Narooma Rotary Beacon 28 September 2017

Bob’s Blog

 Hello Everyone

Regular marketer Jerry Raeburn heads to the Rotary van for breakfast.

The weather was reasonably kind to us at the Markets on Sunday with the wind staying away for the first few hours. Treasurer Lynne reports we took $875.00 at the gate and $567.80 at the van, not a bad effort. With a few of our regular helpers away and some sick, numbers were tight so some members did double shifts in the van to cover slots. Thank you to everyone who helped out either marking out the oval, manning the gate, or helping in the van. Your assistance was greatly appreciated.

Next Thursday 5 October PDG Maureen Manning will join us as DG Steve Hill’s representative. Maureen has been a great friend of Narooma Rotary for many years and I am sure she will fill us in on Rotary’s agenda for 2017/18. Maureen would like to meet with the Board before the meeting; we can discuss timing at this week’s meeting. As is usually the case with the DG’s visit, partners are most welcome to attend the dinner meeting to hear Maureen speak. We will also use the occasion to present the remainder of the funds from Michael’s epic walk to the Friends of Rang’I.

The Renewable Expo Committee is working very hard to bring this year’s Expo together. The Expo will provide great insights into how we can reduce our energy consumption, make it less carbon intensive and also save costs. We will assistance from most of our members on 25 November to help make the event successful, so please try and keep the date free.

Have a great week .

Cheers Bob

The Week that Was

Thinking of Puerto Rico’s Rotarians

Last week Charmaine toasted the Rotary Club of San Juan in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, noting the damage wrought by Hurricane Maria which directly hit the island country the day before. The country has been devastated by high winds, flash floods and mudslides, and its entire power infrastructure destroyed. It will be months before power can be restored. Charmaine pointed out this comes on top of Puerto Rico’s ongoing economic crisis. The Rotary Club of San Juan prides itself on being the oldest continuously operating Rotary Club south of the Tropic of Cancer, this year celebrating its 99th anniversary.

The telegraph revolution

Dr Eleanor Robin after her fascinating talk on the coming of the telegraph, was thanked by Charmaine.

The introduction of the telegraph in the mid nineteenth century was as revolutionary at the time as the mobile phone and internet were in the late twentieth century, possibly even more so, said last week’s guest speaker historian Eleanor Robin OAM PhD.* Up until then, communication had depended on the mail conveyed by horseback or by ship. Before the extraordinary construction of the overland telegraph and on to London, news and mail could take three months to reach England; the telegraph reduced this to about seven hours.

Eleanor was born in Sydney, finished school in Canberra and did her first degree at ANU. However she became fascinated with Tasmania and its history during an eight-year sojourn (2006-2014) during which she did her doctorate. Hence her talk particularly focussed on Van Diemen’s Land, as it was known in the early days.

The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce had been watching closely developments with the telegraph overseas, but the first telegraph network in Australia was not built until 1854. It was built by young Canadian engineer Samuel McGowan; it ran for 11 miles between Melbourne and Williamstown. McGowan had only arrived in Melbourne the previous year, encouraged by his former work colleague Samuel Morse, inventor of the electric telegraph. Morse saw the potential for the telegraph in the booming Victorian economy. McGowan was soon appointed Superintendent of the Electric Telegraph for Victoria.

The telegraph soon spread across Victoria, linked with other Australian colonies and rapidly became essential for government and commercial activities. Eleanor said the first submarine cable connecting Tasmania and Victoria became operational in 1859, but frequent breakages meant it was abandoned after a couple of years. A more robust and therefore more successful cable link was established via King Island and Launceston in 1869.

Eleanor also noted:

  • the overland telegraph between Adelaide and Darwin and on to London was built in 1872
  • telegram usage in Australia peaked in 1945, with the telephone gradually usurping telegrams
  • Interestingly the last Morse code message on the eastern seaboard was sent in early 1963.

* Eleanor now lives in Narooma. She received the Order of Australian in 2013 for services to protect the environment and conserve Indigenous and cultural heritage. She has worked with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Heritage Tasmania, Australian Heritage Commission and Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

PCYC and Rotary D9710 sign MOU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed recently between NSW Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) and our Rotary District 9710.  There has been a long association between PCYC (and its earlier form) and Rotary, particularly in regional NSW, and this relationship has been strengthened in recent years. The main elements of this MOU are:

  • PCYC club managers and executives are encouraged to join a local Rotary Club and Rotarians are encouraged to join the PCYC Club Advisory Committee
  • Rotary clubs are encouraged to support  the PCYC’s annual Time4Kids fundraising efforts and provide volunteers to assist with PCYC programs
  • Rotary Clubs are encouraged to make places available on our youth programs and on RYLA for their participants
  • Rotary Clubs are encouraged to recognise PCYC staff, volunteers and police with vocational and community service awards

No doubt PDG Maureen Manning will tell us more about this next week.

