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Local u3a Celebrates 20 Years

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U3A's 20th Anniversary_Nov21

u3a anniversary — three cakes to mark two decades!

The u3a general meeting at Haddenham Village Hall on Tuesday 9th November was a particularly special occasion. Cakes and "bubbly" were on hand to celebrate the 20th birthday of the group. The current Chair, Sally Lajalati, was joined in a cake cutting ceremony by previous Chairs: Peter Wenham, John Brandis and Elaine Parkes.

The story began in 2001 when a short article in the Bucks Herald led to the formation of Haddenham U3A with Peter Wenham as acting Chairman. Twenty five members attended the first meeting — there are now 431, making u3a the largest membership group in the village.

Since 2001, the original cost of membership has increased to £16/year — an inflation-defying £3.50 increase over twenty years! Members have access to a range of specialty groups including gardening, local history, technical interest, modern foreign languages and reading and walking groups.

There are now over 400,000 UK members in over 1000 u3a branches connected through the Third Age Trust. All have the same ethos: the expertise and experience within the organisation is shared with others across the various specialist groups.

Learning and enjoyment are key (the original title in full was University of the Third Age) with the phrase "Learn, Laugh, Live" now reflecting the spirit of the movement.

A short AGM was also held on Tuesday evening, with the Chair reflecting on the ways in which many of the sub-groups had continued to function during the pandemic. The committee (Sally Lajalati, David Ackroyd, Doreen and Tony Barker, Neil Dury, Angela Hart, Linda Page and Mary Paterson) were all up for re-re-election, and, in the absence of nominations, all were elected unopposed.

Membership is open to all those no longer in full time employment. More details are available from Elaine Parkes at membership@haddenhamu3a.co.uk

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