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M O N T H L Y       M E E T I N G S :   Visitors are always more than welcome
Wednesday 12 April 2017 : PETER TERRY - World War One
We were very privileged to hear Peter Terry, (with his lyrical voice and passion) deliver an audio visual presentation on his favourite subject - World War One - Peter is a well-known actor, playwright and voice artist, who has acted in many plays and he was involved in many aspects of the theatre in South Africa. Peter is currently a literary critic on Classic FM Radio.

FRI 10 Feb 2017: LAURA KIRSTEN - HOSPICE / and then / TICO POPLAK - "Tips" for the home
With the talks centred on "caring and sharing", it was lovely to welcome Laura Kirsten PRO from Hospice East Rand. Laura explained that Hospice, who get no funding from the State, regrettably will not be able to offer In Patient Care from April 2017. They will still offer Home Care and they have well trained and qualified help for those in need. Hospice raise funds through their two shops and need your "junk" in order keep going. They also arrange fun things to raise funds like the up and coming camera action "shoot and go" fun day as well as outings to the theatre. Also holidays to the Drakensburg and the seaside. Their website is or email 083 274 5288
And then…
Tico Poplak and "friends" did a fun interactive session on sharing "Eco-friendly and money saving recipes and tips" (see attachment). It had everyone buzzing about saving money and keeping our environment clean.


Reflecting on this past year, we have had wonderful speakers and have travelled South Africa and the world. From tracing our ancestors, to recounting the life of an ancestor that fought in the Anglo Boer war, to Matjiesfontein and Morocco with Kate. We visited many beautiful churches with Phillip. Meeting dedicated people, like Stan Madden and Jane Trembath, who have worked so hard to protect our wetlands, like Marievale Bird Sanctuary and our very own Korsman Sanctuary, was an absolute honour.
Many thanks to all our guest speakers, without you, we would not have such a successful and well supported U3A.

16th NOVEMBER 2016 : CATHY CHAMBERS : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
What a wonderful morning, in the company of friends, with tea and delightful entertainment provided by Cathy Chambers on 16 November. A big thank you to Cathy for the dancing down memory lane, the foot tapping music from different era's.

Many thanks to Margaret Darby for sharing her home and her garden knowledge on Tuesday 6th December at 1100 - a delicious tea and plants on sale. Thanks Margaret.

THUR 8 Sept 2016 : KORSMAN CONSERVANCY : JANE TREMBATH : Lions Retirement Village : 10h00
What a wonderful presentation. Jane spoke with confidence about the clarity of the water (judged by the dragonflies) and the huge number of bird and plant species in the Pan, as it is fondly known to many. The flamingos have been a highlight this year and now we have Goliath Herons nesting in our very own “backyard”. Jane has a tremendous knowledge of the birds and plants, which she has had to learn in the last two years and wonderful macro photographs she has taken.
What tremendous work is done by Jane and her team to keep the Korsman Sanctuary and the surrounding area “pristine”. Thank you, so much.
Jane’s full time job is a pilot for SAA on the international route and looks after the Conservancy part time (unpaid) and she is another of our unsung Heroes. Thank you to Jane for taking the time and for showing us her many wonderful photo’s. Thanks to all those who attended. It was a delightful morning.
To learn more, go onto the website -
Join Korsman Conservancy and your contribution will make a difference.
If you would like to be on the “whatsapp” link, contact John Livesay on or cell phone number is 073 068 8372.
The Benoni City Times did a lovely write up with photo’s and if you would like to read it “Google” Benoni City Times

WED 10 Aug 2016 : CHURCH TOURISM IN SA : PHILLIPPE MENACHE : Lions Retirement Village : 10h00
What a wonderful talk/visual show. Philippe has done extensive research on most of the churches in our country, from little “dorps” to city centres, talking the most beautiful photographs, outside and in. The focus is on architecture, heritage and the exceptionally varied and wonderful legacy that has been the work of the architects themselves in our town and country churches. The churches are truly a work of art where a sense of peace and tranquillity can be found, which is what started Philippe on his journey.
Phillip has co- written and self-published 3 books and his latest “Church Tourism in SA, was on sale. What a work of art. A wonderful book giving us all a sense that we should be looking out and looking at some of our wonderful heritage that we have in our country.
This book can be purchased directly from Philippe on or 083 307 4041 / 011 782 0763

