Dec 182023

On Tuesday, 5th December, we concluded the year with our now traditional Christmas break up at Eltham Central Pavilion.

The evening started with nibbles and drinks at 5.30pm. With the weather being kind, we were able mingle on the veranda before sitting down to dinner.

The main meal was provided by Spitting Image, who provided a variety of good quality food and plenty of it. Thanks to the staff, who were both professional and helpful.

Our raffle in aid of Diamond Valley Community Support netted around $600. Thank you to everyone who bought tickets.

Our U3A choir, led by Lindsay Byrne, provided the entertainment after the main meal and many of us joined in by singing some well-known Xmas carols.

Rob Glanvill acted as MC and kept the evening moving and on schedule.

Dianne Parslow thanked all our volunteers and tutors for all their hard work during the year.

We finished the night with an array of desserts and tea or coffee.

Thanks to the Eltham Cricket club for manning the bar.

The raffle prizes were donated by both U3A members and local businesses. The U3A members included Dawn Mack, Jan Simmonds, Joan Denison, Linda Grigg and Terry Ball. The businesses included: Bottlemart, Lower Plenty; Common Cents, Montmorency; Dan Murphys, Eltham; Echo Balloons, Montmorency; Foodworks, Montmorency; Gourmet Butchers, Montmorency; Imajpak, Campbellfield; Kim Kim Bakehouse, LowerPlenty; Lower Plenty Hotel; Pamper Mi Beauty Montmorency; Pattysmiths, Eltham; Scaffidi Hair Salon, Lower Plenty; and Shane McVeigh.

Finally, this event could not have been a success without the help and efforts of many volunteers. Thanks to Alison Pieper, Carmen Breust, Carol Seymour, Gary Seymour, Hector Hart, James Redrup, Jane Hammett, Laraine Hussey, Judy Vizzari, Julie Smith, Karen Redrup, Karenne Lack, Maree Papworth, Marianne Peterson, Rob Glanvill, Robert Lamb, Ruth Goddard, Sandra Walls, Sue Bailey, Sue Brenkovich. Apologises to anyone whose name we have missed.

[Editor: and a huge thank you to Carole Meade, who organised everything and made it happen.]

Dec 062022

On 6th December, we held our Christmas break up dinner at Eltham Central Pavilion. Here is Carole Meade’s report on the event:

“The evening started with nibbles and drinks at 5.30pm. With the weather being kind, we were able mingle on the verandah while our own G&T (Gillian and Tony) entertained us.

“The main meal was provided by Spitting Image who, from all the feedback, did an amazing job – a variety of good quality food and plenty of it plus professional and helpful staff.

“The door prizes and small gifts, which were kindly donated by Shane McVeigh, were well received. Hopefully we will see those knife sets at many future U3A get-togethers.

“Our raffle netted us around $500. Thanks to all the members who bought tickets.

“Out of Nowhere (Janet and Frank) provided the entertainment after the main meal.

“Guy gave a little speech thanking our tutors and others.

“We finished the night with a large array of desserts and tea or coffee.

“I would like to thank Jenny (Rushton) and Paul (Sparks) from the Eltham Cricket Club who did a fantastic job staffing the bar. As the Secretary and Treasurer of the club, they voluntarily give of their time to raise funds to support the club and the young cricketers in Eltham.

“We were fortunate to have musical 2 duos perform for us, both performing at no cost to U3A. How lucky were we? Both were entertaining and added that extra pizzazz to the evening. A big thank you to both duos!

“I would like to thank Serone Thomas who made the gorgeous cupcakes and the following people who donated to our raffle; allawah Beauty Therapy, Diamond Creek Hotel, Greensborough Hotel, Shane McVeigh, Hoyts Movies Greensborough, the U3A Art groups and Carole & Wayne Meade.

“Finally, thanks to everyone who volunteered to help with the event, either on the night or beforehand. This includes Anne Staples, Brian Jones, Carol Seymour, Cath Bauman, Gary Seymour, Gillian Essex, Hector Hart, James Redup, Jane Hammett, Janet Vague, Judy Vizzari, Laraine Hussey, Leanne Ipsen, Marianne Petersen, Patricia Butcher, Robert Lamb, Ruth Goddard, Sue Bailey and Sue Brenkovich, Wayne Meade and Wendy Smith.

“I hope everyone had a great night and we can now set our sights on the 2023 Christmas break up.”

In addition, I (Guy) would like to thank the organising committee for all their hard work, namely Rob Glanvill, Suzanne McNally and, of course, Carole Meade.

Here are a few photos from the event.
There were 15 tables of 8 people each. Here are photos of each of the tables.
Dec 042019

The Christmas party at Eltham Bowling Club on 4th December was a sellout (135 people).

