Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I belong to Logan U3A and we had our Christmas Party last week. What is U3A?

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is an international organisation whose aim is education and stimulation of retired people in the community, those in the third age of life.

The U3A organisation started in France in 1973. It was started by a Prof. Pierre Vellas. It was closely associated with local universities. This academic model is followed in continental Europe.

By the early 1980s, the scheme reached the United Kingdom where its nature was radically changed to be more a self help organisation. This model is also used in Australia, Cyprus, Dominica, New Zealand and South Africa.
In the British model it is acknowledged that retired people have a lifetime of experience and, collectively, a vast amount of knowledge. This is used to arrange a syllabus for each subject where each meeting is normally led by a member of the group with specialist knowledge.

In USA There has been little found about U3A. 
"Despite being introduced to San Diego in 1975 the U3A movement, as such, has not struck a responsive chord with aging Americans.  Part of the reason for this can, perhaps, be attributed to the wide range of competing, professionally organised programs.  The internationally known Elderhostel program, which also began in 1975, and a number of other large programs having many elements in common with both the French and British models of U3A are described by Knox (1993), and Moskow-McKenzie and Manheimer (1993). 
One of the best known and fastest growing of the programs for older North Americans, and one which fits comfortably with the U3A philosophy, is the Institutes for Learning in Retirement (ILRs) program." R.Swindell & J.Thompson.  Read more here

U3A Online Inc The world first virtual U3A was started in Australia in 1998. "U3A Online offers many other useful resources for older people, especially those who are geographically, physically or socially isolated. Our courses are open to all older people and disabled younger people anywhere in the world. They are especially suited to older members of the community who are isolated either geographically, or through physical or social circumstances (including carers)." from U3A Online Inc website. Read more here.

When I retired I wanted to learn more about photography so I looked up U3A to find a course or club. There wasn't a U3A in my locality of Logan so I went to Redlands U3A (a neighbouring city) for a year. Then I was contacted by a friend who was starting up an U3A in Logan including a camera club. I went to the first meeting and ended up being asked to be the leader of the camera club together with TOH's help.  So the two of us have been running the club for 2 years now. All leaders and tutors are volunteers.
I also go to "iPad" classes and I have joined a ''Walking for Fitness" group.
It is a great way to meet people, keep your brain active and have lots of fun.  

Here are some shots of our Logan U3A Christmas Party.

The beginner German language group sing Carols in German.

The Spanish language group sing in Spanish.

The French language group.

The advanced German language group singing with actions.

 Some of the Logan U3A members enjoy Carols played by Richard from the Ukulele class.

  After the little concert, everyone enjoyed Christmas fare and time to chat with other members. Jean on the right is the wonderful lady who started up U3A in  Logan City. She is now finding it hard to do all the organising by herself so a group of us have offered to help for next year's classes and groups.


  1. What a marvellous thing. I so wish my mother would or could get involved with something like that. But she is not for changing.

  2. What a great post and so timely. I have it written down on my list to join my local U3A as they run an art club that I would love to join. I'll keep you posted.

  3. Diane, sounds like a great club. the concert looks like fun! Great photos, thanks for sharing your day.

  4. I have enjoyed learning about U3A today Diane. What a great organization and I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures.

  5. It sounds like lots of fun. It would suit me, trying to find anyone close by here to teach me French is impossible and I do not feel like driving for an hour to go to lessons! I envy you your iPad, they are too expensive for us especially as I need a new computer which is more important. Take care Diane

  6. How wonderful to have so many different languages being represented.

  7. fantastic idea and the first time I have heard of it. everyone looks like they are having a wonderful time. a great way to learn new things.

  8. What a great organization and it looks like a lot of very FUN people (totally why YOU are involved I am sure)!

  9. I LOVE it.... That's just what we OLD people need: MORE stimulation!!!!! ha ha.... I do think that people as they get old stay 'young' much longer if they are active (not only physically but mentally)... Classes like you mentioned are offered in our community --but so far, we haven't participated (due to lack of time). Maybe someday, if we ever quit traveling so much, we'll indulge in them....


  10. What a very nice idea to start such a University for eldery people. Here some Universities have lectures for eldery people.

  11. These pics look like yall had a bunch of fun etc

  12. I think these learning communities are a really lovely idea. Another reason to look forward to retirement! (Not for a few more years, though.)

  13. Lots of language skills at your U3A. There is an active chapter here in the mountains. I might check it out one day but right now much too busy ... back to working full time plus for a few months.

  14. U3A is such a brilliant idea and my parents are both active participants in South Oz and have also discovered that they have info and training to offer too.

  15. That is a brilliant idea. Everyone needs to stay busy as long as they can....not sit and watch TV all day.

  16. This is the first I've heard of this organization, but I must admit that it sounds very interesting. Your group definitely had a wonderful celebration.

  17. Great fun to learn different languages; I would like to brush up on my Latin! Thank you for your comment on SS154.

  18. Great article Diane but I must make a correction to it.
    The world first virtual U3A was started in Australia in 1998 and is called U3A Online Inc. and can be seen at
    It is open to people from anywhere in the world and offers courses and other online social activities to its members.
    It was originally set up so that older people who are isolated from being able to attend a regular U3A could at least enjoy some of the benefits that U3As offer.
    The link to the Virtual U3A you have is one started in the UK a few years ago.
    There are very few U3As in the USA although they do have other life long learning institutes that go by other names.
    Dianne Delchau President U3A Online Inc.

  19. What a wonderful idea! The group looks fairly large too. Jean must be proud of the accomplishment with so many members.
    I have to say I'm impressed that I see a couple of ladies in more than one language group. Foreign language was never easy for me. I remember very little of the French and German I took in high school and college.

  20. I enjoy the warm weather and the sunshine, hard to believe that Christmas is so close. We always sang the Christmas carols in German, not in Italian and not in French. It sounded awful because the 3 of us can't sing ! But we did, at least on song under the tree, lol !

  21. Thank you Dianne for pointing out my error. my apologies to you and U3A Online Inc. I have hopefully corrected the misinformation properly. I tried to contact you but I couldn't find an email address for you.

  22. Y'all are having too much fun! All while keeping your brains active and your social life busy...what could be better!