WEDNESDAY 20 July 2016 : WETLANDS : STAN MADDEN : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
A big thank you to Stan for a wonderful talk and inspiring us to look “ out” for our feathered friends. Stan Madden spoke to a very full audience on the Marievale Bird Sanctuary and the Blesbokspruit Wetlands near Nigel, and also his role in saving one of South Africa’s most important Ramsar Wetlands which boasts over 300 species of birds, with some exotic migrants visiting from time to time.
Stan is one of our unsung Heroes who dedicated his life to conservation and the preservation of this wonderful Sanctuary.
We are planning to visit the Sanctuary with Stan as our guide in October and have a braai or a picnic.
Google “ Marievale bird sanctuary” if you require more info or wish to visit prior to our outing in October. Entrance is free and it is open everyday of the week.

WED 22 June 2016 : FINDING BAZALLEL : JULIE SHAPERO, Genealogist : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
Julie Shapiro our local Genealogist will be coming to talk to us on “ Finding Bazallel” A journey of frustration, pain,patience and disillusionment. Oh what a joy! Julie Shapero, our local Genealogist, delivered a wonderful talk on how she traced her family and made a family tree for her granddaughter. It sounds easy but it was a journey that took many years, much travelling, heartache and joy. Something that came through loud and clear, was that if you are going to do a family tree, start now. As time goes by, dates and stories get harder to find.
To start with, write your name on top with your date of birth, where and when you were born, where you were christened,where and when you were married, where you lived, your children and all their information. Go down to your parents, date born, died, where they lived, where they died, what they did, where they were christened, where and when married, brothers and sisters, aunties, uncles, cousins then onto your grandparents on both sides. Record as many details and snippets of information as you can along the way. Talk to your family and get information and stories that can be related to your children and their grandchildren, later on. Photographs are very important. Write the names of the people in pencil at the back, recording places and dates. If you get stuck, there are people out there that can help. Julie is prepared to start a small group to help U3A members to trace family members. You may have to employ the services of a Genealogist, at a cost, to help you get records and verification.
The City Times did a lovely write up on Julie’s talk; click here to read it
A big Thank You to Julie for entertaining us and for her time, we do hope you enjoyed it.

OUTING : Heaven's Gate - SWAN LAKE COFFEE SHOP : Friday 15th of April 2016 at 10h00
Swan Lake is a delightful venue to meet friends and enjoy the wonderful collection of eight types of the world swans together with cranes, flamingos and exotic brightly coloured Macaws. There is a walk along the natural stream running through the property and you can watch and listen to the birds in peaceful surroundings. Just be careful not to put fingers through the fences, the swans have strong beaks! Sitting under willow trees or inside the coffee shop you can enjoy good coffee and snacks. Swan Lake is situated at Heavens Gate, a wedding venue on Leith Ave, Bartletts. (can be accessed from Elizabeth Road)
The outing to Heaven's Gate, the Swan Coffee Shop was a great morning out. Perfect weather, great food and of course great company. If anyone did not make it, visit the coffee shop with a friend and ensure you leave time to have a good look around at the swans and various other exotic birds they have there. They do close if they have a function so phone beforehand, you can 076 831 7435.

Dr Dean Allen : BOOK PRESENTATION : Wednesday 9th March 2016, Benoni Country Club, Morris Ave, Morehill : 10H00.
Dr Dean Allen, author of Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein, presentation on Wednesday 9th March at the Benoni Country Club Was well attended and quite entertaining. It was historical eye opener, and many will visit the little town of Matjiesfontein with a different mind-set after hearing all the many tales of mysteries, wealth, health and cricket.

