Past Events in Endeavour (Southern)
Semester 2, 2017
THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’
Our October Fifth Tuesday lecture takes us back to the heady days of the 1960s and is all about the music and the times of Bob Dylan. Our speaker is Liz Peters who is known to many of our members for her excellent presentations at the U3A luncheons. So come along to Club on East, Sutherland, on Tuesday, October 31 at 10.15 am for a 10.30 start. Entry is a gold coin. Members of the public are very welcome.
As Liz says, Dylan has been described as:
- a mediocre singer at best, who became the voice of a restless generation.
- a songwriter who captured the zeitgeist like no one before him, and is one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, both musically and culturally
- an artist whose musical style ranged from folk, blues and country to gospel and rock and roll during a career that spanned five decades.
It came as a surprise to many – and to himself – when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.
During our lecture, we will explore some of his most iconic songs in the context of the time and discuss whether he really deserved his Nobel Prize.
You be the judge!
Did you know that you can volunteer at Taronga Park Zoo? Christine Wenborn did. After an intensive selection process, she became an animal watcher.
At the August 31 Fifth Tuesday lecture, we were fascinated, amused and amazed at the stories she told. It is not a job for the faint-hearted. Watcher sessions can at times last for up to two hours and occasionally the animals can behave unexpectedly like the silverback that roared threateningly right near her because he did not like the vet who had just joined her. One type of watch session is recording every single interaction of the animals with the items in the enclosure; another, every interaction with the fellow animals in a timed period. Christine had to learn the names of all the chimps in the chimp enclosure to do this. She began by differentiating males (tidy bum) and females (untidy bum). At other times, she has to watch an animal by video, for instance when birthing or, at another time, observe an animal the keepers are worrying about. Whatever the job, Christine loves the work so much she has now been an animal watcher for thirteen years.
Visit to the Western Front
On Tuesday an audience filled the room to listen to Craig Witherington, assisted by his wife Marilyn, tell of their experiences in visiting the places of relevance on the Western Front where their grandfathers had fought in WW1. And what an informative, well researched and interesting talk it was!
As Craig explained, like most men returning from war, their grandparents spoke very little of their experiences. So with limited family history, Craig and Marilyn set out in 2016 to follow in the footsteps of their grandfathers.
Arriving on ANZAC Day, Craig’s first slide showed the Champs-Elysees, Paris, where every light pole displayed an Australian flag as an annual recognition of Australia’s participation in the two World Wars -a wonderful introduction to the talk.
With the use of maps and photos, Craig then gave us a brief history of the reasons behind the war, the participants and the battles, with an emphasis on the Western Front. It was with the British call for volunteers that Craig and Marilyn’s grandparents had left their families and joined up to fight. We were introduced to these grandparents and given a brief look into their lives before, during and after the war.
Through a series of slides beginning with the Somme battlefields, where 1,200,000 lives were lost, we visited museums, monuments, trenches and gravesites. We saw the underground tunnels built by miners and others which were occupied by up to 20 000 soldiers and which allowed the troops to advance on their enemies and gain some ground. We were shown postcards their grandparents had sent to the family back home, including one with a photo of a local school. Craig and Marilyn visited this school where little had changed (although there was no longer a wall dividing the boys from the girls). We travelled to Belgium to visit the battlefields there before returning to France and visiting Villers-Bretonneux where the annual ANZAC dawn ceremony is held and televised in Australia.
While 3 700 000 lives were lost in this terrible war, there was a recognition of those who were injured, not only physically but also emotionally. ‘Shellshock’, as it was called then was a recognised medical condition in 1916 and one of the grandparents had been sent home because of this. An audience member also reminded us of the effect on the families of those who returned with emotional scars.
Thank you to both Marilyn and Craig for allowing us to participate in your travel and for the immense amount of research you undertook to present this to us. You inspired many of us to take our own research into our family’s war history
Farewell to Mike Goodwin
We often call on our members to volunteer their talents to Sydney U3A and our local region Endeavour. Over the years, many have responded to our call. However, there cannot be many members who responded as energetically as Mike Goodwin of Greater Western Region. We in Endeavour also benefited from his seemingly endless energy in his public relationships role with Sydney U3A, both directly and indirectly. I feel it is therefore appropriate that we remember Mike on our website this month.
Edited version of Sue Brennan’s eulogy
The University of the Third Age is an organisation started in France in the 70’s by academics who wanted to give back to the community. It is run by volunteers. The Sydney U3A branch, now in operation for over 25 years, has 7 regions with a current membership of over 6500.
