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Outings and Events reports

June 2013 - TOUR OF TAPESTRY WORKSHOP - Jean Fahey, Events Secretary

On Wednesday 26th June, 23 members enjoyed a very interesting and informative tour of the workshop.   Our guide told the history of the building which used to be a drapery store and was opened as the workshop in 1976.
Their scientist deals with the dyes and colours for the wools, cottons, silks and metallic threads used to create the beautiful tapestrys.   All weavers are artists in their own right and works are usually commissioned.  It can take up to 3 days to set up a loom, a sample is then made for client approval and for any changes to be made.   Average time to weave and complete a work is 2 - 18 months, depending on size.   A large work can cost $80,000+.
Overlooking the workshop we saw all the artists busy at work.  Tables laden with spools in beautiful colours and samples of work displayed on boards.   Tapestrys are hanging in the NGV, Government House, Flemington, the Sydney Opera House and many other venues. 
Below: U3AMC members, and two shots of the Tapestry Workshop in action

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Trip to Ballarat, April 2013 


February and March 2013  Report - Shirley Mason

The year started with a free tour of the NGV when a number of new members joined us for a fascinating look at this great institution.
  As we had not been operating during the Xmas holiday period we slipped in an extra event for February.  A dozen intrepid members took up the challenge from Melbourne Zoo to take a tour at dusk - no under-16's or those of a nervous disposition allowed.  It was a fascinating and unique experience.
  Finally, after booking tickets last May, 33 members took their clean handkerchiefs along to a stunning production of War Horse at the State Theatre in March. I noticed that most of them were in use by the final scene of this emotional and exciting production. Yes, it was sad, but also uplifting and amazing. We were privileged to be invited to stay for a Q and A session after the show, when three cast members, including two puppeteers, shared their experiences with us.  

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South Pacific The Musical Review - Joan Jeffries, January 2013

What a treat this was for the group of U3A members who saw the matinee performance at the Princess Theatre on November 21st! 
  We all wanted to sing along to the well-known songs, including Some Enchanted Evening, Bali Hai, and There Is Nothing Like a Dame. And we Washed That Man Right Out of Our Hair along with Lisa McCune. The magnificent and powerful voice of Teddy Tahu Rhodes vibrated right through the theatre, and Eddie Perfect was an entertaining and entrepreneurial Sergeant Billis.
  Set on a Pacific island during World War Two, “South Pacific” included tragedy as well as humour, and was ahead of its time in exploring issues of racial prejudice.

But at the end of the performance, we were left smiling, with memories of terrific performances and catchy tunes inside our heads.

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 August & September Events Reports - Shirley Mason, September 2012

Over 100 members attended the "Going for Gold" Winter Lunch at the William Angliss Institute on August 31st. Our charismatic guest speaker, Mr Perry Hannah, spoke eloquently about the history of Gold in Australia and passed around a gold nugget and a solid gold plate. Rumours that certain members were trying to smuggle the gold out of the building are untrue, but Bev Peterson, the winner of the Golden Raffle Basket, did have to leave it over the weekend and collect it by car the following week as it was so big. Sadly, Alice Landau, the donor of this magnificent prize had to miss the lunch as she had broken her pelvic bone. We all wish you a speedy recovery Alice and thank you again for your generosity.

The President’s guests included Councillor Jackie Watts, Cliff Picton from La Trobe University, Anne Thompson from the U3A Network and Elsie Mutton the Network President. And I understand some of the ideas from the lunch may "filter" through to other U3A clubs!

Other recent events have included a return visit to Question Time at Parliament where members narrowly avoided being involved in a demonstration outside the House. I understand that two U3A members left before tea was served afterwards at Madam Brussels. If they would care to contact me the Management of the restaurant would like them to go back for complimentary Tea and Cupcakes.

Another fun evening at Maggie T's in Collins St included the latest fashions as well as Bubbles and Nibbles. And 10 members were quick off the mark when I managed to obtain 10 tickets  for a matinee performance of the Eiffman Ballet - so quick that your hard working Events Coordinator missed out too! A highlight of the ABC Studios visit was sitting on the sofa used in the Breakfast program. I’m sure we were all imagining we were presenters!  

And finally, the Australian Ballet School tour was an absolute highlight. We felt privileged to watch students in class, to learn about the work of this institution and to view footage of the performances of these future international artists. The photo below shows Members listening to Trish Roath, head of Philanthropy at the Australian Ballet School.




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A big day out at the MCG - Jeanne Klovdahl, July 2012

On Monday, 9th July, 29 U3A souls assembled at the entrance to the ‘G’ to be guided by long-term volunteer Geoffrey Taylor.  Led first to the well-maintained playing field, we learned about the MCG’s history, crowd capacity (100,018!) and versatility of usage.  Not only has the facility accommodated cricket and Australian football, but a host of other field sports.  The tour also included the bathing, exercise, physio and drug-testing areas, the exclusive corporate box seat room, library (currently only 3% capacity) and inner sanctum of the Melbourne Cricket Club (the ‘Long Room.’).  Geoff’s fascinating  presentation was spiced with humorous tidbits.

Lunch followed with choice of salmon with vegies or beef pie with salad.  Next was the self-guided component, visiting the extensive National Sports Museum which included every sport imaginable, various legendary cricket and football greats, Olympic Games from the early 1900s and treasures from a priceless donated collection.  In short, this was an experience that even the uninitiated and marginally interested could appreciate and enjoy.

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Question Time at Parliament - Nancy Norris, April 2012

On Wednesday 18 April thirty-one of our members enjoyed an afternoon looking over Victoria's Parliament House and sitting in on Question Time in the Lower House.  We all met on the Spring Street steps at 1.30pm.  After passing through Security we had time to admire the Vestibule with its beautiful tiled floor before being escorted by a guide into the Great Hall (Queen's Hall) and upstairs to the Public Gallery in the Lower House before the start of Question Time.  Our guide gave us some interesting facts and dates about how and when the building was erected and also some insights into the procedure and history of Question Time.
  However, I think it is fair to say that, while we found Question Time very interesting, many of us found the rather rowdy behaviour of some Members on both sides of the political floor somewhat off-putting and disappointing.  
  After Question Time it was back downstairs for a quick peek into the Upper House before being met in Queens Hall by Bronwyn Pike, Member for Melbourne, who fielded some more questions from us before showing us the magnificent Library, then taking us downstairs to what used to be the stables and where some Members now have their offices.  There was then a tour of the gardens before most of us continued on to the Park Hyatt Hotel for a glass of bubbly and a delicious Devonshire Tea in its very elegant dining room.
  All in all, a very interesting and enjoyable afternoon.  Not to worry if you missed out this time as I understand another tour is being arranged for this year, probably in August.

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 The Lilydale Travellers - Faye Huang, March 2012

On the 30th of March 2012, I joined a tour to Lilydale together with other 17 members of U3A Melbourne City. That was the most enjoyable experience since I became a U3A member in late January this year.
  Our tour started from 9:15am to 5:00pm that day. During this period, we visited Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, enjoyed a delicious lunch near the museum, then visited the winery “Chandon” and had afternoon tea in a café before we left for Melbourne from Lilydale.
  It was a well organized and interesting tour. Everybody was happy that day. I was very much impressed by the friendly atmosphere in our tour group composed of members with different cultural background and age.