KATE TURKINGTON TALK : Wednesday 24th February 2016 : Northmead Tennis Club : 6th Street, Northmead : 10H00.
We were very pleased to announce that Kate Turkington will be coming to Benoni U3A. The talk by Kate Turkington was well supported and, although I was not able to attend, I believe went off very well indeed. A big thank you to Kate for taking time out of her busy schedule to “travel the world” with the U3A Benoni members. “ Most enjoyable”. Cheryl 082 3464756


Meeting : 9 December 2015 : NORTHMEAD TENNIS CLUB : 10h00
A lovely U3A BENONI TEA was held 9th December. Thank you to those who were able to attend. This gave us an opportunity to connect with our members and discuss the way forward for the next year.
We have had some wonderful speakers and have broadened our knowledge of the stars, the birds and the bees, our natural beauty routine, music, teaching old dogs new tricks, children’s learning disabilities and our most recent the crazy 1920”s.
Well done to Tico for arranging most of the talks. What a wonderful job she has done.
We have also got a website, U3A BENONI : which is a great achievement, and a big thank you to our webmaster

NEWS SOME OF THE GROUPS:   Some of the groups have flourished and some need so remoulding and refining.
MAH JONG :   Bruce Herholdt our Mah Jong instructor informed us that Mah Jong training starts in earnest on Monday 11th January at 2pm. You must be able to commit to three 3 hour consecutive sessions to understand the rules of the game. For more info, talk to Bruce on 011 425 1314 or email
DVD LIBRARY :   Barbara Haywood will head up the library of DVD’s which will be a different format where members will be able to borrow DVD”s. Any donations of DVD’s would also be most welcome.
COMPUTER LEARNING GROUP :   Our computer fundi, Ian Lowden has offered his services for next year.
ZULU LESSONS :   Anthony McClelland is going to be starting conversational Zulu lessons in March next year. Please let me know if you are interested. 082 3464756 or via email
GARDENING :   Gardening, with Margaret Darby will begin again in the Autumn after a long hot summer.
UPCOMING TOPICS :   We have one or two speakers lined up for the New Year. A very exciting speaker from the U.K, Dr Dean Allen, author of Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein, who will do a presentation in March 2016.
VENUE WITH AUDIO VISUAL PRESENTATIONS :   We need to find another venue that can accommodate audio visual presentations. Any ideas?
MEETING : Wednesday 21st October 2015 : BENONI LIBRARY : 11h00
Our "Razzle Dazzle" audio/visual presentation was extremely well attended, and a most memorable occasion.     Marcia Leveson , a retired Wits professor and one of the founder members of the U3A in Johannesburg, took us on a journey through the, wild and creative, 1920's in the USA, England and Paris.     These were the days of the Great Gatzby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the famous " Charleston" dance; the Era of George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin with his silent full length movies, and Coco Chanel to mention but a few, as well the birth of Jazz music.     A big thank you to Marcia for her time and for her excellent presentation. It was enjoyed by all.

MEETING : Thursday 17th September 2015 : BENONI LIBRARY : 10h00
A well supported meeting took place on Spiders by Steven Langton, who has a keen interest in Spiders and Bees for a very long time. The world of spiders is a ladies world ....some female spiders eat the males after mating.     Steven showed slides of various spiders, the velvet, rain spider, crab and wolf, to mention a few and all of which very good for our gardens as they eat grasshoppers and other pesky insects. You can remove a spider in a jar without harming it - do so, but remember, there 4 poisonous ones in South Africa : the Sac spider (small brown and beige) lives in your curtains and comes out at night; the violin spider (small and black) - likes dark places; as well as the brown and black widow spiders (with a red hourglass on its abdomen).

MARGARET DARBY PLANT SALE : Saturday 24th October 2015 : 11h00
Margaret Darby hosted a plant sale at her premises, at 8 West Street, Western Extension, Benoni on Saturday 24th October at 11h00. Good plants at excellent prices. A "tea for charity" with all donations for tea going to a very worthy charity.

MEETING : Friday 28th August 2015 : BENONI LIBRARY : 10h00
BIRDING : Willem Grobbelaar gave a very interesting and comprehensive talk on bird watching. Slide show of birds found in Benoni gardens. Also great tips on how to recognise birds with GISS and how to spot differences in colour, eye shapes, etc. We were hoping for a better turnout. The bird outings to sites around Benoni will start in September on a date to be decided.

MEETING : Wednesday 12th August 2015 : NORTHMEAD TENNIS CLUB : 10h00
WILLS : An informative talk was given on Wills by Mannie Jacobs, a local attorney. Many queries were raised and answered and ably managed by Mannie.

