U3A Oliva

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January 2022

The Newsletter of the U3A in Oliva

Issue 68

In This Issue

  • From the Vice President


Groups Reports

Info to members

If you are interested in any of the groups mentioned please email them direct at their emails as shown.

From our Vice President

Hello to all U3A Oliva members, new and old (I guess that’s most of us!), your families and friends.

I sincerely hope this edition of our newsletter finds you safe and well, a bit cold maybe, but in good spirits.

May I wish you all a Happy New Year, it looks very promising from the point of view of easing of restrictions, so maybe we can start to get together again in more normal circumstances and get rid of these pesky masks!

Enjoy your Groups, stay safe and let us all try to make the best of 2022.

Best wishes

Stephen Hems, Vice President.



Papa Noel makes a delivery!

Good day to you all,

On behalf of the children and staff of El Bastidor School in Oliva may I thank you for the shoeboxes you so kindly prepared and donated.

It was a deeply moving occasion distributing them, 52 very excited (and noisy), but very well behaved children. All done very properly, following all safety guidelines.

Papa Noel got a great reception, they even performed a ‘Papa Noel’ dance, lovely!

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to send photos of the occasion but attached is a photo of Santa with his ‘sleigh’ full of presents, luckily it didn’t rain dear. (ed. Oh dear)

We would also like to thank the kind people who donated food, toiletries and money to the Franciscan Refuge in Gandia, very much appreciated by all involved, residents and staff.

As the deliverer I see first hand how much it means to them.

Thanks again, lots of love and stay safe.
Steve Hems, Vice President.

Groups Report

Angela Garry – Group Co-ordinator
We are now in 2022, the third year when our lives have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. All of us in the U3A have been working extremely hard to make things as safe as possible for our groups to be able to meet, and we will continue to operate in line with the rules and regulations issued by the Ajuntament d’Oliva.
All groups have to adhere to these rules, whether meeting inside public buildings, private buildings or outside. This includes that groups should be using antibacterial handwash and cleaning sprays, keeping windows open during indoor sessions, and maintaining distances of 1.5m wherever possible. Masks are still required indoors by sedentary groups, and whilst not obligatory for the dancing and singing groups they have been suggested/recommended by the Vice Mayor.
Rather ironically, I caught Covid-19 myself in December and I owe a lot of thanks to my new friends in Oliva – several of whom I have met through the U3A – who helped while I was ill. My experiences with Covid-19 certainly brought it home to me that we all need to do everything we can to stay safe.
Markus – Sing and Play – writes:
I have decided to stop being group leader for the Sing & Play group after a period of nearly ten years. I am looking for a new leader.
If you are interested in taking on the role, please contact Markus to find out more – he can give you information on running the group – singnplay@u3aoliva.org



James Ince – Astronomy – writes:

Incredible Orion

I would first like to thank all the U3A Admin for the wonderful job they have done in keeping activities going during the pandemic. It has ensured our Members get the encouragement and stimulation needed during those bleak times. They have worked hard to keep activities going in a safe and controlled manner.

There is lots to see in the Winter Nights and I will take a short look at Orion.

The constellation represents a Hunter and stands high in the South when the sky is fully dark. The outline stars are easy to see even when there is artificial lighting nearby. There are some outstanding stars making up Orion’s outline:

Beginning with Betelgeuse α Alpha Orionis which is distinctly orange in colour. This star is a Red Giant, a star near the end of its life, which swelled in size and if it were placed where our Sun is, Mars would be immersed in its greatly expanded atmosphere. The orange colour shows it is a rather cool star with a temperature of approximately 3,500k. Light takes about 645 years to reach us, so we see it as it was in the 15th century.

Rigel β Beta Orionis is more distant than Betelgeuse, 860 light years. It is a younger blue giant star with the incredible 11,000k surface temperature. Gamma γ Orionis, Bellatrix, Female Warrior has the incredible surface temperature of 22,000k, another blue white star. We see it as it was when Captain James Cook set off on his second voyage of discovery.

The three stars which make up Orion’s Belt are δ Delta, Mintaka, ε Epsilon, Alnilam and ζ Zeta, Alnitak. These are all over 800 light years distance, Alnilam is over 1300 light years distant. All three stars are extremely hot blue giants with surface temperatures in excess of 25,000k.

The star κ Kappa, Saiph, is another distant sun 650 light years away in space.

The last star in the main outline is λ lambda Meissa and marks the “Hunters Head”. This star is one of the hottest known 35,000k, a warming thought during a cold Winter’s night observing session.

If you have binoculars take a look below the “Belt Stars” and you will see the amazing Orion Nebula, a large cloud of gas and dust in which young stars are forming. The Orion nebula is shaped like a bat and a telescope will show incredible detail within it, hot young stars forming in a “Stellar Nursery” surrounded by swirls of glowing gas and dust. Orion has a lot to see for both a casual observer and an experienced amateur. It is worth spending just a short time to explore. Enjoy the view!

If you are interested in joining the astronomy group, you can contact James via astronomy@u3aoliva.org

Lynda – Choir – announces:
In December, the U3A Choir held a Christmas carols concert at the Pensionistes building, to an audience of over 80 peope and raised donations of €250 in memory of 2 friends of the choir who had passed away. The money was presented to the AECC Cancer Research Charity, at the choir group’s meeting on January 21st. If you’re interested in being part of the choir, please contact Lynda via choir@u3aoliva.org

Line Dancing


Lynne – Line Dancing – says:
We have some spaces available in the Line Dancing Group. We meet on Mondays at the Pensionistes building. Please get in touch if you would like to join us – linedancing@u3aoliva.org
Anne – Spanish Beginners 1 & 2, and Spanish Intermediate:
Our 3 groups are on hold until the cases in Oliva drop and we feel safer meeting together inside again. In the meantime, I organised for many of the members of the groups to meet outside for the historic tour of Oliva. This was conducted in Spanish. Our guide was spot on, and made the tour both interesting AND entertaining. He also spoke some English for those moments when we needed it!
If you’d like to join any of these Spanish groups when we restart at the C.P.C. in Oliva, please email spannishbeginners@u3aoliva.org or spanishinter2@u3aoliva.org

Members' Information

Potential groups

Update Your Details

We have a number of potential groups listed on the GROUPS page  – if we receive enough interest in any of these we will endeavour to start them up as a fully fledged group. For some of these we have one or two members waiting but we do need more people in order to make any group viable. 
Recent new potential groups are GOLF and MAHJONG, for which we have two members who are prepared to be Group Leaders – so if you are interested in these, or any of the other potential groups, please contact the U3A Group Coordinator

The U3A Oliva communicates with you, its members, primarily through email so it’s important to ensure  that @u3aoliva.org is on your email programs permitted senders list AND check your junk/spam folder.

We also regularly post current information in the members area of this site so please visit frequently. If you’ve lost your login details then contact the webmaster.

During the current pandemic, it is a town hall requirement that we collect telephone numbers, so that in the event of a Covid outbreak they can contact individual members urgently. It’s easy to let us know by using this form. If you’re unsure that we have your correct details then just fill in the form anyway. You will need to be logged in as a member to use the form.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the editor, the U3A Oliva, or of any entities they represent.

If you have anything for inclusion in next month’s Newsletter please email it to webmaster@u3aoliva.org

The Newsletter is normally published on the last Wednesday of the month so the deadline for submissions is the preceding Thursday to allow time for production.