U3A Queensland Arts Competition Winners Announced

More than 60 people joined a Zoom event early in December 2021, for the results of the inaugural U3A (University of the Third Age) Queensland Arts Competition (QUAC).

Professor Maria Chester, Secretary General for AIUTA, the international body for U3A, was the keynote speaker. From Scotland, she presented an informative account of the beginnings of the global family of U3A since its birth in Toulouse, France, in 1973. Her presentation was interactive, with music and dance demonstrating the social aspect of U3A worldwide. Other videos shown at the event highlighted floral art and painting from U3As in Caboolture and Mackay, with a special segment from the U3A Redland District Singers.

First prize winner in the creative writing section was Pam Swain of Hervey Bay. The theme of the competition, ‘Still Learning’, offered Pam a challenge, one she could not resist. Her story, “New Beginnings” – a story about moving on from a tragic situation – demonstrates her skill, the descriptive scenes adding emotional impact, and realistic characters, including the family dog, capturing the reader’s interest.

Ray Stinson of U3A Hervey Bay won second place with his story, “Dougie”, about everyday events that can sometimes trip one up. Third prize went to Susan Vance, of U3A Hervey Bay for “Grubby Knees and Butterflies”, a story showing that a very simple hobby like catching butterflies can initiate a lasting relationship.

The three judges, who used a scoring system and marked blind transcripts, said that there were just three points between the first and third prize winning stories.

The photography section, held in conjunction with the creative writing, attracted many creative shots inspired by the same theme, ‘Still learning.’ The winners were

Wiert Mensinga U3A Atherton Tablelands, with his photo entitled ‘Never too old to learn’ Diane Cullham, U3A Redlands District with her photo entitled, ‘Capturing the storm’ and  third place winner David Luxton, U3A Toowoomba, with his photo entitled ‘The Story on the Plate’.

All stories and photos can be viewed on www.u3aqld@org.au