Meander Valley Gazette

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Widen horizons with U3A

FeatureJoanne EisemannComment

Linda Ireland works on a mosaic cropped

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AUGUST 2015 | Joanne Eisemann

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WHEN LINDA Ireland moved to Deloraine a year ago she joined the Heart Foundation walking group. “When we walk we talk,” she says.

When fellow walkers learned that she had been teaching art in Far North Queensland, they asked her if she would like to do that again for U3A.

She now spends three afternoons per week passing on her knowledge of mosaics and acrylic painting as a U3A tutor.

U3A (University of the third age) offers older people low-cost, educational opportunities in a pleasant, supportive social setting.

Beginning in France in 1973, and spreading worldwide, there are no formal entry requirements, no examinations and no ‘awards’.

Run by volunteers, the Meander Valley version started in Westbury in 2012, thanks to the enthusiasm of Jo Bonniface and Marg Leedham.

“It is a great system,” shares Linda, adding, “With U3A, the only thing you have to do is pay an annual membership and you can participate in anything they provide. (So) you can be in half a dozen different groups.”

Courses vary from the keeping gently fit like yoga, tai chi or social tennis to the cerebral like geography, philosophy and politics, and the more practical French, painting or memoir writing.

Tutors are drawn from the skill base within its membership.

“I am not a particularly wonderful artist but I am a good teacher,” comments Linda. “I just love seeing people realise they have talent.”

An exhibition of U3A students’ work will take place early in December at Deloraine Creative Studios.

If you are interested in joining U3A, start by visiting their website at www.mvu3a. org . Alteernatively, call Marg on 6393 1075.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores