Narooma Rotary Beacon 29 August 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

Last week Rod Walker toasted the Rotary Club of Winnipeg in Canada, which I learned was the Club that first made Rotary ‘international’ in 1910. It was the first Club formed outside of the United States. Another great story about Rotary in Narooma News last week. Thanks Laurelle. 
Guests last week were locum Doctor Toni from Berry and of course our Iris, as well as our inspirational guest speaker Shirley Hayes-Cornish and husband John from Moruya Rotary. Shirley was Moruya’s International Director.

Bob Aston thanked our guest speaker Shirley Hayes-Cornish.

Shirley and John addressed a need for sexual health education in many developing nations around the world. See Laurelle’s story below. Shirley even took the programme to the Hamburg RI convention this year. Wow, this really is ‘Rotary in Action’. 
I was extremely impressed by her story and the passion she still has for spreading the word and empowering young men and women by educating them about their sexual health. 

Ange spoke about the success of our Narooma students at MUNA and we look forward to hearing directly from them next week.

It looks like we will have 15 people heading to Cobargo this Thursday to meet with Bega Rotarians. Carpooling has been organised. Should be a good night. 


We meet with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo Hotel on Thursday 6 for 6.30. Cost is $15 for main, dessert extra. This combined meeting was sparked by our Club’s interest in Noel Trevaskis’ talk last year when he spoke about the Bega Rotary Business Breakfast which brings members of Bega’s business community and other organisations together with Bega Rotarians.

It has proved to be a valuable source of membership for Bega Rotary while simultaneously addressing needs of the group and community organisations. Attending Rotarians ‘debrief’ after each breakfast and have identified this activity as a most appropriate and cost effective way forward for Bega Rotary. This initiative has also apparently slightly changed Bega Rotary Club as a result; be interesting to find out how apart from having new members.

The Week that Was

Ange Ulrichsen with Shirley and John Hayes-Cornish.

Our guest speakers Shirley and John Hayes-Cornish from Moruya Rotary seemed to thoroughly enjoy their evening with us and the many questions and discussion that followed Shirley’s talk.  

Shirley spoke about teaching sex education by pictures in an effort to help reduce teenage and unwanted pregnancies particularly among school students in the Philippines, Kenya, Timor Leste and PNG. Her work is a RAWCS project. Actual photos of what some sexually transmitted diseases looked like were also really valuable; previously some of the young people she was working with had only see drawings which didn’t mean a lot. They spoke about the apparent lack of knowledge of how pregnancies come about, even among many of the elders in these communities, and how pregnancies can be prevented. What is also wonderful is Shirley and John leave behind their resources for others to continue the work.

They had a booth at the recent Rotary International Convention in Hamburg and shared their experiences with other Rotarians from around the world.

Out and About

More on MUNA

Batemans Bay Rotary Club sponsored both the St Peters College (Broulee) representing Switzerland and the Batemans Bay High team representing India. Moruya Rotary sponsored Carroll College (Broulee) which came third in the MUNA competition.


We will hear from our three Narooma High students who went to MUNA recently – Crystal Elmasri, Aisha Thomas and Luka Potts – and their teacher Monique Wicks. They will be accompanied by Narooma High Principal Fiona Jackson and some of their parents. Again, should be a good night.

On a lighter note…

“Doc, I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home’.” “That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome,” said the Doctor. “Is it common?” “It’s not unusual.”

And one for President Charmaine…

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused a local anaesthetic during root canal treatment? His goal: transcend dental medication.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 22 August 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

Mike Young thanked our guest speaker Susanna Page of St John Ambulance

Our Rotary Club has been recognised as a ‘Ruby Club Supporter’ by contributing $25,000 to ShelterBox Australia. Quite an achievement. 
Decisions made by the preceding Board meeting were discussed at last week’s meeting. 
Last week’s guest speaker Susanna Page outlined the amazing history of the St John’s Ambulance Service. She is one of several St John’s volunteers who work tirelessly in the Eurobodalla Shire helping with numerous festivals, community and sporting events.
On the August markets, Rod is still after volunteers for this month’s Market. Please help if you can.
Lynda Ord and Ash sold some more whale watching raffle tickets.
The MUNA team went well at Canberra and I shared some photos of them on our Facebook page. They hopefully will tell us about their weekend at our 5 September meeting. 


Our guest speakers this week are Shirley and John Hayes-Cornish from Moruya Rotary, moving soon to Caloundra. They booked a booth at the recent RI Convention in Hamburg to share their experience ‘teaching sex education by pictures’ in the Philippines, Kenya, Timor Leste and PNG with other Rotarians from around the world. They will talk about the problems that prompted the project, now a RAWCS project, and their experience in Hamburg which attracted a steady stream of interested Rotarians.

