Summary of Upper North AGM and Course Showcase


On the 8 February, the Upper North region held its Annual General Meeting and Showcase of Courses.

The crowd was warmly welcomed by outgoing Upper North President, Grahame Marr, who thanked
everyone for attending.

The formalities began with the acceptance of the 2019 AGM minutes. The Treasurer’s report was also accepted.

In his annual general report, Grahame Marr spoke about how Upper North had managed to survive a very difficult year in 2020.

He thanked the Upper North committee members for all their hard work throughout the year.

Life member, Margot Taverne once again acted as Returning Officer.

The following people were then elected as the new committee:
Marilyn Pryor, Secretary
Jane Cooper, Treasurer
Sue Shaw, Course Coordinator,
Newsletter Editor, Website Editor
(Upper North)
Al Reeks, Equipment Coordinator
Josie Lead, Venue Coordinator
Vicki Davies, Venue Coordinator
Yiu Lam Kwan Statistics and Venue
Marjorie Perry, Venue Coordinator
Heather Lakiss, Venue Coordinator
Grahame Marr, Committee Member
(Past President)

The position of President is still

All positions were duly declared

After the election, Grahame gave anaddress to farewell a number of long-term committee members who
were retiring from their positions including Graeme Marshall (Equipment Coordinator), Claudine
Parr (Events Organiser), Pauline Holbrook (Course Book Coordinator), Barbara Sabel (U3A Statistician).

He thanked them for their wonderful service provided to U3A throughout their years on the committee. He also paid special tribute to Barbara Sabel who had to retire because of an ongoing illness.

On behalf of U3A he sent his best wishes to Barbara in her recovery process. Grahame also thanked
Barbara’s husband Gerald (who has been an unofficial committeemember/consultant for many

All the retiring committee members were presented with gifts in
appreciation of their work.

Grahame mentioned that 2020 had been the most stressful year of his five year tenure as President, and
that he felt it was time for him to retire.

Claudine Parr then gave an address to outgoing President Grahame Marr and thanked him for being an
exceptional President.

Although Grahame is resigning from the position of President, he is staying on the committee. A gift in
appreciation of his service was sent directly to his home.

After the conclusion of the AGM, there was a short break.

The President of Sydney U3A Judy Harris was then welcomed to the stage to say a few words.
Judy discussed the difficulties caused by Covid 19 in the running of the organisation. On an optimistic
note, she was of the opinion that U3A would come back stronger than ever in the near future.

She thanked all the regional committees for their hard work in keeping U3A together through
traumatic times. She also thanked Upper North committee members, Grahame Marr, Yiu Lam Kwan and
Jane Cooper for their assistance to the Board of Management.

She explained that although Zoom had been a fantastic tool in providing a platform for lectures
during Covid 19, she was pleased to see that many courses were now returning to face-to-face teaching.

Vice President Anne Richardson was then welcomed to the stage to talk about the monumental effort and
time contributed by the Regional Course Coordinators and course book editorial staff, especially
Course Book Editor, Keith Crowe in producing the course book. She also thanked all the Regional Web
Editors under the excellent leadership of Pam Furney in keeping the U3A website constantly

Sue Shaw, Upper North’s newsletter and website editor, explained that because of the changing situation
with Covid 19, there were inevitable changes to the printed Semester 1 Course Book. She added that the
latest version of the book is now available on the U3A website as an amended PDF version and also the
regions provide updates on their home pages. The Upper North newsletter, issued monthly, also provides the latest news and updates for the area.

Sue Shaw then introduced guest speakers to the floor as part of the Showcase of Selected Courses for

The first speaker was Dawn Nettheim who runs a successful music course, ‘How to Read and
Write Music’ at Lindfield.

Following Dawn came Alison Quaid-Hynes who described plans for her new discussion group she is running from her home in North Ryde.

Robert Plumbe was then welcomed on stage to give an insight into his poetry appreciation course.

Historian, Stewart Reed, talked about the various history courses he was running in 2021, including
‘historic houses’.

He distributed a flyer on his courses for Semester 1 and 2.

‘Last but not least’ came a treat for the audience as dance instructor
Rose Pettett with two of her fellow dancers demonstrated some moves to music from her 2021 course,
‘Dance for the Young at Heart’.

Upper North Secretary, Marilyn Pryor, closed the Showcase and directed the attendees to the
afternoon tea room.