Professor Pierre Vellas and colleagues of Toulouse University recognised the pool of experience, knowledge and intelligence of retired people. They launched U3A in 1973. Eight years later there were 60 of them in France. In the “French Model”, each U3A maintains strong links with a university and is based on attending lectures. His son, also named Pierre Vellas, is at present a U3A leader in France.
In the spring of 1981, Peter Laslett [left] and Nick Coni [right] discussed this development and wondered whether a similar venture would work in Cambridge, UK. To find out, a public meeting was held in the Guildhall in July, resulting in the advent of U3A in the UK. The “English Model” that they evolved, stresses that
“Those who teach shall also learn and those who learn shall also teach”.
Since then U3A has spread world wide. Some indication of this spread can be seen here >
It came to New Zealand in 1989 at Remuera in Auckland. There are now 83 U3As throughout the country, mostly espousing the “English Model”. It is believed that this model promotes increased personal learning, confidence and enjoyment by reading, research, discussions and field trips.
University of the Third Age.
U3A is a response to the idea that human life is divided into three periods:
First: Childhood and schooling
Second: Child rearing and work
It is during retirement that people can put into practice the idea of a university as a community of like-minded people who seek a greater understanding of life.
The purpose of U3A is an opportunity to: Encourage further learning by listening, understanding, contributing, researching and participating in discussion and relevant excursions. Tap the great reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience that older people have.
The venue for the main monthly meetings has been in the same location at the Browns Bay Presbyterian Church Hall in Anzac Road from our beginnings in June 2000.
Meetings are held on every first Tuesday of the month except for January. The first newsletter was produced by Graham Newport in July 2000. The first website was launched by Garry Clark in June 2008 with inspiration from Maureen and Scott Whineray. The website changed to a "Responsive" format in January 2018 to cater for all all formats from PC to Mobile phones. Presentations are with Powerpoint and projected on to the video painted wall. The speakers use a modern Sound system with headset microphones
About Us >
Rachel Irwin 2000 - 2003
Shona Cooper 2003 - 2005
Alf Fisher 2006 - 2007
Rachel Irwin 2008
Maureen Whineray 2009 - 2011
Fay Weatherley 2011 - 2013
Geoff Haycock 2013 - 2014
Scott Whineray 2014 - 2015
Monette Ewen 2015 - 2017
Glen Plaistowe 2017 -2019
No President 2019 - 2020
Val Lloyd 2020 -