Mike Goodwin joined Sydney U3A in late 2006 and was a member of the Greater Western Region. In the 10 years that he belonged to U3A, he committed himself to the organisation in many capacities.
He began presenting courses in February 2007, commencing with International Shipping & Trade and In Olde England. In 2008, his courses were Australian Relationships with Our Near-Australian Neighbours, Australian History – Bushrangers and Music Kaleidoscope. In 2009 he set up an Australian History group in Blacktown. The group continues to meet and, after a class meeting last Thursday, decided unanimously to continue as a tribute to Mike. 2010 saw him add a British monarchy series, The House of Hanover, and 2 discussion groups. He also held a World History class that, like his Australian history group, continues to this day.
As if his work as a regional presenter was not enough, Mike became a member of the Greater Western Committee in 2008 taking on the role of Course Co-ordinator for that year assisted by Ken Jones. In 2009, he became the Greater Western Publicity Officer (later re-labelled Public Relations Officer), a position he held through to, and including 2015.
In 2013, Mike extended his involvement to Sydney U3A when he became a member of the Management Committee of Sydney U3A, taking on the role of Vice President Public Relations, a position he held until 2016.
Besides his adored wife, U3A was Mike’s life. He was a ‘larger than life’ personality – a gentleman who cared and gave greatly of himself. He will be missed.
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.
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.
Georges River Senior Expo
On 9th March, members from the Endeavour U3A region attended the Georges River Senior Expo at Hurstville. Margaret Kingston, Thelma King, Anna Winter and Nilva Sims talked to many about what our region has to offer those who join U3A. This is one of the many expos where committed volunteers make sure that locals know about U3A. A special thanks to all those who give their time to these events.
Endeavour U3A Members enjoying the new year
Fun with Shakespeare and Orson Welles
When the Reading and Discussing Shakespeare group meets on 7 March, Robert Englund will be screening the BBC made-for-TV production of Coriolanus . Given its length the session will begin at 1.30 p.m. If you are interested in attending, phone Robert Englund at 8251 7540 or email him at email@example.com.
At the fourth session of Fun with Orson Welles on 16 March, Robert Englund will be screening The Third Man. The film is a 1949 British film noir directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene. It stars Joseph Cotten, Valli (Alida Valli), Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. It takes place in post-World-War-II Vienna. If you are interested in attending, phone Robert Englund at 8251 7540 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking Back on 2016
Fantastic New Courses for 2017
Endeavour members have 52 courses to choose from this semester. Of course, there are the old favourites but there are also many exciting, new courses on offer. At the Cronulla School of Arts, you can learn Latin or explore brain games. If these are not to your taste, you can join the new singing group or explore the films of Orson Welles.
Unfortunately the storytelling course at Rockdale has been unable to attract enough interested members – maybe another time. However, you may still be able to attend a course in a member’s own home such as Popular Operas on Television or Interesting Issues around Science which is offering a new set of lectures for those who want to keep up with scientific topics. As places are limited for these courses (and may already be filled), you will need to act quickly.
If you prefer the outdoors, you might be interested in joining the U3A Sydney Striders, a new walking group that began last semester. Harvesting in the Suburbs, a very popular gardening course, is trying a new direction. Members are visiting community vegetable gardens in and around Sydney. You can visit Reports from our Courses to learn about their first expedition.
Maybe you have an idea for a new course in Semester 2 but are not sure how to go about it. If so, enrol for Henry Collin’s repeat course in March Are You Interested in Teaching in U3A?.
Whatever your interests, there are many courses to choose from. If the one you wanted originally is full, give another course a go. We look forward to meeting you in 2017 at a number of them.
Who’s Afraid of T.S. Eliot?
What do you remember about poetry from your school days? Reciting ‘The Lady of Shallot’ in front of the class, and getting stuck halfway through it? It could have easily turned you off poetry for the rest of your days. Maybe our poets and their works deserve another look, this time with more mature eyes.
The Pursuit of Poetry meanders through centuries of poetry – from Shakespeare to Bob Dylan, from Emily Dickinson to Maya Angelou, with traditional and modern Australian poetry thrown in for good measure. German, Canadian, Japanese and indigenous works occasionally get an airing as well. We read the poems, we take delight in the images conjured up by the authors and we explore the meaning, having fun with the words. Members of this group often suggest a particular poet and present a selection of his or her masterpieces. Definitely no learning by rote!
