Beacon 5th November 2015

Short words by bob ant

Last week was rather intense. We celebrated the lives of two very fine gentlemen who were the foundations of our club. Both Jack and George gave “service above self” and will be greatly missed by all.

Our board meeting, on Thursday, heard that our defibrillators project is on target with three installed at Woolworths, IGA Naroooma, and IGA Dalmeny, with more publicity about to happen… much thanks to Chris for her work on this great project.

For our next major local project, we discussed making a significant contribution to up to $5,000 to the Narooma School of Arts Building Fund to go toward their Solar Panels on the roof of the Narooma Cinema. This would be made up of $2,500 from our club and donations of $2,500 from other sources. The panels will substantially lower running costs for the Cinema, with an indirect benefit to the environment.

Also the board agreed to upgrade our advertisement on the Market and Fairs web site. We put off buying umbrellas for the markets as our tables and chairs are nearing the end of their life and we need to look at replacements.

My thanks to Frank, John Doyle and Lynn for organising the Rotary stuff from Jack’s house. We will need a few working bees soon.

Plans are under way for the combined Christmas Race Meeting, with Moruya and Batemans Bay,  on 20th December. Keep this date free as we will be helping out – should be fun.

Also on 27th November at Nata Oval we are hosting the BBQ (as mentioned last Thursday) for White Ribbon Day – a great cause to get behind.

The conversation has started about ideas for meetings. If you have some ideas please let me know and also where are we going to hold our Christmas Party?!?

Again, sorry this is late but between technology that is failing me and increased work load I’m running slightly behind….. but I’m catching up.

This week our guests are Rotarians John and Shirley Cornish from Moruya who have recently been on Rotary projects overseas.  They are great enthusiastic speakers.

Tribute to George Barker

1958 was a great year,

Jonny O’Keefe had his first hit with “Wild One”,

Radio station 2UE published  the first Australian Top 40,

Australian engineer Dr. David Warren of Melbourne’s Aeronautical Research Laboratories constructed the world’s first flight recorder (“black box”).

The first episode of Bandstand went to air on TCN-9, hosted by Brian Henderson

AND In Narooma George Barker joined with a small group of men and founded Narooma Rotary.

That started a journey of community service for George that would last nearly 60 years.

George held many positions within the Club, including President 63-64.

Clubs have foundation members and members who are the foundations of the Club, George was both.

A gentle man. At meetings he would sit at the opposite end to the president , sip on his glass of tomato juice or coffee listening  to what was being said then offer advice that made more sense than all the talk for the last half hour.

I have fond memories of George and Marylyn sitting at the white elephant stall at the Markets, chatting and on the odd occasion selling something, but they never could sell the toilet seat (sorry, in joke).

In recent times my chats with George were in the car park at Wollies while he waited for Anne to shop, we’d pass in the car as he took his Grandchildren to school, or he and Anne would be having coffee , where ever it was I’d always get a smile and a hand shake and I’d be inspired.

A couple of months ago  to honour George we moved our meeting to lunch time as he was no longer able to come out in the evenings. Lots of friends, former Rotarians and current members all came to this special meeting to celebrate the occasion. Unfortunately due to ill health George was unable to hear the many stories and tributes, but today those words of support and thanks are beaming from all our hearts.

Narooma has lost a wonderful member of our community, Rotary has lost a fine example of “Service above Self” .

To the Barker family and to Anne, thank you for all your support of George in Rotary. At this time, may we in turn offer our support to you.

– Bob Antill

Tribute to Jack Wightman

In the recent political climate, we have heard politicians’ talk about lifters and leaners.

Jack Wightman , quietly, lifted well above his weight, in fact he was a gold medalist.

A pillar of communities, not one but many.

In Rotary he was a founding member of North Rocks club in Sydney. In Narooma, he became one of our foundations.

Jack held many positions including Secretary and Treasurer, and on more than one occasion both at the same time. Holder of our Archives, chief marker-out for our monthly Markets and in 2009 -2010 he was President.

With someone like Jack in our club, we became lazy. If we needed to know anything about Rotary, we’d just ask Jack, never any need to look it up.

Earlier this year, Jack and I travelled to Tumut for district training and just about everyone knew him, especially people from the wine club.

Jack enjoyed a good red.

Never one to let deafness be a handicap, he was into all the gadgets he could find to help out. Everyone who spoke at a club meeting would have to wear a blue-tooth mike around their neck. We got so used to it, that a member would stand to speak and then wait for the mic to be passed over. On the rare occasions Jack would miss a meeting there, was a few seconds hesitation as the speaker waited for the mic.

Marking out for the Markets was with military precision. Jack would arrive in the Peugeot with his two sticks strapped to the roof. String lines were set, then each site measured with the right stick, the only weak link was usually the help, I stuffed up a few times and Jack just smiled (probably through gritted teeth).

I believe only once was Jack allowed to tow the van with his Peugeot.

There are many stories and many memories. Today, as we reflect on his life, we know that we were privileged to have had Jack Wightman pass through ours.

Thank you Jack.

– Bob Antill