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SIAE Awards 2003
Tadej Svete from Ljubljana

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2009

Awards to groups for outstanding achievements in lifelong learning 

Pristan (Haven) Society, Koper University of the Third Age

457 members; President of the Society: Mojca Brank
Proposed by: Koper Adult Education Centre

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‘Interest in our study groups is growing from year to year. People are becoming more and more aware that they need to do something for themselves after their working life comes to an end.' (Mojca Brank, President of the Pristan Society)

Active ageing? If we look around at the activities of the universities of the third age, it is easy to convince ourselves that Slovenes become even more inquisitive, sociable, enterprising and creative as they approach their twilight years. The same goes for the members of the Pristan Society, Koper University of the Third Age. The Society was founded in 2000 and recently celebrated its tenth birthday. However, the first steps towards its founding were made two years earlier by Alberta Ostan and Albina Ostrouška, who began with three study groups and 28 members. ‘The number of groups and members has grown,' says Mojca Brank, President of the Society. ‘This year, for example, we have 58 different activities, within which there is a further series of groups at different levels of ability. The number of members has also grown. Numbers have grown by about 20% every year and we currently have around 500... Language study groups are the most popular. There are 28 of these alone this year.'

The arts are also highly developed at the Pristan Society. In addition to an art history study group, which features excursions and exhibition viewings, there are also three painting groups for members with varying levels of knowledge or prior knowledge; pottery design and Idrijan lacemaking (bobbin-work) are also taught.

Marlene Zorjan, expert mentor of the painting group, says: ‘I have been the painting group mentor at the Pristan Society for the past four years. Membership of the group is growing all the time. ... I am very happy because we are achieving great success. We take part in exhibitions, and even organise some ourselves, and in workshops, and have garnered a large number of awards and certificates.'
Computer studies are also very well advanced. Every year we organise three beginners' and three continuing courses, but ‘because we are made up of older people, many members have to repeat a course several times to secure the knowledge acquired. This applies in particular to computer studies, since those that retired years ago have not used a computer before,' says Mojca Brank.

In 2004 they also founded a choir, which has grown from a sextet to a choir of 26 members. They used to perform a lot but then apathy took over. Now they have a new choirleader, Marko Kocjančič, and are convinced that they will once again soon take to the stage and delight the general public and not just their social circle.

The Society is also concerned with the health of its members. To this end, it has a well-organised series of walks and hikes at two levels, so that members can choose between a recreational walk and more demanding hikes. They also organise dance classes, Nordic walking, classic physical exercises and yoga. There is something for everyone!




 
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