Letter from the President



Membership has continued to increase with over 1100 members registered in June at the end of our financial year. New members who paid via PayPal received a hard copy welcome and thank you letter. Those who chose the email option only newsletter now receive email advice only. Most members renew their subscriptions using PayPal or direct credit which gladdens the heart of Gwen Levick, our membership secretary. Members have needed reminding that their green membership cards are their permanent personal cards and are therefore not changed when they renew their membership. Thank you, Gwen.

Aidan Kay has trained a team to run the scanner which registers our lecture attendance. After some initial operator problems this is programme now working very efficiently. Thank you, Aidan.


Unchanged. $35 annual membership fee, $5 visitor fee for lectures.
Visitor fees are now a significant source of income.


Details are available on our U3A website. Tony Thomson, our treasurer who has a telling eye for detail has maintained our finances in a healthy state. This year we posted a small deficit which we have sufficient reserves to support. Part of this deficit is a consequence of our subscription “renewal season” straddling the end of our financial year. We have decided to live with this rather than change the dates of our financial year. The functions with a large income and outgoings like the mid-winter lunch are all self-funding. The only exception is the November social function which U3A pays for. Tony has asked a reviewer to review our 2017-2018 annual accounts. Since we are a registered charity Tony has sent a report to Charities Services. Thank you, Tony.


We have signed a two-year contract with the Embassy; they are pleased to have us and Caleb Button, the manager has made us feel very welcome. The cost to U3A is only a little more than we were paying at the Paramount. We also value the services of Darryl Burnand, the Embassy technician who sets up the sound and projection facilities for us. It has been very helpful to have Ian Goodwin and Alan Wright assisting the Tuesday speakers in their setup and Bruce Metcalf and Anthony Fletcher doing the same for the Friday speakers. The two roving microphones are working well at question time although it certainly requires a certain level of fitness for them to sprint up and down the Embassy stairs. We have abandoned the idea of having the speaker sited centre stage in front of the screen as they would not be visible to one whole row of their audience.

Lecture Programme

Another hugely successful year. Thank you, Robin Halliday, Bruce Metcalf and Doug Helps for a wonderful programme. The interview format which Doug arranged with Gareth Farr was a first for us and one that we want to repeat. There are 730 seats in the Embassy auditorium and we have never managed to fill them all. Lecture attendance has ranged from 187 to 293. Bruce will retire at the AGM. Thank you, Bruce for your ability to anticipate and solve our problems and your fund of good ideas.

Although we have lectures arranged for 2019 we need your input and suggestions before we finalise the programme in November.

To Roger Chapman, many thanks for our weekly email detailing the next weeks lectures.

Thank you, Jim Thomson for organising the “front of house” volunteers. They always look so happy enjoying their role making both members and visitors very welcome. At the AGM, volunteer forms will be available for members to sign up for 2019. Jim is retiring at the AGM.

Special Interest Groups

Margaret and Ian Garrett arranged for each of the SIG’s to do a short presentation at a lecture session in April.  At question time a useful discussion ensured. Last year it was agreed that U3A would meet venue hire costs, ancillary charges and some operating expenses. This is working well. Thank you, Margaret and Ian.

 Visits and Events

Aidan Kay organised another very successful mid-winter lunch at the James Cook where Sharon Crosbie was the guest speaker. Sharon spoke passionately about the role of National Radio in New Zealand to a very receptive audience. The James Cook continues to serve our requirements for this event and will be booked again for mid-winter 2019.

Again, the end of year social function will be at the Victoria Bridge Club this year on Thursday 25th October.

Stonehenge visits are always popular. These happened in October 2017 and then again following a Bruce Hall U3A lecture in March 2018. Visits to NIWA and NZ School of Dance have taken place and visits to Walk Wellington, Nga Taonga Film Archive and the Marine Education Centre are planned. Thank you, Aidan.


Heather Nelson as the newsletter editor keeps the U3A committee functional and on time. Three excellent newsletters each year contain a wealth of essential and useful information. Thank you, Heather.

Victoria University U3A Award

Amanda Moore won our $2000 award this year. She completed a Master of Educational Psychology at Victoria in 2017 and this year is doing a post graduate Diploma of Educational Psychology to become an educational psychologist. Amanda will be speaking at U3A in the third term.


This is much used and is a great source of information about our U3A.

Rodger Sparks who runs the website is happy to continue doing so but thinks we are vulnerable in having just one person with this knowledge. We would like a member to volunteer to learn about the website and back up Rodger. Thank you, Rodger Sparks.

 Alteration to the Society’s Rules

A notice has been sent out to all members of a special general meeting of the society on Friday 24 August at 10.30 am. The proposal is to amend the society rules so that the secretary is no longer an officer of the society. The reasons for making the amendments are –

  • To bring the constitution into line with the Charities Act.
  • At present, a member cannot be an officer for more than five years continuously. The amendments would remove this barrier in respect of any term served as Secretary.

If these proposed amendments are passed at the special general meeting then at the AGM on Friday 14 September all members will be free to stand for positions on the committee.

Thank you, Roger Chapman for drafting these proposed alterations to the Society’s Rules.


Jim Thomson and Bruce Metcalf are retiring from the committee. Jim has used his organisational skills and his charm to run the “front of House” programme. Bruce has been very busy and effective running the Friday lecture series. Thank you both for your time, energy and company.

My five years are up at the AGM in September and I am therefore compelled to retire. I have much enjoyed being your President and working with a wonderful committee in a stimulating environment.

We have three nominations for the committee to replace the three retiring members.

Finally, a huge thank you to Barbara Crump our wonderful secretary.

Peter Hatfield