On Saturday I, along with Lynda Ord, Sandra Doyle and Peter Bull interviewed 12 Narooma High students for the Narooma Rotary Scholarship. Although standards varied we can be assured that all applicants were great representatives of their school. We will announce our 2018 Scholar at the Australia Day Awards evening on 25 January. The successful applicant will be a wonderful ambassador for Narooma Rotary. One thing that became very clear during the interview process – we must promote ourselves with young people in our community. Very few of the applicants had a good knowledge of Rotary and what it does.
This week we celebrate Christmas with dinner at Casey’s. I am sure it will be a great night with good food and excellent fellowship. I understand Merinda has put the choir through their paces at secret training sessions and all will be in fine form by the time Thursday comes around. I have been asked not to sing – I can’t understand why! Remember the Club will provide all the drinks on the night, so just bring yourself, dressed in the Christmas Spirit.
Don’t forget our next meeting will be on 20 January 2018at our place. It will be a cocktail party with a range of mouth-watering cocktails to choose from. The cost will be $20 including drinks and finger food. We will of course run a raffle with a range of interesting prizes to choose from.
Therese and I wish you and your families all the best for the festive season.
The Week that Was
The worldwide Rotary family
Last week we were reminded three times of the wonderful worldwide network of Rotary.
Charmaine White, recently returned from visiting a friend in Chicago, toasted the Rotary Club of Long Grove in Chicago which she visited while there. It’s a breakfast club with a really active crew, she said. One Rotarian had recently returned from helping out in Puerto Rico after Cyclone Irma, and another was off soon to assist in Nicaragua which is also recovering from a recent cyclone.
Then Chris O’Brien and Angie Ulrichsen presented President Bob with a banner from the RC of Amsterdam which they visited at the Hilton Hotel during their recent overseas jaunt.
AND we again welcomed Jenni Lean from the Rotary Club of Port Moresby, now living in New Zealand, who was in Narooma visiting her brother Jeff.
Our Annual General Meeting last week elected the 2018-2019 Board with Rod Walker already confirmed as President. The meeting elected Vice President Laurelle Pacey, Treasurer Lynn Hastings, and four Directors – Angie Ulrichsen, John Rungen, John Doyle, and Sandra Doyle.
The Club is still looking for a secretary for 2018-2019, and a President Elect 2019-2020.
Carols by Candlelight
We had a top team serving sausage sandwiches at the Carols by Candlelight on NATA Oval, while some of our Rotarian choristers were on stage singing their hearts out. John had to get extra sausages, such was the demand, while those in the van loved the simplicity of only selling the one thing, except that took from their great skills of ‘on-selling’…
If you can, please take a spot on the roster for selling duck tickets. Super seller Michael O’Connor was spotted in front of IGA Narooma this week going really well. Good spot, next to the moving Santa that can keep kids (and ticket sellers) amused for hours.
Believe it or not we are nearly half way through the 2017/18 Rotary year. With our AGM this week it is may be time to reflect on our year to date.
Socially the move to the Golf Club has been worthwhile with a good selection of meals to choose from. Our Italian Night and Lift the Lid on Mental Illness dinners were great fun.
Angie has organised informative and entertaining guest speakers and our ‘Rotarian Presents’ nights have been great successes with visits to Rolf’s Patisserie, The Dental Surgery and the Men’s’ Shed along with excellent presentations from Michael and Frank. We also launched our Friends of Rotary initiative and held a successful function to thank our ‘Busking Sponsors’ night.
We have conducted five successful markets and catered for the Early Falcons and Narooma Motors car shows. We also organised and ran an outstanding Renewable Energy Expo to keep our community informed.
We have made significant donations to the Foundation, Shelter Box and Australian Rotary Health. We have also made donations to many local organisations such as St John Ambulance. Our Whale Watching raffle made $1,400 to go towards local surf clubs.
Have we made a difference? I think we have.
Board members, please don’t forget the Board meeting 5pm this Thursday.
Have a great week.
The Week that Was
Rotarian Peter presents the Men’s Shed
Everyone enjoyed our visit to Narooma Men’s Shed, courtesy of Peter Hartley, as part of the monthly ‘Rotarian Presents’ program instituted by President Bob. Peter ‘was pleased and surprised everyone turned up’, adding ‘I think it was a full house’.
Narooma Men’s Shed President Wal Sheehan explained what a Men’s Shed is… ‘it provides a safe and friendly environment where men can make things at their own pace in their own time with other men’. He said ‘it’s the hands on making things that many really enjoy’.
He said morning tea time is particularly popular and some come just for that. ‘Many really need a chat over a cuppa; it overcomes the social isolation many men feel, such as after they retire or after losing their wives. It’s men looking after men.’
We split into three groups led by Peter, Wal and Peter ‘Curly’ Carles for a tour of the impressive workshops on site – woodworking, metal working, the potting shed, furniture repair shed and the morning tea room cum MACS Studio. Most were impressed with the quality of the work with several members eyeing off products like the backyard beehive, and the jigsaw table.
Wal said the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) is the peak body supporting almost 1000 Men’s Sheds across Australia. It was established in 2007. Interestingly Rotary played a key factor in the formation of the Men’s Shed movement in Australia: it is a key community service addressing men’s health.
Back at the Golf Club, Peter was again in the spotlight proposing the International Toast to the Rotary Club of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand which also meets on a Thursday night for dinner. His choice was prompted by his recent holiday in New Zealand. He mentioned New Zealand’s most important historic site is at the Bay of Islands, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and the indigenous Maori in February 1840.
We welcomed Rod Walker’s guest Geoff Drake from Cobargo to our meeting, as well as our regular guests Iris and Merinda.
Tickets for our Australia Day Duck Race Duck Race tickets will be available this Thursday, should anyone like to take a book (20 tickets). The idea is to try and sell most of the tickets on the street or around caravan parks. A roster will go around this Thursday to sell tickets at the markets, IGA on the flat and at Dalmeny, Woolworths and caravan parks. Please take the time and fill in a couple of spots on the roster. Proceeds from the Duck Race will go to Australia Rotary Health and to top up our Tertiary Scholarship fund.
