U3A in London Update – 6 December 2021

This information was published on: December 06, 2021

From The Committee re the Cafeteria

Your committee is aware that members are concerned about the cafeteria. Please be reassured that it is receiving our active attention; some of us have had a meeting with the representative of WacArts, the landlord who deals with this matter, and with Joanna Rapkin to ascertain the facts.

At a committee meeting last week, a substantial majority resolved that Anthony Sober should invite Herbie to join him to work together to liaise with Jo and the landlord to try to resolve the problems which exist.

Monday Morning Talk and the Timetable

The list for next term’s Monday morning talks is now available on our website.

The short summary timetable showing the classes taking place in the Town Hall and the checklist of the Zoom classes including the latest changes can be picked up in the Office and they are on the website.
Instead, of publishing our traditional handbook this year, we have printed a booklet of class descriptions. The latest version is also on the website.

From Naomi

The last week of term has arrived, bringing an end to this strange term.  There was the relief of finally coming back to the Town Hall and meeting friends again and the joy of socialising once more.  Contrasting with this was the absence of too many familiar faces and the ghostlike quality of empty corridors and classrooms.  It feels as if we are ‘Sleeping Beauty’ waiting for our ‘Prince’ to come along and wake us with a kiss.  Omicron has now burst on to our stage.  Let us hope that soon it will disperse just as quickly, with no serious outcome apart from the scare factor.  We are living through a time of great uncertainty.  Maybe because we have lived so long already, we are coping better than younger generations. 

My New Year’s resolution is to make the best of my life and I hope you choose to do the same. If we at U3A can provide that for you, be adventurous and make a determined effort to help yourself and others by returning to classes in the Town Hall next term. I’m not prepared to take unnecessary risks, but just surviving is also unacceptable. 

Next term begins on Monday 10 January. By the time of our A.G.M. on Monday 4 April 2022, I hope that not only the Omicron variant will be in the distant past but that the pandemic is also fading away.  The date to put in your new diary is Monday 4 April, when you can have your say at our A.G.M., whether you attend in person at the Town Hall or via Zoom.

Best wishes for a happy Christmas and a really good year to follow.

From Amalia

This is the last week of the Autumn Term and we will be keeping you updated during the Christmas break.  You will be pleased to learn that many Zoom classes and some of our Town Hall classes will continue during the break, while others will be taking a well-earned rest.  Please speak to your coordinator to discover what is happening to your class.

A new timetable with all the continuing classes plus some new ones will be sent out before the Spring term begins on 10 January.

Changes to note for this coming week:

  1. Lesley Atkinson’s Ancient History Readings on Fridays at 13.15. The class has moved to Room 1.26 (from Room 1.29).
  2. Mathematics In Civilisation. This class is restored. Philip Maher is back at 11.40 on Thursdays ln Room 1.33.
  3. Deborah Freeman’s Hebrew for Beginners on Zoom is now full.
  4. Michael Baum’s Medical Humanities in Room 1.29 will be on 7 December at 12.50 for this week (postponed from last week)
  5. Cercle Francais has moved to Room1.24 on Tuesdays at 11.40 (sorry for last week’s error in the time).
  6. Greek Modern Conversation will return to the Town Hall from 8th December on Wednesdays at 12.50 in Room 1.28.

And to everyone – have a good break and a very Happy New Year!

From Wally

As you may be aware, this is the last week of term but I will show a film during the holidays on Wednesday 15 December at 2.00pm in Room 1.22.  The title will be announced next week.  Turning to this coming week, I am showing the following films at 2.00pm in Room 1.22.

Monday 6th December – Alive Inside a winner of the prestigious US Audience Award at the Sundance Festival.

Alive Inside: A story of Music and Memory has been described as a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capabilities to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.  Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett, the filming took over a year whilst he followed former social worker and founder of Music & Memory, Dan Cohen, on nursing home visits, recording the miraculous effects of playing personalised pieces of music to those with dementia.  The power of the resulting documentary, according to Kenneth Turan in the LA Times is “indisputable”.

Wednesday 8th December’s film is the highly acclaimed La Grande Illusion described by Pamela Hutchinson in her review in the BFI News as “Among the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir’s First World War drama La Grande Illusion – released more than 80 years ago – still packs a powerful punch as a film about humanity’s common bonds … it also argues that, if we want a better world, it’s not sentiment but effort that is required”. 