This class meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, from 2.00 to 4.00pm, in the theatrette of the Cronulla School of Arts. The course leader is Patricia Green, who can be contacted by phoning 95242523 or 0408555264. Her email is email@example.com. New members are more than welcome.
Semester 2, 2016
A special thank you to all those members who attended the AGM on Thursday, November 10. I am sure you will agree that it was an interesting and enjoyable morning.
Of course, the first item was the annual election of the new committee. Unfortunately no new members stepped forward to join or to take up the presidency. We were also sad to lose Anna Winter who has been an energetic and enthusiastic member. I am sure our members would agree that the Fifth Tuesday lectures this year have been fascinating. Endeavour U3A does need the ideas and enthusiasm of more recent members. Please come to the meeting in February and volunteer how you can help shape our direction in 2017.
Business was followed by Robert Englund’s fascinating talk on Shakespeare’s life which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Follow the link below to find out what he said. After Robert, members of our creative writing groups entertained us with their poetry. Liz Peters read us delightful poems by Ann O’Connor and herself while Yvonne Tracey read us a couple of moving poems by Ruth Morgan. To read these poems, click on the relevant links. To return to the main page, click on the back arrow on the left hand side of the tool bar on your computer.
Robert Englund’s talk on the life of Shakespeare Click here
Ann O’Connor’s poem Another Year Click here
Ruth Morgan’s poem Time Passes Click here
Liz Peters’ poem The Rain Makers Click here
Vale Coral Hesford
Endeavour U3A wishes to farewell former President and Course Leader, Coral Hesford. Coral served as President of Endeavour Region from 2005 to 2007. With friendly efficiency Coral worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth and harmonious running of both administration matters and the courses offered throughout Endeavour Region. Responding to the need for improved communication between the Committee and members generally, Coral initiated the monthly (yellow page) Newsletter which, ten years later, continues to keep Endeavour members informed of activities and events within U3A.
Following her three years as President, in addition to participating in various classes, Coral also led courses on Oscar Wilde’s Life and Works, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Myths and Legends of the Once and Future King Arthur. There was always much laughter as twentieth century students attempted to read aloud Chaucer’s fourteenth century poetry and, under her guidance, found to their surprise that they could!
Endeavour Region will always be lovingly grateful for Coral Hesford’s valuable and uplifting contribution to U3A.
(Tribute on behalf of Endeavour U3A by Jean Singleton-Turner)
Best wishes to Dorothy Clarke
We wish Dorothy Clarke all the best in her new home and hope that we shall see her soon again at our U3A activities. As you probably know, Dorothy is a life member of U3A in recognition of her enormous contribution to our organisation. We would like to thank her for everything she has given us over so many years.
As Dorothy has resigned as the Endeavour U3A president, we need someone else to take up the position. When she volunteered to be president last November, the position had been vacant for far too long and we are grateful to her belief in the importance of the role Endeavour U3A plays in the community. We younger members now need to take up the challenge and either volunteer or encourage someone whom we believe could lead our region forward next year and play a role in shaping the direction it takes.
If you are willing yourself or know someone you feel would be an able leader, please contact the committee.
Welcome to our new walking group
Welcome to our new walking group, Sydney Striders. Sydney Striders has already held its first walks. Its members are now looking for more walkers to join them in their exploration of Sydney. We know that many of you have been asking us for more opportunities to go hiking. Now’s your chance!
For more about the first two walks, visit Reports from the Courses.
What is a Black Hole? – Repeat talk
Gordon McLelland has agreed to give a repeat of his talk What is a Black Hole? at the request of a number of members of Interesting Issues Around Science who were not free to attend the original talk.
If you missed it, or have friends you think might like to come along as ‘U3A guests’ for the morning, there will be plenty of room!
Date: 25th October 2016 (NB this is a Tuesday)
Time: 10am to 12 noon
Venue: The McLelland home, Gymea
Contact Jill McLelland if you are interested by emailing her at: jillU3A@outlook.com or by ringing her on: 9524 6506.
A Sell-Out Crowd
The August Fifth Tuesday lecture drew a record crowd of at least 70 people to hear about the Australian Dambusters from enthusiast Colin Burgess. They were not disappointed. Colin set the atmosphere by playing the trailer of the 1955 film The Dambusters then went on, through a series of slides, to introduce us to the main characters of the story. The world knows about Guy Gibson, the leader of the 617 squadron, and Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the rotating barrel bomb which destroyed the two most important dams of the German Ruhr Valley. Colin also introduced us to the many Australian aircrew who flew out on the fateful night of May 16, 1943 as well as showing us the story of the bomb’s invention, the fight to send the mission and the later fate of the now famous Dambusters.
