No standing still as group for retired flourishes

Incoming chairperson Norma Galway, right, hands over a bouquet to outgoing chairperson Frances McKeown. INPT18-001
Incoming chairperson Norma Galway, right, hands over a bouquet to outgoing chairperson Frances McKeown. INPT18-001

One of the area’s fastest growing organisations has just held its annual meeting - and the indications are there will be further growth in the next year.

The U3A - the University of the Third Age, or more simply an organisation that caters for the retired and semi-retired - is thriving in the Portadown-Lurgan area and the reports from the various convenors underlined another successful year.

Outgoing chairperson Frances McKeown has seen a big growth in membership in the past year - there are now 200 on the list.

She said the variety of interests reflected in the many groups - walking, cycling, bridge, IT. singing, genealogy, art, French, book club - was an indication of the popularity of the organisation.

The groups are all taken by U3A members who have the talent in those chosen fields and the chairman made special mention of Gilford-based Tom Young for all his help in new activities and co-ordinating the various groups.

Monthly talks by outside speakers are attracting much interest among the members and new chairperson Norma Galway will be encouraging this activity in the next year.

Geraldine McIvor, who specialises in genealogy, is secretary and Graham Bass, treasurer.

Membership secretary is Laura McAdam and the committee members are Frances McKeown, Ruth McKinley, Alix Jardine, Tom Young, Wendy Alexander and John Trimble with Maureen Carroll and David Armstrong as ex-offico.

Plans are well in hand for the annual barbecue in Kilbroney, Rostrevor, on May 24 - this is one of the most popular events of the year and members are encouraged to indicate their attendance as soon as possible.

The success of the U3A this year has been in no small measure due to the hard work and dedication of Mrs McKeown.

The incoming chairperson, Mrs Galway, thanked her on behalf of the members and presented her with a bouquet.

Anyone interested in joining the U3A should check out the details on the website.