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 close to 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]

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.

An important message from Revolve Fitness

We, at Revolve Fitness, are committed to providing the Over 60’s Keep Fit Classes. These classes have been held at this gym for 17 years. I’ve been involved for most of this time and it has been great to see so many of you benefiting from being able to do effective gym exercise in a safe and monitored atmosphere.

Since 2012 we have kept the cost of the classes down to $6. We trust this has made the classes affordable to everyone so that you might all benefit.

To cover rising expenses we have had to increase the cost per class to $7. This will take effect from 1 October 2019. This will enable us to continue offering these classes. We hope this does not inconvenience you and hope to continue seeing you all here. I can assure you that we shall continue to provide a high level of professional service and would welcome any feedback.

Many thanks

Mark Anderson, Personal Trainer

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

Philsophizing about betrayal gets a good turnout

The Drop-In Philosophy group has great session last week at the Roundabout. It meets on the second and fourth Sundays at the Roundabout pub in Tawa. Everyone is most welcome to join the discussion.

The topic this week was the human concept of betrayal which is often considered the worst sort of human dereliction being an offence against all of us. At the highest level of treason, it was noted that long after the death penalty was abolished for murder the same penalty, for treason, stayed on the NZ statute book for many years. (Society wants its pound of flesh. Lord Haw-Haw was not even British but was held in the Tower and hanged for treason after the UK courts niftily found of a way of handing him over to people who wanted to see him dead after his wartime broadcasts from Germany. Deep-grained emotions overcome legal logic. Feeling betrayed is the more pressing reality than actually being betrayed.)

When President Trump wants to slander an opponent for disagreeing with him he immediately uses the epithet “traitor” a charge of the worse sort yet with the least proof or regard for real meaning. Meanwhile, Trump can actually betray the Kurdish nation in Syria with a careless stroke of the White House pen.

Yet we see that treason itself is a plastic concept nowadays (“(s)he betrayed me by giving out my email address”). Looking back it can be seen that whistleblowers often started off as traitors and are now seen a patriots for truth telling in the face of government lies. Jim Anderton always reckoned that the Labour Party betrayed him (rather than the other way round) in the 80s.

Did the people who leaked the A-Bomb secret to Stalin in the 1940s actually prevent a one-sided atomic war between the US and Russia and ensure the resulting 70 years of comparative peace that followed?   

The groups lightly skirted around the betrayal aspect of marital infidelity while noting that what was once a marriage-dissolving High Court matter is now dealt with by clerks in the Family Court. It was concluded that in our lives there is less real betrayal as much a want of care with sensitive information. Someone may “feel” betrayed but were really only the victim of their own indiscretions on the likes of Facebook!  And no, you are NOT keeping a secret when you “just tell your spouse”.

At least ten new courses for the first half of 2020

Most of the long-running courses of 2019 will continue in 2010 with the addition of at least the following new (half year) courses (with possibly more that are some distance back on the conveyer belt)

  1. Aspects of Tawa’s history
  2. Classic UK television shows
  3. Christianity and Islam
  4. Films of Woody Allen and the Coen Brothers
  5. The last week in the life of Jesus
  6. TED talks
  7. Dressmaking
  8. Visits (to Capital places of interest)
  9. Investment in a low interest environment
  10. Quiz sessions

TED talks are recorded online talks that are usually between 15 and 20 minutes long. They are show in a private home, usually with three talks to the session. There is then debate about their content. Members will choose the talks. The main accent is to be on variety of topics.

If you are just interested in seeing our current courses PLEASE SCROLL to the bottom and check on the courses going this week

Watch out for Spring Into Tawa - membership opportunity

Again we have taken a stall at Spring into Tawa which this year is on Saturday 19 October. We will be drawing attention to U3A Tawa by use of enlarged photos, posters and our banner.

