Why Owls? – Our next talk at the U3A meeting on Tuesday June 11

Our next talk at the U3A meeting on Tuesday June 11 will be given by Brendan Murray of the Owl Rescue Centre

Owl Rescue Centre was founded by Brendan Murray following a lifelong interest and passion for birds of prey.

Brendan spent most of his young life observing and studying birds. He came to the realization a few years ago that owls specifically need help to protect them from becoming endangered, and so Owl Rescue Centre was born.

His wife, Danelle Murray, became involved as the Co-founder of the organization, to support him in his purpose. They now work as a team, along with a few committed staff and volunteers to achieve a goal in owl conservation.

The organisation was founded about ten years ago and is currently the largest Owl
Rehabilitation centre in the world with a Sanctuary that is home to hundreds of free-living owls.

Brendan who has dealt with over 6000 owl cases, is an expert on owl behaviour and is highly respected in the field of conservation.

Wise old owlHere is a summary of Brendan’s talk:

The first question that always pops up into anyone’s mind when they meet the Murrays is, ‘why owls?’ – what made this couple decide to dedicate their lives to owls?

Brendan will shed some light on the driving force behind this commitment to owl conservation. He will explain the high mortality rate, the incidences that land owls in rehab and the cases the Centre have taken in over the past years.

The Centre has grown over the years, where they could initially focus their energy on saving only a few owls a month, they are now taking in on average between 3 and 5 owls a day.

As they became more known as experts in their field, calls started flooding in asking for their help. Some rescues involves careful manoeuvring; Brendan will discuss and provide a few examples of these.

The Owl Rescue Centre succeeds in many projects that aid in the conservation of owls. The projects will be discussed in detail, including effective and environmentally safe rodent control, responsible recycling and providing homes for wildlife.

Funding of the cause and its challenges will be explained as well as how the general public can help and become involved.

Danelle’s book, My Dark Country will be on sale at the meeting. 100% of the profits made from her book is applied to cover the Centre’s veterinary bills. 

The book sells for R240 a copy, so make sure you have some cash handy! Danelle will also be available for signed copies.

The Owl Talk is an informal interactive discussion – everyone is encouraged to ask questions throughout the course of the talk

Revisit to Rugani Carrot Farm

We will visit the Rugani Carrot Farm again on Wednesday 15th May. Tis time to see the whole plant in operation and how the carrot and fruit juices are made.

For the members visiting for the second time, there will not be any
entrance fee, but there will also not be any gift packs as we received
ours already. For the first timers entrance fee is R75 and they will
receive a gift pack of juices.

We will use our own transport since it is only 26km from Cradlestone Mall.
This leaves you the choice whether you would like to go to lunch at Urban
Herb Nursery. Lunch will be R95pp .

The menu will be available by the end of this week, WhatsApped to you and
at the meeting on 14 May.

Payment can be made by EFT or at the meeting. Please make sure that you
have the correct amount in cash.

Contact Marthie Coetzer on 0832979565 for more information.

A quick reminder

Our monthly meeting at the NG Kerk Wilgespruit cnr of Mimosa- and
Wag-‘n-Bietjie Streets Wilropark at 9:15 is on Tuesday 14th May.

Come and enjoy a cup of tea/coffee with us and re-register or collect your
nametag for 2019 if you do not have it yet.

At 10:00 our speaker is John Chapman who will tell us about Croatia and
their visits there. Always exciting to learn about faraway places!

For any information please contact John Giani at 083 729 4883

Some feedback about some of our activities

The following was sent to us by John Giani:

Men’s Coffee Group

The Men’s Coffee group met at the Mugg and Bean on Tuesday 19th March. There were six of us and our topic of conversation was focused on banking and the changing world of banking. In future we will always have a topic of interest to chat about.

The feedback I have received was that it was a good meeting.

Lunch at Little Miss Muffin

On Wednesday 20th March we had a well attended lunch outing at Little Miss Muffin. The food was good and everyone had a good time.


Thanks go to Marthie for her excellent organisation and planning .


And thanks go to John for sending in this report.



