U3A Alexandra – Perspectives of Writing


Venue:       CENTRAL OTAGO REAP, 14-20 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra

Cost:           $5 per session

Dates:        Friday 8, 15, 22 & 29 June 2018

Time:         10.00am – 12.00pm



Session 1 – Friday 8 June

Speaker: Jim Sullivan

Talking & Writing

Jim Sullivan recently retired to Central Otago after a working life of more than 50 years in broadcasting in various parts of New Zealand and overseas. He has also been manager of the Oral History Centre at the Alexander Turnbull Library and Chief Archivist for Radio New Zealand. He is the author of about 30 books, mainly to do with New Zealand history, and writes a weekly lightly-satirical column for the Otago Daily Times called “Nothing Too Serious”.

Jim will ponder aloud on the business of writing and its pleasures and frustrations. His experiences will cover compiling books based on oral history projects, researching and writing commissioned histories, writing local history and cobbling together the stuff he enjoys most, columns which are hopefully humorous!


Session 2 – Friday 15 June

Speaker: Alan Pickard

Dunedin and Central Otago Telegraph Lines: 1862 to 1880

Alan grew up in Dunedin becoming an electrician while working for ten years for the Dunedin City Council Electricity Department. He then lived in British Columbia, Canada, for 35 years. Since moving to Omakau in 2005, Alan has been looking into the history of the early telegraph lines in Otago.

Alan will talk about the following during this session:

(i)   The telegraph line from Dunedin to Port Chalmers in 1862.

(ii)  The telegraph lines north and south of Dunedin 1864.

(iii) The telegraph lines from Milton to Clyde 1865, and on to Queenstown 1867.

(iv)  Telegraph line from Palmerston to Naseby 1871, and on to Clyde 1874.


Session 3 – Friday 22 June

Speaker: John Lapsley

Newspaper Columnists – an entertaining look at the history, skills and foibles, of these popular 800 word essayists

John Lapsley’s widely read Wit’s End  column is in its 7th year with the Otago Daily Times. It is his fifth newspaper column – he’s been The Australian’s daily columnist, and written it’s memorable Martin Collins page. He’s was a weekly Sunday columnist for Sydney’s Sun Herald when it had over a million readers a week, and has written for other magazines and newspapers. John has also been a successful business entrepreneur.


Print circulations may ebb, but newspapers remain mass market juggernauts whose readership size makes their columnists our most widely read writers. Top columnists have prime position on the Opinion pages – and are very influential. The columnist is descended from the 19th century essayist. We’ll look at the history of column writing, and consider the most popular breeds of columns – which run from political and social commentary, to humour, finance, and agony aunts. What makes a good columnist – and what goes into writing 800 words which regularly hit the mark.


Session 4 – Friday 29 June

Speaker: John Hale

Writing Wordways

John writes his column on language matters, Wordways, every Thursday for the Diversions page of the Otago Daily Times. He looks at how words make sense or do not; the ways in which we use them, invent them, or misuse them; the ways of NZ English; and how the best users of English give words permanence. His daytime job, since retiring from teaching in the University of Otago Department of English, is continuing research into the writings of John Milton: six books to date.


This talk will examine the large questions which underlie the short weekly entertainments. These questions include: How did Language begin? What languages does English connect with? How has English changed? How do children learn to speak? Good and bad English. Written and spoken English.

(Blog site:   wordwaysextra-blog-blog.tumblir.com)


To Register: phone 0800 267-327, (03)448-6115 or email admin@coreap.org.nz



































































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