Narooma Rotary Beacon 26 September 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

It sounds like I missed a great meeting last week. Please see the summary below. This is a very brief CC this week. I would however like to draw your attention to the article on the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group in our ‘Out and About’ section. It’s a really worthwhile project.

Unfortunately I have to miss this week’s meeting as well, but Laurelle will again chair it. See you next week.


We welcome Keith Mundy of Tilba Nursery who will talk about Australian native plants for the Spring garden. This should be another great night at our Club. Bring your partners and friends but please don’t forget to let Charmaine know by Tuesday afternoon if you are bringing guests.

The Week that Was

Cat Wilson and her husband Faouzi Saouli

What a great meeting last week with 42 people all of whom thoroughly enjoyed a fascinating tour of the musical traditions of Morocco. That was thanks to Australian Cat Wilson and her Moroccan husband musician Faouzi Saouli; they now live in Narooma. Paul Stokes and his team at the Golf Club also got into the spirit of the evening with about seven Moroccan dishes. In keeping with our theme, our international toast was to the Rotary Club of Casablanca, where Cat and Faouzi lived. It was the first Rotary Club in Morocco, chartered in 1932, and is now one of several Rotary Clubs in Casablanca.

Gordon Bentley, Rachel McInnes and guest Hannah Taylor from Norfolk Island.

We welcomed back a very relaxed John Rungen from three months in Mauritius. Great to see David and Rachel McInnes again, David’s mother Dianne, and their guest Hannah Taylor of Norfolk Island who had been a Rotary Exchange student to Belgium. 

PE Rolf Gimmel, Darryl Breust from the Rotary Club of Colaman, and Lynda Ord.

Among our other guests were our regular visiting Dubbo Rotarian Gordon Bentley and his wife Di, and Darryl Breust from the Rotary Club of Coolamon in the Riverina, Cat’s sister Sarah and her family, Bernie Perrot President of the Men’s Shed and a crew from U3A including Bernie’s wife Ruth.

Cat and Faouzi described the various musical traditions from the different geographical areas of Morocco, what has influenced those traditions, and the fusing of many of those different traditions by younger musicians. All were accompanied by short film clips demonstrating the different music. They had everyone captivated. Faouzi is not only a musician; he is also an oud (lute) maker. He treated us to a tune on his oud which he made from Australian timbers. In Morocco he would pay people to cut the wood for him; thanks to Narooma Men’s Shed, he learnt how to cut the wood himself. He made the bowl of his oud from thin strips of banksia and jarrah, the face/soundboard from cedar, the neck from merbau, and the fret board and pegs from gidgee (a desert acacia). He used a traditional plectrum made of horn and a peacock feather.

Mike Young thanked Cat and Faouzi on behalf of us all. Our presentation wine glasses created some interest among those from groups always looking for such things to give to speakers.

We are also trialling a draft handout about our Club to give to interested visitors particularly prospective members.

Out and About

Rotary addresses malnutrition

District has forwarded a request for funds from the Food Plant Solutions Rotarian Action Group (FPSRAG). It’s a Tasmanian-based project that focuses on addressing malnutrition, hunger and food security around the world using readily available and local food plants. It is now a RAWCS project. Apparently about five children under five die every minute from malnutrition.

The project draws on the work of agriculturist Bruce French who has spent his life collating information on the world’s edible plants. He says the global trend in agriculture is back to biodiversity using local well adapted food plants and agro-ecology; “We don’t need major scientific breakthroughs but rather better dissemination of already known sound ecological and nutritional information about edible plants”.