The Week that Was

Last week

Our guest speaker was Susannah Page, the Divisional Superintendent of St John Ambulance after what she described as “a quick rise up through the ranks”. Susannah and other St John Ambulance volunteers are often at events around Eurobodalla Shire ready to provide health and first aid services should they be needed; St John is also the largest first aid training organisation in Australia. Her talk prompted many questions and discussion.

What an extraordinary story Susanna told of the organisation’s origins, dating back to the eleventh century and the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem who provided free care for sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. Then it became a military religious order providing safe passage for pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Land.

In 1530 the King of Spain “gave them” Malta, much to the angst of the locals, where they ‘ruled’ until Napoleon drove them out in 1798, presumably to the relief of the locals. They then scattered throughout the world.

They made their headquarters in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century with the blessing of Queen Victoria. In 1877, the order established various St John Ambulance associations in major railway centres and mining districts to train railway men and colliers in how to give first aid to victims of accidents. The Order’s Grand Priory then founded a hospice and ophthalmic dispensary in Jerusalem (still supported today) and, by 1887 had established the St John Ambulance Brigade to undertake practical and life-saving work.

Apparently the eight-pointed cross on St John’s volunteers’ uniform is the symbol worn by the knights in that first hospital in Jerusalem. Susanna said although often referred to as the Maltese Cross, there are several different Maltese Crosses. The Lions and unicorns are Queen Victoria’s ‘gift’. The ceremonial garb reflects that rich history.

Today St John Ambulance is the name of a number of affiliated organisations in different countries which teach and provide first aid and emergency medical services. Today it has nothing to do with religion; it accepts members of all religions.

St John Ambulance Australia is a self-funded charitable organisation dedicated to helping people in sickness, distress, suffering or danger. Susanna thanked our club for its recent donation to assist with purchasing medical supplies.

Narooma students excel at MUNA

Ange Ulrichsen was delighted at how well Narooma High students did at the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Canberra last weekend. “By Sunday they had really warmed to the task of debating important current world issues and performed well, were more relaxed and more confident,” Ange said. “They did Narooma High proud.”

Narooma High’s MUNA team of teacher Monique Wicks and students Aisha Thomas, Luka Potts and Crystal Elmasri.

Our senior students Crystal Elmasri, Aisha Thomas and Luka Potts represented Syria and were coached by Narooma High teacher Monique Wicks.

MUNA is held annually in the old Parliament House (now the Museum of Australian Democracy) and is a prestigious event that aims to give students experience of United Nations’ style resolutions to increase their sense of international understanding and goodwill. Resolutions debated over the weekend related to:

  • preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsular
  • regulating international migration
  • international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
  • protecting global climate for present and future generations
  • protecting journalistic freedoms
  • human rights in Venezuela

Adjudicators said the standard of students’ performance this year was very high which made their decision more difficult.
Our District Governor Peter Ford congratulated the overall winning team from Penrith High which represented the United Kingdom. Second was the Southern Highlands Christian School representing Japan. The Carroll College team from Broulee, representing New Zealand, came third. DG Peter presented all participants with certificates and praised them highly for the thoroughness of their research, their debating skills and expressing the power of the spoken word so well.

Ange said the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise again did a superb job in organising MUNA. She would also like to thank Narooma High teacher and counsellor Monique Wicks for her efforts which resulted in a polished and confident performance by our students. Ange has invited our MUNA students, their parents and Monique to join us on Thursday 5 September to share their MUNA experience.


We meet up with Bega Rotarians next Thursday at Cobargo Hotel 6 for 6.30. $15 for main, dessert extra. Ange reminds us this combined meeting was initiated by the interest shown by our Club in Noel Trevaskis’ talk to us last year and the Business Breakfast Club started so successfully by Bega. This led to 18 new Rotarians at Bega. Should be a good night.

On a lighter note

Why do the French only eat one egg for breakfast? Because one is enoeuf.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 15 August 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

DG Peter Ford, centre, with Narooma’s ‘Presidents Four’ of Bob Aston, Ange Ulrichsen, Charmaine White and Laurelle Pacey.

Lovely meeting last week. Our DG Peter Ford was impressed that even with our small numbers we still do so much for our local community. He was very interested to hear how we work with other local community groups so projects can happen, like our Busking Festival. He also liked our Happy Moments instead of the normal Sergeant’s Fine Session.

