GETTING ARTY: Kathy Williams, Margy Dawson and Annette Davies of the U3A Mosaics group.
GETTING ARTY: Kathy Williams, Margy Dawson and Annette Davies of the U3A Mosaics group. DEIRDRE SMITH

Senior years full of surprises

THE birthday present Annette Joyce gave herself when she turned 80 was a little out of the ordinary.

She got her nose pierced.

It wasn't a lifelong dream - Annette only thought of it five years ago.

"Everybody told me not to do it,” she said.

Annette's friend at the U3A Mosaics group, Kathy Williams, is planning to go scuba-diving for her 80th, "even though it's years away''.

The later years of life are no longer synonymous with pull-on pants and a comfortable chair in front of the television.

For many, it's a lively and stimulating part of their lives and Seniors Week events, starting on Saturday, will celebrate all the things those in retirement and semi-retirement can get up to.

University of the Third Age (U3A) president Julie Barnes is also a member of the Mosaics group and she is a big supporter of the organisation's goal, which is to connect seniors with life-long learning.

She's also part of the gardening group and is studying science.

"It's great learning about things like geology,” Julie said. "I never did much science at school and we have an excellent teacher here.”

Apart from learning, Julie said the group served an important social function in getting people out of the house.

Half the group's members live alone and, while most members are in their 60s and 70s, there are older members.

"The word 'university' can put people off,” Julie said.

"But it encourages people to continue to learn new things.”

U3A activities in Seniors Week are: Wednesday, August 21, 10am at the Railway Gardens for a session on drought-resistant gardening; Thursday, August 22 at noon at the RSL for lunch with a talk by artist Franco Arcidiacono about his mural project; and on Friday, August 23, a trip to Toowoomba for a tour of the Empire Theatre.

Stanthorpe Fitness Centre will hold tai chi, heart fit and line dancing sessions throughout the week.

On Saturday, August 17, there will be an introduction to the game of pickleball, a paddle and ball sport that is suitable for seniors.

Phone Chanel on 4681 2411 for more information.

The Stanthorpe Museum will offer tours on Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18 and Wednesday to Sunday, August 21-25. Contact Lorene Long on 4681 1711.

Artworks Granite Belt at the railway station will have entertainment by town crier Bob Townsend on Monday, August 19, a card making demonstration and workshop on Tuesday, August 20 and bocce and morning tea on Friday, August 23.

Stanthorpe Croquet Club will have a Come and Try day on Wednesday, August21. On Thursday, August 22, a three-hour painting session will be held by Rosy Chapman at QCWT.

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