Food Plant Solutions does not send people in-country, but forms partnerships with existing aid providers who use FPS publications to educate communities, and particularly women and children, on the nutrient value of plants growing in their areas. It helps them identity local food plants suited to their environment, high in nutrients and that grow with minimal inputs. With program partners, FPS encourages the establishment of demonstration food gardens in schools and communities,

Chair of FPSRAG PDG Una Hobday OAM says many of their enquiries are from NGOs who want their educational materials. This costs time and money to produce, translate and sometimes print, which most of these people do not have.  She is asking Clubs to consider possibly putting aside $500 each year to help them answer those requests. She said some of their programmes have reduced malnutrition by as much as 95%; she says ‘it’s proven, cost-effective and sustainable”. More information

Moruya welcomes the Men’s Health Van

Moruya Rotarians are looking after the Men’s Health Education Rural Van (mherv) team on 11th and 12th November during their Moruya stay. It’s a Rotary project – a specialised van with a Rotarian Registered Nurse who will check men’s blood pressure, pulse rate, blood sugar levels, cholesterol and body mass index. A working party of six Moruya Rotarians have organised a site for the van and are now looking to find accommodation and meals for the driver/nurse plus organise  publicity.

More from the Hayes

Shirley Cornish-Hayes and husband John from Moruya Rotary report have been asked by the Rotary Family Planning and Aids Prevention project to work with them to produce games for their new youth reproductive health program. This approach follows the Hayes’ booth at the Hamburg Rotary International Convention promoting their Sexual Health Education programme in developing nations. This project conducts three day Family Health clinics in Africa and Asia. It may do a ‘Breakout Session’ at next year’s Hawaii RI Convention and it has been suggested the Hayes might like to join them.


Dinner meeting to just enjoy each other’s company.


10 October: Hats Night with guest speaker

Bring your partners and friends

24 October: Film Night at Kinema

Narooma Rotary Beacon 19 September 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

President Charmaine presents Monty’s President David Kelleher with a cheque for $1,500 being the proceeds from the Whalewatching raffle

Last week’s International Toast was to the Bahamas and all the work Rotary will be doing after the devastation caused by the recent hurricane.

Many guests associated with our whalewatching raffle came last week. The raffle raised $1,429 which was boosted to $1,500 by the Board which I presented to the President of Monty’s Place David Kelleher. He gave a brief overview of Monty’s and the Wednesday community lunches – more details below. I presented Norm Ingersoll of Narooma Charters with a certificate of appreciation for his kind donation of whale watching tickets over the years, and presented whale watching tickets to the lucky raffle ticket holder Darren Overton. Darren’s family Cheryl Davison and Cody and Thomas also attended. Cheryl has kindly offered to donate either a print of one of her famous artworks or a Sydney Swans Jersey (with her artwork design) for a future raffle.

Great to welcome Peter Bull back last week. He gave a brief talk about the 20 Rotary clubs he visited on the Gold Coast during his winter sojourn (See below). He has been busy!
I won’t be at this week’s meeting so Laurelle has kindly agreed to chair it.
We received a lovely postcard from Mauritius from John Rungen. He will be back mid-September which could possibly mean this Thursday…


Our guest speakers areCat Wilson and her husband Faouzi Saouli who will take us on a tour of the musical traditions of Morocco with Faouzi also playing his lute (Oud). Ange says Paul at the Golf Club will also get into the mood with some Moroccan offerings.

The week that was

As Charmaine mentioned, last week we welcomed back Peter Bull from his winter escape to the Gold Coast. It was also great to have our man from Dubbo, Gordon Bentley with us. Peter gave a short update on his time on the Gold Coast as well as the varied Rotary Clubs he visited whilst enjoying the warm winter sun (see below).

President Charmaine with Whale Raffle winner Darren Overton, left, and raffle sponsor Norm Ingersoll of Narooma Charters

We also welcomed Norm Ingersoll from Narooma Charters, David Kelleher from Monty’s, and Darren Overton and his partner Cheryl and children Coby and Tom. The donation from the raffle to Monty’s Place is to assist with their kitchen expansion and renovation plans. David said Monty’s served a community meal each and every Wednesday in the Uniting Church hall. People from all walks of life attend. Its aim is to provide an opportunity for people to come together and enjoy each other’s company. There is seating for 48 in the hall and, combined with’ taker-aways’, between 60 and 80 people are served each week.

