ARARAT - Ararat U3A has held its annual meeting with Lee Albert installed as president for the coming year.
Outgoing president, Alwyn Kitchen welcomed a large attendance and Robyn Hemley from Ararat Rural City chaired the meeting for the election of new office bearers.
Joining new president Lee Albert will be vice president Lynne Hall Cavanagh, secretary Margaret Burbidge treasurer Lorna Raeburn and committee Glenda Hurstfield, Frank Kitchen, Gerry Hirst, Elaine Thornbury, Kurt Pfeiffer and Heather Hevey.
During the meeting Helen Tucker presented an informative talk on her recent trip to South America which included visits to Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and Secret Valley.
Outgoing president Alwyn Kitchen reported on a successful year, which included a variety of programs and a strong and capable committee.
During the year Ararat U3A had been expecting to lose the use of the NMIT facilities at Aradale.
"With the persistence of committee, co-operation of management in Melbourne and the encouragement of Peter Dunn we have been able to retain the use of this building," Mrs Kitchen said.
"We are delighted that we can continue running the majority of programs at NMIT and thank Peter for his help."
Mrs Kitchen said during 2013 several new and interesting programs and activities were included.
The year began with renowned photographer John Tiddy taking four sessions on photography and Russell Rachinger retelling his experiences in Antarctica, while Peter Neilson's music sessions were also popular.
Two events, a laughter workshop and Fay White's singing session were highlights of the year.
The main trip for the year was a visit to the Australia Gardens in Cranbourne while a further trip to the Castlemaine Art Gallery was also enjoyed.
"We have started 2014 on a strong note with a large number of new members and I believe that after four years we have become well known in the community and that we have a great opportunity to broaden our programs and offer a range of activities that provide fun, friendship and learning for the residents in the district," Mrs Kitchen said.
"I cannot emphasise enough what a great and valuable organisation U3A is.
"People can follow and share interests, you don't need to be invited, you don't need to have a partner and there is the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things."