Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

Held at ‘diggers @ the entrance’

315 The Entrance Road, The Entrance

on Wednesday 7th December 2011



The meeting was declared open at 10.28 a.m. with the President, John Collis, in the chair, who confirmed that a quorum was present   He welcomed 43 members  and one guest. 


Apologies were received from: 

Margaret Barnett, Henriette Vanechop,

Charlie Proctor, Pam McGlinn, Edward McGlinn,

Judy Writer, Eva Seale, Borge Andreasen,

Valda Lambert, Shirley Peak, Graham Peak


Proxies:  None


Minutes of the previous AGM held at ‘diggers @ the entrance’ on 8th December 2010 were read by the Secretary.  The President  reported that an amendment is required to these Minutes, to record that Gloria Watson was appointed to the Committee.  With this amendment it was moved by the President that Minutes be adopted unanimously; seconded Rita Richards.



Welcome to the thirteenth Annual General Meeting of Tuggerah Lakes U3A Inc.


Our association was formed in 1998.  Like other U3As, our purpose is to provide opportunities for older people to continue to learn at minimal cost.   And we achieve that objective. This year, we provided 60 hours of educational talks covering a wide variety of topics, and ran 300 hours of courses. 

Where else can you obtain up to 360 hours of education in return for an annual membership fee of $20 and a nominal attendance charge of $1 for tea and biscuits?


One secret of our success is that we are managed and run by our members, without charge.  Even the 21 invited speakers this year from outside our association donated their time and services. We thank them for coming to talk to us. 


There are currently 156 members of our U3A. 


In the year to 30 September, 14 members gave talks or lectures, and 9 members ran regular classes. 


Other members managed and set up our audio visual equipment.  This year, we had 35 presentations, almost all requiring the computer, projector and sound system. Unfortunately, we have been short of volunteers in this area, so Tom Marish and Tommy Thomas have had to do most of this work.


Nine members gave their time during the year by serving on our management committee, putting together our newsletters, arranging topics and speakers, booking our meeting rooms, arranging our socials, managing our money and keeping our membership registers. 


So in all, more than twenty members have contributed their time and efforts during 2011. Some gave 20 hours - a few days work - to prepare and deliver a talk. At the other end of the scale, a few members gave as much as 200 hours or even more of their time during the year. That is, about 4 or 5 hours a week.


On behalf of us all, I thank every member who has contributed to the running of our U3A during 2011, and applaud the contribution they have made.


There is one other reason why we can offer talks and courses at minimal cost, namely that diggers @The entrance allow us to use their meeting rooms without charge.  We are very fortunate and I record our gratitude to diggers.  I encourage all of you to become members of diggers as a practical way of saying thank you.

After thanking all these contributors to our U3A in general terms, it is appropriate to single out four members of our Committee who are standing down from onerous positions.  Three of them are not standing for places on the new Committee.


Cam Rhodes has served as our Treasurer for the past three years and is now stepping down, as required by our Constitution.  As Treasurer, Cam has maintained meticulous records of all our transactions.  I can attest to this because last year, and again this year, Cam has asked me to review his accounts and records, and countersign his financial statement for the Committee and the AGM.


Tony Thomson has served us well as Publicity Officer for the past three years. He has done an excellent job, designing and producing brochures for placement in libraries and elsewhere, answering enquiries on the telephone, and arranging mentions of our U3A’s activities on the radio and in the newspaper. Our membership has risen by twenty over the last three years. Tony is standing down from the Committee due to other commitments.


Mary Baggott has been our very efficient Secretary this year, despite having heavy commitments as Secretary at her retirement village.  To my regret, Mary has decided not to stand for another year.  I have admired her intelligence, her brevity and her shorthand.  I hope she will stand for the Committee again when she has more time.