News from the Board Meeting

Our Board meeting last Thursday agreed to donate $500 to Australia Rotary Health to assist in Mental Health Research. It also agreed to delay consideration of instigating a breakfast club (similar to the one instigated by the Bega Club) until after the Expo.

The Board also discussed a possible location for the defibrillator returned to us by Woolworths. Several locations were suggested. Charmaine will follow up. The Board also agreed to host the Camera Club’s photo exhibition of the Busking Competition as a publicity event for next year’s Competition.

Peter Bull reports on Gold Coast Clubs

Peter Bull reported on Gold Coast Rotary clubs

Peter gave a brief summary of some of the activities of Rotary Clubs on the Gold Coast where the population is increasing by 12,000 a year. The Passport Club has 40 members mainly under 45 who focus on humanitarian work; they meet once a month for one hour and function as an E-club.
There are many different formats working including breakfast, night, weekly, once a month, once a fortnight and club mergers. Some now have a bulletin only once a month.
Another club builds wheelchairs from old bicycles and sends them to the Pacific islands. Another manages 22 villas for homeless people.

Out and About

From Moruya Rotary

Shirley Cornish-Hayes and husband John from Moruya Rotary report continuing enquiries following their booth at the Hamburg Rotary International Convention promoting their Sexual Health Education programme in several developing nations. They spoke to us about this programme in August. Their next overseas venture will be to northern India to ‘Train the Trainers’.

Merimbula Rotary installing AEDs

Merimbula Rotary Club has funded the installation of defibrillators in Tura Beach’s shopping mall and at Merimbula McDonald’s. The defibrillators are accessible at all hours, securely installed and monitored on the outside of the buildings. Josh Stanton of Tura Beach was the driving force behind their installation following a near tragedy close to home and was delighted when Merimbula Rotary took on the project to fully fund the purchase and installation of the two defibrillators.


Keith Mundy, owner of Tilba Nursery, will talk about Australian Native Plants for the Spring garden. Keith and partner Desiree have had the Tilba Nursery since 1999, initially at Foxglove Gardens but now around the corner at a standalone site. Keith has extensive qualifications and experience, writes the garden column in The Triangle, and has a popular monthly garden talk at La Galette Café at Tilba Tilba. This should be another great night at our Club. Bring your partners and friends.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 12 September 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

Narooma High’s MUNA team of Monique Wicks, left, Luka Potts and Aisha Thomas with our MUNA coordinator Ange Ulrichsen

While the Narooma High team going to MUNA in Canberra got off to an uncertain start, the team that finally went was very grateful for the opportunity and appeared to reap many benefits from their experiences over the weekend. Meeting other students from all sorts of schools across Australia, hearing the calibre of debating, having to think from Syria’s perspective and act with another bloc of countries. They appreciated their teacher’s help and Rotary’s financial support in getting them to the event. 

Our meeting last week had a lovely vibe with 26 people including guests and an international toast by Sandra Doyle to all the Rotary people worldwide who are currently helping Syrian refugees. 
Our Whale Watching raffle, thanks to our sponsors Narooma Charters, has been won by the local Overton Family who we welcome tonight. 

A reminder that this Thursday we have a Board meeting 5.00, followed by a dinner meeting. 


Board meeting at 5pm at Narooma Golf Club followed by a dinner meeting with special guests associated with the Whale Watching raffle: Darren Overton and family, either Norm or Nick Ingersoll from Narooma Charters who make the raffle possible each year, and Monty’s Place president David Kelleher and his wife Vi to receive the proceeds from this year’s Whale Watching raffle towards the kitchen extensions.

