U3A proves popular
MYRTLEFORD’S University of the Third Age (U3A) is proving an overwhelming success with locals flocking to the wide variety of classes on offer.
Italian and German lessons, cooking, memoir writing, Shakespeare and gardening classes as well as bush walking, Lifeball (stationery netball) and board game afternoons are just some of the activities being enjoyed.
Secretary Jan Mock said the response U3A had received was beyond expectations.
“We started February 7 and I was hoping we would have 100 members within two years, we had that in five weeks and have about 130 now,” she said.
Ms Mock said socialising and making friends was the most important aspect with sharing knowledge and learning new skills a distant second.
“One lady sent us an email saying she’s been living here for 30 years but through U3A is now making some new and interesting friends,” Ms Mock said.
“I used to be a teacher here and I’ve lived here since I was a kid so I know a fair few around town but there’s people joining that I’ve never seen before.
“People have found they can join easily, you don’t have to belong to a certain structure or certain class within the town to be a part of it.”
Myrtleford’s ageing and semi-retired population along with cheap costs and daytime class times are seen as the main reason for the unprecedented success.
The business community has also supported the program with local chefs often taking classes while Myrtleford P-12 College has provided different resources.
“Myrtleford P-12 College has been unbelievable they have given us classrooms, computers, the cooking centre and we can also do woodwork there,” Ms Mock said.
Students from the college are also set to be tutors for a smartphone class.
“As an ex teacher I feel really sad that there’s so many divisions in our society in terms of age, I’d like to see older people and young people interacting a lot more,” Ms Mock said.
Along with the smartphone course another John Taylorrun local history class, mosaics and bee keeping will be added to the program next term.
U3A also holds quarterly social functions with a Moroccan Feast in October set to follow on from a recent Christmas in July event that was attended by over 30 people at the Happy Valley Hotel.
CARDS WITH FRIENDS: (left to right) Yvonne Tabalotny, Pat Hopfman, Denise Kennedy, Carmel Wyatt, Pam Hamilton, Christa Marchioro and Margaret Anthony enjoy a game of Phase 10 on Monday.