Frank claims Expo credit as his happy moment
Frank told us last week that roof-top solar installations across Australia in October exceeded 100MW of capacity, and then last month they exceeded 120MW knocking off the previous record set in June 2012. He claimed, ‘Analysis by Eden Solar concludes this was largely due to the excellent Renewable Energy Expo in Narooma organised by our Club’. ‘Thanks to the efforts of the Expo Committee, all-time records are now being broken, and solar is now more cost-effective than playing golf,’ he said. Needless to say he paid up.
Moruya Rotary helps decorate main street
Moruya’s main street is looking very festive thanks to the team work between Moruya Rotary and the Moruya Business Chamber. In the early hours of Sunday 3 December, Moruya Rotarian Rohan Gleeson along with Chamber members Rob Pollock, Puddy Harrison and Col Chesher with two kindly electricians spent hours erecting 13 Christmas decorations on the specially designed poles along one side of Vulcan Street and four at the roundabout. On the opposite side of the street, Moruya Lions Club already had their Santa’s on top of shop awnings.
Rotary provides the public liability insurance (required by Essential Energy) and labour as needed, and the Chamber the decorations (purchased with the help of a $6,000 Council grant every three years) and labour. Most of the tinsel was replaced this year and they replaced the LEDs with bud lighting.
Bega Hospital carers’ accommodation a Rotarian’s dream
The first stage of subsidised accommodation for patients, carers, friends and relatives at the new South East Regional Hospital at Bega opens on Friday. Community Carers Accommodation South East (CCASE) president Lynne Koerbin said the project started as an idea from Janet Brandon when president of the Rotary Club of Pambula in 2012 and then transformed into a community project embraced across south-east NSW.
It was funded by the Federal Government ($450,000), Bega Cheese ($250,000) as well as Bendigo Bank, EC Blomfield Holdings, Bega, Tathra and Pambula-Merimbula Lions Clubs, Bega, Pambula and Merimbula Rotaries, the Eden Lionesses, and the Country Women’s Association of Pambula and Merimbula Branch. Our Club also contributed.
Stage one of the three stage project consists of six motel style rooms and estimated to accommodate 1750 overnight stays each year. It will be handed over to the Southern NSW Local Health District to operate.
CCSAE has raised enough money to also fund the second stage.
District Conference 2018
The District Conference is on at Mittagong RSL 23 – 25 March. The District Committee has put together a great programme with some impressive guest speakers, led by retired Governor General Major General Michael Jeffrey. Registration is now open on the District website. The $100 includes lunch and the conference dinner on Saturday night.
The new District in brief
The new much larger Rotary District comes into being on 1 July 2020. It encompasses current Districts 9700 and 9710. Our Rotary International Director Noel Trevaskis believes larger and better resourced Districts are more able to support Clubs as they endeavour to grow and strengthen Rotary.
A Transition Management Team is overseeing its formation. It consists of DG George Weston (9700), DG Steve Hill (9710), PDGs Irene Jones (9700) and Bob Greeney (9710), and the DG of the new District who will be elected in March 2018. The team invites all of us to send them any ideas we have on what the new district should do to fulfil its main role of being a resource for the clubs in doing good in the world.
Assistant Governor positions will go. They will be replaced with the new position of Area Governor responsible for a bigger area covering no more than 15 Rotary Clubs plus any Rotaract or Interact Clubs within those areas. A new Area Governor manual will soon be available on the District website.
The District will soon call for expressions of interest to nominate for District Governor for the new District for 2020/21. The Transition Team sees the DG’s role changing to more administrative oversight of the District Board and programs, with limited travel around Clubs.
More information is in the recent circulars from Noel Trevaskis and Steve Hill.
‘Home schooling’, courtesy Peter Bull
Here are some things our parents taught us…
My father taught me logic: ‘Because I said so, that’s why.’
My mother taught me foresight: ‘Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re involved in an accident.’
My father taught me about justice: ‘One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you.’
My mother taught me hypocrisy: ‘If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times; don’t exaggerate.’
What a great night we had last Thursday. Our theme was Italian with lots of red, white and green streamers, flags and outfits! Our speakers Carmel and Alexander gave an informative presentation on parts of Italy less travelled and the food was excellent, especially the dessert. I think we will plan more theme nights before the end of the Rotary year.
The Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held on 14 December. President Elect Rod is looking for members to serve on the Board; please consider putting your name forward because we need active Board members to keep the Club vibrant and relevant to our community.
Although we won’t meet over the holiday period, the Club will be active with lots of events on the agenda. Activities include Carols by Candlelight on 17 December, Christmas at the Races on 24 December, Rotary Markets on Thursday 28 December, the annual Rotary Duck Race on Australia Day on Friday 26 January, the Narooma Motors event on 27 January, followed by Markets on 28 January. Throughout January we will also be selling tickets in the Duck Race. Please help out where you can, especially by volunteering to sell Duck Race tickets. Ticket should be available this Thursday.
This Thursday we will begin our meeting at the Men’s Shed, where Peter Hartley and some members of the Men’s Shed will give an overview of the operation of this important and much needed facility. Please be at the Shed by 6:00pm; following the presentation we will move to the Golf Club for dinner.
Finally a reminder that our Christmas Party will be on 21 December at Casey’s. Final numbers are needed by 14 December. The cost is $30 for three courses; the Club will provide beer and wine.
Have a great week everyone.
The Week that Was
An Italian love affair
Members and guests really embraced the spirit of the Italian night last week when we heard from Carmel Mackin and partner Alexander Macdonald’s about their love affair with Italy. Pasta, lasagne and tiramisu set the scene last Thursday night at the Golf Club for them to take Rotarians and their guests on a journey which started on the island of Sicily. Sicily is famous for not only the Mafia and the volatile Mt Etna, but also for fantastic ancient ruins and stunning buildings. Sicily is also famous for puppetry. Puppets used in the shows are up to 1.5m high and are controlled with skill perfected over thousands of years.
