Serendipity (definition):     A Pleasant Surprise or Happy Accident.  According to a Persian fairy tale, the three Princes of Serendip were  “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”.                                                                                                                                                                                  (Horace Walpole)

This is an eclectic and random collection of informal talks or discussions on intriguing topics.  Pick the ones that pique your interest.

Serendipity classes are on Wednesdays at 10:00am in the Showground Hall, Jackson Street. Visitors and guests are welcome.

March 7                    Electric Vehicles                                                            Alan Gregory

Electric cars are now in the news and on the streets, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons, and also take a look at other electric vehicles.

March 14                 How to Build a Ukulele                                              Peter Sutcliffe

Peter (our ukulele tutor) will give an illustrated overview of how he builds a ukulele and similar stringed instruments, starting from raw wood, and turning it into useful instruments that sound and look good.

 March 21               Ships                                                                                    David Cooper

Details TBA.

March 28               How Things Work                                                     Frank van Kann

Physics is about people trying to understand the physical universe which they inhabit – and this has given us technology. Today, we rely on technology to provide most of our needs, from sustenance to communication and entertainment.

April 4                    Water Birds of Our Region                                               Col Meyers

This session looks at the water birds of our region as a follow-on from last term’s land birds session. A slide show of excellent photographs with informal commentary and questions answered.

April 11                 The History of Optics in Art                                         Alex Nicholas

An illustrated journey describing how discoveries in optics and the development of the camera influenced the course of the Visual Arts in Western civilization, and how and why Western Art was influenced by the progress and developments in Science.

April 18                The Climate Change Experimentum Show                  Anton Kole

Venue:                  C3 Church, Austin Street

This show will feature a number of demonstrations/experiments to give the audience a personal up-close view of how greenhouse gases heat up the planet, and what some of the impacts and consequences are from increasing the global temperature.

April 25               No Serendipity – ANZAC Day

May 2                   Native Orchids of NW Tasmania                                        Ian Ferris

A basic look at the range of native orchid species, for the interested beginner.  We will examine what, where, why, which, when and how, using lots of pretty pictures and very few big words. This might make you slow down and look more closely, when walking in the bush.

May 9                  On Splintered Rails Pt 2 – The Marrawah Tram             Mark Fry

This  PowerPoint presentation  is a continuation of that presented in 2017, focussing specifically on the history of the  Marrawah tram in northwest Tasmania.  Although it was a government line this line fed a number of private tramways. Once again, the talk will consist of showing a series of original historical photographs, explained through fascinating and entertaining, and at times hilarious, anecdotal accounts provided by men and women who worked in the bush. The era covered is between 1913 to 1947 depicting methods of working in the bush from times gone by, various sawmills and surrounding infrastructure, all of which used locomotives on their bush tramways.

May 16               Plant Names and Their Meanings                                      Phil Milner

This introduction to plant nomenclature will discuss the origins and rules of the system now used to name plants and the application of botanical Latin in both garden plants and Tasmanian plants in particular.

May 23              Visit to the United Nations in New York        Alwyn Friedersdorff

Share Alwyn’s journey to the United Nations event to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality and accelerate progress to meet the needs of women and girls worldwide.

May 30               Voluntary Euthanasia                                                Norma Jamieson

Examines voluntary euthanasia pros and cons as various states consider new enabling legislation. Advance Care Directives, for your future care in a given set of circumstances.

June 6                Australian Electoral Systems                                             Julian Type

Julian Type (former Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner) worked for the Tasmanian and Australian Electoral Commission for 32 years so has a thorough working knowledge of our political 3 tiered system. Julian will talk about the unique Tasmanian voting systems and the implications this has on representation. Where does my vote go? and other questions will be answered in this interactive session.

Julian is happy to receive email questions in advance from participants to ensure he can provide up-to-date answers in complex areas.