Celebrating the U3A golden jubilee

Bush Poet Bill Pacey entertains delegates.

By Cheryl Wickes

U3A Rockhampton and District is thrilled to report that the recent U3A conference, commemorating 50 years of U3A worldwide, was an outstanding triumph.

With the theme ‘U3A Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’, the event was a true reflection of the rich history of the organisation and the exciting future that awaits individuals in their third age.

The conference brought together an esteemed line-up of international, national, and local speakers who shared their insights and knowledge on a range of topics. Attendees had the privilege of delving into the history of U3A and were enlightened about the transformative advancements in medical research, technology, social media, and energy that lie ahead.

Special guest, Professor Francois Vellas was especially excited to attend the conference as his father, Professor Pierre Vellas founded U3A for seniors in 1973 in Toulouse, France.

Professor Francois Vellas is the current president of the international body of U3A and has seen the growth of the organisation worldwide throughout its history.

The conference started with a warm and welcoming meet and greet at the new Rockhampton Museum of Art (RMOA), allowing participants to connect and form new friendships. Over the following three days, the conference sessions held at Central Queensland University, were packed with captivating presentations. Attendees were left inspired, motivated, and equipped with invaluable information to navigate their own journey into the years post retirement.

To add to the celebratory atmosphere, two dinners were held at Rockhampton Leagues Club, providing opportunities for further networking and camaraderie.

These evenings were filled with laughter, good food, and shared stories, making memories that will be cherished for years to come. A special feature was the 50th celebration cake made for the occasion by Rockhampton’s own Councillor Drew Wickerson.

Additionally, the conference offered an array of extra activities, allowing attendees to explore the local area and indulge in cultural experiences. From guided walking tours, a horse drawn carriage ride, bush poetry, performances and art exhibitions, and delicious catering by Creative Cater, there was something to suit everyone’s interests.

U3A Rockhampton and District extends its heartfelt gratitude to all the volunteers who contributed to the resounding success of this milestone conference. Their dedication and hard work ensured that the event was a truly memorable celebration of 50 years of U3A, and a glimpse into the bright future that awaits all members.

U3A Rockhampton and District also offers sincere thanks to supporters and sponsors including Gambling Community Benefit Fund, Rockhampton Regional Council and Central Queensland University.

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