A visiting former Qantas pilot, Peter Hunter, offered the audience an extra treat with a series of simulations he had made that allowed us to see the take-off of a Lancaster bomber on the fateful night, the journey to Germany and finally the approach from the cockpit to each of the three dams attacked – both by daylight and at night as the bombers would have experienced.
Thank you to Colin and to Peter for a fascinating and informative morning.
Meet The Australian Dambusters
Did you know that on 6 May 1943 Australians played an important role in the raid on the German dams that supplied the Ruhr Industrial works – an operation immortalised in the1955 film The Dambusters? There were, of course, those who flew on the mission itself with the RAF No 617 squadron, including Les Knight who was the pilot who breached the Eder Dam. There were, however, also others who played a critical role such as the two who helped prepare the squadron to carry out the bombings and even an Australian woman who played her part. It was Kelly Snow’s job to notify Winston Churchill that the squadron had successfully breached the first of the targets, the Mohne Dam.
Remember, if you want to learn more about the Australians who played a role in this famous operation, come and hear Colin Burgess at our Fifth Tuesday lecture on Tuesday, August 30, at Club on East on East Parade at Sutherland at 10.00 am for 10.30. All you need to pay is a gold coin. Remember you can also bring your friends.
Endeavour Region Showcase Report
The Cronulla Library was the venue for the Endeavour Region showcase on Friday 26th June 2016. Wonderfully chaired by Dorothy Clark, new members had the opportunity to hear about classes that they might be interested in. Some courses are well established such as Jean Singleton-Turner’s Ballet on Screen, while others such as Sydney Cole’s Poetry of Wold War I and Anita Spink’s Cronulla Movie Appreciation Group and Rob Jones’s Making Home Videos are among a number of new courses. There was a lot of interest when leader Jan McLelland spoke about her 3 Science-related sessions for semester 2.
During the afternoon tea, members approached course leaders seeking more information and to sign up for the courses that caught their attention. Showcase days give a good chance for members to hear about courses and find out about their content. Helmi Albrecht explained how her German Conversation works and Allanah Jarman did the same for her French language group. Anna Winter’s new lunch group attracted a lot of interest, especially with its flexible approach, and it sounds as if there will be a range of cuisines to savour with the venues all near public transport.
by Ross Bell
To view the photo above fully, click on it and you will see an enlarged version. To return to the Past Events page, simply click on the back arrow on on the left of the address bar above.
Vale Patricia Campbell
Endeavour U3A wishes to farewell our long-serving member, Patricia Campbell. She was a stalwart of our region. Together with her husband Trevor who served as her secretary, Pat led the Archeology group for over twenty years from her family home in Gymea. As well as remembering her wonderful classes where they learned so much, the members fondly recall Pat’s and Trevor’s warm hospitality and their ‘special’ afternoon teas.
You’ve Got To Come!
‘You’ve got to come to the next lecture,’ an excited long-term member Dennis Dostine said to me last Tuesday. He couldn’t wait to ring me after attending Ross Findlay’s first talk on Understanding Common Medical Conditions at the Cronulla School of Arts. ‘The guy not only knows his stuff,’ Dennis continued, ‘but he is also a fabulous presenter. You can really tell when someone is used to talking to an audience.’
As Dennis said, Ross Findlay really does know his ‘stuff’. He is a specialised intensive care paramedic who has 44 years’ experience as a paramedic, consultant and trainer.
Sadly, Ross Findlay is no longer able to give his repeat talk on Understanding Common Medical Conditions owing to changing commitments. If only more members had been able to go to the first talk! Hopefully,Ted Watson will be able to book him in for the new semester next year, that is if he is not booked out by other U3A regions. Yes, they are already enquiring about him talking to their groups.
There are, however, still more great new courses to try out. Yesterday, when I went to Ballet in Film, a number of members approached me to sing the praises of Syd Coles and his first session on The Poetry of World War One. They said he was fascinating and really knew his material. There are two sessions left in his course. I am sure that the other new courses will also be well worth attending.