Thursday 9th December takes us to Greece for A Matter of Dignity where we find Chloe (played by Ellie Lambetti) about to be married to a wealthy upstart in order to save her aristocratic family from financial ruin irrespective of her own feelings …!  This film, however, is so much more than this and is Michael Cacoyannis’s comment on the changing environment, exploring the collapse of the traditional Athenian aristocracy and the rise of the nouveaux riches.  Manos Hatzidakis’a music, with its disparate sonic references to jazz, foxtrot, popular Greek tunes, and classical music, underscores the confusion and internal anxiety of the characters as they struggle to maintain their obsolete social distinctions and hollow personal dignity. (Greek News Agenda).  

I hope you will agree that this is an interesting trio of films and I look forward to seeing you in Room 1.22.

Regards, Wally

From WacArts at Reception

Due to some technical faults in our system, some U3A members have been erased from our database.  Main reception has been informed and we will start adding people back to the system as they come in – please encourage U3A members to stop by main reception on their way in so we can check that their passes work or if we need to add them to the system again.

The list of deleted members- it is quite long but it won’t take long to add everyone back. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

From Stanley Volk

There will be an End of Term Concert with the Singing Group in Room 2.21 on 8th December at 3.30pm.  The group has worked hard, so please come along!  Audience, please wear a mask.

I visited Room 2.21 today, and all went well with the equipment including speakers, the screen and the Zoom link,

If any U3A member who can play an instrument wishes to take part, please contact Stanley. 

Christmas Lunch

Those of us who were lucky enough to secure a place in the cafeteria on 2 December for Joanna’s Christmas luncheon enjoyed a delicious meal.  Here are some pictures of the happy occasion:

From Nigel Hathway – a few places are still available!

London Visits. A new venue is opening in 2023 dedicated to Anti-Apartheid heritage. In anticipation of this, we have been invited to a special meeting on the morning of Friday 7th January to (a) view the small exhibition “Fighting Apartheid In Islington”, (b) learn about the organisation’s work with schools and community groups, and (c) and take part in a creative activity to help design a new publicly accessible garden for the Centre that reflects the rich heritage of collaborative action against apartheid and provides an inspirational space for the communities to come together, reflect, learn and continue to strive for social justice. If you would like further information, please contact Nigel.

From Herbie Goldberg

Herbie apologises for the poor quality of the sound in his first Hybrid class last week. He is sure he will be able to put this right when he deputises for Stephen McGhee, who is unable to take his Music class this week (in Room 1.33 and on Zoom on Wednesday at 12.50).

Carol Concert

The Maggie’s Royal Free Christmas Carol Concert is on Wednesday 8 December at 7pm. We have local performers and choirs along with our team joining in with their band and choir. Tickets are £15 and all proceeds go to our centre so we can continue providing free cancer support to the local community. The link to buy tickets is: https://maggiescarols21.eventbrite.co.uk.

The Myths of u3a

Here is a bit of Christmas fun – an advent calendar to bust some myths, misbeliefs, misperceptions and false news about u3a. Each day you can open a door and see a new myth – with the real situation, the real truth.  We hope this helps you counter some of the rumours that you might hear expressed by members. 

Click on the link each day then open a new door:  u3a Advent Calendar
Have a good festive season.
Jenny Wilson

From the Third Age Trust: The Kindertransport migration

Steve Williams, of Arun East u3a, will be delivering his engaging and informative presentation which gives context to the events of 1939, on Zoom on 9 December at 14.00.  Steve will present some of the key people, many with a u3a connection, involved in rescuing 10,000 children from the threats of Nazi occupation. He will also be introducing some important figures who are less well known.

After a break, Dame Esther Rantzen will be talking to u3a members whose lives were saved and transformed by the Kindertransport migration. Hear about their different experiences, from those who lived through it, from the next generation ensuring their family’s remarkable past is not forgotten, and from the British hosts, who have grown up with Kindertransport foster siblings.
Following on from this talk there are others in the series-Holocaust Survivor-Steven Frank and Christians, Jews and the Holocaust; A family’s journey through uncertainty on Thursday 16th December at 14.00

Book your place at these special u3a learning event, and many other opportunities, via our online events page
Best regards, John Bent
Trustee  London Third Age Trust

To make you smile

Some senior citizens are being criticised for deficiencies in our modern world. We do not try to blame others for our failures. However, upon reflection we would like to point out that it was NOT senior citizens who took:
The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The civility out of behaviour,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,

I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I’m smiling all the time because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.
I’m sure everything I can’t find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.
And …. my ears, nose, tongue, or navel haven’t been pieced with metal rings.



Best Wishes from the Team