Gloria Watson is standing for the new Committee, but is standing down as our Course Co-ordinator, a position she has carried out brilliantly for two years.  During that time she has arranged about 70 talks with a wide range of topics and internal and external speakers. This year, the talks were attended by an average of 22 people. Gloria says modestly that the willingness of members to present on their area of interest/expertise meant that filling the timetable was not a difficult chore.  She says some members may think they have been forgotten but this is not so; their names are 'on the list' and they will be asked to present again.


On behalf of us all, I thank Cam, Tony, Mary and Gloria for all the time and effort they have given to our U3A.  We applaud them.


After serving us for many years as the Public Officer of our association, Charlie Proctor resigned with effect from 26 November.  It has been his duty each year to sign and lodge on behalf of our U3A the annual statement and financial details required by the Office of Fair Trading.  He also had to lodge details whenever we have changed our Constitution.  Charlie could not be present today, but on behalf of all members, I wish to record our thanks to him for carrying out the duties of that position for many years.


The Committee has asked Cam Rhodes to be our new Public Officer.  I am very pleased to announce that he has accepted this position with effect from today.


I turn now to other aspects of our activities during 2011.


In January 2011, we launched our new website. About 30 people use our website each month.  On average, they spend between three and five minutes looking at the information we provide.  To find our website, just type Tuggerah lakes U3A into your search engine


In February, the Australian Taxation Office endorsed our Association as exempt from income tax, back-dated to 2009, on the grounds that we are a charitable organisation.  It may seem strange that we are charitable, but more than a century ago, the Law Courts decided that organisations which provide education for public benefit, on a not-for-profit basis, are charitable.


We held three social events during 2011.


Following a talk by Pam McGlinn on the history of the Hawkesbury, we had a very successful cruise and lunch on the Hawkesbury. Around 50 people went on the trip, mostly members. After a small subsidy from our U3A funds, the cost of the trip to members was $48, while non-members paid $58.


Another outing was made on a very rainy day for lunch at the Ourimbah TAFE catering school restaurant, with those attending paying the full cost.  


In addition to these trips, we held one social get-together here at diggers with light refreshments, without any charge for members attending.


Pam McGlinn tells me that plans are being made for a bus trip cum social day early next year.  She says that some of our social days are not well attended.  If anyone has any suggestions for what they would like us to do in the future, please pass them on to Pam or to any Committee member.


Our Funds

As will be seen from the Treasurer’s report, our healthy bank balance has reduced by about $1300 during the year.  This reduction in our funds was planned by the Committee at the end of last year.  It was achieved by reducing the tea money charge at all of our talks and courses from $2 to $1.  The reduced tea charge will probably continue for the time being, unless the new Management Committee decide otherwise.



Jayne Davis has been our Welfare Officer for several years.  Although she is standing for the committee for next year, she will not be continuing with welfare.  Jayne reports that cards have been sent to several members who have been hospitalised during the year for illnesses or operations of one kind or another. 


I conclude my report for 2011 with an observation and a question for us all to think about. There are many thousands of seniors and retired people in the Tuggerah Lakes area, and probably a dozen large retirement villages or more.  Why, when we have so much to offer, is our association not attracting more of these people to become members?  Is it due to lack of publicity and ignorance of our existence?  Is it due to misconceptions about what we do? Is it due to transport?  And what can we do about it?                                                                                            



Cam Rhodes presented his report for the period 1st October 2010 to 30th September 2011:


         Book balance 1.10.10                                                               $8,411.92

         Receipts                                                                                    $9,150.45

         Payments                                                                              -$10,454.70

         Book balance 30.9.11                                                               $7,107.67


Treasurer moved that his report be accepted, seconded John Richards and Jayne Davis.





The President vacated the chair and Dorothy Rhodes, Life Member, took the chair and acted as Returning Officer.  She thanked the outgoing Committee for their work over the year, and particularly John as President who has performed his duties with the utmost efficiency.  Four members are standing down this year.


