Greetings from Howell Jones U3A Cairns Inc.

Name and Location: Situated in tropical Queensland, Australia 146° East by 17°South with easy access to both the ancient rainforests and Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is home to some 120,000 residents and is an extremely popular tourist centre. U3A Cairns was established in 1990 and currently enjoys a membership of over 400.

Although we do not have our own premises, our meeting facilities include member’s homes, church halls and various community centres, and an international Golf Club with breath taking views across the Coral sea and the home of Exploring Music

Annual membership is $20 pp or $30 per couple. We also operate, mainly for long term visitors, a membership fee of $2 a month. Apart from initial set-up costs, each activity is self supporting and normally incurs an admin fee of a couple of dollars.

Range of activities: These are categorized into three areas: Academic, Health and Social. We have excellent academic facilities at the local university and each semester will see thirty or more members studying a variety of subjects from higher mathematics to social services. In addition to university study we normally offer several language courses, two art groups, two music groups, a poetry group which is no stranger to local radio, computer training, genealogy and various creative writing classes, also a variety of study and discussion groups.

The three most popular group activities are Exploring Music (classical), Mah Jong, and the monthly social lunches. A smaller group celebrate each full moon with an outdoor supper party and in four years have seldom been forced undercover by rain.

What I like about my U3A: I was the founding president of U3A Cairns and have been committed to its development since the beginning. I always enjoy welcoming new colleagues from a wide age range and all walks of life, who individually and collectively can add so much enrichment to our Association.

Now that we have several members in their nineties we have recently decided that at ninety, members become honorary members for life without subscription.

My personal message: Whenever I produce a U3A booklet, the back page always carries the statement which I believe sums up the importance of U3A:

“Time used is life – time wasted is existence”