The Year that was…2022 Beaudesert U3A

People are drawn to the Beaudesert U3A, the largest group for retirees and seniors in the Scenic Rim for different reasons. Talk to any member and the consensus is that they like the wide variety of activities, both physical and mental that are on offer, social interaction, and fun. 

There are a number of octogenarians and those in their late 70’s who are members of Beaudesert U3A and they are there because they believe that people who have enjoyed life and a lifetime of learning lead richer and prolonged lives.

This year’s Annual General Meeting witnessed the changing of the guard with Andy Fechner retiring from his successful eight year presidency. New president, semi-retired engineer Brendan Dever, along with a relatively new committee, is looking forward to the continuing success of the organisation.

Beaudesert U3A is well supported by the Scenic Rim Regional Council (SRRC) via their Be Healthy and Active programme and this year U3A members were given the opportunity to attend live performances at The Centre, Beaudesert, the Cultural Centre, Boonah and Vonda Youngman Community Centre, Tamborine.

Our U3A tradition, the monthly social lunches, came about when Di Johnson, convenor of the popular card groups in Beaudesert and Jimboomba, noticed that players didn’t always have time to have a chat during intense Bolivia and 500 games. Now, all members can share some quality social time away from their usual activities.

2022’s calendar of events included:


Christmas in July, held at the Beaudesert Golf Club. Everyone enjoyed the day with good food and entertainment from U3A’s own Ukelele and Line Dancing groups, along with A-Choired Taste. Look out for future performances by the newly formed Beaudesert U3A choir.

Beaudesert U3A Gardening group (BUGs) attended the Queensland Garden Expo at Nambour, extra special for one lucky lady who got to talk gardening with Costa, Gardening Australia’s quirky host.


BUGs enjoyed a garden visit to the Liebke’s property, featuring glorious gardens filled with beautiful and colourful foliage.

A Travel Q&A was organised for members, to help make sense of the world of travel post-covid. Amber Cassidy, Beaudesert international travel agent advised potential travellers to make early bookings, to carefully peruse travel insurance and to pack medications into “on plane” luggage.

 Ray Arthy, co-facilitator of the Travel and Adventure Group (TAG) covered all things safety for caravanning and gave some good pointers on choosing and booking caravan parks. Denise Martin, TAG and Trivia member, regaled everyone with amusing anecdotes and photos from her numerous trips.


BUGs members visited the Beaudesert SRRC nursery and enjoyed a private tour of the hothouse, the propagation room and an amazing array of shrubs and trees.


Tutors, facilitators and committee members were treated to a two-course lunch at The Club, Beaudesert as a “Thank-you” for the hours they’ve put into their various roles, something which has continued for the last four years, since it’s instigation by Andy Fechner in 2018.

This year, Di Johnson was announced Tutor of the Year and Helen Atkinson, who officially resigned as Beaudesert’s U3A treasurer was awarded a certificate of thanks.


The President Council and Course Co-ordinators meeting was hosted at Studio 21, U3A’s new premises with U3A representatives from Brisbane, Ipswich and West Moreton, Boonah, Tamborine and Beaudesert attending.

A very social group, Beaudesert TAG met up with Toowoomba TAG on a visit to the Oakey Army Aviation Museum, where they had the chance to look through the Chinook, a twin rotor, medium lift helicopter capable of carrying a platoon of approximately 33 fully equipped soldiers.

 On a recent Gympie and Wide Bay excursion, another camper asked about the jolly “happy hour mob”, something that embodies the spirit of U3A where people of all walks of life can meet up, find something in common and make new friends.

TAG members love exploring their own backyard and beyond and 2022 saw the group embarking on a range of interesting outings, that included:

  • a Brisbane River cruise on the Lady Brisbane which celebrated a Christmas break-up;
  • a Scenic Rim history tour covering Tracks of the Beaudesert Shire Tramway (1904-1944), Sandy Creek Road (former Tancreds Meatworks site), and Round Mountain (WW11 United States P.O.W. camp); and
  • Rathdowney Museum with lunch at the Rathdowney Pub.

From the French group to social tennis, table tennis or indoor bowls, to the discussion group, to Nordic walking and art groups, may all members have a Merry Christmas and look forward to another prosperous Beaudesert U3A year.

By Diane Rewko

Publicity U3A