Nominations had been received and seconded for all positions, and there being only one nomination for each position, Dorothy declared the following members elected for 2012:


         President:      John Collis

Vice President:      Gloria Watson
         Secretary:      Rhonda MacDiarmid        

         Treasurer:     Peter Gloss


         Committee Members: 

                                 Harvey Birtwistle

                                 Dianne Cunningham

                                 Jayne Davis

                                 Pamela McGlinn

                                 Doreen Morley

                                 Betty Siegman


President thanked Dorothy for conducting the election of our new committee.


The President feels that some members wonder what goes on at some of the courses we conduct, and later in the meeting will ask some of the Course Leaders to talk about their groups as this may encourage other members to join in next year.


An interesting U3A Network NSW promotional DVD explaining what U3A’s do was shown – this is available to any member who may wish to show it at meetings of other nearby associations.


Betty Siegman, Course Leader – Cryptic Crosswords and Music Appreciation

Betty said that many people don’t understand how to do Cryptic Crosswords, and there are about twelve types of clues.  At present eight to ten people have taken up the challenge;  we always have some homework with a few clues being given.  Some people start off without any idea of what its about, but it’s always worth taking on a challenge.  As regards Music Appreciation, if you enjoy classical music you’ll enjoy this course – we just listen to music.  Over the years this course has covered instruments of the orchestra;  a DVD presentation by Richard Gill on symphony orchestras;  composers during different periods;  classical music as used in movies;  music written especially for movies;  20th century composers;  jazz.  You don’t have to be a musician, or know anything about it, to enjoy these classes.


Dorothy Rhodes – Reading Group & Play Reading Group

Dorothy explained that the Reading Group was originally called the Book Group, and has been running since Tuggerah Lakes U3A started.   We don’t all read the same book – we find a theme and group members all read a book on that subject.  We’re happy for anyone to sit in on a session to see how we operate – you don’t have to read a book on the current topic.                              

The Play Reading Group is not operating at present, but if anyone would like to take this over we have copies of about six plays available as well as about three boxes of plays – some have already been distributed to other U3A groups.


Jayne Davis - Creative Writing

Unfortunately the Creative Writing  group meets on the same day as Cryptic Crosswords.  We have a lot of fun with various members taking the classes – it is not a structured course.  We study  memoirs, poetry, etc., and show members how to use their imagination to write on these subjects.  We have homework, but you’re not thrown out if you don’t do it! Classes are held at Toukley.  Please come and join us – it’s a fascinating journey.


John Collis summarised, saying not all our courses are serious learning.  Some are designed to stimulate your brain, i.e. mah-jong, cryptic crosswords etc., provide a challenge which we all need at times.  Come along and have a look, and have fun.


Three new [.... Committee members...] were invited to give a ‘potted history’ of their experiences.


Rhonda MacDiarmid, Secretary

Rhonda has raised three children, has ten grandchildren and works [twice a] fortnight as a nurse.  She is involved with the Girl Guides Association as District Leader.


Peter Gloss, Treasurer

Peter was asked by his wife if he wanted to be Treasurer.  Following a health problem a few years ago he had to change his lifestyle and did an accounting course, achieving an Advanced Diploma in Accounting.  Has worked with H & R Block.  He has three children, is expecting a grandchild soon, and has lived in the area for about 20 years.


Diane Cunningham

Has been part of the Creative Writing group, and does outside work from time to time.  Tony Thomson invited her to become Publicity Officer.  There are a lot of things coming up next year, and a lot of people look for the fun aspect of courses.  Diane asks that members let their friends know that U3A is about having fun – it is not a totally serious organisation.  She asks that members give her idea on where she should start to provide more publicity for Tuggerah Lakes U3A – notice boards in shopping centres etc.   The following members commented on publicity for us:  Barbara Skurr – one of her neighbours has asked her to speak at the Mary McKillop church and Mary McKillop School on the subject of U3A.    Rhonda Byrne - suggested placing brochures in local clubs.   Tommy Thomas, who lives in a retirement village, includes mention of Tuggerah Lakes U3A in their newsletter.


The meeting closed at 11.42 a.m. and was followed by lunch.