So what is U3A-Larnaca?

In a word: You get together, meet new friends, and do the things  which

give you pleasure. This can be reviving old skills which you have; recalling

knowledge from long ago; or even tackling brand new subjects in which

you felt an interest but previously lacked the time or the know-how to

pursue.


Origins and Development

The seeds for 'Lifelong Learning for Older People' were sown at the

Summer School of the Université du Troisième Age (U3A) held in

Toulouse in 1972. This led within a year to the formation of the

'International Association of U3As' (AIUTA).In the UK, the U3A started

with the creation of the 'Third Age Trust' * in 1982. This organisation was

totally independent of any universities once it was realised that Third Age

persons had the skills to organise and teach in their own autonomous

learning groups.


Legal Note

* The word “university” cannot be used as an official or legal title as this

confuses us with the likes of ‘Oxford’, ‘Cambridge’, ‘Balham’ and even

‘Cyprus’. So officially U3A is just a name in Cyprus (as well as UK), it

cannot officially stand for anything.

Each U3A develops its own character in response to local needs and

resources. All administrative and study group activities are carried out on

a completely voluntary and unpaid basis. The only costs which may occur

are administrative in nature (refreshments, hire of rooms, etc.).


In Cyprus

The first U3A was launched in Limassol in May 2003. Soon an organisation

was established in Paphos and this was followed in Larnaca. The

organisations in Cyprus originally followed the UK model, namely:

there is no distinction between those who teach and those who learn;

-  individuals learn what they like, at the pace they prefer;

-  no qualifications are needed to enter and none are awarded;

-  it’s all done for the pleasure it brings.


U3A-Larnaca

The Larnaca public had its first get-together December 2006 when a

Steering Committee was formed. This comprised a chairman, secretary,

treasurer, group-coordinator and membership secretary. Over the

following months they arranged publicity, contacted prospective members

and found leaders who could organise various groups. By the beginning of

March 2007 we were ready to launch our first activities.


U3A-Larnaca begins

Other functions of this Steering Committee involved preparation for the

first Annual General Meeting when the Steering Committee would be

replaced by a Committee elected by members. A simple Constitution

would be presented for acceptance. This would describe who we were,

what we did and how we did it. A bank account was established.


The Constitution

The constitution gives an outline of the organisation under three headings;

(1) Establishment (2) Meetings (3) Committee.

Amendments to the Constitution can be proposed at the Annual General

Meetings (AGM).

The day-to-day running is in the hands of a committee which is required

to be elected annually at the AGM. A basic guide to their functions is given

in the Constitution.


Basically:

Our Establishment is a non-profit-making organisation. Membership is

open to all nationalities living in Cyprus who are over the age of eighteen

and no longer in full time employment. The base language is English.

Dissemination of information is usually by E-mail but can be otherwise

delivered where required.We provide facilities for the sharing of

knowledge, skills, interests and pastimes to our members. To this end any

member may establish, organise and/or lead a “Group”. All groups will be

self-supporting with regard to administration and finance, though

assistance in start-up costs may be requested. There is a membership fee

(which includes an initial joining fee) and an annual renewal fee. The rate

is set by the Committee.

The essential element of U3A-Larnaca is naturally its members and their

enjoyment in participating in ‘Courses, Events, Functions’ whatever.

If you are not yet a member and are reading this I can only urge you to

try us out!  Most groups will allow you to participate in their activities a

couple of times on a trial basis before you join. (We net quite a few

members this way).

To find out more, visit our next section " What Do We Do ? "