Olive Deeley, a former secretary at Aston University founded the ‘X-Aston Group’ for former Aston staff in 1981. In December an event was held for Olive and members of the group to celebrate the commitment they have shown to the University over the last 30 years.
The University’s Chief Operating Officer Adèle MacKinlay attended the ‘thank you’ celebration Christmas lunch to present Olive with a crystal vase and to pay tribute to her for her dedication to the X-Aston Group and its activities.
Speaking at the event, Adèle MacKinlay said: “Anyone who has ever worked in a social capacity realises what effort is required to attain success in this work. For 30 years Olive Deeley has given her time and expertise to provide a happy and interesting retirement for the members of the X-Aston Group. Olive’s hard work has been supported in every sense of the word by her husband Ralph who has been by her side at every meeting and every event. Thank you Olive for all of your hard work from all at Aston University.”
Olive Deeley started the X-Aston Group consisting of approximately 70 members of staff when in 1981 they had taken voluntary redundancy or early retirement. It was decided that membership to the X-Aston staff group would include spouses and friends and the group would meet at the University on the first Tuesday of each month.
Olive has always been assisted by a committee of a Treasurer and Secretary and these position s are currently held by Kath Wright and Vera Humphries. A financial statement is prepared every year for presentation at the X-Aston Group’s Annual General Meeting which takes place every May.
Over the last three decades the group has been very socially active. The group has travelled many miles during its time and the members have extended their knowledge of business and have also visited many places of great beauty and historical interest. Days out have included visits to places of interest such as National Trust and English Heritage properties, art galleries, museums, theatres and garden centres, as well as day trips to many seaside towns and coastal resorts. There have also been lengthy rambles and holidays to Brighton, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Lake District, Northumbria, Yorkshire, Scarborough, Falmouth, Newquay, Torquay, Jersey and Scotland. The group is also heavily involved with some of the University’s work and research, with many members volunteering as participants in research studies conducted by ARCHA (Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing).
For further information about the X-Aston Group, its activities and membership, please contact Olive Deeley on 0121 356 9777 or Vera Humphries on 0121 747 5748..
Words by Louise Russell
4 January 2012