Early in 1994 Gordon Mason investigated the possibility of establishing U3A in the Toronto area. He approached Hunter U3A for information and then went to the Hunter Regional Council of Adult Education for assistance. Gordon felt that this would be a project suitable for the local Probus clubs but this was not to be. He organised a meeting with a representative from Hunter U3A, Glenys Borkett, CEO of HRCAE and Joan Coulton who was also interested in the organisation and Pearl Fahey who was a member of the Hunter U3A Management Committee.
HRCAE covered the initial expenditure for the first term.
As a result of this meeting it was decided to advertise U3A by speaking at the various services and Probus clubs and invite interested people to attend a
meeting, which was held at the Toronto RSL. As a result of this meeting a Steering Committee was formed:
President: Joan Coulton
Secretary: Mel Davies
Treasurer: Enid Banks
Assistant Secretary: Elizabeth Adamson
Publicity Officer: Gordon Mason
Ordinary Member: Pearl Fahey
A representative from Lake Macquarie City Council attended this initial meeting and provided our first batch of official letterheads. LMCC allowed us to adopt their Logo into the design of our own.
After a lot of hard work by a dedicated steering committee Lake Macquarie U3A was launched. Our first term commenced on 29 th August 1994. Seven courses were presented up to 24 September and a further seven between 6 th October and 21 st November 1994. Our first General Meeting was held on the 24 th November at the Toronto Masonic Hall when it was decided that Lake Macquarie U3A would be taken over by Lake Macquarie U3A Incorporated. (21 st December 1994). Membership fee of $20 per year.
At our first General Meeting membership numbered 159 and this was believed to be a record for first term membership of a U3A in Australia.
Since that time we have progressed to providing more than 100 courses for more than 450 members this year. It must be noted that two of the courses in 1994 were Bridge and Tai Chi. Since then Edna Murray and Bette Sunerton have presented these courses each semester and are still doing so. Much work by many people has made Lake Macquarie U3A Incorporated the successful organisation it is today.
Written in 30 June 2004.
Note: In 2019 (our 25 th Anniversary year) we have almost 800 members