Events Programme



Holiday activities to look forward to this year include Beacon Hill Signal Station and a Marae visit, as well as a few popular repeats such as a “Walk Wellington” stroll, visits to Matiu/Somes Island, the Nga Taonga Film Archive, NIWA and the Supreme and High Courts.

Dates arranged so far:  (revised since original listing)

16 April        Beacon Hill Signal Station with Grant Nalder (Group 1)
23 April        Matiu/Somes Island with Gerald Rawson
26 April        Beacon Hill Signal Station with Grant Nalder (Group 2)
25 June        Midwinter Luncheon at James Cook Hotel
5 July           Nga Taonga Film Archive “This is Expo” (21 mins) “Erewhon” 91                       mins
1 August      Supreme and Old High Courts
6 August     NIWA
1 or 4 Oct.  Walk Wellngton
11 Oct.        Upper Hutt: Orongomai Marae and Expressions Art Gallery

 And there’s always room for further suggestions – please contact Aidan Kay.

Borneo Jungle Tour – 15 September to 4 October 2019

With the January email advertising this tour, led by last year’s U3A speaker on Biodiversity in Borneo, Professor Dr Ghazally Ismail, U3A events have started early. Several members have registered their interest in the tour for themselves, friends or family. However, there is still room for further registrations of interest to on or before 13th February, which is the final day for the deposit of $1,200.  U3A membership is not required for this tour. A full complement of 20 people will keep costs from Wellington return to under $8,200 for 18 days, the full program is here

Final day for deposits is on or before Wednesday 13th February, 2019.

Borneo Films at The Embassy – Tuesday 26 February 5.30 – 8 pm

We have been fortunate to secure the services of Ismael Ghazally to introduce a film he produced on the biodiversity in Borneo, to be shown at the Embassy Theatre. Entry is by donation, and any profit will be donated to The Malaghan Institute for joint research with Malaysian scientists.

 Synopses of films for the Embassy Theatre, 5.30 pm, Tues 26 Feb. 

INTO THE WILDS OF SABAH’’Duration: 52 min

Borneo is home to amazing ecological treasures and extraordinary wildlife, with a rainforest that’s more than 130 million years old and includes mountains of over 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) high, along with mangroves and rivers. Jorge takes us behind the scenes of his occupation as a wildlife photographer, into an extraordinary adventure and total immersion into this incredible rainforest in search of rare and endangered species, such as pygmy elephants and orangutans.

A film by Jorge Camilo Valenzuela – Mapuche & F-Productions (France).
University College Sabah foundation (Malaysia).

“GUARDIAN OF KINABALU”Film duration: 52 min

A story about a native of Borneo named Alim Biun. To the Kadazandusun people, Mount Kinabalu is a sacred place – the revered abode for the spirits of the dead. This highest peak in the Malay Archipelago is famous for its rich and diverse fauna and flora. At the same time, deforestation and pillaging of natural resources are occurring at unprecedented rates. Many known and unknown species of plants and animals are being driven to the brink of extinction. Alim sees the urgency of protecting Mt Kinabalu. To him, this comes as naturally as breathing the crisp fresh mountain air around him.  He’s not just enamoured with the mesmerising beauty of Kinabalu Park where he works, he also invests heavily in his passion to learn, understand and love all the plants and animals he sees around him. He has now become a beacon of light to many nature lovers around him. They view him with much more than just admiration. He is in a rarefied league of his own. And this is his story.

Produced & directed by: Lloyd Spencer Davies and Wiebke Finkler (Both of Otago University).
Executive Producer and Scientific Consultant:  Dr.Ghazally Ismail

“THE GIANT’S GUARDIAN”Film duration: 17 min

A plant with no leaves, no stem, no branches and no roots. It can’t manufacture its own food. The entire flower is the plant and the entire plant is the flower. This is Rafflesia – the biggest flower in the world. It is also a parasite whose survival depends entirely on its host. It is difficult to encounter Rafflesia in the wild. Many renowned scientists at famous botanical gardens in the west have attempted to cultivate Rafflesia in vain. But Marius, a park ranger with no formal scientific training, has defied all odds. In the last 7 years, he has successfully grown this rarest of rare plants on his own ancestral land in Poring, Sabah. Every year, thousands of people from across the globe come to see Rafflesia in bloom here. Single-handedly he has taken it upon himself to play a part in the conservation of this highly endangered species. Marius is the guardian of this giant botanical phenomenon, Rafflesia.

Produced and Directed by Ana Terry. Executive Producer Dr Ghazally Ismail.