Tonight we welcome Daiva Ceicys, standing in for Gabe Eichler, who will be telling us about the Animal Welfare League and the wonderful work this dedicated team do locally.  Look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Cheers Laurelle

Random thoughts, courtesy Peter Bull

To suit the occasion tonight… These are classified ads actually placed in UK newspapers.

FREE PUPPIES: 1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour’s dog.

FREE PUPPIES: Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd. Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

FREE YORKSHIRE TERRIER: 8 years old, hateful little bastard. Bites!

And one from the Courts…

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?


Narooma Rotary Beacon 21 September 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello everyone

It was a busy meeting last week with 27 members and guests. Ron Finneran, Steve Goodchild, Graham Brown and Wayne Tuckfield from Merimbula and Pambula Rotary Clubs gave a most interesting presentation on the Sapphire Coast Arts and Sports Youth Development Fund, something I think our area should seriously consider. Laurelle has more elsewhere in the Beacon.

We also heard from our two MUNA students about their experiences recently in Canberra. They had a wonderful time. Thanks again to Sandra and Lynda who supported the students on the Club’s behalf.

We also held our September Board Meeting last Thursday. Key decisions were to:

  • Form a committee to coordinate our 60th Birthday celebrations next August. We have set aside 11 August as a combined Changeover and 60th
  • Assist Moryua and Batemans Bay Clubs to finance three students from Moruya HS to attend NYSF
  • Allocate $1,000 to ShelterBox to assist response to disasters in Asia, Mexico, North America and the Caribbean
  • Allocate $200 to St John’s Ambulance to help them purchase new equipment
  • Write a letter of thanks to Narooma Charters thanking them for supporting our Whale Watching raffle
  • Form a small subcommittee to review the operation of the Market and report by February 2018
  • Commence selling Duck Race tickets on 28 December. Proceeds of the raffle to go towards Australian Rotary Health and our Scholarship Fund.
  • Accept with regret, the resignation of Joan Morgan. Hopefully Joan will be able to continue to help the Club from time to time
  • Support the Lions Club spectacle drive by collecting old spectacles
  • Invite Paul Croker to our meeting on 9 November. We will also invite Expo exhibitors to the meeting. Paul will run a workshop for exhibitors on how to enhance their Expo presentation
  • Man the food van at the Early Falcon’s car rally on 15 October and Narooma Motors events on 21 October and 27 January.

We also decided to hold our Christmas Party on 21 December with a venue to be confirmed. The only get-together over the Christmas holiday period will be on Saturday 20 January at the Aston residence.

It is with sadness that we learnt that Sharlie Young’s mum passed away last week. Our thoughts are with Sharlie, Mike and their family.

Last week’s guests included Rotarians Wayne Tuckfield, left, Steve Goodchild, Graham Brown and Ron Finneran, friont, shown here with President Bob Aston.

Have a great week everyone.

Cheers Bob

The Week that Was

The Sapphire Coast Arts and Sports Youth Development Fund

This is a classic case of how individuals can make a difference. This fund was started 12 months ago by five Rotarians including Paralympian Ron Finneran and Steve Goodchild. Their aim was to support young people from the Bega Valley Shire in taking their arts and sporting pursuits to the next level.

Ron and Steve said that while the south coast is a beautiful place to live, for kids to develop to the elite stage in their respective passion, they need expert tuition which is usually not available in the area. ‘It’s a long way to travel to get it and it’s costly,’ Ron said. ‘That was the stimulus for establishing the fund; to fill this gap.’

However, this fund is not a Rotary project even though Rotarians kicked it off. It’s run entirely by a varied group of volunteers and funded by donations from businesses, community groups, clubs, private individuals and Bega Valley Shire Council. In 12 months, the fund has helped 20 young people under 18 with about $14,000 in grants, each grant usually $250 to $500. Their pursuits have ranged from the viola to women’s rugby, swimming to stage production. Some have reached state level. ‘We can’t always cover the entire costs, but hope to help out with fuel and travel to wherever the kids need to go and sometimes tuition,’ Steve said. They assess individual applications according to need, with many recipients being from single parent families.

‘It has a huge effect on the kids; it can change their lives by opening up more opportunities for them,’ Wayne said. ‘The extra costs involved can be a huge impost on families and parents are sometimes in tears. We get quite overwhelmed with some of the feedback but we couldn’t do it without our sponsors.’

President Bob suggested last week that a similar fund should be established for our area. Since then however, Narooma Sporting and Services Club has also recognised the need and taken an independent but similar initiative (article in this week’s Narooma News). The Club has created a $10,000 fund for Narooma High to assist students with travel and accommodation costs associated with pursuing more elite training or attending competitions and events, and not only for sport.

