Dame Marie Bashir will help U3A Wollongong celebrate its 30th birthday on February 5

Dame Marie Bashir will be in Wollongong on Monday, February 6. Picture: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media.
Dame Marie Bashir will be in Wollongong on Monday, February 6. Picture: Dominic Lorrimer/Fairfax Media.

Dame Marie Bashir will drop by Wollongong on Monday, February 5 to help U3A celebrate its 30th birthday.

The former NSW Governor will be in attendance at the Wollongong Salvation Army Conference Centre when U3A launches its program of activities for 2018.

Her Excellency, who is good friends with Wollongong U3A member Pam Allen, will cut the birthday cake with Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, who will also address the group.

Spokesperson Aileen Harland said Wollongong U3A held its first planning meeting in the old Wollongong Town Hall building on February 1, 1988.

The group commenced its activities on March 24 of that year.

“Older members tell us that things started quietly, then suddenly, through the front foyer and the back door people arrived and very soon the conference room was bursting at the seams, people were sitting on the steps and standing in the corridor – in all 76 people,” Ms Harland explained.

From its small beginning, Wollongong U3A has now grown to over 300 – said to be the largest seniors group of its type in the region.

It caters for people aged in their late 50’s to mid 90’s from all walks of life, from retired labourers to secretaries to teachers to university professors.

Today there are lectures, excursions, holidays, 7km walking trips around Sydney, specialist smaller groups for photography, philosophy, current affairs and a film group.

“We are an inclusive body, and we welcome seniors from all backgrounds to our activities,” Ms Harland said.

Visit www.wollongong.u3anet.org.au or email u3awollongong@gmail.com to get involved or for more information.

This story A vice regal visit to help U3A Wollongong celebrate its 30th first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.