Lennie’s legendary journey
Mary Small’s talk about her book Lennie’s Ride at the Fifth Tuesday lecture on May 31 was a great success. In 1932, at just 9-years-old, Lennie Gwyther rode his pony Ginger Mick the 1000 kilometres from his home farm in Victoria to see the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Local author Mary Small published her book Lennie’s Ride in 2015, telling the story of this remarkable adventure. Over fifty people attended to hear about Lennie’s adventure and how Mary came to write Lennie’s story.
A special treat was the presence of Beryl Ferrier, one of Lennie’s sisters, who flew especially from the Sunshine Coast to tell the audience about the Gwyther family life on their farm in Victoria during the 1930s.
Endeavour members at the Katoomba Writers Festival
Jean Singleton-Turner, a valued course leader at Endeavour U3A, gave a short lecture on Oliver Goldsmith and directed the reading of a couple of extracts from She Stoops to Conquer at the recent Katoomba Writers Festival which celebrated 18th Century English Literature. If you would like to visit Endeavour U3A member Carolyn Davis’s excellent video of this festival, click on the following link: Katoomba Writers Festival
A Tale of Sydney Olympics
Many thanks to Bob Elphinston for his fascinating Fifth Tuesday talk on the Sydney Olympics, ‘the Best Games Ever’. Mr Elphinston was general manager of the Bid Company and later General Manager of SOCOG, responsible for the smooth running of the 28 sports at the Games and the many other associated tasks, far too many to recount. As a result he was able to share many stories of the Games and the bidding process.
He not only led us through the many triumphs of the Sydney experience – the good cheer and good will that made Sydney a happy, vibrant city where the locals welcomed our visitors and the trains ran on time; the many volunteers who helped in a wide range of capacities, including our own Anna Winter; the especially successful Paralympics – but also the ups and downs as he dealt with the revolving door of Premiers in the lead-up to the Games, the moment when the cauldron malfunctioned at the Opening Ceremony (you had to be there to find out why) and many other breath-holding moments before and during the Games.
Thanks Bob for a wonderful talk. We thoroughly enjoyed the enthusiasm which you still bring to telling your Olympic story.
Aged Expo at Engadine
On April 5, the Gymea Drawing group represented Endeavour U3A at the Aged Care Expo at the Engadine Community Centre. Below are examples of the wonderful drawings they exhibited.
Judith Walker, the group’s leader, commented that there were crowds of people at the exposition and, although they were mainly there to get information on home services, they were also very interested in the leisure activities on offer.
Congratulations, Betty Buchanan
Congratulations to Betty Buchanan on leading her discussion group for the past 21 years. During that time, members of the group have discussed a wide range of topics, sharing their views with enthusiasm. The discussions continue to be popular with Endeavour U3A members to the present day. This is an amazing achievement.
The Endeavour Committee celebrated Betty’s achievement recently when they attended a session at the South Hurstville Library. The committee brought a cake to celebrate and presented Betty with a certificate, honouring her service to our region.
Meet Bob Elphinston, a local hero
Bob Elphinston OAM is one of the most respected sports administrators in the world. Australians will probably know him best for his pivotal role in our winning the right to stage the 2000 Sydney Olympics and for his outstanding contribution to the sport of Basketball, here and abroad. It was these achievements that led to his being inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006.
Do come and hear Bob Elphinston speak on March 29 and bring your friends. Non-members are welcome too.
Vale Noelene Smith
A sad farewell to Noeline Smith from all at Endeavour U3A. Noelene was a long term member of our region. We are grateful for her dedicated and ongoing commitment to Endeavour, including her role as a course leader. We shall miss her. See the special tribute from the Oatley Art group on the right.
Welcome to our New 2016 President
Yes, we have a new president, Dorothy Clarke! Dorothy is a long-time supporter of U3A and has once again decided to take on a new challenge – leading our region for 2016. What is more, we also have a new vice-president, Denis Paulin, who has recently linked most of our membership by email. The committee is also delighted to welcome Hope Kearney, Betty King, Mary O’Connor and Nilva Simonit to its ranks. We know they will have much to offer Endeavour.
A Busy Last Semester, 2015
Endeavour U3A members were very active in the second half of 2015, whether they were gardening, painting, making photobooks, writing or engaging in the many other activities on offer. Go to the link to Reports from Our Courses at the top or bottom of the page to see some of what we were doing.
A Successful 2015 Annual Luncheon
Thanks to all those members who made our 2015 Endeavour U3A luncheon such a success. It was great to see you there, catching up with old friends and making new ones.
