The University of the Third Age

U3A Okeover

Programme for Term 1, 2022

A Otakaro Avon River: from source to estuary

Dates: Thursdays 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 March

B Remembering Nelson Mandela

Dates: Thursdays 7, 14, 21, 28 April, 5 May

Times: 10.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.

Enrolments for this term closed on Thursday 05 May 2022.


Chairman:Peter Moody3517448
Secretary:Yvonne Evans027 4766531
Treasurer:Colin Freeman027 2369476
Please hand your enrolment form to the treasurer at the desk.

Course A

Otakaro Avon River: from source to estuary

Course organiser:Denise Burrow

Presenter:Frieda Looser

Flowing through many images that capture the essence of Christchurch is the River Avon. From the springs at Avonhead to the outflow to the ocean by Rapanui Shag Rock, the Ōtākaro Avon River has contributed to the wellbeing of humans and wildlife for centuries. Since European settlement in the 1840s, history has been created and witnessed along the riverbanks. This series will be a visual delight as well as an historical exploration of the buildings and suburbs of our city of Christchurch as it has changed over time, and with the four seasons, along the banks of our iconic river.

Frieda Looser has an MA (Hons) in History and is the author of Fendall’s Legacy, a history of Fendalton and Northwest Christchurch. She was a Senior Tutor in the History Department at the University of Canterbury, tutoring and lecturing in a number of courses, and currently teaches in the UC Academic Skills Centre.

3 Mar:
Avonhead to Riccarton

10 Mar:
Hagley Park and Oxford Terrace

17 Mar:
Victoria Square

24 Mar:
Avonside to Avondale

31 Mar:
Burwood to the estuary

Course B

Remembering Nelson Mandela

Course organiser:Peter Braithwaite

Presenter:Dr. Judith Coullie

Who was the man behind the myth? How can we understand the seeming contradiction of a man who was jailed for acts of terrorism to which he confessed, but who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? Who was this ‘giant of history’ (Barrack Obama)?
We seek to delve into the life and thoughts of a man whose name became one of the most well-known and respected names around the world in the twentieth century.

7 Apr:
Historical background & Nelson early years: 1918-1934We trace the key events in history of Southern Africa from the history of the Xhosa nation to the creation of the union of South Africa in 1910. We then focus on Nelson Mandela who is the primary subject of this course from his boyhood, family and early schooling to the ritual that marks his entry into manhood.

14 Apr:
The young man: Rebellion and political maturation: 1934-1956We continue with Mandela’s first act of resistance as a student in rural Transkei, his extended studies and his further acts of rebellion. He runs away, joins the African National Congress, rising in the ranks of the youth League, leading to a charge of treason.

21 Apr:
From lawyer to outlaw: 1956-1964These are very turbulent years. The Treason Trial drags on, his legal practice is crippled and he divorces his first wife, marries Winnie Madikizela and pushes the ANC to adopt armed struggle. In 1961 the Treason Trial ends with acquittal for all. Mandela goes underground. He is subsequently arrested. We conclude this session with his famous speech from the dock and his incarceration on Robben Island.

28 Apr:
From prisoner to freeman: 1965-1990The session will cover the increase of power of the South African state, the passing of the terrorism act, detention without trial and the upsurge of political and social unrest. The unbanning of the ANC by F.W de Klerk leads to Mandela’s release.

5 May:
President and Statesman: 1991-2013Our final session concludes with Mandela’s volatile negotiations with the apartheid government, resulting in the remaining apartheid laws being rescinded. With Klerk, he is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. South Africa’s first democratic election is held in April 1994, Mandela has his first vote and is elected President a month later. His political and humanitarian work continue until his retirement and eventually his death in 2013.