MEETING Wednesday 22nd July 2015 : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
“THE ART OF KEEPING BEES” Peter Clark, a bee keeper of many years standing, and a knowledgeable speaker, assisted by Oenie Poplak. Oenie Poplak entertained us in his full bee keeping outfit, a white one piece (straight jacket) hat, net “et al”. Oenie gave us some insight into the hives, on display, and also the history of these little hard working creatures. Thank you, Oenie.
Peter Clark then explained the different roles the various bees perform to make honey - from the Workers to the lazy Drones. The healing/ medicinal properties of pure natural honey are endless, even for longevity. A big thank you to Mr.Peter Clark for a most enjoyable talk, which was light and humorous.

MEETING Friday 19th June 2015 : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
"CAN YOU TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS?" The answer to the question was a resounding “YES”.
Anne Kroon and Hilary Aber-Levin, both well qualified over many years in the realm of adult education, presented an interactive talk on “Learning for Life”.
Anne started with the earlier years of learning, the input of teachers and others, resulting in the way a learner viewed him/herself and his /her abilities. We learn by action, experience and analysis. Learning equals change. Hilary stressed that learning continues into our 90’s and is always giving us new challenges. We are confronted by new complex technologies and have to develop new strategies to cope with loss of sight, hearing and mobility and memory. Mind mapping and making links to existing knowledge is very helpful. Google "mindfulness" for other ideas.
A big thank you to both Anne and Hilary for their time and trouble to ensure, that not only did we enjoy, but we learnt something new, on reflection, about ourselves.

The visit to Kim McAdam's Japanese garden went off splendidly. Most enoyable, informative and lots of "peace in the home". We hope to plan another outing to Kim in the near future, as it is a visit not to be missed.

MEETING Friday 15th May 2015 : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
?How Medical Issues Impact on Learning at School?.
Yvonne Mostert enlightened us all with her knowledge and expertise on how medical issues affect children's development and learning ability. An interactive group study of a child born with a heart problem. It was very interesting to see how things like our five senses, physical and social interaction with the world around us, are needed for perceptual development. A most enjoyable morning.

MEETING 15th April 2015 Wednesday : Benoni Library : 10h00
Clive Webber, a great authority on Astronomy gave a talk and slide show on ?Understanding the Night Sky. Clive spoke of 88 Constellations ? many named for the Greek gods. Although there are over one hundred thousand million objects (stars) in the sky, we only see about five thousand on a dark night with the naked eye. Clive identified Omega Centauri in Centaurus Constellation, which is the largest known globular cluster in our Milky Way galaxy. Maybe on a dark clear night we will be able to lie on backs and identify some of what we saw, compliments of a rather large and powerful telescope.

Outing to Pretoria : 25th March 2015
Thought an outing might be a welcome change. Jan Smuts House Museum and Tea Garden, Doornkloof, Irene. This was General Jan Smuts' home for 40 years and the tea garden is in a park of indigenous trees. Pretty easy to get there is a lovely morning out. Although not well supported, was enjoyed by those who did attend.

MEETING 30th February 2015 : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00am
Cathy Chambers shared her knowledge and love of music with us. It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane and many new avenues. The meeting was well attended and wonderful.

MEETING February 2015
A talk by Kobie du Plessis on natural products to use for cosmetics , home products and medical problems. Members were encouraged to share their experiences in using home products.


MEETING 18th November 2014 : Benoni Library : 10h00
Peter Huggins gave a talk introduction to bird watching in Southern Africa. Peter explained which items would be helpful ? binoculars, books and tapes on bird sounds to help with identification. Peter also offered to include those members interested in receiving emails from the Birders Club.
After the talk Marcia Leveson of Johannesburg U3A and Margaret Britz of Johannesburg North U3A were introduced and thanked for their special interest in encouraging U3A Benoni to prosper. Both visitors shared information and experiences of U3A.

MEETING October 2014 : Northmead Tennis Club : 10h00
A special meeting was held by the newly formed U3A Benoni. We were treated to talk by Judge Stan Sapire, which included his experiences as a Judge in Swaziland and Botswana, as well as a lively discussion about the legal implications of Oscar Pistorius case.