Thanks to Lesley Wing Jan for organising, and to Debra Forbes, Gail Clayton, Gayle Considine, Ian Coulter, Ken Wing Jan, Pam Kemeys, Ros Camera and Sue Power for helping out.

In the middle of the event, 6 of our members got up onto the stage and sang the following "homage to our tutors and all who help run our U3A" (melody courtesy of Bob Dylan)

How many tutors does it take to successfully run our U3A?
How many classes to pursue, without running out of venues?
How many members can we inspire to help them find their thing?

CHORUS: The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

From Mah-jong to Table tennis, Mind Games & Art
To Latin, History & Craft,
Just some of the classes our tutors provide,
Without them we would be kaput, without them we would be kaput!

CHORUS: The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

From Guy's tireless drive, to Dianne's organising skills,
We couldn't run our classes at all,
And Lesley's publicity drive to keep us inspired
To grow with new members who've retired.

CHORUS: The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Let's not forget all the volunteers, who selflessly keep our boat afloat,
Whether working in the Office, kitchen or catering,
Manning stalls or helping with admin,
Your efforts are selfless and much appreciated your efforts are appreciated

Dec 062017

by Debra Forbes.

This year, instead of having a thank you event for the tutors alone, our fundraising sub-committee thought it might be more fun and inclusive if we (the committee of Nillumbik U3A) ran a fundraising event that would embrace as many of our members as possible. To that end, Joy Barham and Lou Empson developed the idea of a Christmas Breakup Party of barefoot bowls, BBQ dinner and music which would thank our tutors, offer a Christmas breakup party for all, and raise some much-needed funds, all at the same time.

The barefoot bowls (you could wear your socks if you wished) started at 5pm and was overseen by a number of the Eltham Bowling Club members who guided the newbies on the green around the rules and practises of lawn bowls.

As the bowling concluded, the guests ambled to the club rooms and found themselves amongst many friends already mingling in the affable atmosphere of other U3A members. We had around 100 happy and ready-for-fun-and-entertainment participants.

The musical entertainment was supplied by Blue Tango, a local jazz duo from Research. They did a terrific job of blending their music into the background so that we all could enjoy both conversation and music whilst reconnecting with many U3A friends not seen for a while.

Dinner was a BBQ feast of chicken sticks, meat patties and sausages with baked potatoes and freshly made salads, plus a large selection of homemade desserts. The evening was presented by our Acting President, Guy Palmer. Guy has a calm manner and wit which he used very nicely on the podium.

We couldn’t have a Nillumbik U3A if it wasn’t for our tutors; they are the reason we exist and the very essence of our Association. We are blessed with both the calibre and quantity that we have. Guy thanked them for all their wonderful work done throughout the year. He then presented gifts to each of them. The gifts were all wrapped beautifully, all different sizes, no names on them and no idea what they contained – so the tutors got to choose their favourite shape: rectangle ones, round ones or square ones.

Guy also thanked our amazing office staff volunteers, again without whom our U3A would not exist. They are the very backbone of our association. They too were given a choice of rectangle, round or square gifts.

Next were the volunteers who assisted Joy and Lou to make this event the success that it was. These treasures of our association include Daryl McStravick, Debra Forbes, Fidel Panzera, Frank Camera, Joan McStravick, Joy Barham, June Crichton, Jude Panzera, Lou Empson, Pat Wallace and Ros Camera.

Lastly came the immense raffle: Joy & Lou had managed to secure a huge number of donations from local traders so the raffle winners had a great variety of items to choose from (they were not wrapped, so it was first in best dressed). A big thank you to these donors, namely: Bolton Street Fruit Market, Bunnings, Coles, Colin’s Place, Dekoda Store, Eltham Bookshop, Eltham Hotel, Irresistible Jewellery & Accessories, John & June Crichton, Lou Empson, McDonald’s, Old Evropa, Pavilion Menswear, Pierross, Priceline Pharmacy, Prosciutto Bros. Craft Bar, Samarkand Gallery, Skaterz Roller Skate & Blade Rink, Stephens Meats, Thompsons Pharmacy, Tip Top Butchers, and Woolworths. We encourage everyone to support these businesses as they have supported us.

From the outside, it looked seamless and without fault. On the inside, however, I happen to know that there was mild panic when the vegetarian meal offering could not be found and a race to buy replacement veggie burgers was made. Also, the water to the dish washer was not working and great fear started to develop that we would have to hand wash all that crockery and cutlery into the wee hours of the morning. But to the rescue, our superman of the moment, Fidel Panzera, put on his cape, found the problem, and got the dishwasher going again, much to the relief of everyone in the kitchen.

The volunteers were just terrific pitching in and giving their all. But it is pictures that tell a thousand words, so let us look at some photos from the evening. Thank you to all our tutors, our Office staff, the volunteers who helped on the night and, finally, to everyone who came. It was a truly a terrific event.