U3A New Year Message 2024

U3A New Year Message 2024

New Year Message from your Committee

Greetings U3A Members, and welcome to 2024.

We have an exciting year ahead of interesting, informative and stimulating presentations coming up in 2024. Gert Claassen and his Programme Committee have been hard at work on the programme, and it is taking shape well.

We will start out with an address from the Mayor, Councillor Annelie Rabie on Tuesday 30th of this month in the Municipal Auditorium at 10.00.

Our programme will start in earnest on Friday 2nd February with a presentation by Prof Andreas van Wyk, former rector of Stellenbosch University, on “The State of Universities in South Africa”. This will be followed by a series on Actors of Stage and Screen presented by Allan Maker.  We follow that with our usual eclectic mix of subjects from some international presentations via zoom, corporate histories, biographical presentations including a BBC series marking the 150th year anniversary of the birth of Winston Churchill.  In our second semester we swing between matters of immediate interest – Security Concerns in Hermanus – to the sublime – Sporting Greats and Mathematical Number Theory, along with travels and more musical and poetic biographical subjects. Altogether something for everyone!

During the summer recess we (Rod Pringle, Gert Claassen and Letitia Snyman) have been talking to the Hermanus History Society.

As a bit of background:

The catalyst for establishing a history society was a team of five people led by SJ du Toit and Angela Heslop creating the two local history information boards and remain responsible for them and the eight plaques in the town.  The History Society was formed in 2012 by the late SJ du Toit and Angela Heslop with help from Robin Lee who joined the committee. They have over the years organised monthly presentations and excursions and published five books about local history, with another in progress. Their objectives are not very different from those of the U3A in that they seek to bring to life the history of Hermanus to residents and visitors alike. The Society also encourages the collection and preservation of historical resources. Post the pandemic, their committee decided that the best way forward for the Society may be some sort of merger with the U3A, with its bigger membership base and similarly aligned objectives. Angela Heslop approached the U3A Committee in October and, following various subsequent discussions, things have progressed to the stage that a decision was taken to incorporate The History Society as a fully constituted Section of U3A, enabling the joint pursuit of the important work that the Society has done. The newly constituted “U3A History Section” will have a permanent member on the U3A Management Committee and a subcommittee will meet regularly to arrange lectures and outings on local history matters, much as they have hitherto done. The U3A Committee through the new Section will continue to be responsible to the Overstrand Municipality for the maintenance of the information boards and plaques. That endeavour is assisted by some funding from the Municipality.

There will, therefore, be only one membership fee to be paid. U3A members and former History Society members that join the U3A membership will all have access to the programmes of the U3A and the History Section, much as been the case with the U3A home groups and Music Appreciation. We look forward to a new chapter in 2024 with a somewhat enlarged membership base, and a slightly modified profile.

We are optimistic that it will be a success, and are sure that you, the members, think so too.

We wish you all a happy and healthy 2024 and look forward to seeing you all at our presentations and events.

The U3A Management Committee until the AGM is:

David Carter

Gert Claassen

Gillan Bowie

Hanns Bohle

John Bristow

Letitia Snyman

Patrick Monaghan

Phil Harries-Jones

Phillip Wassung

Rod Pringle

Roger Hendry

Therina du Pisani

And, joining from the former committee of the History Society

Angela Heslop

Jack van Dyk