Carmel studied Italian for one year at university then gave up until much later when she revisited the language at the University of the Third Age. She fell in love again with the language, the romance and the style of Italy. Their travels took them through the Italian Riviera into the mountains to Modena, the home of Enzo Ferrari and a wonderful museum which celebrates him and his Ferrari creations, then on to Florence.
From staying in an Old Church airbnb built in the early 1500s where the bells rang out every 15 minutes through the night, to one where the climb up ancient stairs to the apartment was their aerobic work-out for the week. Italians are not only passionate about their wine and food but how they present and serve it. At one delicatessen, the ham Carmel and Alexander purchased was wrapped in floral paper tied off with ribbon, good enough for a birthday present.
John Doyle thanked them for their talk and whetting the appetite of those present to check out deals for trips to Italy in the New Year. Bob Antill
Our Rotary Tertiary Scholarship
Lynda Ord is delighted the Club has received 13 applications for this year’s Rotary Tertiary Scholarship. A panel of President Bob, Peter, Sandra and Lynda will interview all applicants on Saturday 16 December. The Scholarship is made possible thanks to a bequest by Alexander Birch. This next scholarship winner will be the 28th student from Narooma High the Club has helped pursue their studies and achieve their dreams. That assistance now totals about $240,000. Part of the proceeds from the next Duck Race will top up the scholarship fund which is rapidly being depleted.
This is the final year of the Rotary scholarship for two of our students – Connor Ross (2014 Bachelor of Arts (Music Industry), RMIT) and Carl McEvoy (2015 – Bachelor of Media and Communications – Media Production at UTS). The scholarships continue for our other two scholars Melanie Miller (2016 – Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology UNE) and Sabine Kildea (2017 – Arts degree at ANU). Hopefully we will catch up with some of them at our Youth night in 2018, as well as our new Scholarship winner.
Some Expo postscripts
The major prizes for the Expo’s poster competition for Narooma Public School students on improved garbage bin lid designs for the school playground were presented by Member for Eden Monaro Dr Mike Kelly at the Expo. Sandra Doyle, competition organiser, presented certificates to the other prize winners at Monday’s school assembly. A great success overall.
On electric cars: Hot on the Renewable Energy Expo and the interest in Vin Edward’s Tesla car, interesting new research shows pure electric cars are already cheaper to own and run than petrol or diesel cars in in all the markets they examined: UK, Japan, Texas and California. An article in Guardian Weekly this week says researchers at the University of Leeds analysed the total cost of ownership of cars over four years, including purchase price and depreciation, fuel, insurance, taxation and maintenance. This was the main reason for the rapid increase in sales in electric cars sales in these countries.
More ‘groaners’, courtesy of Peter Bull
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
The Expo was a great success. It was fabulous seeing more than 500 visitors roll through the doors on Saturday. I’m sure all visitors gained valuable information about renewable energy, recycling and waste reduction. Most exhibitors I spoke to told me that they were kept busy with questions, inquires and sales. General feedback from visitors was it was a great day, and thanks to Rotary for organising the event. Our local Federal Member Dr Mike Kelly was very impressed with the Expo and thanked Rotary for having the foresight to coordinate it. A big thank you to all exhibitors and sponsors for their generous support.
The dinner and forum on Saturday night was also informative with a good turnout of Rotarians and community members to listen to highly qualified speakers. Once again thanks to Frank Eden, John Doyle, Chris O’Brien, Sandra Doyle, Angie Ulrichsen and Laurelle Pacey for their fantastic organisation of the Expo.
Of course, there was no rest on Sunday with a busy market leading up to Christmas. With the approach of summer, the last markets before Christmas and a fine day, we had the biggest turn out of stallholders for some time, and the crowds turned up to try and seek out a bargain. Thanks to Chis O’Brien, John Doyle and their hard-working helpers who made it all happen. (Gross market takings gate $1,180, van $710.10, wishing well $57.20.)
This Thursday is our Italian night. The cost is $25.00 for a two-course meal. It should be a great night with an excellent guest speaker. Carmel Mackin will entertain us with her presentation ‘Italy from Toe to Top’. Carmel first came into contact with Italy and the Italian language over 40 years ago. However, it is only more recently that her love for both developed, via two extended trips to the land of La Dolce Vita.
Have a great week.
The Week that Was
International toast: Having recently returned from Alaska, Rod Walker proposed our international toast last week to one of four Rotary Club’s in Alaska’s capital Juneau – the RC of Juneau-Gastineau. It’s a breakfast Club of 45 members who meet on a Thursday.
Last Thursday our guest speaker Mark Hemmingsen of Electric Vehicles Canberra, also an Expo exhibitor, focussed us on ‘all things sustainable’. He spoke of Canberra’s potential to become the electric vehicle (EV) capital of Australia, noting new developments in Canberra will have charging points for EV. He said EV’s advantages included being cheaper to run, fast and powerful, reliable, convenient (can refuel at home), required less maintenance because fewer moving parts to break, not being oil dependent and environmentally friendly.
First the Expo
The expo got off to a good start on Saturday with people trying to get in before the official start at 10. It was soon evident we would have quite a busy day.
Thanks to our trusty ‘gatekeepers’, no one got in through the door without divulging their postcode; from that we could monitor numbers plus where people were from. About 500 people came on Saturday, 87% of them were from Batemans Bay to Eden. Last year we estimated about 600 people over two days. On analysis of postcode numbers as a proportion of recorded 486 entries: Bodalla/Narooma/Bermagui 57%, Moruya/Batemans Bay 22%, Bega to Eden 8%, Yass/ACT/Queanbeyan 4%. The remaining 9% came from Shoalhaven/Illawarra, Sydney, elsewhere in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
Our local Federal Member Dr Mike Kelly who officially opened the Expo was very impressed with the Expo. He said the economic reasons for getting behind the push to renewable energy are ‘overwhelming’, noting ‘it’s about our children’s future’. ‘There’s great world leading stuff happening in Eden Monaro,’ he said, but lamented so much Australian-designed renewable energy technology was being taken up overseas rather than in Australia.’ He believes the Eden-Monaro area had the potential for being the flagship for Australia with renewable energy driven by grassroots’ movements.