The Committee will be in attendance handing out leaflets and accompanying membership applications. Experience suggests that the public are more receptive to our pitch if they are with exisiting members. We are sure than most members who have friends of similar age who would greatly benefit from membership. So PLEASE steer them our way on the day. Thanks.

Bubbly fun session with the new library books

Twenty new books of fiction, nonfiction and biography plus ones coming back made for stimulating 90 minute session this time around.         CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MUCH MORE ABOUT EACH BOOK

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams described as “funny and heartbreaking” Ouch. Brilliant writing overall....

Sweet Little Lies by new writer Caz Frear. Good gritty writing ....

 (A good clue to the worth of book is that the library has brought in two copies. These two are good examples of that).  

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan the third in a trilogy from the man who gave us the wildly successful Crazy Rich Asians... 

A mild touch of the Cancer. Contrary to ... David Downs had lymphoma and ... Cancer and fun. What could go wrong?

This is Shakespeare.  ...Oxford professor Emma  Smith sets about slaughtering a whole herd of sacred cows ...

Who do the English think they are? Derek J Taylor. Not a book about national arrogance but ...

12 rules for life (an antidote for chaos) Jordan B Peterson ”an influential Canadian thinker”.... 

Jane and Dorothy (the lives of Jane Austen and Dorothy Wordsworth) by Marian Veevers. Richly good and a great read.

The Outsider (my life in Intrigue) by Frederick Forsyth. Mr. Forsyth wrote some excellent... Looks intriguing.

Many of these and other books have gone back on the library shelves. We only take a few away (while bringing some back) so we hope that what we say here will help members when they peruse the new book shelves. Taste in books, though, is a very personal thing.

Great show put on at the Current Affairs session

After a super cold night the Current Affairs group was hot to trot. We had put the local elections on ice because we hoped that by October there would be plenty of controversy to work with. Alas, this very week it has been revealed that the voter mailout was way behind where it was at this point in 2016. (May NZ Post is well behind in deliveries!) The lead-up has been a non event.

Members bemoaned the abysmal ....  Click on Picture for MUCH MORE 

Variety is the acoustic spice of life in Tawa

The Music Performance group continues to explore both its instrumental range and musical styles as it again presented a wonderfully varied and interesting programme of timeless classical and modern melodies. 

We had duo pianists, solo pianists, a cellist, a couple of guitarists and a singer.  The musical range went from folk music to Bach to Mendelssohn and Sibelius not to mention a couple of very pleasing ditties from The Great American Songbook. 

The offerings are becoming so ambitious, rich and varied that maybe we will soon need a resource management consent.

Classic movie from 1930 ends our World War One course

The Aspects of the Great War group ended the series of six course by viewing the masterful b/w 1930 movie All Quiet on the Western Front; one that is based on the anti-war book by Erich Maria Remarque.  It takes us remorsefully through WW1 seen through the eyes of a small number of young German soldiers who enlist early in the war. They come to despise those, safely tucked away in Germany, who saw the war’s slaughter as patriotic rather than pointless.

The film received tremendous praise in the United States. The New York Daily News said "It smacks of directorial genius—nothing short of this; a sensitive performances by a marvellous cast and the most remarkable camera work which has been performed on either silent or sound screen. We have praise for everyone concerned with this picture. Variety lauded it as a "harrowing, gruesome, morbid tale of war, compelling in its realism, bigness and repulsiveness".

The action sequences in the film border on frightening; though made without resort to the likes of Dolby sound or special effects. There is a dearth of melodrama but an admirable adequacy of believable trench humour. We end up truly caring about the men, enemy though they may be.

The film won Best Picture and Best Director (Lewis Milestone) but surprisingly there was not even a nomination for lead actor Lew Ayres whose gripping performance was supernaturally good.

This movie was, however, banned both in film and book medium from Europe to Australia for its heartfelt pacifism. Remarque’s sister was beheaded by the Nazis in 1943 essentially as a surrogate for her ex pat brother. This film is almost 90 years old but it made a truly profound impression on the small U3A group.  