However that fund covers only Narooma High students. It is unclear at this stage whether anything further is needed. Watch this space…

Narooma High students to MUNA were Isaak Anderson and Cyann Vlatovic, shown here with Narooma Youth Director Lynda Ord and Secretary Sandra Doyle.

Students thank Club for MUNA

It was fascinating hearing from Lynda Ord and Sandra Doyle, and Narooma High students Cyann Vlatovic and Isaak Anderson about MUNA, particularly how many students acted out their country’s world stance and idiosyncrasies so well. Part diplomacy, part theatre it seems. It was a shame Narooma teacher Lachlan ‘Reilly could not join us last Thursday; his support has been vital for the success of our recent MUNA teams.

Narooma’s team represented France. Cyann said she was not sure what to expect. She enjoyed researching France’s stand on particular issues and listening to the arguments put by various teams. Isaak also was not sure what to expect but came away having really enjoyed the experience. Both Cyann and Isaak thanked the Club for its support. Both students were accompanied by family members.

ShelterBox assists

Our Club answered ShelterBox’ request for more financial assistance.  ShelterBox is currently responding to disasters in south-east Asia, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Since the Monsoon season started in June, excessive rain in Bangladesh resulted in catastrophic flooding over about a third of the land. A ShelterBox team is working with Rotary contacts, authorities and other aid organisations to assess needs. The team is also working to understand more about the needs of Rohingya refugees.

In the Caribbean Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc destroying 90-95% buildings on some islands, with Hurricane Maria following. Four ShelterBox Response Teams have been deployed and are working with other aid organisations and Rotary connections to help families who need it most. Those who have lost absolutely everything will receive the traditional ShelterBox, while others receive ShelterKits.

This week: We are in for a really interesting talk by historian Eleanor Robin on the coming of the telegraph and its impact.

Cheers Laurelle

Random thoughts, courtesy Peter Bull

I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes 1,500 days in a row.

I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

Everyone has a right to be stupid; politicians just abuse the privilege.





Narooma Rotary Beacon 14 September 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello everyone

Thank you to Charmaine for showing us through the dental surgery last Thursday. I always find it enjoyable and informative when we as Rotarians share our work and interests. Laurelle has more on Charmaine’s presentation elsewhere in the Beacon.

This Thursday we will hold our September Board meeting commencing at 5:00pm. All members are most welcome to attend if they wish.

We will hold our Mad Hatters Night on Thursday 12 October.

Following the Board meeting, we will be joined by Ron Finneron and his crew from Merimbula to talk about the Sapphire Coast Arts and Sports Youth Development Fund. The Fund supports young people in the sports and arts fields in the Bega Valley who have to attend activities outside the shire. We have also invited several other Narooma organisations to the meeting to hear about the Fund. Hopefully if there is sufficient interest we could form a similar fund in Narooma. We will start with Ron’s presentation at 6:30pm with dinner to follow at 7:00pm.

To Support Australian Rotary Health, we will hold a Mad Hatters’ Tea Party on 12 October so start planning now folk. We need you to dress up on the night with your finest hats and clothes. It will be a partners’ night so please encourage them to come along. Please invite your friends and others as well. It will cost you a donation of at least $5 to join in the fun.

Over the last two weeks we have seen an extraordinary number of natural disasters across the world with deadly floods in Asia, massive earthquakes in Mexico, and devastating hurricanes in the Caribbean and the USA. We have been asked by ShelterBox to provide support which we will consider at our Board meeting. As usual Rotary International has swung into action; to find out what we are doing, click here.

Have a great week everyone.

Cheers Bob

The Week that Was

Merinda assures us she was not concerned at being the pretend patient, watched by Frank and Lynn…
In Narooma Dental Surgery’s sterilisation room – Charmaine, Bob, John, Colin, Lynda and Mike.

Charmaine White ‘presented’ last week with a fascinating back room tour of Narooma Dental Surgery, assisted by practice manager Julie Davis who later joined us for dinner. She showed us the latest equipment in the surgery, some with Merinda Antill as the ‘volunteer patient’.

She then took us into the back rooms we don’t normally see including the sterilisation room and showed us current technology in repairing teeth and  making moulds for

replacement teeth.

It was an eye opener for many of us to see the advances that have been made in recent years to assist patients in keeping their own teeth. We all left with a small showbag filled not with’ sweeties’ but with oral hygiene aids.

The Club’s Tertiary Scholarship

Applications are being called for the 2018 Narooma Tertiary Education Scholarship, now being administered by Youth Director Lynda Ord. Each year the Club awards a three-year scholarship to a student from Narooma High School, thanks to a bequest by Alexander Birch. Our next scholar will be the 28th student Narooma Rotary has helped pursue their studies and achieve their dreams, overall assistance the totalling over $240,000.

