Watonga Activities Group U3A Inc Port Macquarie

					    Watonga Activities Group U3A Inc. Port Macquarie.
                            Member of U3A Network-NSW Inc.,
                        34 Emerald Drive, Port Macquarie, N.S.W. 2444

                         NEWSLETTER JULY, 2009.

“I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.” Vincent Van Gogh.

                  Important dates to put in your diary

                         1. Term 3, 2009 begins on August 3rd and ends
                            September 25th (8weeks)

                              Term 4, 2009 begins on October 26th and ends
                              on December 11th (7weeks)

                         2.. First Anniversary Dinner on Wednesday August
                             26th at the Village Café, Lighthouse Beach.

                         3.   Foreign Film Festival, Armidale. July 31 – Aug 2.

                         4. Barrington Tops Field Trip 28th September to
                            October 1st.


WAG U3A Inc. would like to congratulate Dr Mary White on the honour
bestowed on her as part of the Queens’ Birthday Honours. Dr Mary was named
as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her
service to botany as a researcher as well as through her promotion of increased
understanding and awareness of the natural world.
It has been our pleasure to be able to visit Falls Forest Retreat as well as listen to Dr
Mary White on several occasions. (see report following)

                                     Patron: Dr Mary E. White
                   Chairman: Alastair Moss; Secretary/Treasurer: Bridget Earle;
                              Courses Co-ordinator: Geoffrey Gibson.
Falls Forest Retreat June 2nd 2009
“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”……(apologies to Keats)

As the weather closed in, 22 enthusiasts made their way to Falls Forest Retreat
for an evening with Dr Mary White at her hide-away amongst the trees.
Mists rolled off the leaves, drizzle accompanied our short ramble but we still made
it to The Falls and Cascades. Marcia did manage to get the wettest feet and jeans
as she crossed the creek; leeches favoured a few (maybe of special blood types??)
but the short walk still proved to be fascinating. Huge buttressed trees, rainforest
ferns and tall trees provided a backdrop to the property secluded in the valley.
That night we all enjoyed a home - cooked dinner, prepared by Dr Mary and her
helpers. A sunken lounge provided a cosy seat for the evening, especially with the
log fire crackling along to the variety of songs initiated by Derek. ‘The lads’ took
advantage of the pool table while Chris & Jacqui aimed to keep the ‘ping-pong’ ball on
the table rather than the floor!!
For those rising early the following morning, wallabies grazed in mizzling rain around
the buildings. Mist still hung in the tall trees and the quietness greeted us all.
 Later, we hung on Mary’s every word as she talked of her experiences and work.
Whilst displaying fossils, she emphasized the changes since Gondwanaland and the
uniqueness of the Australian continent. Dr Mary maintained that the planet has
been adversely affected by a rapidly rising population which has put pressure on our
planet in many ways.
It had been a truly enjoyable experience, one to repeat perhaps in the future with
better weather.
Report by Jacqui Krawitz

As of 1st July 2009 U3A Online will require a full Membership and will operate in a
similar way to most U3As. It will be necessary to be a Member of U3A Online to
access any courses through the i/net.
The annual cost of membership will be $25. This will enable a member to access any
U3A Online courses, as independent study, without incurring further costs. If you
would like to enrol in a course with a Course Leader a further payment of $5 will be
required for that course. As there are at least 50 on-line courses available there is
a wide variety of choice. If you are aware of someone who is having difficulty with
mobility could you please pass on this information as these ‘at-home’ courses may be
of interest to them.
See Jacqui for further info or log on to www.u3aonline.org.au

                                 Patron: Dr Mary E. White
               Chairman: Alastair Moss; Secretary/Treasurer: Bridget Earle;
                          Courses Co-ordinator: Geoffrey Gibson.
           TERM 2 REPORT
           All courses and activities have attracted enthusiastic attendance during the term.
           In a nutshell we have
           !! learnt why some of us can curl our tongues and others cannot.
           !! found humour to lift our spirits
           !! challenged ourselves and others at mahjong
           !! pondered over ideas presented by gifted writers
           !! wondered at the numerical patterns in our lives
           !! tapped our feet, listened in awe and widened our musical horizons
                   AS WELL AS
           !! being well wined and dined at a variety of venues and
           !! enjoyed breakfast on the beach when the weather has allowed it.