Peter’s talk was informative, including his reminder that the District Conference will be in Ulladulla 6-8 March. Other guests last week were ADG Alan Russell and his wife Denise, Thérèse Aston and Steve Deck . 
I represented our Club on Sunday at the Marine Rescue base at Narooma for their celebration of 10 years of volunteer service. It featured the new Radio Room equipment and the opening of the memorial garden and community seat. The garden is in memory of volunteers who have served with Narooma. There is a magnificent view from there; we even saw whales.

Other news: Chris O Brien also has locked in 27 December for our Big Holiday Market and Angie is going strong with the Whale Watching raffle ticket sales.  A gentle reminder about our Board meeting this Thursday at 5.00 pm. 


Board meeting at the Golf Club at 5pm. Dinner meeting to follow 6 for 6.30 with guest speaker Susanna Page who is the Divisional Superintendent of St John’s Ambulance. She will talk about the ‘Story behind St John’.

The Week that Was

As President Charmaine said, it was great having our DG Peter Ford visiting us in ‘the outpost’ of Narooma last week. It was sad in a way though that he is the last Governor of District 9710, hence his presentation was titled ‘The Final Chapter’.

Peter said everything is going well for the merger of our District with D9700 to form D9705, and that the change will not affect us at Club level. The new District will come into being on 1 July 2020. The proposal to merge with an extra district was thankfully knocked on the head.

He described the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego in January as ‘a magnificent affair’ and was impressed with the enthusiasm and passion of RI President Mark Maloney and his theme of ‘Rotary connects the World’.

Peter said Rotary is not about being a fundraising body; “it’s about community service and friendship”. He was impressed with our Club which, although small, was servicing our community in so many ways. “Well done to all of you,” he said. He wished our Presidents Four a good year and for us all to have a good time. He drew our attention to the District Goals  (p.13 of the District Directory).

Peter, now retired, had moved around with his Army career so consequently has been a member of about 12 Rotary clubs; he said it was a great way to make new friends outside the Defence industry at his various postings.

President Charmaine presented the Presidential Album 2018-2019 to PP Rod

Throughout he has been supported by his wife Judy who this year is editor of the DG’s newsletter, Chair of the Conference Committee and the Membership Committee, as well as being the ex officio head of the D9710 Children’s Emergency Medical Fund which will be wound up with the end of D9710.

Rod Walker made the appropriate International Toast last week to Rotary International, and belatedly received his Presidential album for his year 2018-2019.

Chris O’Brien

Also in Happy Moments last week Chris O’Brien mentioned she is currently working on her 100th issue of her Welcome to Narooma magazine which will be out 23 August. That’s 25 years of producing the magazine. Well done Chris.

Out and About

IRT and Rotary work together

It started with an email from Luke Burgess at IRT Dalmeny to our Club via Bob Aston saying IRT was replacing 10 hospital-style beds at IRT Dalmeny with new ones and could Rotary use the old ones. Bob immediately saw this was a job for the Canberra-based Rotary Recovery Rehabilitation and Re-use Project team.

Team member Fred Fawke was subsequently advised by Luke that the IRT at Moruya and Batemans Bay would also have beds available soon. Some of these beds will be distributed to grateful recipients within Australia as well as overseas; in some cases they will enable older or incapacitated people to be cared for in their homes rather than in hospital.

Steve Young of Moruya Rotary and Bob are on standby waiting to collect the Dalmeny beds where they will be stored at Bay Removals until all beds are collected. They will then be transported to Canberra. “With our Rehab and Re-Use team we then ensure they all work properly before they are distributed,” Fred said. “We take great pride testing them and in some cases installing them to make sure all is okay.”

So as Bob says, “A great outcome from a single email to our Club”.

Frank’s push for your vote for the electric bus

Frank reminds us the closing date for the My Community Grants is this Thursday so that’s the last chance to Vote 1 for the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance’s (SHASA) proposed Electric Vehicle Community Transport Bus project for the Eurobodalla Shire. It’s one of over 30 community projects in the Bega Electorate competing for NSW Government funding under the ‘My Community Project’ grants program. Everyone can vote for up to five participants.

The 2019 Polio case count

The International PolioPlus Committee has released the latest Polio figures for 2018-2019. The wild poliovirus case count reached 37 at the end of June – 27 in Pakistan and 10 in Afghanistan, slightly higher than the previous year’s figures.  The film for this year’s Polio fundraiser at the Kinema on Thursday 24 October is Ride Like a Girl.


Our guest speakers will be Shirley and John Hayes-Cornish from Moruya Rotary. They will talk about their trip to the RI Convention in Hamburg and the interest their booth there attracted. At the booth they shared their experiences teaching sexual health in the Philippines, Kenya, Timor Leste and PNG.  