Dr Kelly also presented prizes to Narooma Public School students who won the poster competition around improved garbage bin lid designs for the school playground. This was a huge success with the kids, thanks to Sandra and teacher Michelle Symons.
Then the Expo Forum
The Renewable Energy Forum at Club Narooma on Saturday night featured three expert speakers in front of about 60 people, fewer than last year. Mark Shorter of Eurobodalla Shire Council spoke of ‘these exciting times’ of an ‘energy revolution’ with homes at the heart of this revolution. Solar, he said, was the most viable renewable source in our area after going through the possibilities of each source in this area. By the end of this year, Council will have installed more than 700kW of solar power capacity at 27 council facilities. Council is investigating the potential of large scale solar farms in the shire as well as methane and biogas harvesting from Council’s landfills and sewage facilities.
Kylie Hitchman from ClearSky Solar Investments said ‘there is no holding back renewable energy projects’ and that it was possible to generate 100% of our energy from renewables. She added that increased energy efficiency and energy storage were also part of the equation, and the grid was still essential. ‘We’re seeing more control of power generation at the community level often by community groups partnering with council’, and spoke about investment possibilities in projects around Australia, returning 6-10% p.a.
Richard Kirkwood from Divall’s Earthmoving and Bulk Haulage in Goulburn outlined his company’s commitment to sustainable practices which have minimal impact on the environment, and to solar projects including for their own business and four solar farms. The diverse arms to Divalls and how they originated were quite fascinating. Divalls employs more than 200 people full time and is the largest employer in the Goulburn area outside of the Council.
A word from our Expo coordinator Frank…
Wow! I am so happy the Expo has been such a success and that’s down to everyone who helped out, including on the day. I would especially like to thank Laurelle for publicity, Rachel for her great graphic designs, Angie for her efforts with sponsors and her enthusiasm, Chris for organising the sponsors and the dinner (which was scrumptious), Sandra for her terrific Facebooking and John who acted as facilities manager. Tim Dolstra did an even better job than last year putting together an amazing promotional video.
Michael took charge of the sale of the solar lights [approx $1,000 raised] and word has it that he has been offered a job by one of the exhibitors. Bob Aston kept us all in line and focussed, and delivered a very good speech or two. Finally thanks to David for some entertaining MCing.
Our sponsors and exhibitors deserve special praise. Without their support we could not run the expo.
Postscript from Victoria
Former Narooma Rotarian Ian Thomlinson was inducted into his old Rotary Club of Warrandyte in Victoria this week, having moved back to Victoria earlier this year. Congratulations Ian.
Ian is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Narooma and a former Assistant Governor and a greatly respected Club ‘statesman’. Ian and Micki always added a lot of fun to Club events (Ian’s role as the Christmas Fairy being a highlight), and they are missed by all who knew them.
Another great meeting last Thursday with an excellent speaker to keep us entertained. Thanks to Trevor Neville, I can now draw a shark that looks something like the real thing! As a former teacher, Trevor’s talk impressed me because he used the art of teaching, breaking things down into easily achievable bits to teach us how to draw and create.
This year’s Renewable Energy Expo is almost upon us. I am sure the Expo will provide all who attend with valuable information about reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, renewable energy and effective waste management. Frank and his committee have done a wonderful job organising the Expo; let’s hope the Eurobodalla community give it the support it deserves.
Don’t forget our Italian Night on 30 November at the Golf Club. It should be a fun night with an excellent speaker. The Club needs accurate numbers to prepare our meal so please indicate your attendance at this week’s meeting. It will also be a great opportunity to invite friends along to experience one of our meetings, so if you get a chance invite a friend to join us.
Also keep in mind our annual Christmas party at Casey’s on 21 December; it will be another opportunity to invite friends along to enjoy some Rotary hospitality.
Have a great week everyone.
The Week that Was
Trevor Neville, a teacher and artist and currently the librarian at Narooma Public School, proved to be a fascinating guest speaker last week.He spoke about his passion for drawing as a way to engage with students, while also demonstrating that even Rotarians can draw given the right instruction. (President Bob is so thrilled with his shark, it might now be framed!)
Trevor showed us what amounted to a portfolio of some of his wonderfully colourful and happy illustrations, particularly those painted directly onto the windows of Engadine Library, initially for Book Week, and then eventually the windows of all libraries in Sutherland Shire. He said he gets so totally absorbed in drawing that time stops. Narooma students are currently working on some murals at the school where he hopes every student will contribute. Trevor also illustrates stories for children, mostly at schools, and runs drawing workshops for children with six booked over the summer holidays.
Trevor was joined by his wife Michelle (also a teacher at Narooma Public School and the community choir conductor) and their daughter Sammy.
Last week we toasted the Rotary Club of Harare in Zimbabwe while thinking of the current uncertainty in their country. It is the oldest of the seven Rotary Clubs in Harare, chartered in 1930 and was one of the first Rotary Clubs in Africa outside of South Africa. The RC of Harare meets for lunch each Thursday at the Rotary Centre in Harare. It has had many major club projects over the years including a Children’s Home and the Fairways Home for the Aged.
Pacific Island Midwivestake a Bay break
Fourteen Moruya Rotarians and partners attended Batemans Bay Rotary’s special meeting at the Soldiers Club on Saturday night to welcome 15 Pacific Island midwives and leaders to the Eurobodalla for a weekend break during their two-week Rotary-sponsored vocational training in Canberra. It is a joint D9710, D9920 Auckland and Pacific Islands and RI venture. The midwives from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Kirabati were undertaking leadership training in a programme designed by the University of Canberra and the College of Midwives.
