March 2023 Newsletter
Phone: (07) 5534 7333 during office hours
Mon-Fri 9:00am-12:00pm
President’s Message

I’m thrilled to say that 2023 has begun in earnest with more than 100 new members signing up. A big welcome to everyone who has joined and it’s wonderful to see the happy faces of those returning.

The two Information Days in January proved popular with a steady stream of people walking through the doors at Boyd Street. My huge thanks to the tutors who are teaching a myriad of courses and arranging activities again this year and especially those who came in January to help in promoting the many options on offer.

I’d also like to express my appreciation for all the hard work which continues to be undertaken by other volunteers who help to keep our organisation running. These people include our office personnel, those who assist with maintenance as well as our valuable committee members. We currently have a Committee of Management consisting of seven skilled individuals and two very busy sub-committees managing Events and Communications.

In February we held a wine and cheese event which was well attended. It was lovely to meet some newcomers and to celebrate their joining us. At this event I talked about the need to recruit more people to assist in the hope that some might volunteer. We desperately need to share the load more evenly.

Another issue which needs resolution is the parking “crisis” at Boyd Street. A detailed explanation of our efforts to address the situation, which has become critical, is also in a later article.
All in all, it’s been another successful start to the year.

Liz Logan

Upcoming Events

Tweed Theatre presenting Jukebox (music of the 60s)
Saturday 18th March 2:00pm  (NSW time)
Tweed Heads Civic Centre
Tickets $12
Book with U3A office
Charity Concert
for Multicultural Families Organisation (MFO)
Saturday 1st April
6:30-8:30pm (Qld time)
Elanora Community Centre
26 Galleon Way, Elanora
Tickets $10 (book with MFO)
Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea fundraiser
for the Cancer Council
Saturday 13th May
9:00am - Midday
Boyd Street, Tugun
Bring a plate to share
Wine Tasting event
Details to come
Annual General Meeting
June – to be confirmed
Renewal/Information Days
In January we invited people to Boyd Street to join or renew their memberships and have the opportunity to talk to tutors. 

Even though there was a very large number who had renewed using the Member Wizard online system, we had a constant flow of people coming through the doors with more than 100 people attending.

Although the tutors weren’t inundated with queries it did provide them with the chance to talk with their colleagues, which they don’t often get to do.

The book stall was popular again this year and thanks to the efforts of Frances we raised some money which will go to paying for refreshments at future events. 
Vacant Volunteering Roles: Can you Help?

We have a number of positions which are currently vacant and many of these could be shared between numerous people to lessen the commitment. You will be supported in your role and we guarantee that you’ll feel valued. Help us to continue to build a strong organisation.

If you have the relevant skills and are interested in finding out about these roles please contact the office for full Position Descriptions and a member of the Committee of Management will contact you to discuss.
Marketing Manager – ensure our organisation and its programs and activities are widely promoted within the community and are recognised and valued as community assets.

Membership Officer – ensure the membership process is efficient and effective and provide the Committee of Management with an understanding of the membership.

Member Wizard Support - ensure the processes using Member Wizard are working effectively as well as checking that outstanding fees and charges are followed up.

Asset Manager – ensure compliance with lease requirements, purchase equipment, liaise with Council and manage an annual audit of assets.

Funding Manager – seek out and apply for sources of funding, within established guidelines.

Newsletter Editor – produce a quarterly newsletter which is of high quality and is newsworthy.

