Jan 302020
 
On 30th January at Old Eltham Courthouse, an interested group of members attended an introductory course on how to use a defibrillator and perform CPR. Gail Clayton writes: “Health provider Bolton Clarke representative Raquel gave an excellent talk and demo and asked for group participation. After seeing a short video of ‘how not to do it’ by Mr Bean (see right), we learnt the correct method. Hopefully we never need to employ these life-saving methods, but if an incident should occur then some members should be able to step in and assist.
Dec 162019
 

On Monday, 16th December, we had our first ever sausage sizzle fundraiser at Eltham Bunnings. Although the weather was miserable, and it was a weekday, we still made a profit of $550.

Thanks to Ken Wing Jan for organising and to Cath Bauman, Gail Clayton, Gayle Considine, Dianne Parslow, Graeme Forbes, Graham Parslow, Helen Beaumont, Jenny Taylor, Laraine Hussey, Leslie Rhys-Jones, Lilia Deschamps, Neil Taylor, Pat Rhys-Jones, Renato Deschamps, Rosemary Aitken and Suzanne McNally for helping out.

Dec 132019
 

On 13th December, we had our fundraiser with an organisation called Tastepoint. The deal was that we provided 60 people to taste and rate various samples of lamb and they gave us $1,000.

One interesting aspect was that they absolutely wouldn't start the tastings until and unless we had our full complement of people. At one session, we were three people short so both sides just sat around waiting for what seemed like a substantial period of time. A few emergency phone calls and three extra people were drummed up.

Thanks to Cath Bauman for organising and to Debra Forbes and Maree Papworth for helping out. Also, thanks to the 60 of you who participated in the event.

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

Oct 202019
 

Many of you will know that the 2019 mudbrick tour took place during October and was centred on St Andrews. What you won’t know unless you actually went on the tour is that the star of the show was the house of one of our members, Catherine Chambers.

      

Oct 072019
 

Around 30 of us were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of Montsalvat by Vincent Galante. This was an event for our members only. To quote Lesley Wing Jan: “This was a wonderful experience – even for those who thought they knew all there is to know about Montsalvat. Vincent provided fascinating insights into lives of the founders, the history and construction of the buildings and the features of the gardens.” Vincent has generously offered to conduct another tour next year. Thanks, Vincent!

            

Oct 012019
 

Judy Racz, who is in our Hurstbridge Art class, has an painting exhibition from early October to early November at Bridges Restaurant.

Judy is also available for commissions of portraits, pets or landscapes in pastel or oil. Contact Judy by phone (0468 462 901).

May 232019
 

A number of us gathered in the Old Eltham Courthouse for a morning tea that was organised by Dianne Parslow to raise funds for the Cancer Council. It was part of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea initiative, during which thousands of organisations and individuals ran morning tea functions, all with the goal of gathering together over a cuppa and raising money to help beat the disease that affects so many people.

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is Cancer Council’s most popular fundraising event. Last year $12 million was raised to fund research, prevention and support services for those affected by cancer. Our event raised $308. Thanks to those who attended the event, who made donations to the cause, who provided the food, and who set up and packed up the venue.

Apr 172019
 

Franciscus Henri was our guest speaker. He performed a short autobiographic collection of music that covered his career over four decades and that featured his own writing as well as other composers.

Franciscus is one of Australia’s most enduring performers and writers in the medias of theatre, radio, music and television for children. Since making his first recording in 1971, he has recorded eighteen albums of music for children and two recordings for adults as well as two DVD’s.

Franciscus believes in the immense importance that music and play have in the lives of young children, enhancing their learning ability as well as bringing great joy and celebration.

Oct 192018
 

Synchrotron, Monash and food – all good things in life (by Pam Jenkins).

On Friday, 19th October, 21 intrepid adventurers travelled to the far reaches of Melbourne, well … Clayton, to inspect the Melbourne Synchrotron and the state of the art facilities at Monash University.

The day started with a little adventure for Rob, our wonderful bus driver, who had been supplied with 4 numbers of a 5-digit code to gain access to the bus. Luckily that problem was quickly resolved, and we were able to get away on time.

After signing in at the Synchrotron, there was no time for coffee as our presenter, Zoran Vasic, was there right on time to start our presentation. We gathered around a model of the Synchrotron where he gave us an explanation of what it is, what it does, and how it useful.

Simply put, the Synchrotron is a very large machine that speeds up electrons to almost the speed of light. As these electrons are deflected through magnetic fields, they create extremely bright light, one million times brighter than the sun. The various properties of the light are tuned to enable specific experiments to be performed utilising particular parts of the light spectrum. For example, when we were growing up we were told that most of the nutrients in our fruit and vegetables are held just under the skin; at the Synchrotron, we were shown a huge poster of a grain of barley graphically demonstrating that Mum and Dad were right … so we ordered whole meal baguettes for lunch.

We learned how scientists studying medicine, agriculture, mineral exploration, archaeology, animal conservation and art are among the many fields that have found that utilising the light source of the Synchrotron has sped up their research by weeks, months or even years.

After an enjoyable lunch at the Taste Baguette at Monash, Karen Coulston introduced us to her friend Professor Andrea Robinson. Andrea guided us through the newer areas of Monash University. Learning isn’t the same as it was when I went to Uni (and that was only 20 years ago). Students are now clustered around large desk/workstations with interactive white boards projecting lecture notes, questions, diagrams and explanations for all to see overhead in the centre of the room and all around the walls. If you can’t make it to a lecture, you can find it online either in real time or some other time … and you can pause and replay! Outside the lecture halls, there is built-in sound attenuation so that even when crowded you don’t have to shout above an echoing hubbub of voices. The halls are beautifully designed with curved hanging brick work and a stairway that looks like it is going straight up to the gods. There are many alcoves for socialising and collaborative learning. A far cry from the ordinary library of my day.

All in all, an awe inspiring day out.

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.

      

        

Apr 192017
 

Christine Nixon APM, Former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, was our guest speaker. She shared her experiences from entry into the police force as an 18-year-old female, how her career unfolded, her educational opportunities at Harvard University and the challenges that were presented as the Chief Commissioner Victoria Police. She also discussed her subsequent role as the Chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority and her current role as the Deputy Chancellor of Monash University.

Feb 262017
 

On 26th February, 1917, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band walked into the Victor Studios in New York and recorded the very first recognised jazz recording of Livery Stable Blues. Exactly one hundred years later to the day, in the Barn Gallery at Montsalvat, the Syncopators, in front of a packed audience of 200 people, launched their new album The Pearls. The event was the brainchild of the originator and producer of the jazz festivals held at Montsalvat from 1988 through to 1995, Mal Harrop.

When car-parking problems arose at Montsalvat, Mal took the festival into the city and named it the Marvellous Melbourne Jazz Festival. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, which continues to this day, owes its beginnings to those earlier festivals run by Mal, as does the Wangaratta festival. In welcoming the audience to the Syncopators concert, Mal’s co-tutor in the Jazz Appreciation class, John Crichton, spoke of Mal’s legacy and his desire to bring live jazz back into the north east of Melbourne.

Oct 192016
 

A thank you party for the valued volunteers of our U3A was held at the Diamond Creek Senior Citizens Centre. Some excellent food, plus wines from our President’s cellar, were enjoyed by all.