What’s happening

Newsletter #5

June 2020

From the Committee:

Seven Committee members met via Zoom on Thursday 18 June. The most important topic was the possibility of classes resuming face to face because we know our members are really missing the social interaction provided by U3A. Given that we are constrained by the current Victoria Government legislation, the lack of access to the Turf Club until punters can return to the racetrack, and U3A Network’s guidelines on re-opening, we regretfully decided that it was not going to be possible to use our room until at least February 2021. Even if we could access the room, it would only accommodate about 10 people with social distancing, and there is no running hot water to wash our hands. We just have to wait until restrictions are lifted.

U3A Wangaratta was honoured by an invitation to meet the Governor of Victoria, the Honorable Linda Dessau, during her virtual tour of Wangaratta on Wednesday 27 May. Five U3A members were present for a genial chat with the Patron of U3A Network who was interested to know how we were managing in the current trying circumstances. On behalf of all members, we accepted the Governor’s invitation to visit Government House when able to do so.

Given that our accommodation at the Turf Club, although free, is insecure because we do not have a binding agreement with them, and an expansion of membership would require a larger or second room, we have expressed our interest in the Council’s development of an inter-generational Community Hub at Wareena Park. This means we are included in the feasibility study currently being conducted around the draft master plan. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time U3A has been on Council’s radar with regard to accommodation.

Second Semester

The timetable and brochure will be circulated by email to members with email addresses and by post to those without email addresses. They will also be on the website. There are actually 10 courses being held online. Not bad for a small country U3A! Many thanks to our tutors, Zoom enablers and our hard working Zoom Coordinator and Course Coordinator.

Please note that if you are interested in a new online course, or wish to join an ongoing course, it is necessary to email u3awangaratta@gmail.com using the subject heading Enrolment. New courses can only start if at least 5 people show interest.

On a lighter note…….

What have I been doing while in lockdown?. (My grandchildren insist on calling it Iso.)

  • Like most of you, I have had to keep up with my U3A duties.

  • However, while my garden is sleeping, I have sharpened my secateurs and spades, in readiness for the big chop and prune in August.

  • I have knitted a 2.5 metre scarf that I’m sure Isadora Duncan would envy.

  • Taught the man in my house how to poach eggs. He thinks he is a genius.

  • Cut my own hair. I was beginning to frighten small children.

  • Had the pleasure of rereading my tattered old second hand copy of Norton’s Anthology of Poetry. I am in awe of the poets. It becomes increasingly more difficult to choose a favourite work as the years go by. Seamus Heaney has to be my all-time 20th Century favourite.

  • I made two lots of orange marmalade, ten jars of Kasundi, and preserved some pears.

  • Taught myself some new computer skills, learned how to Zoom and to properly save my documents.

  • Tidied my linen press, read at least 15 books.

  • Wrote a children’s story about a nose picking rabbit. My Granddaughter loves it. (her Mother doesn’t) and another about an old (imaginary) childhood friend of mine. Lavender Bill. Lavender Bill lived on Lavender Hill in a little lavender cottage. He had a lavender dog who had lavender fleas and a lavender mouse who ate lavender cheese. Etc etc.

So, while lockdown has had serious implications for us all, it can also be seen as an opportunity for respite and regeneration as well.