The scholarship provides the successful candidate with $3,000 each year for three years provided each semester’s studies are completed satisfactorily. A panel from the Club will interview applicants on Saturday 16 December.

Random thoughts, courtesy Peter Bull

The first, in keeping with last week’s special tour….

TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction.

TOMORROW: One of the greatest labour saving devices of today.

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed.

WRINKLES: Something other people have….similar to my character lines.

Cheers Laurelle

Narooma Rotary Beacon 7 September 2017


Bob’s Blog

Hello Everyone
It’s great to be back on the coast after a week in the Central West. I must admit I had forgotten how cold and frosty mornings could be west of the mountains. Fortunately, the sun was out and the days became quite pleasant. I particularly enjoyed catching up with some old friends I hadn’t seen for a couple of years.

Kathy Phipps Narooma Pre-School Director with one of the drums purchased from busking funds

I understand the sponsors’ night was a great success. Thanks to Sandra for organising the event and chasing up the sponsors. A full report appears elsewhere in the Beacon.
Frank Eden had a bit of a turn last week. He tells me he was out exercising and for some reason he passed out near the fish shop at the northern end of the bridge (maybe it was the running up and down the steps that did it). He went off to Moruya Hospital to be checked out. The medical staff found an irregular heart beat and some other issues so before he knew it he was off to Canberra. When I spoke to Frank on Saturday he was in good spirits and hoping to be home in a few days. I understand his doctors will have all issues sorted in no time.
The Whale Watching raffle was drawn at the Narooma Shop on Saturday and the winner was…. Enid Holmes! Enid hails from Canberra and she was very excited when I dropped off the prize. Enid and Colin were in Narooma for a few days. Thank you to everyone involved in the raffle, it was a great effort. Peter Hartley said we raised more than $1,500 for Eurobodalla surf clubs.
As the warmer weather arrives we welcome back members from trips away. Chris O’Brien and Mal Gray have been back for one or two weeks and we should see Lyn Hastings and Peter Bull this week. Unfortunately for us Rod and Jennifer Walker have jetted off to Canada; Facebook tells us they are having a great time.
Thinking of going to the Rotary International Convention in Toronto, Canada next year? Check out the website.
Don’t forget this Thursday we meet at 6:00pm at the Dental Surgery (across the road from the information centre). Charmaine will take us through all things dental before we move back to the Golf Club for dinner.
Have a great week everyone.

The Week That Was

Narooma Rotary Past President Bob Antill, Rev Carol Wagner, Rotarian Lynda Ord, Merinda Antill, and sponsor Anne Miller of Narooma Picture Framing at last Thursday’s Busking Festival thank you night.

Last Thursday’s ‘Thank You’ night for sponsors of the Busking Festival was very successful with a good representation from among the 55 sponsors. Thank you for all the Rotarians who came and mixed with everyone. There was a god vibe.
It was also a good opportunity for our Festival coordinator Sandra Doyle to publicly confirm that our Club would host a Regional Busking Festival again next year on Saturday 26 May, as part of the Australian National Busking Championships (ANBC).
‘Our first Festival was such a fun community day that literally filled the town with music, we’re going to do it again in 2018 building on that experience,’ she said.
She said the Club was already starting to receive some sponsorship offers, even before they started canvassing everyone.
Last Thursday also gave us a chance to see what the various recipients of the Festival’s proceeds had purchased for our local kids.
• Rev Carol Wagner purchased a set of chime bars for the Mainly Music program she runs for pre-school age children at St Paul’s Anglican Church.
• Narooma High School bought a Cajon Box Drum for the school’s Drum Beat programme, ably demonstrated by Merinda. Co-Principal John Melville said this year’s Festival created considerable interest among the High School’s students and there should be more participants next year. The High School was also a sponsor.
• Kathy Phipps, Narooma Pre-School director, showed one of the seven drums bought by the Pre-School.
• Narooma Public School unfortunately could not be represented because the night coincided with the school concert. It has purchased some Djembe drums and flutes with all the money they won and received on the day.
• Youth Café coordinator Angela McMillan from Eurobodalla Shire Council said they purchased a boxing kit which, while not in the musical line, was much needed.

Drawing the raffle

Whale Watching Raffle

Bob has reported this week on the success of the Whale Watching raffle, drawn on Saturday. We all greatly appreciate the ongoing generosity of Norm Ingersoll and Narooma Charters in sponsoring this raffle. How wonderful that the winner was Enid Holmes who just happened to

be in Narooma this weekend. A whale watching tour off Narooma is certainly a very special experience.

Flying the Flag
Charmaine White, Sandra and John Doyle represented the Club at the Lions Changeover last Saturday at the Golf Club and had a very enjoyable time.