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Have a look at what is happening in the Endeavour (Southern) region of Sydney U3A, which meets in the St George area and Sutherland Shire !

For news on current classes, go to Our Courses or Reports from our Courses. The first and second semester programs (2017) for Explorations in Music and the first semester program for Gems of the Silver Screen are available at Our Courses. To look up recent newsletters, go to Newsletters and for earlier articles, Past Events. The latest newsletter can also be found on the sidebar along with the current course book and list of committee members.

News from our Region

As many of you will be aware, our past president and life member of Sydney U3A, Dorothy Clarke, died on April 20. She was a dynamic, committed member of our organisation and we will miss her. Read the tribute to her on this page. A special thanks to her family members who sent me photos and copies of their eulogies.

A date to remember this month is the fifth Tuesday, May 30, when Craig Witherington talks to us about his trip to the Western Front. For more details, read the article below.

Vale Dorothy Clarke (1920-2017)

On April 20, Endeavour U3A lost one of its greatest supporters, 96-year-old Dorothy Clarke. Dorothy didn’t join Sydney U3A until 2000 when she was already in her mid-seventies but that never held her back. She became a course leader at different times, a role she undertook with enthusiasm, and served on our committee including, for many years, as Endeavour Region’s publicity officer. She only retired from the course leader role and her committee work when she became too unwell to continue. During her last year on the committee, she took on the role of president, impatient at younger members’ failure to take on leadership roles in our organisation. It is no wonder that in March, 2013, Dorothy was given an Honorary Life Membership of Sydney U3A.

Dorothy’s wide involvement, very often in leadership roles, in community activities such as Southside Speakers, Friends of the Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra, the computer course mentor program at Gymea TAFE and Triple S Friendship Club as well as Sydney U3A led to her receiving, in 2009, the title of South Sydney Volunteer of the Year and, in 2011, being honoured at Parliament House by the National Council of Women and Business and Professional Women at the annual Jean Arnot Memorial Luncheon for ladies over 90 who served their community.

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So who was this amazing woman whom her family describes as generous, warm, compassionate, independent, determined, sassy and funny with a dry wit? Dorothy Clarke (nee Lilienthal) was born in 1920 in Hastings, New Zealand, the seventh of ten children. The family moved to Australia when she was six. Although she excelled at school, she left after her Intermediate Certificate. It was the time of the Great Depression and her father did not support further education for girls. Instead she became a trainee nurse at Sydney Hospital but left owing to health problems. During the following years, Dorothy worked part-time in a Lakemba pharmacy and later as receptionist to a doctor. During World War II, she even worked for a time at the Chullora Aircraft Factory which made light planes for the RAAF. It was while she was working in the pharmacy that she met her life’s partner, the owner, Mort Clarke. The couple worked together in the business until he retired although they moved their home to Oyster Bay. Mort was quite a bit older than her but they were deeply compatible and shared a love of ballet, music, opera and literature. Dorothy valued how he treated her as his intellectual equal. In his final years, Mort became disabled through illness and Dorothy cared for him until the end. When he died, even though she was 63, Dorothy returned to work, this time as a full-time medical secretary. She lowered her age by ten years to get the job and was still in it over ten years later.

In 2006, Dorothy produced a book with support from the Shire Council called Retired…but not Retiring. This title certainly describes Dorothy herself. We will miss her!

A Personal Trip to the Western Front

During the four long years of World War I, the Western Front stretched from the Swiss border to the English Channel. For the British and Empire armies, the main conflicts were in the north between Amiens and Ypres. Many of the battles that took place there are now household names such as the Somme, Thiepval, Villers-Bretonneux and Passchendaele.

Craig Witherington, our Fifth Tuesday lecturer for May, visited this area with his wife in memory of their three relatives who had fought in France. They visited the battlefields, museums and cemeteries to try and gain a better understanding of this senseless war. It is their pilgrimage we shall hear about from Craig.

Come to Club on East, 7 East St, Sutherland on Tuesday, May 30 at 10:15 for 10:30. It is only a short walk from Sutherland Railway Station. Entry is a gold coin. Everyone is welcome.

Events to put in your diary

30 May: the next 5th Tuesday Lecture will be held at 10.15am for a 10.30am start at Club on East (formerly Sutherland United Services Club),  7 East Parade, Sutherland.  The speaker is Craig Witherington and his talk is A Personal Trip to the Western Front.

Next Committee Meeting

The next U3A Endeavour Region (Southern) committee meeting will be held on:
Friday 5th June 2, 2017 at 10.00am
in the supper room at Cronulla School of Arts, Cronulla.  All members are welcome to attend.

Endeavour Region Links

Click on one of the following links to take you to:


  1. Our Courses
  2. Reports from our Courses
  3. Our Newsletters
  4. Past Events


If you wish to make a suggestion including any corrections, provide feedback or supply material for this website, please contact Bronwyn Haddock at bhaddock@sloan.id.au or phone 9528 5442.

For information about Endeavour (Southern) U3A, contact Margaret Kingston by phoning 9522 9868 or emailing her at m.kingston1@bigpond.com