U3A proves pop­u­lar

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - BYTATE SPITERI tspi­teri@ne­me­dia.com.au

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.

PHOTO: Tate Spiteri

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.

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