Image from www.u3aredlands.com.au/
A SNAPPY little acronym that has featured in the Redlands for a quarter of a century reflects a growing movement that has enriched the lives of many thousands of seniors. U3A stands for University of the Third Age, which is dedicated to providing "affordable education and the opportunity to study and learn in a relaxed environment". The term, "third age" is sometimes associated with the fantasy fiction by author JRR Tolkien but it's a reality when describing those in active retirement.
A recent Public Notice announced the U3A Redlands' 15th annual general meeting at the Donald Simpson Community Centre on Monday, November 25, but the president, Julie Porteous, said the movement initally had operated in the Redlands as a branch of U3A Brisbane from 1988. Julie paid tribute to the inaugural president John Butters for "inspirational guidance" which she said had provided a solid foundation and when she had become vice-president in 2009 U3A Redlands had 1100 members.
"Today we have 1600 members, 100 volunteers and over 50 subjects and classes on offer to our members." Julie said. "In 2011 I was elected as president," she said. "This was an exciting and new opportunity for me to work more closely within my own community and make something of my own 'third age'. " I am grateful and proud of the committee members who have worked together harmoniously with me to continue ensuring that U3A Redlands is held in high esteem and that we do contribute to the well-being of seniors in the Redlands."
Learning with pleasure continued as the U3A mission, Julie said. The movement recognised the need to keep pace with the ever-increasing number of new members who were IT literate and with "the communication skills and expectations of tomorrow’s members". "Some of these new members will come from a diverse cultural background and have much to offer from their own life experiences," she said. "We will need to provide more sophisticated courses alongside the traditional ones to ensure we remain a progressive organisation." In June, U3A Redlands will host the annual U3A Queensland state conference. "We are excited at the prospect of welcoming delegates from around Queensland and also one or two from interstate," she said. "We are appreciative and wish to acknowledge the Redland City Council’s support for this event."
U3A is among many community groups who use our Classifieds to announce their special events, making them a 'must read' to stay up to date with vibrant Redland City.
This column has appeared in The Redland Times.
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