Narooma Rotary Beacon 8 August 2019

We celebrate our members

Our Narooma Rotarians

August is Membership and New Club Development Month in Rotary International’s Calendar, seen as the perfect time to celebrate our club’s members and consider options for strengthening membership. Good timing too with our meeting with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo on 29 August to hear how they attracted 18 new members. We’re hoping for a good representation of Narooma Rotarians.

Charmaine’s Chat

Lovely to have Lara and Ezra last week as our international guests all the way from Toronto, Canada. They brought children here to sing in the Gondwana Choral Festival, part of the children’s annual tour, and they also performed in New Zealand. We were even treated to a short singalong. It is always inspiring to meet people who have such talent and are happy to spread the joy of music. 

Frank Eden’s daughter Lara Dodds-Eden joined us last week with partner Ezra Burke. Lara is the accompanist for the Toronto Children’s Choir; Ezra is a choir conductor.
Several announcements were made, some for your calendar… 
  • 8 August: Dying to know, a play by Shanna Provost  at the Twist factory and it’s free 
  • Melbourne Cup Day lunch at Moruya Jockey Club, organised by Moruya Rotary Club. We are trying to make up a table. Cost is $20 per person .
    Tickets are selling fast.
  • Lynda Ord mentioned it was Organ Donation Day, and how important it was for potential organ donors to make their wishes known to family and friends. She noted there were 1400 on the waiting list for various organs. Interesting too, apparently age was no barrier
  • Frank Eden mentioned he is after votes for the plan to get funds for an electric bus from SHASA (see below). 
  • Ange spoke about our Narooma High team for MUNA. They will be representing Syria this year which will be challenging for them but I am sure they will have a memorable weekend. Ange proposes students coming along to our meeting on 22 August with their parents to talk about their MUNA experiences. 
  • The film for this year’s Polio fundraiser at the Kinema on Thursday 24 October is Ride Like a Girl. It’s about Michelle Payne who was the first woman


We welcome our District Governor Peter Ford from the Rotary Club of Aurora Gungahlin in Canberra. This is a partners’ night; please don’t forget to let Charmaine know if you are bringing guests.

The Week that Was

Charmaine has largely said it all. Just to add though, last week’s international toast was to the Rotary Club of Hong Kong, in view of the continuing unrest in Hong Kong. It is an English speaking club with a dress code of ‘business attire’. It was established in 1931, the first Rotary Club in District 3450 which includes Macau, Guangdong Province and Mongolia. It meets for lunch on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays each month at the Hong Kong Bakers Club Their projects include a Drone Competition Day and Art Therapy for Dementia Patients.

My Community funding

Frank Eden spoke briefly last week about the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance’s (SHASA) proposed Electric Vehicle Community Transport Bus project for the Eurobodalla Shire. It’s seeking $195,000 in State Government funding. It’s one of over 30 community projects in the Bega Electorate competing for NSW Government funding under the ‘My Community Project’ grants program.

The NSW Government is distributing $24.4m equally across the State’s 93 electorates for projects that improve the wellbeing of people and their communities. That means only $262,000 is up for grabs for the whole Bega electorate (Bega Valley and Eurobodalla Shires) with grants between $20,000 to $200,000.

What’s different with this funding programme is that people in the community are being asked to vote for their preferred projects for their area; the projects with most support apparently will receive funding. Needless to say with Frank’s SHASA connections he is keen to drum up votes for the EV bus project.

Out and About

MUNA 17 and 18 August

While Narooma High will represent Syria at the Model United Nations Assembly in Canberra 17-18 August, Batemans Bay students will represent India and those of St Peters Anglican College Switzerland.  Batemans Bay Rotarians are being urged to go along to Old Parliament House and watch the debate; any takers from Narooma? Everyone who has been before say it “is mind boggling” watching the students in action.

Following Kathryn Ratcliffe’s recent talk

You will recall in the lively discussion following Kathryn’s talk the week before last, Charmaine’s friend Jenny Lean felt there was a real need in Narooma for private guided walks for visitors.

Well it turns out that Sally Bouckley’s relatively new Southbound Escapes (based in Narooma under the Wharf Apartments) provides such tours for the high end of the tourist market, as well as e-bike hire, luxury accommodation, and special short packages to showcase the best of the South Coast from Sydney to Eden. Southbound Escapes last month won a gold medal in the ecotourism category in the Regional Tourism Awards.

Good to see the Woodies’ new sign at the approach to Narooma with the correct Rotary information on it. It went up a few weeks ago.

On a lighter note

Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.” Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.” “What does that tell you?” Holmes asked. Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies, and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?” Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “It tells me that someone has stolen our tent.” Courtesy of Moruya Rotary Bulletin


Board meeting at the Golf Club at 5pm followed by a Club Assembly and dinner meeting.