Tue, Mar 21, 2023 10:08 AM

Howick U3A keen to celebrate 30 years


Events and memories will be recalled when U3A Howick celebrates its 30-year anniversary on April 3.

The occasion will be held at the Howick Bowling Club beginning at 9am.

U3A, previously known as University of the Third Age, is an international organisation that began in France as an extramural university course in 1973 and was later modified in England with the aim of developing life-long learning for people who have the opportunity to undertake learning for its own sake, including those who are retired or semi-retired.

The aim is to support and foster ongoing learning. To meet this aim, the group has 29 study groups and more than 130 members. Those joining do not need to have any tertiary education – being keen to learn, link and laugh are the only criteria.

Three women, Anne McKinnon, Betsy Berridge and Zoe During, had the vision and enthusiasm to found Howick U3A in 1993. At the first annual general meeting, the president, Betsy Berridge, announced that there were 73 members and six study groups.

Current president, Colleen Rigby, said the meeting in April will be a special event when 25 convenors of interest groups will do presentations on events in the last 30 years and on positive ageing.

“We have had a great response from our members who are looking forward to the day and we look forward to hearing the convenors’ comments,” Dr Rigby said.

“There will be some video presentations as well as spoken accounts of what has occurred in the past and how it relates to the particular study group.”

Topics include DNA Discoveries, Rest homes to Resorts, Changing Patterns in Reading, Father William, Afterlife, An Irreverent Look at Major Events 1993-2023, Exoplanets, Senior New Zealanders of the Year, U3A Origins, International Influential Seniors, History of NZ 1993-2023, The Power of the Word, NZ Involvement in Conflict Zones 1993-2023, Old dog can learn new tricks, Portrayal of Ageing Themes, Opera Surprise, Philosophy Levity, The Sum of Everything, Towards Ageing, Phenomenon of the Cruise Ships, Walks, talks & Healthy Ageing, Three key artists, Art Collages, Music and Story Writing.

Another highlight will be the cutting of the 30th birthday cake by two of the founding members, Betty Gate and Gill Muggleston.

In attendance will be the oldest member, Brenda Loader, and the newest and youngest member, Gwin Ball. Brenda will turn 100 in April and joined the Howick club in 1993 while Gwin is in her mid-50s.

Howick U3A meets every second Monday of the month at the Howick Bowling Club at 9.30am where there are group reports, the reading of a short story, morning tea followed by a guest speaker.