name is Jo Lord, a committee member of U3A Port Hills
Name & Location: U3A Port Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand.
History: Formed in 2006 to serve South-West Christchurch and surrounding
rural areas with new housing developments, especially housing for over-60s.
In Christchurch there are 3 suburban U3A groups all with monthly meetings
and many Interest groups.
Membership: 150 members with around 85 attending monthly meetings.
The annual sub is NZ$25, with a few Interest groups having a small fee
towards U3A On-line study courses.
Monthly Meetings & Speakers: We are fortunate in being able
to rent a church well equipped with data projector, microphone, loudspeakers
and even a technician. Speakers are usually invited from the University,
Polytechnic, businesses and the wider community. Monthly meetings start
with 20 minutes of socialising over tea/coffee and an opportunity to
read notices, investigate the sales table of surplus garden produce,
reject paperbacks, etc. A consistently high attendance at monthly meetings
regardless of the speaker and the chatter during the socialising is
a great indication of the value that members place on this U3A.
Range of Activities: Interest groups have between 4 and 20 members.
Many meet in a committee room at the local City Council Library, some
in members homes. The groups are Books, Travel, MahJong, Current
Affairs, Philosophy Introduction to World Religions, Philosophy Myths
& Legends, History China from Mao to Now, Café Club, Home
Crafts, Geology/Botany, Classical Music, Films. There is an annual bus
trip, also it is now traditional to have a Soup & Rolls lunch in
June after the monthly meeting, and a Christmas finger food potluck
lunch in December after the final meeting before the holiday break.
What I like best: I am fortunate in being the founding President
of U3A Port Hills, as this has given me a special opportunity to know
and be known by many members. The work in setting up a new U3A is not
something I chose, however the end result gives all of us
on the Committee a huge sense of achievement. For myself, I get much
stimulation from the U3A On-line study group "China from Mao to
Now", also the Current Affairs and Geology/Botany Groups. I just
hope that I can remain physically active enough for Geology/Botany as
there is so much to explore and learn around Canterbury; maybe I will
have to start going to the gymn again! A final personal bonus - the
confidence I have gained in speaking in public, something I used to
shy away from! WEBSITE www.u3aporthills.org.nz