Welcome to Tawa U3A

Tawa U3a is a group of people who are free during the day to gather for activities of interest.

We organise courses to teach subjects of interest like Art , Ancestry or Ukulele.

There are Discussion groups where you can express your point of view, and games both indoor and outdoor.

Talks are arranged on topics of interest like Health, History or Travel. We cooperate with other U3A groups and share sessions.

All up, we offer more than 50 learning and social opportunities at minimal cost.

You are certain to find somethings that are of interest to you.  Read on...


You can email us - [email protected]

The U3A Tawa 2020 courses booklet is currently being delivered

The light blue Booklet for next year contains over 50 courses and events. It is presented in an easy to read typeface. When you receive it there will also be an agenda for the 2020 AGM along with minutes from this year's meeting. The last Newsletter of 2019 will also be enclosed plus a returnable option form stating whether you wish to receive the newsletter in printed form next year (if you want more than just the website information.)

Every effort has been made to make the Booklet set out the full year's courses but inevitably there will be some new ones mid-year. They will appear in mid-2020 as an insert to what is now being distributed.

U3A Singers are in great heart going into the festive season

The U3A Singers finish the year in great heart with booming numbers and lots of new and diverse songs. They are just about to embark on a round of public singing through the festive season both in churches and retirement villages like Bob Scott and Malvina Major.

The songs range for the jaunty (Champs-Elysees) through coolly hip (All That Jazz), nostalgic (White Christmas) inspiring (You lift me up) to firmly aspirational (Let there be peace).

Several of the choir members come in from Mana and the numbers and repertoire continue to grow. A huge amount of rehearsal goes into all this but the thrill and satisfaction of performance on the wider stage makes it all worth it.

Next U3A Tawa AGM will be on 13 January 2020

U3A Tawa’s next AGM will be held on 13 January 2020 in the Tawa Bowling Club. The meeting will be formally notified to all members in the November newsletter. If members have U3A issues to raise then the AGM is the time to do it.  

Extensive efforts are being made to ensure that the 2020 Course Booklet is available early on (at least with regards to the first semester of 2020.) It will go out with that newsletter. There will also be added courses detail carried on this website to supplement the Booklet as may be needed.

Members are encouraged to select their courses so that they can pay their subs well before Christmas; although there will, of course, be ample opportunity to do that in mid-January, at the AGM or subsequently

Looking for fresh Committee members

Monday 4 November marks the last meeting of the current U3A Tawa Committee.

High on the agenda is the future of the governing Committee itself. Several members have been on that body for quite a few years and are now likely to step down. Two crucial positions are those of Chairman and Finance Manager.

Current Chairman, Michael Holland, now lives in Horowhenua and will be stepping down. Similarly Jasmine Thompson has moved on up to Kapiti and will not be available in the coming year.

The time has come or other members to step up and occupy positions that will determine the future direction of U3A Tawa. New people bring new ideas.

Nominations will be called on 13 January (the data of the 2020 AGM). However, it is far preferable if interested members can indicate as soon as possible whether they are prepared to assist in our administration.

The Finance position is of some importance but there is no need for the person to be an accountant or professional book-keeper. Our accounts are mainly tracking income from membership fees/session fees and payment for the many class venues we use each week. So please give serious thought to helping us out in a year of major personnel change.  

How to join U3A

Joining U3A Tawa can be done with a minimum of fuss. An easy way is to ring or email one of our Committee members whose names and contacts appear in the 'Contact Us' page of this site.  You can also use our 'ENROL' page or contact info email at the bottom of this page. The bank account numbers for paying the annual sub are also in the 'Contact Us' page or you can pay to a Committee member. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Welcome to U3A Tawa.

Those wonderful new library books just keep on rolling in

New Books in the Library is always presented with a stunning collection of book choices that would sit pretty well in a much bigger library than ours. It’s amazing what keeps coming into Tawa.

Last time we took away the prosaically titled this is Shakespeare by Professor Emma Smith of Oxford University. Books are always pouring out on the subject of the Bard (who, on any analysis, was quite good). Emma Smith explains why. Don’t expect a dry scholarly tome just a bang-up-to-date overview of why Shakespeare continues to be presented on stages around the World 450 years on. Plus why modern day versions set in odd locations and milieus do not undermine the playwright in any way – they just prove why he is so very great. The Prof is no snob and even quotes The Simpsons with approval. About ten pages of well-argued and fresh insight on each of the important plays.

Sight by Jessie Greengrass has been shortlisted for the grandly titled Women’s Prize for Literature. This might just be the first book that made humanity start comprehending what it really means to be a parent. Said to be an engrossing, smart and beautify written first novel that people will in time queue up for.

50 People who messed up the World by Alexander Parker looked intriguing: a thoroughly researched and pithy examination of the bad guys of our time, selected from the 20th century onwards.  Idi Amin, a textbook lesson in how to ruin a country and kill all the opposition, Tony Blair, an object/abject lesson in ground zero hypocrisy and undeserved wealth creation. How to commit genocide and get away with it features, and see Mr Erdogan for modern-day application.

From the biography genre we had Letters from the Suitcase (a wartime love story by Rosheen and Cal Finnigan.) This slow burner has the capacity to truly affect the reader. Love, life, WW2, humour, friendships, exotic places, real wartime London, politics, intelligence work, having children ... all life is within these pages. Beautifully written, real letters. A delicious privilege to be able to read!

Finally an eagerly snapped-up volume was Always look on the Bright Side of Life by (Python) Eric Idle. Cleverly described as a ‘sortabiography’ it meanders from a tragic childhood to a slightly bemused later life rubbing padded shoulders with smart, dumb, overly well-known and some significant people in swinging/hanging Britain. All with Eric’s highly personalized humour style holding it up (sort of). Forget TV and get reading.

