Retirees discover public speaking voice at Tuggerah Lakes U3A
MANY older and retired Central Coast residents have discovered a new public speaking voice and renewed interest in learning since joining Tuggerah Lakes U3A.
The non-profit association provides a variety of adult educational activities at minimal cost for members.
It was formed in 1998, and is part of a national and international adult learning movement that provides opportunities for over 50s who seek intellectual stimulation among like-minded people.
No qualifications are required, and there are no exams, homework or attendance requirements.
A wide range of activities includes: Music Appreciation, a Readers' Group, a Discussion Group, Cryptic Crosswords, Play Reading, Mah Jong, "Keeping Your Marbles Rolling" (Brain Games), Singing for Pleasure, Film Appreciation, Conversations, Creative Writing, Talks - and, to keep your body as fit as your mind, a Walking Group.
Locations for these activities include: The Entrance, Long Jetty, Killarney Vale, Berkeley Vale, Toukley and Canton Beach.
Members report great benefits for their wellbeing from their participation in U3A.
Betty Siegman said since joining U3A she nearly always had a reason to get up each morning.
"So many things to do, so little time," she said.
"Talks, crosswords, music, conversation group, singing, brain games - all the things I enjoy, plus meeting lots of new people and having fun.
"How on earth did I ever have time to go to work?"
Anyone is welcome to attend any U3A activity as a visitor, before deciding to join.
Attendance at any activity is completely optional.
President Pam McGlinn said the association offered friendship and stimulation to anyone wishing to explore their own interests and capabilities.
Mrs McGlinn has been a member of the Tuggerah Lakes U3A since its inception and during that time has made many friends and has attended numerous interesting classes.
"When I began, I had never spoken in public at all in my entire life," she said,
"But I now find myself giving talks regularly, and have probably made more than twenty presentations.
"The main aim of U3A is positive ageing which is so necessary for our mental and physical health.
Mrs McGlinn has even had several books published as a result of attending U3A writing courses.
Another long term member John Collis and his wife joined Tuggerah Lakes U3A when they moved to the Central Coast following their retirement.
"We were in our early sixties and had plans for holidays in France, so we joined the French Conversation group," he said.
"One session a week for a couple of hours.
"That was nine years ago and we are still here."
Mr Collis said there are many different ways to participate.
"Some people just attend talks that interest them or go to a regular class like Cryptic Crosswords or Readers Group.
"Others, like me, get a lot of satisfaction from being useful, from contributing to the running of the association.
"If there is anything you are really interested in, you can volunteer to give a talk about it, or even to start up a regular class.
"Then you need to prepare your material, which is totally engrossing.
"A lot of our members are not interested in giving talks, but I've given about six.
"One was to show photos of a holiday we had in Europe.
"Two others were based on interesting books I had read: about the Opium Wars in China and cognitive behaviour therapy."
Our full programme for the term that commenced Monday 18 July is available on the website: www.tugglakesu3a.info. Enquiries to 43902451 or 43940228.