Moruya PP Pauline Gleeson said ‘as Rotarians we should all be super proud knowing that our organisation is helping our Pacific neighbours in the field of midwifery’. She added that at the dinner the ladies entertained them ‘with humour, singing and some pretty impressive dancing’.
Batemans Bay Rotarians are a cultured lot…
Batemans Bay Rotarians are really getting into the spirit of their relatively recent initiative of Pizza, Poetry and Plonk Nights, according to their latest newsletter. Many partners are also joining in and reciting poetry. They combined the last PPP night with a Hat theme and raised funds for Rotary Health.
Expo and Markets this weekend
We’re in for a busy time this weekend what with the Expo on Saturday and the Markets on Sunday, so hopefully we will have as many hands on deck as possible AND fine weather.
Some ‘groaners’, courtesy Peter Bull
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Typo.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
Last Thursday Frank Eden stepped in at short notice to talk to us about ‘AI’ or artificial intelligence. I must say when Frank told me he was going to talk about AI I thought he was going talk about something completely different! His presentation was very informative if a little scary.
The way computers learn and adapt will have significant impacts on us in the next five to 10 years, with machines taking over many tasks currently carried out by humans. While some of us might be quite happy with self-driving cars, I am not sure I want artificial soldiers fighting wars or a machine fixing my heart…
As I have mentioned previously, we have a busy few weeks ahead of us. Please consider volunteering for these important activities including the Expo, Markets and Carols by Candlelight. It is particularly important to get numbers for the Expo Dinner on the evening of 25 November; we need at least 30 to 40 people to make it worthwhile. Please let me know by email if you will be attending the dinner.
Don’t forget our Italian Night at the Golf Club on 30 November. If would be great to see a big turnout for what should be as great night, please invite your partners, friends and even others.
Rotary Day at the United Nations was on Saturday 11 November. To find out a little more about what happened on the 11th click here. Laurelle has a little more.
This week we welcome Trevor Neville as our guest speaker. Trevor is a teacher, artist and illustrator. His many talents include children’s art workshops, cartoon drawing and vibrant chalkboard designs.
Have a great week everyone
The Week that Was
Unfortunately I missed Frank’s talk on artificial intelligence (AI) which he says is ‘the most significant technological advance in his [and our!] lifetime’. What interested him particularly last week was the resulting discussion about the social implications of AI.
Counting down to the Renewable Energy Expo
Our Renewable Energy Expo is less than two weeks away but the committee is confident all plans are now in place. Here is the latest great film promo on the Expo, courtesy of Tim Dolstra and Frank. Here is the link. https://www.facebook.com/477955609204611/videos/526518351015003/ Please ‘like’ it, share it, comment on it, and forward it on to everyone you can think of.
Lions’ Drug Awareness Community Forum
Five of our members represented the Club at the Drug Awareness Community Forum held by Narooma Lions last Friday and Saturday at the Golf Club. About 100 Narooma High students attended on Friday along with a number of adults particularly from Narooma’s service clubs including Michael, Angie and Sandra. Sandra, Charmaine and Chris attended on Saturday which attracted mainly representatives from the town’s various service clubs plus a few others.
Sandra said the two days were ‘very confronting’. ‘Support agencies were well represented and they spoke about drugs and their consequences,’ she said. ‘NSW Police gave some insight into their everyday dealings with drug users and their covert operations to find the dealers.’
The Lighthouse Surgery representative spoke with students about the Teen Clinic starting at the Surgery 14 November. It is a free and confidential service where local teenagers can seek advice from a nurse on both medical and non-medical issues. On Saturday Dr Gundi Muller-Grotjan spoke about concerns caused by opiate and alcohol use in the area.
Perhaps the presentation that had the greatest impact on everyone was by two women whose sons’ ICE addiction have had such a devastating effect on their respective families, with the men in prison and one of the women now having to care for her three grandchildren. The women started the ICE Support Group to help others like themselves. The women begged the students to think about their families before considering taking ICE.
Sandra said the consensus from speaking with the other service groups after the forum seemed to be to look at possibly doing something to support affected families through the ICE Support Group. No doubt we will more about this.
UN celebrates Rotary International Day
Rotary Day at the United Nations on 11 November celebrated in Geneva the two organisations’ shared vision for peace. It also highlighted the critical humanitarian activities that Rotary and the UN lead around the world. About 1,000 people attended including RI president Ian Risley and directors, Rotary Foundation trustees, other Rotarians, experts from other nongovernmental agencies, renowned humanitarians and young leaders. This year’s theme was ‘Peace: Making a Difference’.
We had a great night last Thursday with our launch of our ‘Friends of Rotary’ Initiative, thank you to all members who helped get the initiative up and running, hopefully it will be the beginning of a new era for our Club. Laurelle has included an excellent report elsewhere in the Beacon.
Organisation of the Expo is really hotting up (excuse the pun) with sponsors and exhibitors just about finalised. So far we have 23 exhibitors booked in with a couple more to be confirmed – a great effort on the part of Frank and his team. If you want to keep up to date with the latest, check out the website by clicking here. Please also remember to book in for the dinner after the Expo, we will be asking members to confirm their attendance at Thursday’s meeting.
Paul Croker has cancelled his workshop that was planned for Thursday’s meeting. In his place we have been fortunate to secure the world renowned Frank Eden to address us. Following Frank’s presentation we will have our scheduled Club Assembly.
On the last Thursday in November we will be having an Italian night at the Club. Hopefully it will be a fun night so please invite your friends. The cost will be $25.00 a head for 2 courses.
Have a great week
The Week that Was
Our Friends of Narooma Rotary
We had another great Rotary night last Thursday for the launch of our ‘Friends of Narooma Rotary’ by President Bob. Bob spoke about Rotary International, how our Club related to the worldwide Rotary network, how our Club was involved in our community and why we started Friends of Narooma Rotary.
We then heard from three ‘Friends’ – Angela Miller, a teacher at Narooma Public School; Kim Bush of Eurobodalla Shire Council and Noel Bate of Narooma Motors – about how Rotary could help them and how they could help us.