Outing on 20 February 2019

We are going to visit Greenway Farms in Tarlton to learn how Rugani Carrot Juices and other products are made and to sample some of their products. We will each be spoilt with a gift pack of goodies.

Then we visit the Urban Herb Nursery for lunch and there we will learn about herbs and take a guided walk through the herb nursery.

More information will be sent to you those booked to attend via the WhatsApp group and at the meeting on Tuesday or you can contact marthie on 083 297 9565

What we did to celebrate Spring

A report from Marthie Coetzer

To celebrate Spring, thirty six members enjoyed a Spring Lunch under
the trees in the garden of Random Harvest Nursery. It was a glorious day and
everyone was in good spirits.

The owner of the Nursery, Linda de Luca, gave a talk about what to do and
what to plant to invite nature with all it’s wonderful and useful insects
and birds into our gardens.

Then we enjoyed Lasagne and salad and afterwards delicious apple pie and cream.

Everyone agreed that nothing can beat good food, good friends and a lovely

Members enjoying lunch at Random Harvest Nursery


Bus tour to Bronkhorstspruit and Cullinan on 22 August 2018

Here is a report sent in from Marthie Coetzer about our recent outing to the Nan Hau Buddist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit which was followed by a tour of the diamond mine in Cullinan .

A group of 63 members of the West Rand U3A visited the Nan Hau Buddist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit, where Sipho guided us through two interesting temples with different Buddahs. He then showed us the training centre where young girls were playing drums. » Read more

News of our October Outing

Shooting the Big Five in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

We are going to have a full day outing to the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve on Wednesday 17 October to shoot the “Big Five”

The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a provincial park in South Africa, northwest of Johannesburg. It’s set in an extinct volcanic crater, with grasslands, wooded valleys and fascinating rock formations.

The park is home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo – Africa’s “Big Five”.

Click on a photo to open the gallery

There is also a wide variety of rare and common species with endemic species like the nocturnal brown hyena, cheetah, sable, as well as giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodile, to mention but a few.

Bird watching is excellent with over 300 species of birds recorded. Some of these include eagles and other raptors, water birds, kingfishers, shrikes, and much more.

Animals and birds drink at the Mankwe Dam, a man-made lake, and concealed wildlife-viewing shelters are scattered throughout the park.

The plan is to leave early in the morning and travel to Pilanesberg in two small buses (see notes). Spending the day viewing and “shooting” all the wildlife we see with our cameras (don’t forget to take them!). We will take our own picnic lunch with us.

The cost for this outing is R320 pp.

For more information and for bookings please WhatsApp Marthie on 083 297 9565. Information about meeting and departure times TBA.

Notes: It takes two hours to drive to Pilanesberg hence the reason for leaving early, and the  reason for having two buses is because a large bus would not be allowed to use all the roads in the game reserve whereas the small ones can.

All photographs by Dawn Weyers

What’s on in August

14 August 2018 – Talk by Jonathan Leeming

Come and listen to a talk by Jonathan Leeming, speaker, author and conservationist who will give a presentation on innovation (biotechnology) and how the most unlikely of venomous animals provide us with intense benefits.

This will take place at the monthly meeting of U3A West Rand at 0915 in the N.G. Kerk Wilgespruit on the corner of Mimosa- and Wag -‘n-Bietjie Streets Wilro park on 14 August 2018.

22 August 2018 – Outing to Bronkhorstspruit and Cullinan

The U3A West Rand is going on a day trip by bus to Bronkhorstspruit for a guided tour through the Nan Hau Buddist Temple. Good opportunity for photography outside.




Raw diamond

We then go to Cullinan where we can see the replicas of the extraordinary large diamonds mined there and a guided motorised tour to the mine , the dumps and the big hole.

All retirees and semi-retirees welcome!

For more information and booking please contact Marthie Coetzer 0832979565


U3A invites all retirees or semi-retirees to come and join us and meet new people. We
go to lunches and on outings to interesting places once a month. Bookings
for these events can be made at the monthly meeting, or per phone. You
can also join various interest groups

Membership is R70 per annum . Tea and biscuits at R5 per cup.

For more information, contact John Giani 083 729 4883 or Marthie Coetzer
083 297 9565


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