Final European film of 2019 leaves a big impression

U3A sessions are starting to wind down as the end of the year looms. Current Affairs and New Books in the Library hope to have festive final sessions in December but many others are coming to a close.

The European Film group greatly enjoyed their final film of 2019 which was Roman Polanski’s The Pianist which won a best picture Oscar and starred Adrien Brody. Polanski himself is Polish and he lost all his family to the Nazi death camps but he tells a very measured and moving tale.   

The movie tells the harrowing and true story of a top classical pianist who survived through the entire Second World War both in the horrendous Warsaw Ghetto and in hiding nearby shielded by the Resistance and, in the end, a high ranking German soldier. Both considered him an artistic treasure not to be carelessly thrown away in a genocidal war.

Malnourished and often neglected the man suffers acute loneliness and constant fear while holding back his prodigious talent (through living in total silence) which only bursts out in the final reel and the closing credits. Some of the group had seen the film in 2002 but confessed to appreciating it better with the passage of time and what we now know about the postwar wordl. What might once have seemed pedantic detail in the often-plodding scenario now seems more germane to the overall drama. This was a mighty film to end on.    

Successful poetry readings light the path to more in the coming year

The one-off poetry reading session in the Tawa Library was as a big success and very well attended. The session was to some degree experimental in nature and, next year, consideration will be given to making it a regular class.

Under the supervision of Jasmine Thompson and Mary-Lynne Boyes most of the audience got up at some stage and read aloud poetry that is meaningful for them. Some had a distant war flavour while some went back to all of our childhoods.

The library staff were once again thanked for making aviable and displaying large amounts of poetry material in book form.

The high point was Jasmine’s reading of the 1930s humorous piece “When Sam Small joined the Regiment” (and frightened the life out of them with his errantly explosive musket.)  Everyone then repaired to the Borough for a well-earned coffee and bun.

Art Group looking to the future

When we called into the Art Group this week everyone was busy with rendering the shape, colour and perspective of an apple. The results the class was getting were very subtle and truly impressive.

There is currently talk about how the group might best go forwards from next year onwards and attracting a widening member base. All of this is only in the ideas stage yet so no concluded plans. Watch this space.

Challenging new writing forms for the Write It groups.

Creative writing by definition means getting out of the safely familiar into the challengingly unfamiliar and write what you never ever thought you would before.

Accordingly, the two Write It groups have been busy writing on a variety of wildly diverse topics and in wholly new styles.
Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Hey Jude and Moon Landing are great examples of those.

Recently, the challenge topic was to write a short children's (picture) story; borrowing the eager eyes of the young. Amongst other stories we heard about when grandma lost her underpants, the snail hunt and the hungry Pukeko! Fabulous stories.

Testing out the philosophy of Philosophy

The Drop-in Philosophy class this time took on a very fundamental task i.e. broadly defining what philosophy really is. One attendee put forward “interminable discussion on irresolvable issues”. Another noted the saying “give us the tools and we will sharpen the tools” (not such a bad idea).

At the end it was accepted that the world would surely be very different today if there had been no philosophers. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are not dated footnotes to history. They are always in the mix when critical examination of an abstract concept is required. The challenging Socratic line “why do you say that….?” has proved invaluable for over two thousand years in promoting constructive thought.

Philosophy is the basis of law, of ethics, some religions and the continuing development of political theory. The US Constitution might be said to be Th precut of at least 1000 years of western thought that finally severed the link between Europe and the New World. That was over the basic double-barreled question “Why do we have kings and why some people are considered innately superior to others?”

After recording the very many schools and approaches of philosophy we all accepted that we live in world where commerce and politics have merged. Their dark arts come down to getting th greatest number to accept shortly stated notions (such as “Think Big” or “Get it built” “Take back control”) through making language pliant and removing analytical control of important issues. Most politicians tend to start with a conclusion and “sell the sizzle” rather than address the more demanding complexities of the sausage.

Philosophers need not be written off as irrelevant fogies in talaking to themselves in back rooms. They not only think but also think about thinking itself aiming to raise the quality of the evidence on which we should demand in order to better structure our collective lives.

Media now encourages us simply to “shout with the loudest” and for the flimsiest of reasons. A trained philosophical mind will likely say “Hold on, let’s just think about that one a bit more deeply. The logic is faulty and the proposition is clearly begging the question”. Sometimes, on analysis, it may even mean the polar opposite of what appears to be saying.      

Coming up in the next seven days...

Friday, 22 November 2019
1:30pm - Ukulele [UK] - Tawa Library
10:00am - 12:00pm - Outdoor Games [OG] - Aotea Lagoon
Sunday, 24 November 2019
3:00pm - Theatre Visits [TV] -
2:00pm - Drop-In Philosophy [DP] - The Roundabout
Monday, 25 November 2019
9:30am - Building with Meccano [BM] - Member's home
1:15pm - 2:30pm - U3A Singers [SS] - Stephen's Lounge, Tawa Union Church
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
10:00am - Books2 [BK2] - Member's home
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
1:30pm - Indoor Games [IG] - Tawa Union Church
Thursday, 28 November 2019
10:00am - Ramblers [RB] - Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park
10:00am - Computing Chatter [CC] - Tawa Community Centre
10:00am - 12:00pm - Art Group [AG] - Tawa Community Centre
9:30am - Table Tennis [TT] - Tawa Community Centre Hall
To contact us, please fill in the form below. . . . . Advise us of when you paid your subs (if you have paid recently)

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To contact us, please fill in the form below. . . . . Advise us of when you paid your subs (if you have paid recently)

First name:
Last name:
Your email:
Contact phone:
Question or comment:

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