Angela Miller loves her job and is always looking for opportunities to offer students. She spoke about the many talented kids at Narooma school and the inspiration they give the others, like the eight Narooma students she recently took to State Athletics and of course the buskers especially the Rhythm Hunters. ‘We offer students a lot of opportunities but we are always looking for more. She is interested in exploring how they can help Rotary and how Rotary could help them.
Noel Bate said his main association with Narooma Rotary has been through the car shows, and with Chris and Ange. He is interested in helping Rotary however he could.
Kim Bush is a Divisional Manager with Council responsible for children’s services, community and youth services, libraries, arts and cultural development. Her association with our Club began when she was part of the District’s Global Study Exchange team to the United Kingdom in 2006, an experience she said was ‘life changing’. Her participation was organised through Jack Wightman. She brought back many ideas, many of which she has since implemented.
She said she has since promoted many of Rotary’s youth programs to students, describing their participation in those programs and from speaking to Council as ‘a pathway’. ‘I am truly a Friend of Narooma Rotary,’ she said. ‘Rotary is like a family and a fantastic organisation. Perhaps one day I might become a full member of Narooma Rotary, but not this year.’
Charmaine thanked our speaker including the passion they showed for their jobs.
It was lovely to see Joan Morgan there, another Friend of Narooma Rotary.
Narooma kids star in Australian National Busking Championships
Narooma School’s talented Rhythm Hunters won the people’s choice award AND the best school group in the national finals of the Australian National Busking Championships in Cooma over the weekend. They were also runners up in the overall finals.
Sandra, John and Lynda from our Busking Festival Dream Team were of course there as were several others of our winners from May, apart from the very excited 34 Rhythm Hunters’ drummers. The others were Tyler Strucklak & Skye Armstrong of Batemans Bay, Matilda Rose of Bredbo, and John and Sandra’s granddaughter Shelby Grace.
‘I am so overwhelmed with the School’s Rhythm Hunters and the opportunity and experience it has given those students,’ Sandra said. ‘It’s amazing to see how attentive they all are and how well they follow they teacher Juanita Lowe’s instructions.’ Some of the Narooma students were interviewed by Channel 9 TV. Shelby came second in the People’s Choice.
This week we welcome Kim Bush from Eurobodalla Shire Council and Angela Muir from Narooma Public School for the launch of our ‘Friends of Rotary’ initiative.
We know from experience that potential members are often daunted by the prospect of joining our Club. Some feel the time commitment is too great, especially attending weekly meetings and helping out at fundraising activities. Some may feel that we’re quite old and formal in the way we conduct our business, while some don’t really know what Rotary does. Some potential members are turned off when the first question they’re asked when they visit us is ‘Would you like to join?’
The idea behind our ‘Friends of Rotary’ initiative is to give people in our community, especially younger people, the opportunity to ‘taste’ Rotary, find out a little about how we operate and what we do. It provides a way for them to participate even though they may not wish to join the club as a Rotarian with the rights and responsibilities of membership. Rather, becoming a Friend of Narooma Rotary establishes a formal association with our Club with an avenue to participate in Club activities.
The commitment to becoming a ‘Friend’ is simple: agree to come to the occasional meeting and to help from time to time with various activities. What’s in it for us? We learn more about a wider network of people in the community; hopefully over time our Friends will become Rotarians and in turn bring others into our great Club. Thank you to Lynda, Sandra and others who have helped design this initiative.
The Renewable Energy Expo committee is busy finalising arrangements for the upcoming Expo. Please keep the last Saturday in November free and don’t forget the dinner and forum on the evening of the 25th. Please let the committee know this week if you will be attending. Frank has also produced a video to advertise the event. See below.
Have a great week.
The Week that Was
It was lovely to have Rod Walker back last week after two months away, mainly in Canada. We were also joined by several guests: guest speaker Catherine Boomer and her husband Martin; Angie’s guests Cathie Muller, Maureen Trees, Helen Smith and Robyn Miller; and Chris’ guests Julian and Margaret Domaracki. It all made for another great meeting.
Our guest speaker
Our guest speaker Catherine Boomer is World Vision International’s Senior Adviser on Advocacy and External Engagement. She gave us a fascinating insight into World Vision (WV), a Christian NGO that focuses on children and families in 63 developing countries and 19 developed countries. It employs 50,000 staff worldwide, mostly people in countries where they are working, and a budget of over $2b.
She spoke briefly about WV’s well known child sponsorship, their long term sustainable development programmes and their humanitarian and emergency relief, before focussing on their advocacy. WV’s advocacy involves continuing to give aid while also working to convince countries to ‘do what is right’. They work at the local, national, regional and global levels, often in association with other major international agencies and sometimes in partnership with other ‘faith-based’ organisations.
Catherine said many countries where they work may have great policies, but often they fail in the implementation, sometimes because of a lack of money or of appropriately trained people.
She gave several examples of WV’s advocacy, often where there is sometimes a discrepancy between what people’s entitlements are under the law and the reality. Sometimes the solution can be found locally. For example, in one town the school was supposed to have five teachers but it only had two and the result was the children were not learning. The reason was a lack of accommodation for teachers so the town built a house for teachers.
While there are many different approaches to advocacy, WV’s approach is more about collaboration and dialogue and holding governments accountable. She spoke of the importance of listening to children’s voices and empowering them, and of training young people to advocate for what they want to see happen in their world.
President Bob received a lovely note from Catherine after Thursday’s meeting. I just wanted to say thank to you and the members of Narooma Rotary for making me so welcome last night. It was a great evening.
I am interested in your Friends of Rotary evening next week and being added to your mailing list. I hope to see you and the other members again soon.
Renewable Energy Expo
Frank has produced a great little film clip promoting the Expo which is getting quite a few hits on our Facebook pages (Expo and Club’s), Narooma News online and Beagle News Weekly and showing at the Kinema. Make sure you share it with your Facebook friends.
