Scholarly seniors from around Australia gathered in Wagga this week to indulge their shared love of lifelong learning.
This year Wagga played host to the U3A annual conference, which drew in crowds of erudite elders from 65 clubs all around the country.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Wagga president Daphne Carswell said it was a relief to be reunited with her friends again after last year's lockdown hiatus.
"This was a dream last year. We weren't sure if we were or weren't going to have this conference, but it's come to fruition. This is a big thing for U3A Wagga. For a such a small, young organisation it's quite a feat," she said.
"It was good to come out of lockdown, meet other people for the friendship, be able to go on the walks and do all our activities. The interaction with the people is so important."
The 77-year-old said things felt "almost normal" again, with their regular meetings and club activities ramping back up again after an extended period of self-isolation in 2020.
However, she said that the long hours stuck at home at least allowed her to catch up on the gardening and her extensive reading list.
Club member Gordon Hall made use of his newfound free time to get stuck into DIY and build some sheds, woodboxes, and garden boxes out of old chemical shuttles.
Mr Hall said the U3A activities kept him mentally and physically active even at the age of 75, which was the secret behind his youthful energy.
He and his wife had worked on farms around the Riverina for 50 years, and he said the two of them had feared the prospect of social isolation when they retired to the big smoke in Wagga.
"We were concerned we were going to be urbanised in retirement, which we'd never done before being born on farms. We thought: 'how is someone our age going to meet people?'," Mr Hall said.
"Joining U3A I made all these new friends and they are an inspiration to me. Something to do and something to look forward to is so important."
The first day of the conference kicked off on Monday with wide-eyed visitors given a tour of the ninth best beach in Australia and other Wagga tourism hotspots.
Proceedings wrapped up on Tuesday with a farewell dinner and an invitation to the 2022 conference in Orange.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: