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August 2020 Newsletter

General Meeting - Wednesday 5th August  2020 at 9:30 a.m

                 St. Heliers Church Community Centre - Centennial Hall -  100 St Heliers Bay Road 



THIS MONTH, WEDNESDAY, 5th August  – Tessa Duder CNZM, OBE – ‘Putting James Cook into perspective:  a look at Cook’s circumnavigation of New Zealand over the summer of 1769-70 and how his astonishingly accurate chart literally put New Zealand onto the world’s maps.

Tessa Duder trained as a journalist and has published nearly fifty works of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, plays and anthologies.  Her best-known work ‘Alex’ (1987) was adapted for a 1993 movie and recent books include biographies of Margaret Mahy, Sir Peter Blake and Auckland’s “First Lady” Sarah Mathew.  Her latest is about James Cook’s charting of New Zealand, and a new edition of her four “Alex” books has also recently been reissued.  Her awards include a number of children’s fiction prizes, the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton, an Artists to Antarctica award, the CNZM in 2020 and OBE in 1994, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato.  She is a trustee of the Storylines Children’s Literature Trust of New Zealand and until 2019, the Spirit of Adventure Trust.  She has 4 daughters and 2 grandchildren and lives in Auckland where she enjoys sailing, concert-going, teaching creative writing and reading.  Work-in-progress includes an historical novel for young adults.


Study Group Presentations:  Book Reviews;  Countries of the World

Mini Speaker:  Laurie Guy – “How Papua New Guinea Changed my Life”

Kitchen duty:    Heritage Walks; World Puzzles


NEXT MONTH – Wednesday,   2nd September


No Mini Speaker or Study Group Presentations this month

Kitchen Duty:  Art History;  Book Reviews


On Saturday, 19th September, New Zealand will have a General Election.  On this occasion voters will not only be voting for their parliamentary representative, but will also be voting on two major referendums. The value of making well considered decisions through research and awareness led the committee of U3A St. Heliers to prepare a PowerPoint presentation covering the implications of both a positive or negative vote outcome for each of these referendums. Therefore, we will not have a guest speaker for the September General Meeting, but will cover both the referendums in great detail to ensure that each of us is well informed when deciding on our voting choice.  The content of the PowerPoints is not designed to tell you how to vote but to enable informed voting decisions.  The format of the meeting will be as follows:


09.30 a.m.         Introduction and welcome to members and visitors.  Explanation of the format for the meeting.


09.40 a.m.         Presentation of details of the referendum relating to Cannabis – the actual wording of the referendum,

Legal implications, outcome of a negative or positive vote, and the pros and cons of the final result.

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10.15 a.m.         Morning tea


10.45 a.m.         Presentation of details of the referendum relating to Euthanasia – the actual wording of the referendum.

Legal implications, outcome of a negative or positive vote, and the pros and cons of the final result.


11.15 a.m.         Closure of the meeting.



President’s Message:  Well, so much can happen in quite a short period of time.  During the last weeks we have had a change of the leader of the Opposition, an indication from 15 sitting MPs that they will not be continuing on with their career in politics – maybe there are still more to declare their future political intentions.  However, be assured that the committee of U3A St. Heliers will continue as we are until our next Annual General meeting.  Our weather has certainly become colder and how fortunate we are to be able to turn the heaters on knowing that we have been funded to some extend for the use of this resourse.  Unfortunately Auckland has snot been the recipient of the much needed rainfall and it would appear that water restrictions are going to be a factor for consideration for possible a longtime in the future.  Our group has a most interesting speaker to enjoy this month and I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.


Last month’s Meeting - “Puhoi to Warkworth Motorway  Project” – Our July presentation generated much interest and the following contact details are included here for those of you wishing to explore this project further:

Email:    Internet:    Facebook:  Ara Tuhono Puhoi to Warkworth


U3A On-line Courses:  This resource is operated by Australian U3As and provides short courses for Study Groups.  These are available to all members.  Have a look at the website to see what’s available;   There is no requirement for payment to access the course content.  Access will enable a review of the study content and further details relating to independent or supervised study.  If you are interested in any of the papers, please let Kathy Slater know,  or phone 5783232, and she will download the material as Auckland U3A network has already been registered and paid.


Study Groups:  Your Committee is always keen to learn of any subjects or topics for Study Groups that members would like to be considered for inclusion in our Schedule.  Please contact our Study Group Convenors, Gary Preston or John Hole with your ideas.


Morning Tea arrangements:  A reminder that we have two morning tea outlets; one at the back of the hall and a second one in the Welcome area.  Those on the left side of the auditorium are requested to go to the outlet in the Welcome area on the left, and those seated on the right side should use the tea outlet at the back of the hall. To avoid undue congestion do please move away from the serving areas once you have your tea or coffee and circulate to either area and socialize with other members.


St. Heliers U3A  Website:  Our website is updated every month by Kathy Slater.  Newsletters, recent photos, relevant information on study groups and much more can be found on this interesting site.


Name Badge:  A reminder to all members, and especially our new members, that you should put the name and contact details of your preferred contact person on the back on your name badge in case of any emergency.  Please ensure that you wear your Name Badge to all U3A meetings.  



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U3A St. Heliers History Booklet:  This interesting booklet was updated and reprinted for our 25th Anniversary and is available for purchase for $10. Copies will be available at the August meeting.   Highly recommended especially for our new members.


U3A Lapel Badges:  We are able to offer ‘pin’ as well as ‘magnet’ lapel badges.  These will be available for purchase ($5 each) at the August meeting.  See Heather Baigent.


Almoner:  If you are aware of any member who is ill or incapacitated, or suffering bereavement, would you please contact our Almoner, Jocelyn Sadler phone: 528 6173 or  email or mobile: 021 872570


Monthly Meeting Protocol:  Please ensure that you register at the Greeting Table when you arrive. This is essential under Level 1.   Please send any apologies to Robin Bowkett, at  tel. 521 1953 or 021 956 909.  (Not to the Newsletter Editor)  


DEADLINE for September Newsletter & Study Groups Update:  email to  by Sunday, 22nd August 2020 (or earlier).




The Aim of U3A

Those who teach shall also learn and those who

learn shall also teach.


Peter Laslett, founder of U3A UK, 1981