Newsletter #206, July 2015

(Note: This is a text excerpt. Refer to the newsletter PDF for the complete newsletter including images)

Notes from the past

The following items were taken from The Express Wonthaggi, Wednesday December 30th 1059. (With thanks to John Bickley for providing the Newspaper).

Came by “copter: Mr. Alex Tolmer, toy manufacturer, of Melbourne, caused a stir when he arrived at Inverloch a fortnight ago. He came by helicopter. The machine landed on the Inverloch recreation reserve. It was the first helicopter that has ever landed at Inverloch.

Motorists were advised that there were five authorised dealers for cars at eight mile distant Wonthaggi. Vehicle brands available were Austin, Chrysler- Simca, Ford, G.M.H, Vanguard, Triumph and Volkswagen.

A block of land was available on the Nautilus Estate. Only 150 yards from shore, magnificent view of Inlet, No house will be built in front of this site, made road and water. 1000 pounds or offer.

Meals at all hours: Yes….ALL hours….at TWO VIEWS GUEST HOUSE (at the top of a’Beckett Street).  Grills or three course meals. Grills ready in 10 minutes.

Guest speaker- University of the Third Age

The Guest Speaker for the June meeting Steve White told us about his involvement with the University of the Third Age (U3A), and the history of the organisation. Steve has been a Committee member for 10 years, and is currently a Tutor for the subject “Broadband for Seniors.” Steve explained that U3A is for people who have retired or who are semi retired, and that the three ages are from birth to the end of formal education, the second age is work and the third age is retirement.

Image: Guest Speaker Steve talking with Pauline.

There are two models. The first U3A began in France in 1968. Legislation was enacted requiring Universities to do more for the community. In 1973, the first U3A began when the University of Toulouse opened its doors to the general public, in particular the elderly. By 1975, U3A’s had spread across France also, where no University was available in a particular place, Local governments took over the role of running a U3A. At the Universities, courses, in the main, were run by Professors who were Second age people being paid to teach Third age people. Generally the Universities made use of their buildings when students were on holidays.

U3A’s came to the United Kingdom in 1981, it was the second model. The British people didn’t want to pay anybody so they became self managed groups, as are all the Australian U3A’s. There was no distinction between the teachers and the people being taught. It became very successful in Britain.

The British model spread to Australia in 1984, and was introduced to Melbourne in 1984. Ten years later, in Australia, there were 80,000 U3A members and 108 independent U3A’s.

U3A’s spread throughout Europe all modelled on the French system. In the Republic of Ireland, a U3A was called a Federation of Active Retirement Association. In New Zealand, the majority of U3A’s are run in private homes. In the U.S.A. Institutes for Learning in Retirement, with a U3A philosophy, began in 1962. The first one was in New York, before the French model began in 1973.

In 1998, U3A On Line began, that is, computer based learning. A small fee of $15 a subject was required.

The growth of U3A’s in Victoria is quite significant. In Victoria to July 2014 there were 105 U3A’s with 32,000 members. Back in 2005 Victoria had 73 U3A’s with 18,000 members. Wonthaggi U3A has almost 200 members whereas some U3A’s in the Metropolitan area have over 800 members.

After answering a number of questions, Steve was thanked by Shirley Burchett for his interesting and informative talk, and a presentation of a basket of fruit was made in appreciation for sharing his time with us today.

Editor: Ian McBurnie