On RDU magazines
Chris O’Brien asks members to please bring along your old Rotary Down Under magazines for Lynn to include in the show bags for the Expo.
Meet the Midwives
We are all invited to meet visiting Midwives from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Kiribati in Batemans Bay during their two weeks leadership training in D9710 in a few weeks’ time. They will be undertaking a leadership program specifically designed by the University of Canberra and the Australian College of Midwives.
They are hosted by Rotarians around Canberra. They will spend their free weekend visiting Batemans Bay and surrounds, and will make a presentation to Rotarians at the Soldiers Club on Saturday 18 November (a week before the Expo). We are all invited – 6.30pm for 7pm, for a two course meal, cost $30pp. More information and registration details will soon be on the District Website; otherwise PDG Maureen Manning, President of Batemans Bay Club, is the contact.
Random thoughts, courtesy Peter Bull
An Engineer dies, and goes to Hell. Dissatisfied with the level of comfort there, he starts designing and building improvements. After a while Hell has air conditioning, flush toilets and escalators. The engineer is a pretty popular guy. One day God rings down and asks Satan, “So, how’s it going down there?”
Satan says, “Hey things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”
God is horrified. “What? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake – he should never have gone down there! You know all engineers go to Heaven. Send him back up here!”
Satan says, “No way. I like having an engineer on the staff. I’m keeping him”.
God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue”.
“Yeah, right,” Satan laughs, “and where are you going to find a lawyer?”
Thank you to Laurelle for chairing last week’s meeting in my absence. From all accounts it was an excellent meeting with an outstanding speaker in Lynne Thomas.
It has been another busy week for the Club, catering for Narooma Motors on Saturday and the Market on Sunday. Thank you to members who helped over the weekend.
We will hold a special meeting to launch our ‘Friends of Rotary’ initiative on 2 November. The idea is to encourage prospective members to become Friends of the Club and attend the occasional meeting to learn about Rotary and to volunteer to assist the Club in fundraising and special projects, such as the Expo and Busking competition. Hopefully over time our Friends might even become members. I will provide a few more details at the meeting this week and in next week’s Beacon.
While on the topic of membership, this week’s Rotary Voices lists 10 tips to retain and attract members. Check out the list by clicking here. On Tuesday Rotary International is hosting a webinar on managing leads to attract members. So, if you have a few spare minutes on Tuesday, click here to register; note you will need to register before the event.
Our guest speaker this week is Catherine Boomer, World Vision’s International Senior Advisor for External Engagement and Campaigns.
Have a great week everyone.
The Week that was
In thanking our guest speaker Lynne Thomas last week, Michael O’Connor described her talk as ‘enlightening and enchanting’, a sentiment shared by many others.
Lynne is a local Yuin Elder, a Black Duck woman, who grew up at Wallaga Lake Koori Village which she described as ‘a very special place’. She is currently employed as the Aboriginal Education Officer at Narooma Public School (a state-wide scheme her mother Anne Thomas helped establish), has worked with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and completes a university degree this year. She is also an artist.
Lynne talked about her large extended family who cover ‘a lot of history’ and ‘a very large area of country’ which means she ‘associates’ with many places from the south coast to Botany Bay, mid north coast and across to the Snowy Mountains. Her father Guboo Ted Thomas was a respected Yuin leader. His father was a blacktracker from the mountains around Kosciusko while his mother was the daughter of a Chinese man and French woman from Braidwood. Her mother Ann Thomas was from the mid North Coast.
She said Mumbulla and Gulaga mountains are special and very powerful places with great spiritual significance for Aboriginal people, and spoke of ‘the Great Spirit’ of the Land. She explained the significance of ochre on the forehead ‘to open our heart and eyes to see’. Her parents Guboo Ted and Ann Thomas were among the five south coast Elders who joined the fight for Aboriginal land rights in the 1970s, which resulted in the formation of land councils and the subsequent return of some traditional lands and ultimately traditional owners gaining title to Mumbulla and Gulaga Mountains.
Lynn said her art ‘releases her’ and she finds a lot of inspiration for her art from stories her father told her of when he was a boy. He was taught local Aboriginal lore by ‘the old fella’ Biamanga (Jack Mumbler). Her artwork features on some NPWS interpretative signs. She also writes stories for school kids.
Renewable Energy Expo
The Expo committee is really firming up plans now for the Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 25 November. We have about 20 exhibitors and a growing number of sponsors. The committee will meet every week up to the Expo. More details next week.
Joint Expo environmental project with School
Sandra Doyle presented two wheelie bins with different lid designs to the students of Narooma Public School last Friday, part of a joint environmental project between students and our Club to reduce schoolyard rubbish. The results will be on show at our Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 25 November.
Sandra said some students had been concerned about the amount of rubbish in their playground and recognised it as an environmental issue. ‘Over two days, several students picked up 2,000 to 3,000 pieces of rubbish,’ she said. ‘With assistance from teacher and Environmental Co-ordinator Michelle Symons, they did a survey and found the cause seemed to be more with the design of the bin lids rather than with kids being lazy.
‘The school’s location is quite exposed. Often before the kids could get the rubbish into the bins and close the large back-hinged lids, the wind would catch lightweight rubbish and blow it away. So the students looked at types of lid that might work better. Rotary then sourced them through Sulo.’
For the Expo, students will create posters about which lid they think works best, as well as demonstrate the lids in action.
World Polio Day – 24 October
Rotarians are among millions across the world reaching out on World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio. Since Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative nearly 30 years ago, the incidence of polio has plummeted from about 350,000 cases a year to just 37 cases of wild poliovirus in 2016. So far, only 11 new cases have been reported this year, all in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
To sustain this progress and protect all children from polio, Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year over the next three years. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match Rotary’s commitment 2:1. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to previously polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Since 1985, Rotary has contributed more than US$1.7 billion to ending polio.
