior School received more prizes than any of the other schools and their co heads received eight Award Certificates on the night.
Every year Harpenden Society considers local building developments which enhance the Town's environment', awards were announced. A Letter of Commendation was awarded to the new Strada restaurant in Amenbury Lane. Certificates of Merit were awarded to the Jubilee Arch in Thompsons Close and for the three Jubilee Crowns in Harpenden, Southdown and Batford. A Certificate of Merit was also awarded to the Pine Court block of flats in Carlton Road. The premier award, The Harpenden Society Plaque for 2012, was awarded to Jarvis for the Foresters development behind Bowers Parade.
Chairman of the Society Chris Marsden commented afterwards, “The Society has had an excellent year. We have a number of exciting projects underway and I am looking forward with enthusiasm to taking them forward in the coming year. It is great that this meeting has given the opportunity to so many of our members to talk to us about what we are doing. Those who attended gave the Society their unanimous support for the continuation of our work.” Chris concluded, “The new format was an undoubted success and we are all pleased with the way it went and with the support from those who joined us on the evening.”
As the evening drew to a close, there were many expressions of genuine appreciation. Throughout the event there was a constant buzz of congenial and responsive enjoyment. The evening closed with blues music from the ‘April Blue’ duo.