Time changes everything

by | 5 January 2021 | Education and Learning, Hobbies, Rotherham, U3A

Although the snowdrop usually appears in mid-February it’s listed as the official ‘birthday’ flower of those born in January. A native of Europe and the Middle East, it’s thought to have been brought to this country by the Romans.
Such a delicate flower, yet it’s adapted to break through frozen soil, snow and ice, and because it contains anti-freeze proteins it can survive sub-zero conditions. Its scientific name, Galanthus, comes from the Greek words for milk and flower.
From the 18th to the early 20th century, it was believed that picking a ‘milk flower’ (snowdrop) adversely affected the quality of cow’s milk, and discoloured butter. Also, perhaps because it grew in many cemeteries, the mere sight of a milk flower was considered a sign of death and bad luck. Gradually this changed to symbolising purity, innocence, sympathy and hope. Now known as the snowdrop, it’s probably the most eagerly awaited flower, signalling as it does the lengthening days of early spring. Same flower, different name, different image.
Much like the snowdrop, The University of the Third Age (U3A) was imported from Europe. However, unlike the parent model, the UK version is independent of the university establishment. Instead of paid lecturers and classes, UK members share a common interest, learn from each other, contributing individual investigation, knowledge and skills. Reflecting this approach, the strapline ‘University of the Third Age’ has been replaced by ‘Learn, Live and Laugh’, and ‘National U3A’ has been minimised to ‘National u3a’. The u3a is open to all, irrespective of age, who are no longer in full-time, paid employment. Same organisation, same aims, different image.
Visit www.u3asites.org.uk/rotherham or contact 01709 374841 for more information.