Gillies and Chapman-Taylor Gardens impress our Gardening Group

The Gardening Group have made two splendid visits in the Wellington and Hutt areas.  

Sitting high above the hills of Khandallah, like the crow's nest of a great green sailing ship, is a cottage fit for a sailor. Designed by pre-eminent Arts and Crafts architect James Chapman-Taylor, built by the man himself with his son Jack, the house is a unique part of New Zealand's architectural history. And it looks like a something straight out of a storybook, outside and in.

Next was the Gillies garden. This garden reflects the craftsman style house it surrounds, with linked small garden rooms joined by narrow pathways bordered by clipped hedging mostly relating back to that Chapman Taylor cottage (arts and crafts style above) and surrounded by NZ native bush.  Also featured are a water garden and courtyard gardens, along with a parterre vegetable garden, herb garden and small rose garden.

The Bard still tickling funny bones 400 years down the track

The Reading Shakespeare group have just finished As you like it one of the sunny comedies with the usual mixture of cross-dressing, melancholy clowns, sibling rivalry, gullible (but crafty) rustics and replete with many incongruities (a lion and serpent in the Forest of Arden) and memorable songs: Under the greenwood tree and It was a lover and his lass.

It will be noted that no-one was forced to sing just as no-one is forced to read; there are several members who come solely to listen to some of the greatest verse (and prose) in the English Language.

As there was time available in the last session, the group also read Act V of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which the Mechanicals (workmen) perform the story of Pyramus and Thisbe at the Duke’s court.

This was a splendid way to end the course as it is a masterpiece of knockabout comedy, over-acting and dreadful dialogue. It seems that Shakespeare enjoyed writing what one of the Court characters described as “The silliest stuff that ever I heard” (he not being in a position to have seen the current British government strutting its Brexit stuff).

Silly it truly was and over 400 years later in a small place 12,000 miles removed from the Duke’s court the group very much enjoyed reading it aloud!    


Owing to the fact that the presenter has been elected to the TCB (and has to attend an all day event) she will not now be available for the final session on 5 November. We apologise for any inconvenience and ask memebers  to help us let others know about this. 

Botanic wonders of the Titahi Bay beach-side track

The Botany group has just been walking along the beach-side track at Titahi Bay. They observed the coastal native plants growing there and had some fun working out which plants of the common Taupata were male and which were female.  

Some had their ‘bits’ round the wrong way until the group came across a bush where the male flowers had their pollen-bearing anthers on clear display. The female bush has flowers with a two-part stigma on which the wind-blown pollen settles. So, there you have it.

The group also identified some of the native vegetables that would have been used in pre-colonial times as ‘greens’. Native spinach and celery were also growing there.

Improving the visual aspects of this site

We have received lots of useful comments on the site from members over the last few months. One recurring observation as been that the our stories often contain more words than can be comfortbaly accommodated on a mobile phone or tablet.

We have now become able to allow items to be condensed and extended into full format only if a reader wants to view the whole item. Just click on the picture and you are taken to the balance of the piece.

Coming up in the next seven days...

Thursday, 17 October 2019
10:00am - Ramblers [RB] - Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park
9:30am - Table Tennis [TT] - Tawa Community Centre Hall
10:00am - 12:00pm - Art Group [AG] - Tawa Community Centre
Friday, 18 October 2019
9:30am - Scrap-Booking [SB] - Tawa Commuity Centre
1:30pm - Ukulele [UK] - Tawa Library
10:00am - 12:00pm - Outdoor Games [OG] -
Monday, 21 October 2019
1:15pm - 2:30pm - U3A Singers [SS] - Stephen's Lounge, Tawa Union Church
Tuesday, 22 October 2019
10:00am - Books2 [BK2] - Member's home
1:30pm - Write It - Group 1 [WI 1] - Tawa Library
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
1:00pm - Indoor Games [IG] - Tawa Union Church
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)

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