Community Table Tennis Assistant – assist with putting up/taking down table tennis tables and collecting money one morning per month. Dates help needed 6/03, 13/03, 15/05, 22/05, 29/05, 7/08. 
Mary Lems: A Life Member Story
By Nell de Graaf (Mary’s twin sister)
I can still picture Mary making rosaries when she was still living in her own home. It was lovely to see her commitment to rosary making, my husband and I were so impressed.
When Mary moved into the granny flat at her daughter Jennifer’s place, she of course brought her “hobby” with her, so Jennifer became the contact between Mary and St Joseph’s Parish Office, while in the meantime hundreds of rosaries kept coming out of Mary’s hands.
In July 2019 Mary became a resident in Galleon Gardens, where she now lives in the Memory Care Unit, in a lovely room. One piece of furniture that always accompanied Mary is her work table on wheels, which stores the beads, cords, crosses and the tools to make rosaries and whenever we visited she was sitting in her chair “doing” rosaries, which was absolutely beautiful therapy, keeping her busy.
Being Mary’s twin sister we have always been very close and our children are almost like brothers and sisters. With my husband Gerry we went to see Mary almost every second day, that was before Covid and subsequent lockdowns became the norm. We also became more involved and became interested in the work Mary was doing, bringing new supplies, helping her to finish her rosaries and delivering them to Donna at the Parish Office.
When the Queensland Premier finally opened the border, Gerry and I went to see Donna to deliver 1,300 finished rosaries and many more have been finished and delivered since.
Over the years Mary, who turned 90 at the end of last year, has made hundreds of thousands of rosaries. These have been given out to our parish schools, to nursing homes, given out freely at our church and also distributed by the Carmelite Sisters at Goonellabah who send them far and wide.
What a beautiful gift!
Mary Lems is a Life Member of U3A Southern Gold Coast and is an inspiration to all.
Newsletter Contributions
We are always looking for articles for this newsletter. If you’d like to submit an idea or article please email or phone Liz on 0406 519 369 and leave a message.
Bus and Discovery Tour
 The long-anticipated Bus and Discovery tour finally went ahead in mid-January and the weather was perfect. 

Courtesy of a Seniors’ Month grant from the Gold Coast City Council we were able to provide an opportunity for a group of travelers to further their knowledge and experiences of their city.
Initially stopping at HOTA for a look around, the enthusiastic group then boarded the HOPO ferry for a trip on the Gold Coast waterways. After lunch at Marina Mirage the sightseers returned by ferry and were bussed back to Tugun.
Thanks for all the efforts of the Events sub-committee and in particular Marilyn, the “tour guide” for the day (who is seen here steering the ferry) for making this a memorable day.


"Michael and I had a fantastic day. Weather was absolutely great for the boat ride and the company was great too."
“Thank you and Merry for a most enjoyable day. Margie my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. It was so relaxing”.
Thanks to the Nerang Men’s Shed
Over the summer break our handyman, Terry, organised with the Nerang Men’s Shed to repair some of our table tennis tables.

These repairs were urgent and we were very happy that the Men’s Shed were able to fix the tables before the games began this year.
We now have sturdy tables, in good working condition, to play on.
New Member Welcome Event

With many new people joining us this year, the wine and cheese welcoming party, on Friday 17th February, was bound to be a fun get together.
The Events sub-committee consisting of Marilyn, Frances, Virginia, Kay, Bev and Blair are to be commended for doing a great job in hosting this event. They made certain that we had plenty of food and drinks and ensured it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

Although most had only attended a couple of classes, the new members who were in attendance were all very enthusiastic about the courses that they’d chosen.

We hope that anyone who was unable to join us at this event will be able to meet fellow newcomers (and get to know long-term members) soon.  
Dance Like No-one is Watching
(every Friday 10:30-noon Queensland time)
 By Virginia McIntyre, Tutor
At our first class on Friday we had fun dancing in St Monica’s Church Hall, Tugun. It’s a great space where we can spread out and move around to the music without anyone else watching!
This is a new U3A class and the aim is to have fun while improving our fitness. No skill is needed as we all do our own thing. This class is suitable for any level of fitness. We have chairs where you can take a break if needed or just sit and jig around.
Each week we will start the class with some stretching while we move to the music. Then we will be dancing to a different theme each week. For the first week we danced to different dance styles, including the Twist, YMCA and the Hokey Pokey. Over the next few weeks our themes are Australia/NZ, Music from the Movies, Songs that Tell a Story and Strong Women.
If you enjoy dancing (without learning routines), maybe this is a class you would enjoy!
This is just one of a number of new classes on offer this year including croquet, pickleball, macramé and play up (readings of plays) as well as our online courses.
Calling all U3A Artists
There is still time for U3A artists to place an entry in the U3A Network Queensland Art Exhibition. This will be an opportunity for artists to display their talents to an international audience at the U3A Network Queensland State Conference in Rockhampton in May.
The Arts Committee and judges are planning for the 2023 Arts Competition to be a major part of the Conference, and the Conference Organising Team are excited to be exhibiting the talents of U3A artists in this 50th Anniversary of U3A worldwide.
Prizes for the competition are $200 (winner), $150 (runner up) and $50 (people’s choice).
So start getting your entry ready now! Remember to read the How to Enter and other details on the website
Renewal reminder
Please note: Members who haven’t renewed by 31st March 2023 will be classified as New Members and required to pay the full membership amount. If you haven’t already done so, renew now!
Get Well and Condolence Card

