Issue number one hundred and eighty (January 2016) from the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance and WorldU3A Service. Sent on the first day of every month to U3A members and kindred groups anywhere in the world.
Feel free to copy any or all of this information in your newsletters.
Please send items of possible interest to the editor, Tom Holloway.

COP21 PARIS: On Thursday 10th December 2015, Prof François Vellas, AIUTA President and Prof Celimene (Martinique), Prof Parsuramen (Mauritius) and Prof Cocossis (Greece) participated in a panel in the International COP21 Paris Conference on "Climate Change".

One of the main point was to focus on the traditional know-how and culture so as to fight against negative impacts of climate change. AIUTA will implement a follow up to contribute to the Action Plan on Climate Change by inter-generational awareness.

Ce jeudi 10 décembre 2015, François Vellas, Président de l'AIUTA ainsi que deux membres du Conseil d'Administration de l'AIUTA Pr Celimene (Université des Antilles Martinique) et Pr Parsuramen (U3A Mauritius) ainsi que Pr Cocossis de Grèce sont intervenus dans une session organisée par AFL dans le cadre de la Conférence Internationale de la COP21 à Paris. L'AIUTA va assurer un suivi en contribuant à la diffusion des savoirs par une approche transgénérationnelle.
SENEGAL: On Tuesday 15th December, Minister Viviane Laure Elisabeth BAMBASSY, Minister of Public Affairs Republic of Sénégal chaired the second official opening of the lectures at Dakar University of Third Age. Professor François Vellas, AIUTA President delivered the lecture on the U3A Movement in Africa and the World. A large audience attended this event with participation from the world of politics and economics in Senegal.

Mardi 15 Décembre 2015, Madame Viviane Laure Elisabeth BAMBASSY, Ministre de la Fonction Publique du Sénégal a présidé la séance officielle du 2eme cours inaugural de l'Université du troisième Age du Sénégal à Dakar, délivré par le Professeur François Vellas, Président de l'AIUTA en présence du Président Camara de l'Université du Troisième Age du Sénégal et de son équipe, des étudiants séniors et de nombreuses personnalités du monde politique et économique du Sénégal.

A programme in French for the Reims Conference is available as a pdf document here >>>

U3A Norfolk Island is alive and well and welcomes visitors. Islanders are descendants from the Bounty Mutineers (see re-enacted above) who came here from Pitcairn Island in 1856. The Norfolk language and culture is still alive and practised everyday. And yes, we still speak Norf’k, the language brought here by the Pitcairners, which is a mix of Tahitian and “old country English”. For more information click here >>>

Language Learning Groups: Possibly the simplest and most effective website for language learning. Can be accessed by laptop or smart phone at any convenient time. Fourteen languages at beginner's level or advanced. Click here to learn more >>>

Living longer:
European societies are living longer but are these extra years healthy ones? Research recently published in The Lancet suggests that the answer to this question crucially depends on what you mean by “healthy”. For some health measures such as cognitive impairment, which includes problems such as memory loss and an inability to learn new things, we found that these extra years are indeed healthy.

But according to other measures these extra years are also increasingly being spent with disability, although this is with milder levels of disability rather than severe. For more details go to or click on

U3A in Canada? The University of Calgary Emeritus Association is in the process of forming a U3A Group in Calgary. Our correspondent is Dr Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, Associate Professor Emerita University of Calgary, and we look forward to bringing you more news about their progress. In the meantime we recommend the newsletter of the Alberta Association of Gerontology, attached as a pdf document here >>>

Needlework/knitting Groups: Lots of free knitting patterns available as pdf downloads at this website >>>

Also recommended is the TIPNUT website -- a wonderful collection of Craft Projects, Patterns & Tutorials, all of them free.

History Groups:
This excellent website contains BBC videos of Nelson's flagship HMS Victory and a one-hour programme about the discovery, raising and current investigation of Henry the Eighth's flagship HMS Mary Rose. This is also available on YOUTUBE if you click here >>> and so down-loadable using the free programme Replay Media Catcher. The website also has some excellent podcasts of a more academic nature.