            Derek with absorbed members of Music Appreciation .

 to Rainforest Café management for supporting our Thursday raffle by way of a voucher.

While we in Port Macquarie are celebrating our FIRST anniversary in August there are many groups
celebrating many years of operation. From our Canberra member, Anne Metcalf, we learnt of the
ACT group celebrating 21 years. A book to mark the Anniversary, U3A ACT: The First 21 Years,
 was launched by former executive director of The Council of the Ageing Jim Purcell. He said that
“When people retire, they lose that work network, and they’ve got to establish a new social network
and U3A is part of the establishment of a new, social network”. WAG U3A members would be in
agreement!! U3A ACT offers over 150 informal courses to 3700 active members.

                                          Patron: Dr Mary E. White
                        Chairman: Alastair Moss; Secretary/Treasurer: Bridget Earle;
                                   Courses Co-ordinator: Geoffrey Gibson.
1.Following on from our course obout genetics, Genetrack Biolabs provides a service where
a client can discover ancestral roots using genetic genealogy---at a price of course!! Details can
be found on the web.

 2. Those dinosaurs keep turning up!
 Recently more dinosaur bones have been discovered near Winton in Outback Queensland. It is
not uncommon for ancient bones to be found in eroded gullies after the wet season or while
mustering cattle. This area is renowned for some of Australia’s most complete dinosaur
discoveries. The Dinosaur Triangle, as it is aptly named, includes Richmond in the west, east to
Hughenden and south to Winton and beyond.
Outback Queensland was once covered by the Eromanga Sea during the Cretaceous Period,
around 100 million years ago. Any land outcrops were covered by ancient-style maiden hair fern,
trees and conifers with an understorey of ferns, cycads and mosses. Animal life displayed
adaptations to this environment eg. The Muttaburrasaurus.
The town of Muttaburra is situated on what was marine sediment composed of sandstone,
siltstone and coarse channel sands which is often exposed to reveal remnants of the past.
In 1962 the fossilised bones of the MUTTABURRASAURUS LANGDONI were found by local
Grazier, Doug Langdon. Almost 2/3 of the skeleton was preserved. It is believed that the
 Muttaburrasaurus was common across the Australian landscape during the Cretaceous Period.
It was about 7m from snout to tail and was able to walk on its hind legs. It was a planteater
and belonged to the group of dinosaurs known as ornithopods. One of the most distinct
 features of Muttaburrasaurus was an inflated, hollow bony chamber on the animal’s snout. The
bones here were much thinner than the rest of the skull.

NB This information came from “The Age of Dinosaurs” which is an annual publication, produced
 in Queensland. The high quality magazine sells for $22 and presents information about
Australian ‘digs’ and discoveries eg. Lark Quarry, fish fossils from Canowindra, Richmond
pliosaur etc. More info is on their website at www.australianageofdinosaurs.com which gives a
list of all articles and studies.

3. The latest U3A Network Newslink poses the problems of attracting new tutors/leaders to
take courses. Surveys have been taken, suggestions made and successful strategies highlighted.
While U3A across the globe continues to grow in member numbers, there is a need to encourage
 more leaders to offer/lead courses. Current leaders can experience ‘burn-out’ or illness leaving
the group without a co-ordintor/leader. One group in UK gather people at a meeting who are
interested in a particular topic. They choose a contact person; the group decides the format of
the study; each member contributes and eventually share the research etc.
NB. If you would like to read the entire Newslink ,log on to www.nsw.u3anet.org.au where you
will find the latest Network news.

4. U3A Network Conference 2010 will be held on March 9 and 10 at the Penrith RSL Club. The
theme will be “Learning With Friendship”. Bookings can be made from September. The daily
cost will be $49 which will include morning & afternoon tea and lunch. The official dinner will
also cost $49. There will be seven workshops and five guest speakers with the main guest
speaker being Noeline Brown, currently ambassador for Ageing.

ENJOY TERM 3.               ENJOY TERM 3.              ENJOY TERM 3.

                                       Patron: Dr Mary E. White
                     Chairman: Alastair Moss; Secretary/Treasurer: Bridget Earle;
                                Courses Co-ordinator: Geoffrey Gibson.
                  Patron: Dr Mary E. White
Chairman: Alastair Moss; Secretary/Treasurer: Bridget Earle;
           Courses Co-ordinator: Geoffrey Gibson.

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