When I turned up at the Early Falcon Nationals show day on Sunday morning at 7.30, I thought it was going to be a slow, slow day. However things picked up after about 9.00 and everyone rostered on worked hard keeping up the food to the hordes checking out all the old cars. Lynn Hastings reports we grossed $1,438.20 on the day. If we attribute all the expenses to the rally we still made a profit of more than $480.00, however, it is a little unfair to do this as we still have left over meat and drinks we purchased not just for this event but for next week’s event at Narooma Motors and our Sunday markets. Thank you to everyone who helped on the day, especially to John Doyle for making it all happen and to Ange for ordering the supplies.
Last week’s meeting was a great success with members and guests turning out in some interesting and varied hats to help us ‘lift the lid’ on mental illness. Laurelle has more elsewhere in the Beacon, including some photos. Thank you to Karen Bull and Steve Deck who did a great job as judges.
At last week’s Board meeting we decided:
All Rotarians and their immediate family who have one-on-one contact with children and young people must complete ‘Form 3’ in line with Rotary Policy.
We will hold our annual Christmas Party at Casey’s on 21 December. The club will provide red and white wine to help us celebrate Christmas.
To conduct a special ‘Friends of Rotary’ meeting on 2 November.
To liaise with Eurobodalla Shire regarding the planting of one tree for each member of our Club.
That the Club write to the DGE and DG regarding the development of an AED data base.
To hold weekly meetings of the Expo committee leading up to the Renewable Energy Expo
Lynn Hasting reported that at the end of September the Administration account had a balance of $8,290.82; the Charity 1 account $17,209.78 (note that since then the Friends of Rang’i cheque of $6,200, NYSF payment of $1,000 and van repairs of $2,200 have been deducted from this Charity account); the Expo account a balance of $200.00 and the Busking account a balance of $2,421.50.
I will not be at this week’s meeting so Laurelle will be in the chair. We are fortunate to have Lynne Thomas as our guest speaker this week. Lynne is an Elder of the Yuin community, an Ambassador for Aboriginal culture, an accomplished artist and Education Support Worker at Narooma Public School. I am sure that you will find Lynne’s presentation rewarding and interesting.
Have a wonderful week everyone.
The Week that Was
Our ‘Lift the Lid’ dinner
Our ‘Hatter’ night last week marked Mental Health Week (and Month) . The idea was to open a conversation on mental health and to raise funds towards Australian Rotary Health mental health research. Members’ hats ranged from Sandra’s and Chris’ exquisite creations to beanies (see photos) and everything in between, including President Bob’s impressive Fedora. It was a difficult task for hat judges Steve Deck and Karen Bull so they narrowed the competition down to the silliest hats, with Rolf Gimmel, Iris White and Gordon Bentley the winners (see photo).
On Australian Rotary Health
Peter Bull gave us some background on Australian Rotary Health (ARH) before launching into two fun trivia quizzes around the hat theme, with the Deck-Pacey duo taking out both prizes. Our Hatters night raised $115 towards ARH, the first of several donations the Club will make to ARH this year.
ARH funds areas of health research that don’t readily attract funding. Since 2000, it has focused on mental health research, more recently on youth mental health, and is now one of Australia’s largest non-government funding bodies of mental health research. ARH funds research grants, Ian Scott PhD Scholarships (named in honour of Rotarian Ian Scott who founded Australian Rotary Health in 1981) and postdoctoral Fellowships.
Joining us for the evening last week was Liz Ruck, Red Cross’ Community Visiting Coordinator for the Eurobodalla based in Red Cross’ Narooma office (7/114 Wagonga Street). She explained that everything Red Cross does is governed by its seven Fundamental Principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality (worth checking them out in more detail if you are interested). She outlined the work of the Narooma Hub of Red Cross, including its close association with the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal community and it’s Study Centre.
Liz particularly focussed on the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS), a fairly recent initiative by Red Cross to help brighten the lives of socially isolated people. She said an increasing number of aging retirees in Narooma, Moruya and Batemans Bay were becoming socially isolated living in their own homes or even in aged care as they lose friends, have family living elsewhere and therefore receive few visitors.
The CVS matches volunteers one-on-one with people who would like to have someone visit them just to chat, reminisce, listen to music, read the newspaper or possibly take them on an outing. ‘This increases people’s self esteem, reduces their anxiety and depression, and increases their connection with the community, and so increases their confidence and ability to cope. It also often results in friendships. Liz said they are always looking for friendly and reliable volunteers to visit weekly to fortnightly. Initial training is provided, and support and resources are ongoing. If you are interested in working as a volunteer, please ring Liz on 6234 7614
Some background on Red Cross: Formed in Geneva in 1863 initially as the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, later to become the International Committee of the Red Cross. The following year, 12 governments adopted the first Geneva Convention; a milestone in the history of humanity, offering care for the wounded, and defining medical services as ‘neutral’ on the battlefield. Red Cross was formed in Australia at the outbreak of the First World War. Today Australian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (the International Movement) with millions of members and volunteers operating in over 190 countries. The Movement’s mission is to prevent or reduce human suffering, wherever it is found, always guided by its Fundamental Principles. National Societies, such as Australian Red Cross, act as auxiliaries to the public authorities of their own countries in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programs. During wartime, National Societies assist affected civilian populations and support army medical services where appropriate.
Interestingly, Liz mentioned Narooma’s volunteer branch of Red Cross had ceased to exist in recent years after a long history.
The Early Falcon Nationals
We catered for breakfast and lunch on Sunday for the 18th Early Falcon Nationals show day on NATA Oval, hosted by the Classic Falcon Owners Club of NSW. What an extraordinary AND immaculate collection of retro cars that seem to look better with age (ours and theirs perhaps!). As Bob said, after a slow start business picked up. Rolf jumped in at the last minute after the coffee van the organisers had booked decided Batemans Bay was a better bet and shot through earlier that morning. So much for Rolf’s one day off…
Random thoughts, courtesy Peter Bull
Around politics, government and bureaucracy…
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. George Bernard Shaw
Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. Douglas Casey, classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University
If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. Mark Twain
Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mea
n politics won’t take an interest in you. Pericles (430 BC)