Celebrating three decades of learning

U3A Chairwoman Diana Swann and Lord Mayor Frank Jonas cut the cake at the 30th birthday party
U3A Chairwoman Diana Swann and Lord Mayor Frank Jonas cut the cake at the 30th birthday party
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Diana Swann is chairwoman of the adult education group, Portsmouth’s University of the Third Age (U3A), which just celebrated a milestone

We had a splendid birthday party attended by our Lord Mayor at the Somerstown Central building.

The sports hall’s functional appearance was softened by bunches of yellow and blue balloons and attractive displays from our patchwork and quilting and art classes and over fifty of us attended.

Seven long-standing members spoke delightfully of their U3A experiences.

Betty Currie and Sonja Baxendale described the Discussion, Art and Patchwork and Quilting classes they attend and of their long and happy experience in U3A.

Past chairwomen, Aileen Loughran and Olive Lindsay, also stressed how much U3A had meant to them over the years and explained how they still currently lead the Computer and Local History classes respectively.

Brian Greener gave a lively picture of the Science and Technology classes where, in true U3A fashion, none who attend are qualified scientists yet discuss current issues with great interest.

Fay Pearson not only provided the music background but described the lively travel talks that members provide for each other every fortnight.

Finally our Language class leader, George Jenkins, painted a vivid picture of the role that our annual French twinning visits and hosting of Caen U3A have in the lives of many members – and not only those who enjoy George’s classes.

The Lord Mayor then replied, giving us an amusing picture of how he came to be Portsmouth’s mayor for a second time. Our social secretary produced a splendidly kitsch cake-slice which played Happy Birthday as the Lord Mayor joined me in cutting the first slice of two birthday cakes.

As tea was poured and the cake distributed, the Lord Mayor circulated amongst us, chatting and listening attentively to our (as yet unsolved) problems over lack of drop-off parking and omission of a hearing-loop in the Somerstown Central building. After thanking him for being so generous with his time, we finally dispersed feeling that the whole occasion had been very worthwhile and a reinforcement of the comradeship and strength of the U3A both in our branch and in general.
n For further information about Portsmouth’s U3A contact Diana Swann on swanndt@btinternet.com or on (023) 9282 0317 or Carol Powell on carolpowell397@talktalk.net or telephone (023) 9275 4289.

Visit u3asites.org.uk/Portsmouth.