Please contact the office if you know of a member who is suffering from an illness, is in hospital, recovering from an operation or is grieving the loss of a loved one.
They will then contact Margaret Buchanan who continues to do a wonderful job in handcrafting beautiful cards wishing our members well.
Brain Fun
Can’t sleep?  Here’s a puzzle which may help you drop off! It’s puzzles like this we do at ‘Brain Fun’.  Look at these words. One is different from the others.  Can you spot why it is different?
Revive, banana, assess, refer, potato, uneven.                        Answer later in this newsletter.
New IT Courses Starting Soon
(from 10:30am-12:30pm Queensland time)

We are very excited to announce two new, short, six week IT courses starting in March.

Microsoft Word will start on Monday, 27th March and finish on 1st May
Microsoft Excel will start on Thursday, 30th March and finish on 4th May

Both courses will be held in Room 2 at Boyd Street, Tugun. For further details see the classes tab on our website.
U3A SGC Online Courses

Our online courses are also now up and running virtually through U3A Online. On offer are courses in Australian Flora, Genealogy and The Night Sky. The cost is the same as all our other classes at $10 each for members.

To access the courses you will need a computer, tablet or other device with an Internet connection - and some basic computing skills. After enrolling you will be contacted by the Program Manager with login details to enable you to access the site.

Each course consists of eight or nine units that can be worked through at students’ own pace
and at any time and location.

They are ideal for people who are travelling and who would like to know more about local
indigenous plants (Australian Flora), want to start working on their family trees (Genealogy)
or to study the sky above them (The Night Sky).

Come Join our Trivia Sessions
Once a month on the 4th Thursday 9:00-11:00am Queensland time
 By Jim Parsons, Tutor
It’s not too late to sign up for the Trivia Quiz morning sessions.
You don’t need a vast general knowledge or giant brain; just bring along a good sense of humour and be ready to have some fun. As “the quizmaster they love to hate” I guarantee lots of groans and laughs with a wacky range of topics and some tricky elements of chance so that the team in the lead could well be toppled in the last round. There are surprises at every turn!
Unlike most pub and school quizzes, you don’t have to form a team – just walk in the door and you will be placed in a team at random. This means you meet new people every month and no one team of ‘smarties’ gets to win time after time. You won’t feel ‘dumb’ or uncomfortable – you will be part of a team and our previous experience suggests that every member of the team will have something to contribute.
This is a great morning out for people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Be competitive, by all means, but all in the spirit of fun.
Chronicles of a Car Park Ordeal
From about the middle of last year, the carpark at Boyd Street started to fill with more cars parked there than usual. At first there were three or four cars left for a number of days. It was soon discovered that these cars were rented out through a ride-share company.
Over the past six months the number of cars using the carpark has escalated dramatically. We have noted that this is a safety issue for members with few options for those accessing the building to leave their cars. We have requested that four-hour signs be erected in this area or another solution devised by Council.
We are still waiting for Council to provide feedback and will continue to monitor the situation to do all we can to resolve this issue.
August 2022 - Gold Coast City Council phoned and complaint lodged; Council Lease Officer visits Boyd Street and shown situation; Lease Officer advises to speak with local member for Division 14, which is Cr O’Neill
September 2022 - Discussions held with Cr O’Neill explaining the situation. Cr O’Neill commits to contacting the Gold Coast City Council; Ride-share company contacted via chat line. Company’s response is to feign ignorance and claim inability to change the situation
January 2023 - Cr O’Neill emailed as a follow up including pictures of carpark filled with ride-share cars; Cr O’Neill’s office called to follow up on the earlier email; Cr O’Neill emails to confirm that ‘request for investigation’ numbers have been allocated by Council; email sent to Council requesting a timeframe for when this situation will be addressed which is redirected back to Cr O’Neill’s office
February 2023 - Council Lease Officer emailed to request help in prioritising the issue.  
Brain Fun answer: ‘refer’. With all the other words you can take the first letter and add it to the end and it will read the same backwards.
In the spirit of reconciliation U3A Southern Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
View this Newsletter and all other news & events on our Web Page
Copyright © 2023 U3A Southern Gold Coast Inc, All rights reserved.

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