Jim was a keen member of U3A, first at Ponsonby and then at Devonport. He was involved in organising many trips, including an overnight stay in Whatipu and boat trips up to Riverhead, Mahurangi Harbour and Kawau Island.

We welcome any memories of Jim from U3A members.

Jim’s passing was noted in the Devonport U3A Newsletter:

May 2020 u3adevonportnz@gmail.com
Welcome to all U3A members
We have no meetings planned but want to keep in touch and use the newsletter as a means of staying in touch.
The passing of Jim Mason
Jim Mason died in March and the lockdown situation meant the family were unable to hold the usual funeral, at which U3A would have been represented. Instead there is a Memorial Site, which is easily found by searching online for Jim Mason. Click on U3A at the top for the special U3A page, to which some members may like to contribute a personal comment.
His Contribution to our Organisation
Jim and Val Mason were involved with Ponsonby U3A before fulfilling Jim’s dream of moving back to Devonport, where he grew up, a proud descendant of pioneer Oliver Mays. Devonport U3A benefited from that Ponsonby experience, in addition to the impressive knowledge and
skills of this strong team of two. They were part of a small group who worked extremely hard in the our first years, and without them we would not be so fortunate now.
Jim’s prudence resulted in the establishment of the Trust, designed to give legal status and protection. He was a capable President for more than one year, once in partnership with Pat Ward, when no one else came forward.
Gallivants were dear to his heart, and a memorable delight to members. All required much time, effort, and skillful arrangement. A number were to Hauraki Gulf locations such as sailing to the Noises on tall ship Soren Larsen, visiting the Whitakers Music Museum on Waiheke Island, trips to Kawau, Rakino, Rangitoto, Motutapu, and Tiritiri Matangi, some on Spirit of New Zealand. More than once we took the Riverhead ferry to lunch at the tavern. On land we explored Mt Victoria and North Head with Dave Veart, and the Stonefields at Mangere, as well as travelling to places outside Auckland, sometimes staying for a night or longer.
He would be pleased at the continuation of Gallivants by Margaret Purdy and Lyn Brockelbank.

    Joyce Fairgray
    16 Apr 2020

    I appreciated the great contribution Jim and Val made in the early years of Devonport U3A, – they worked together as a strong team. They came with previous experience of U3A in Ponsonby, and did sterling work on our committee, with Jim being President for more than one year. It was his initiative to set up the protective Trust.
    They introduced and organised the enormously enjoyable Gallivants, which usually involved a considerable amount of effort.
    My husband and I particularly enjoyed the voyage on the tall ship Soren Larsen to the Noises – a rare opportunity to that destination. I also recall Whitakers Music Museum on Waiheke, Motutapu and The Riverhead ferry, the Mangere Stonefields, and nearer home with Dave Veart showing us the evidence of Maori use of Mt Victoria. A weekend stay was made at Vaughan Park at Long Bay. Jim and Val were responsible for many more, and numbers of us have enjoyed them – and in true U3A spirit learnt at the same time.
    Thank you, Jim and Val.

    Margaret Purdy
    17 Apr 2020

    I have many memories of happy chats with Jim from the time I joined Devonport U3A when I had just moved to Auckland. He was passionate about the U3A organisation and about Devonport. So it was a great pleasure to work with him on the 10th anniversary celebrations in 2007, and again in 2017 when he and Val gave wonderful support for producing the book commemorating the 20th anniversary. When they handed over the reins for the Gallivants, Jim and Val remained full of enthusiasm and ideas, continuing to join the group whenever they could. Jim will be much missed by our community; he has contributed so much and touched so many lives. I send my deep sympathy and love to Val and family in your great loss.

    U3A Devonport
    17 Apr 2020

    It is with sadness that we learnt of the death of Jim Mason. Our older members will know of the very active and inspired person Jim and his wife were from early times of Devonport U3A. Jim and Val moved from Ponsonby to Devonport after 1998. They brought with them a broad view of what we might achieve in a friendly and social way forging ahead with exciting new ideas., including early days of Gallivanters. We remember a challenging hike to Okura via Dacre Cottage. Val arranged a river trip from Warkworth to the islands and many more. Jim a valued member of the legal world created our U3A trust and many of us have been excited by Jim’s contribution both to U3A as well as supporting a broad vision for his beloved Devonport where his forebears had settled in much earlier times. We value having known a lovely man who gave us so much.
    To Val and family we pass on our deepest sympathy in your loss and may you all treasure the memories of a good life well lived.

    Maureen McMillan
    19 Apr 2020

    Dear Jim
    Thank you for inviting Ian and me to join your lunch group after a meeting of U3A. It was a kindly gesture and very much appreciated at the time.
    Love and sympathy to all the family.

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