This will be my last month in the position of President of U3A Gympie. I took on the role five years ago, having joined U3A just a few months earlier. Over that time, U3A has continued with its core purpose of connecting seniors to lifelong learning. There have, of course, been changes too. New classes have started up, and some ended, new social activities have started up, and some of those ended too. We recently signed up member number 1000, but member number 2 is still active within U3A. It has been an interesting five years for me, and I look forward to the future under a new President.
Who will that be? As I write, I do not know of anyone who intends nominating for the role of President. This is of great concern as U3A Gympie cannot continue without a President. This isn’t just about practicality, it is a legal requirement.
It is not a difficult role to fill, especially with the sort of support I received from the rest of the management committee. While some current members will not be re-nominating for their position, several will be nominating for other positions. I expect the new committee will be a mix of new ideas and experience, ensuring the continuing growth of our U3A.
I would like to finish by thanking members of the Management Committee for your hard work on the committee over the last year and for your support of me as President. U3A has improved its membership numbers, its financial position, its class offerings, its public profile and its social activities this year. This has been thanks to your hard work. Thank you.
I have to start this newsletter with the news that, due to rising costs, fees will increase next year. The current fee has been at the same level for some time, but network affiliation fees, insurance fees, technology costs and adnimistrative costs have all risen. Even with the increasing use of free and discounted venues, we need to increase revenue. It was decided at the September meeting of the Management Committee to increase membership fees to $30.00, but to leave unit fees at the current level. We realise that is a large percentage rise, but felt that the extra dollar amount would not be too difficult, given the four month warning. It should also mean there will be no need to increase the membership fee for some time to come.
Just before the September vacation, Mary and I represented U3A Gympie at the Gympie Community Place AGM. The meeting included interesting reports from the outgoing office bearers, and the election and re-election of people to the committee for the coming year. It also included a guest speaker, who outlined the work of the Koala Action Group in the Gympie region. The Koala Action Group seeks to ensure the conservation of koalas and koala habitat through activities, actions and education. Visit their website if you would like to know more about this group – http://mrccc.org.au/koala-action-group .
Also around the middle of September, Evie and I each took part in an afternoon of pretending to be old, frail and arthritic. Nursing students pretended to look after us. It’s all part of their training, giving them valuable “hands on” practice with no harm done if they get something wrong. U3A has done this regularly for the last few years. It’s never difficult and always fun. The next time will probably be in 2020, so keep an eye out for volunteer requests if you think you would like to get involved.
I would like to finish with two big thank yous. First, to the members of my Drawing class for a delicious lunch in great company on the first Tuesday of the holidays. Secondly, to DejaNew, for reviving, free of charge, the battery in the U3A phone. Thank you, thank you. Your generosity is much appreciated.
A busy month this month.
August saw Seniors Week celebrations across the state. Here in Gympie the week kicked off with the Duckpond Dash, an all abilities novelty walk for Seniors. There were a number of novelty events and awards throughout the morning. Several U3A members participated, some managing to score prizes. Congratulations!
Retro Jukebox Singers provided some live entertainment, being well received by the audience. A small display about U3A rounded out our contribution to the morning. A big thank you to everyone who contributed their efforts and congratulations on a job well done.
Celebrations continued on the following Tuesday, with a Seniors Concert and Morning Tea. While I was unable to attend this year, U3A was well represented. Reports are they all enjoyed a delicious range of treats, watched some pleasant entertainment and even managed to win a couple of prizes.
Lynlie arranged a small display in the foyer of the library for the week. Some Committee members staffed the display for a couple of hours each day, answering questions and generally spruiking our group. Thank you to everyone who helped out.
There will be a similar display at the library in Adult Learners Week at the start of September. We also plan to have a display at the inaugural Rainbow Beach Wellness Expo on Sunday 22nd September 2019. Why not drop by and have a look?
I hope everyone enjoys the Spring Holidays starting later this month and look forward to seeing you all next term.
PRESIDENT’S ANNUAL REPORT 2018
2018 has been a varied year, with both positives and negatives scattered throughout.
January saw the launch of our new website u3agympie.com. This has most definitely been a positive. The website outlines all the basic information about us that members, prospective members and the just plain curious might want to know. It has a number of printable documents, including our Constitution, Activities Schedule and Newsletters. At the moment, the newsletters are from January to November. Once I add January 2019, I will delete January 2018 and continue deleting throughout the year, leaving the most recent 12 issues only. This will keep the PDF Documents list from becoming too long and cumbersome.
The Gallery on the website has, sadly, been something of a negative. It has only two pictures on it, both from our 50th Birthday Celebrations at this time last year. The problem isn’t a shortage of pictures, but a shortage of the necessary time to add them. I hope to rectify this once classes finish for this year and hope to add to that page more regularly in 2019.
The Newsletters this year have also been somewhat variable. On the up side, I have streamlined it down to just two pages, with few pictures and no repetition. Hopefully this makes it much more reader friendly for those of you reading on a mobile phone. On the downside, while the newsletter should come out on the first of the month, this hasn’t always happened. That is down to me. The position of News Editor has remained vacant all year, so I have been filling in. I hope that will change after the elections later in this meeting.
The Activities Schedule acquired a new look, with the addition of a Social Events column. This gives you more advance notice of social activities to allow you to better plan your time. The Dates to Remember box in the Newsletters also facilitates this. Sadly, these measures don’t seem to have translated into greater participation in our social activities, and our offerings will be need to be reconsidered for 2019.
U3A Network Queensland State Conference was hosted by U3A Redcliffe in May. It was an enjoyable two days with useful information and pleasant surroundings. Keynote Speaker William McInnes was very entertaining.
In June a number of members enjoyed a cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. On board we enjoyed friendly competitions, easy craft activities, great stage shows and themed parties. On shore, we chose from a variety of excursions, visiting markets, joy flights and wildlife experiences. This became the first trip taken by the newly created Travel group. A trip across the Nullarbor aboard the Indian Pacific is currently being planned and we are open to other suggestions.
In October we played host to committee members from five U3As for a workshop on Disability and Discrimination Legislation. Some funding was provided by U3A Network Queensland towards what proved to be a very interesting and informative morning. I have also been working with Fleur Grainger, Vice president U3A Howard. She is currently putting together a website for Howard and I am helping her with that. I hope in the future we are able to work with other U3As in a supportive and collaborative way more often.
I would like to finish by saying thank you. The Management Committee has seen some changes in membership since the last AGM, and my thanks go to everyone who has participated, whether or not they saw out the whole year. The work put in by everyone has kept U3A Gympie playing a positive role in the lives of its members. I thank you for your hard work and for your support of me as your President, it is greatly appreciated. . I also extend my thanks to all those who have acted as Tutors, Facilitators and Helpers throughout the year. We would cease to function if it weren’t for your efforts and they are greatly appreciated. Thanks also to all the members – you are the lifeblood of U3A Gympie.
I wish everyone an enjoyable holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2019.