A special thanks to Millie Mock and Ann O’Connor for sharing their creative writing with the rest of us and Liz Peters and Millie for their great presentations. A number of those present have commented on how much they enjoyed this segment of the afternoon. Thanks also to Liz Peters for her, as usual, fun quiz. And let’s not forget the committee members who, through their hard work, made the luncheon possible.
The Sandakan Death Marches
In 1945, as they faced defeat, the Japanese marched over 2,000 of their remaining Australian and British prisoners from Sandakan to Ranau, deep in Borneo’s rugged interior. Only six prisoners survived these death marches to return home, all Australians and all escapees. Their stories remained untold to the public for decades after.
An audience member told about how, at the end of the war, the army told them that their relative had died of natural causes.They didn’t learn the real cause until the 1980s.
At least 60 people – members of U3A and visitors – listened attentively as John Robertson, Director of the Gallipoli Memorial Club, told the Sandakan story at the Fifth Tuesday Lecture on June 30. Many of those present had studied the story themselves and their informed questions and, at times, personal stories of family members added further to the interest of the lecture about what was the worst atrocity suffered by Australians in wartime.
Journey to the Reef
Our first Fifth Tuesday lecture of 2015 was a great success. An audience of about 55 listened fascinated as Caroline Davy took them back to 1770 when Cook’s ship, the Endeavour, struck a reef in northern Queensland.
Drawing on the ship’s log, Cook’s journal and accounts from officers and scientists on board as well as the observations of modern historians, Ms Davy demonstrated the remarkable skill and courage the crew showed as they refloated their ship off the sharp coral. She illustrated her talk with a very professional Power Point presentation that used a modern replica of the Endeavour to show the damage and how the sailors repaired it.
AGM and Welcome to New Members!
On February 12, we held our AGM in the Cronulla School of Arts, which proved to be a friendly, comfortable venue. We were delighted to see so many members attend and were especially pleased to meet new members who introduced themselves during the morning tea that followed the meeting. A special thanks to leaders who spoke about their courses.
We elected a new committee and were particularly pleased to welcome three new members: Ross Bell, Denis Paulin and Anna Winter. Unfortunately no-one has yet stepped forward to take on the presidency or vice-presidency of the region but hopefully someone will at our November meeting.
We have offered a number of new courses this semester. Gilbert and Sullivan, Jane Austen and her World and the new art course have proved particularly popular. A large group attended Henry Collin’s session on retirement while Ross Bell shared his ideas on ethics with an enthusiastic group of largely new members. We are grateful to all members who volunteer their time to lead groups and act as secretaries. Without them, there would be no U3A. Two groups have actually been running for twenty years but more about them next time
Vale Bob Rowles
Endeavour U3A wishes to mark the passing of one of its oldest members, Bob Rowles, aged 98, in late January. Although his passing has been noted in all the major newspapers and racing journals, we wish to add our feelings of sadness for the loss of a well-liked and respected member of our U3A region and to offer our condolences to his partner Betty Buchanan.
Not many of our members worked until they were 97. Bob Rowles was one such person. On January 26, 1946, after serving in World War II, Bob began working for the Australian Jockey Club. He didn’t retire from his position as Jockeys Room Superintendent until 2013. He was held in such high esteem that when the new Queen Elizabeth stand was built at Randwick, the new jockeys’ room was named after him. To mark his passing, the jockeys wore black armbands in his honour on Australia Day at Canterbury and on Saturday, January 31, the Bob Rowles Tribute Handicap (1200m) was run in his honour at Rosehill.
Art for all tastes
The Art for Enjoyment group held a very successful exhibition of its artwork at the Oakley Library on Wednesday, November 19. The paintings ranged across a wide variety of themes, styles and forms and showcased the considerable talents of its artists.
Doreen Kellett, the group’s leader, explained that the artists met weekly. They were free to explore their own interests and this was why there was such a wide variety of work on show. She said the class members supported one another with encouragement and suggestions. Where members were new to art, it was clear how much their skills had developed during the year.
It was pleasing to see a number of U3A members come to the exhibition. All were very complimentary.
Below are two examples of Frank Chesworth’s work. To see other artists’ paintings, go to Reports from the Courses.
Celebrating our Silver Anniversary
Endeavour (Southern) U3A celebrated its silver anniversary with a luncheon at the Sutherland United Services Club on September 10. A special thanks to those who helped organise it and to those who made it such a success on the day. A particular thanks to Jean Singleton-Turner who oversaw the smooth running of the event as our guest MC.
