Issue number one hundred and forty-seven (March 2013) from the WorldU3A Service, sent on the first of every month to U3A members 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.

The U3A Victoria and U3A Asia Pacific Alliance International Conference 2013
will be held in Melbourne Town Hall, on October 14th and 15th. You can find conference registration forms here >>

UK Groups: the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is launching Sharing Heritage.

Sharing Heritage is a new funding programme to help people across the UK explore, conserve and share all aspects of the history and character of their local area.

With a commitment from HLF of £3m each year, grants between £3,000 and £10,000 will now be available to groups who want to discover their local heritage.

This new programme follows the unprecedented success of last year's one-off HLF grant scheme 'All Our Stories', which ran in tandem with BBC Two's The Great British Story: A People’s History, presented by historian, Michael Wood. The scheme was four times oversubscribed and convinced HLF of people's appetite to get involved.

History Groups:
The Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMACL) is a collection of some of the most important literary works of Classical and Medieval civilization. The website is created by Douglas B. Killings and Roy Tennant, and maintained by Roy Tennant on behalf of the academic community. The photo of one of the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries (c. 1511) is used by permission of

Gerontology Research Groups: According to a new publication from the Max Planck Institute "Life expectancy is rising because mortality is falling". The Max Planck institute in Rostock, together with demographers from the university in Berkeley, currently maintain the largest database of such figures, including actual death rates, in the world. The Human Mortality Database contains details from all countries for which reliable data is available – often harking back to the 19th century, and freely available online for researchers and the general public. To learn more click here >>

UK Groups: The concert on Wednesday 17th April is planned specifically for U3A and advertised in Third Age Matters. It will be a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria in the Queens Chapel of the Savoy.

Of additional interest to U3A members may be the pre-concert Walking Tours. The concert was originally planned for 2.00pm but it sold out within a few weeks. However I am delighted to report that we have scheduled a second repeat concert of the same programme at 5.30pm.

Tickets are available from the U3A National Office on 020 8466 6139 or by post; U3A, Old Municipal Buildings, 19 East Street, Bromley BR1 1QE

Politics/Current Events Groups: China will become the most economically dominant country in the world within a couple of decades, if not sooner.

By 2040, 400 million Chinese (26 per cent of the population) will be aged 60 or older. This number is larger than the combined populations of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. To learn more click here >>

U3A Network New South Wales: Seniors Week in 2013 is 17 -24 March. Eight U3As have received funding from the Network to enable them to publicise and conduct Open Days or shopping mall stands and street stalls.

Eighteen U3As have advised of special Seniors Week events they will be hosting, They are Port Macquarie Hastings, Goulburn, Northern Rivers (Lismore), Canberra (ACT), Deniliquin, Newcastle, Kempsey-Macleay Valley, Dorrigo Plateau, Shoalhaven, Shellharbour City, Liverpool, Northern Illawarra, Hawkesbury, Eastlakes, Orange Wollongong, Milton-Ulladulla and Tuggerah Lakes.

Details of these events will be posted on the Network website early in March: if there are other U3As who are hosting special events and wish to be included, please email Ainslie Lamb (editor) at so they can be included.

Report from M.R.Rangaswamy of U3A Jnanajyothi Bengalaru: Finding an ideal venue with suitable facilities is a major constraint for elder groups. Thanks to BNM Educational Institutions we have been given a fully equipped AUDITORIUM for our meetings almost since we began in 1999. As a token of gratitude a ROLE MODEL STUDENT from Montessori to Post – Graduation is felicitated in January every year. The felicitation consists cash coupons from Rs.500/- to Rs.1000/- with citation of blessings and a memento. The student is selected on the basis of behaviour and academic ability.
Moving into a smaller place? Just inherited lots of interesting knick-knacks? Perhaps now is a good time to 'downsize' your possessions and perhaps this website can help you to do it. The founder of the company, Patrick van der Vorst, was a Director and Head of Department at Sotheby's London for over 12 years. All of their antique experts have worked for Sotheby's, Christie's or other leading auction houses, and now offer their knowledge, covering over 35 collecting fields, in order to make the art valuing and appraisal process as straightforward and accessible as possible for you. Their claim is "we don't buy or sell any items, so our approach is completely independent and unbiased!"

London U3A Groups:
Wikimedia UK is hosting an open day and workshops on the future of the charity on Saturday 23 March and we'd love for you to come along.

Wikimedia UK is a growing charity with passionate volunteers, dedicated staff and devoted Trustees. We’re part of the global Wikimedia movement which supports projects such as Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikiversity (to name but three).

If you have an interest in Wikimedia projects, a commitment to open knowledge and the desire to help, we would love you to join us in helping to lead the charity through a period of growth and diversification.

We especially welcome applicants with an experience and understanding of Wikimedia projects but this isn't essential. Energy, positivity and motivation are equally important.

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

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