A few years ago, SWMBO joined the local branch of the U3A. ‘What on earth is the U3A,’ I asked. SWMBO replied, ‘You are always mucking around with Google, find out for yourself!’ Short, ‘sweet’ and to the point, as usual.
A quick visit to Mr Google informed me that the U3A ( University of the Third Age) was formed in Toulouse, France in 1972, spread to the UK in 1982 and arrived here in Melbourne, Australia in 1984 and then spreading like wildfire across the country.
A further search led me to the U3A’s web site and an indepth explanation of what the U3A is all about. To quote from their blurb:
‘The University of the Third Age (U3A) movement is an unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its U3As life enhancing and life changing opportunities.
Retired and semi retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward, the sheer joy of discovery.
Members share their skills and life experiences: the learners teach and the teachers learn, and there is no distinction between them.
The U3A movement is supported by its national organisation, The Third Age Trust.’
Now I’m no spring chicken but the thought of getting involved with a mob of oldies learning from each other was an absolute turn off and I decided there and then that SWMBO could have the U3A entirely for herself.
Then, early last year SWMBO enticed me to go with her on an U3A bus trip exploring the homes of some of Australia’s original British settlers.
It was a revelation for me. The people were great, the organisation of the trip was first class, the day passed by at great speed and I thouroughly enjoyed myself.
As a result I joined our local U3A, go on many of their escapades and twice a week participate in a walking for health program. In addition to that, twice a month I go to an U3A Photography Group where we have fun with our cameras and camera phones, swap photography information and learn from each other.
It’s quite amazing how great it is to mix with people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who are happy to share their stories, information about various subjects and are happy to sensibly discuss differing views without getting bitter and twisted as is so often the case.
I could go on and on about the benefits of being a member of U3A and list the many, many courses and programs that area available to members. However I know that if you are interested you too will visit Mr Google, look for your nearest U3A and see what they have to offer. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Hoo roo for now.