And let’s not forget all our members who joined us for the celebration. It was your presence that made it such a pleasant afternoon.
We were particularly pleased to welcome as guests Beverley Peken, Sydney U3A president, and her vice-presidents Mike Goodwin (Public Relations) and Ian Thompson (Education). Beverley reminded us that Endeavour was the first region to set up a branch after Sydney U3A, which started 26 years ago.
Our guest speakers Betty Buchanan and Dorothy Clarke spoke of the early days of the region and their long association with it. Thank you to both of you for sharing your memories. They were a reminder of why U3A is such a valuable organisation.
We also had, of course, the fun of another of Liz Peter’s quizzes. Thanks Liz.
A Morning at the Opera
Did you know that Sydney has a small opera company that has been performing baroque operas at Angel Place since 2002? And did you also know that Fort Denison sits on Pinchgut Island and this, as well as the gut used in older instruments, is behind the Pinchgut Opera’s unusual name? And that more operas were written before 1750 than after? Or that many talented young musicians leave Australia to find opportunities and never have the chance to return?
Genevieve Lang Huppert of Pinchgut Opera discussed all these topics and many more in a fascinating talk about the company at our September Fifth Tuesday lecture. She is clearly passionate about the company’s repertoire of baroque operas and the creativity that allows it to stage them in the unlikely venue of Angel Place. She also loves the opportunities it gives musicians to perform for their home audiences and the challenges it presents them. She talked of her own excitement as she wrestled with the intricacies of the baroque harp on her first appearance with the Pinchgut Opera.
Genevieve illustrated her talk with recordings from the company’s productions and a series of slides that captured the enthusiasm and prowess of the group.
By the end of the lecture, a number of us were already planning to buy tickets for the company’s performance of Iphigenie en Tauride in early December.
Poetry from the Western Front
On August 28, Sid Coles presented to The Magic of Poetry group a special PowerPoint commemoration of the battles of the Western Front a hundred years ago. We should like to thank him for a moving two hours where he shared with us the insights of one of the soldiers on the front and showed us slides of the terrible conditions the fighters faced in the Somme and at Ypres.
Edmond Blunden, a sensitive young English poet and friend of Siegfried Sassoon, volunteered early to go to the Great War. What he saw never left him. The poetry group was deeply moved by his pain at the loss of comrades, his memories of the resilience and kindness shown by the combatants to one another and the rare moments of joy he experienced ? visiting a village that had not yet been attacked, attending a special concert where the soldiers could leave behind the mud and noise of the battlefield for a few hours.
A Successful Retirement Expo
The Sutherland Retirees Expo held 25 & 26 July at Gymea Tradies was very successful. U3A was represented by 11 great volunteers over the two days. We had a lot of interest in our local courses. Hopefully it will lead to more new members in the next few months. We are very grateful to the wonderful support we were given for this Expo. A particular thanks to Beryl Davis who helped Margaret Kingston, our publicity officer, take the quite heavy equipment to the venue and set it up.
Exploring our Shire: a fascinating Fifth Tuesday lecture
Bruce Watt from the Sutherland Shire Historical Society shared many interesting facts with an attentive audience at our recent Fifth Tuesday lecture. He ranged widely, describing how the Shire looked before the last Ice Age, through life in pre-European Australia, then to early white settlement, the Depression era and finally the modern day. We were shocked to learn that a healthy thriving Aboriginal population was so nearly wiped out soon after Europeans arrived and amazed to find that at one stage a single man, Thomas Holt, owned the Shire.
He accompanied his talk with an interesting slide show that illustrated many aspects of his account such as the arrival of the first railway, the unemployment camps of the Depression, local historical buildings and the social gathering of the well-to-do at the Como Pleasure Grounds.
Maintaining your Brain
Our publicity officer Margaret Kingston attended the Maintain our Brain session held by Sutherland Shire Council during Seniors Week at the Gymea Tradies.
Margaret said that Geordie Conyngham, a brain trainer associated with Nepean U3A, who led the seminar, was particularly informative. Many of those attending were also interested in the possibilities offered to seniors by our U3A Endeavour branch so we look forward to welcoming some new members.
Margaret also mentioned that the U3A NSW Network is participating in the Seniors Hub at the Royal Easter Show. The Hub should be worth a visit, especially on Seniors Days, Tuesday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 16.