Book Groups - a personal comment from your editor: I can clearly recall standing with my Boy Scout troop on one lovely summer day in 1944 and watching, with great joy and satisfaction, as wave after wave of aircraft passed overhead to form one of the thousand-bomber raids on Germany that killed hundreds of innocent civilians, day after day. But now, seventy years later, the numbers as well as the method of delivery have totally changed.

In his brilliant book "The Better Angels of Our Nature" Professor Steven Pinker gives us a historical perspective on how bad the world was in the past and how levels of violence have dropped over many centuries. This is one of the most important books of the decade - strongly recommended.

U3A PATRIKA - News from the Indian Society of U3A and U3A-INDIA

In the last few weeks of 2015 significant changes have taken place. The Indian Society of U3As (ISU3A) South Zone has now relaunched under a new registered name U3A-INDIA, based in Bangalore, and it is inviting members from any of India's States to join.

Elections have taken place and the officers are as follows: Chairman: M.R.Rangaswamy, Vice-chairman: B. Linga Reddy, Vice-chairman: Narayan R. Rao Secretary: Madan N. Baldota, Finance: K. Gopalakrishna, Internal Auditor: Shridhar N. Bhat.

THE LANCET - Universal health coverage in India: This review summarises the key challenges facing the country's health-care system.

Despite substantial improvements in some health indicators in the past decade, India contributes disproportionately to the global burden of disease, with health indicators that compare unfavourably with other countries. Large health disparities between states, between rural and urban populations, and across social classes persist.

A large proportion of the population is impoverished because of high out-of-pocket health-care expenditures and suffers the adverse consequences of poor quality of care. The Lancet review makes the case not only for more resources but for a radically new architecture for India's health-care system.

4th International Conference on “ Blissful-Graceful-Healthy Ageing” –cum- get-together of Senior Citizens is scheduled to be held at Nishkam Sewa Trust on the serene & Holy Banks of Ganges in HARIDWAR from 19th to 21st March'2016. It will be an opportunity to take part in ARDH KUMBHA at Haridwar to be held from mid Jan to 1st week of April'2016.

Senior Citizens Council of Delhi is organizing the Conference in association with ARSP (Haridwar Chapter). Like past years, the Council would bear 50% cost of the Conference charges in respect of 100 members on first come first serve basis. Accordingly, Haridwar Conference registration form containing aforesaid information is enclosed here >>>

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is a joint initiative of the IITs and IISc. Through this initiative, we offer online courses and certification in various topics.

Online courses are free for all, Certification exam: For a nominal fee. For video introduction and full details see the website >>>

U3A Delhi Seniors honoured by Presidential visit:
Bibi Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, GCSK, CSK, PhD is a Mauritian biodiversity scientist who serves as President of Mauritius. As such, she is the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Republic of Mauritius. On behalf of ISU3A and Senior Citizens Council of Delhi, the President, J.R.Gupta, felicitated the Honourable President with flowers, memento and shawl as respect and regards in the presence of Mauritius High Commissioner.
U3A Bhavana Lucknow Activity December: A Free Medical Checkup & Treatment Mega Camp was organized on Sunday, December 13, 2015 jointly by Bharatiya Varishtha Nagarik Samiti (U3A Bhavana), Astha Old Age Hospital and S.C. Trivedi Memorial Trust Hospital at Triveni Nagar, Lucknow.

On 20th December old but usable clothes (Woolen, jeans and cotton), Toys, Games and Books for kids were distributed to the children of Informal Education Centre, near Aurangabad Railway Xing, Lucknow. Also in Bhagautipur village, dist Lucknow, 100 new woolen blankets were distributed to very poor families headed by senior citizens.
Thank you A K Malhotra for pictures and information supplied.

U3A Online: A complete GEMs Archive - Rick Swindell's newsletter - pdf printouts of all prior editions can be found at

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