May 262022

On 26th May, Nillumbik U3A member Brenda Smith launched her book ‘Remembering well 2020-2021. A daily diary written during the Covid-19 pandemic‘ to a full house at Eltham Central Pavilion.

There were speeches, jokes and food and a good time was had by all.

The book is 365 pages long with a page for each day between 12th March 2020 and 11th March 2021. The idea is that you read a page a day for a year.

Copies of the book will be available in our book library at Old Eltham Courthouse.

May 082022

Over the last few weeks, around 20 of our members took advantage of the half-price ticket offer to watch the One Act Plays at Eltham Little Theatre. Although Covid knocked out some of the actors for some of the plays, there was still more than enough to provide a full evening’s entertainment.

Mar 262022

In the Diamond Valley Cricket Association Grand Final held on Saturday, 26th March, Riverside (aka Greensborough) beat Heidelberg 7/164 to 9/162.

Why are we telling you this?

Because the game was played at Eltham Central Park, which was chosen because of the quality of its facilities. In other words, the newly renovated venue that we share with Eltham Cricket Club, namely Eltham Central Pavilion, is now effectively the MCG of Diamond Valley!

The pitch invasion after the game (see the photo) didn’t quite match the one that happened after Buddy Franklin’s 1,000 goal in the AFL.

Apr 302021

As you may or may not know, Eltham Football Club has a women’s team. On Friday, 30th April they played Diamond Creek under lights and a number of us went to watch. The total crowd was around 200. It was a complete shellacking, with Eltham down 0-48 at halftime before going on to lose 0-86. Eltham are now mid-table, with Diamond Creek still unbeaten.

Both sides played in very similar red and black/dark blue strips, with the main difference being the colour of the shorts (black for Eltham and red for Diamond Creek). It is interesting that, in the photo, all 7 of the players near the ball but not in the congestion are from the Diamond Creek side.

Apr 292021

Over 3 performances during April, 26 of our members took advantage of the half price ticket offer for U3A members to watch the thriller, I’ll Be Back Before Midnight. People came in groups of up to 6, bringing their own food and drink.

Apr 022021

As you know, the U3A now shares premises at Eltham Central Pavilion with Eltham Football Club, whose senior team is commonly known as the Panthers. The Panthers currently play in Division 2 of the Northern Football Netball League.

On Good Friday, 2nd April, a crowd of around 3,000, including a double digit number of U3A members, watched the Panthers beat St Marys, Greensborough 122 (17.20) to 76 (10.16) in the opening game of the season at Eltham Central Park. It was actually a relatively comfortable win, with Eltham leading throughout. Our best player was arguably Brent Macaffer, formerly of Collingwood, who played in the midfield but also scored 3 goals. The game was played according to AFL rules, so the players had to adapt to the recently introduced ‘standing on the mark’ rule which, at AFL level at least, looks like it is noticeably opening up the game.

To this observer’s untrained eye, the game looked as athletic as the AFL but with more of an emphasis on kicking rather than handballing. Somewhat surprisingly, Eltham effectively play in a Essendon strip and St Marys play in a Port Adelaide strip. Does anyone want to do some research into the question: who copied whom?

Mar 242021

On 24th March at Eltham Guide Hall, various tutors and others attended a presentation on how to use CPR and defibrillators by Raquel from health provider Bolton Clarke.

If you would like to read Bolton Clarke’s presentation, email us and we will send you a copy.

The reason for the session was that we have recently installed a defibrillator at the Guide Hall.

Feb 272020

On Thursday, 20th February, and again on Thursday, 27th February, a number of our members (25 in total) took advantage of the half price ticket offer for U3A members to watch the play, The Sum of Us.

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 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 082019

We would like to have more members from Diamond Creek. We would also like to make more use of the Diamond Creek Senior Citizens building. To help progress both objects, we organised a ‘mini expo’ at the Senior Citizens building, showcasing some of our classes and open to the public. Lesley Wing Jan again: “The event enabled some tutors and class members to explain, demonstrate and/or share what they do in their classes or activities. It was our first attempt at this type of event but the buzz in the venue was energising and some of our members enrolled in other classes as a result of seeing what is offered. We also had a few new people join. Thanks to everyone who contributed.





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).

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.




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.