The week that was

Wonderful to welcome John and Sandra back last week from their northern winter sojourn. In keeping with our MUNA students having represented Syria, Sandra looked up Rotary clubs in Syria to find that the RC of Damascus was started in 1938 but later banned by the Syrian Government. So her international toast was to all the Rotary Clubs across the world who are assisting Syrian refugees.

Our guests last week were Narooma High students who went to the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Canberra in mid August. They are Crystal Elmasri, Aisha Thomas and Luka Potts. Joining them was their ‘coach’ Narooma High teacher Monique Wicks and the students’ parents.

Teacher Monique, herself a former MUNA student, said she was so proud of the three students and how they interacted with everyone. They all agreed it was a great opportunity. They described the process and how once the exact resolutions to be debated were revealed on the Friday night, after the initial panic they did more research. They were put into blocs to present their cases. Luka noted how many schools had to go through regional finals to secure a place at MUNA.

The many questions following the students’ initial talk reflected how much interest their MUNA talk prompted among our members. Luka said it was so great being there; he’s now considering international studies as a possible career. Aisha said it also opened her eyes to a whole host of possible careers, while Crystal Elmasri said she is now looking at a possible career in law, possibly international law.

Several commented on how much they enjoyed the evening with us.

Out and about

Whale raffle draw

Narooma Charters’ Norm Ingersoll, centre, draws Darren Overton’s winning ticket in our Whalewatching raffle last Saturday, with Rotarians Riobyn Miller, Mike Young, Ange Ulrichsen, Frank Eden and Iris Domeier.

A few of us gathered last Saturday morning for the draw of the 2019 Whale Watching raffle by Narooma Charters’ Norm Ingersoll who provides the prize of a whale watching tour for two people. The raffle was won by a delighted Darren Overton with ticket number 445.

Polio eradication Film night

Ange has organised a film night with Jade Griffiths at the Kinema on Thursday 24 October to raise money for the End Polio campaign. The movie is ‘Ride Like a Girl’, the story of Michelle Payne who was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.

The eradication of polio is one of Rotary’s longest standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, Rotary has helped immunise more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide and we won’t stop until we end the disease for good. Every dollar Rotary commits to end polio will be tripled thanks to a matching agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (up to US$50 million a year). Please spread the word far and wide.

Bega Rotary publicity

Great to see Bega Rotary is publicising our Polio fundraiser ‘Ride Like a Girl’ and our Renewable Energy Expo in their weekly bulletin.

Renewable Energy Expo

Getting ready for our Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 2 November are Frank Eden, Iris Domeier, Rolf Gimmel and Ange Ulrichsen.

Our Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 2 November should appeal to anyone wanting to save on power bills and be more environmentally sustainable. As our gallant Expo coordinator Frank put it, “that would include just about everyone”.

“There’s so much happening in renewable energy and battery development at the moment and our Expo is a great opportunity to catch up with the latest,” Frank said. “It’s a chance to source information directly from local experts and installers.”

The Expo in Narooma Sport & Leisure Centre is the fourth hosted by Rotary, and the third by our Club (last year Moruya Rotary hosted it).

Our organising committee is delighted with the response from exhibitors so far with 15 to 20 expected on the day, with some additional exhibitors hopefully showing options for caravaners and campers.


We go ‘international’ when Cat Wilson and her husband Faouzi take us on a musician’s tour of Morocco with Faouzi also playng his lute (Oud) and drums. Ange says Paul at the Golf Club may also get into the mood with a Moroccan offering.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 5 September 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

President Charmaine White with Bega Rotarian Phil MacDonald, left and Bega President Phil Elsey

Fantastic to catch up with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo Hotel last week and great to see so many Narooma Rotarians there. Thanks for the support. Interesting to meet other local Rotarians who are also working hard and enthusiastically for their community. 
Interesting too to hear how the Bega Breakfast club started and how it is working for younger members. We will discuss this at our Board meeting on 12 Sept and later at Club Assembly. 
Please bring whale raffle tickets to our meeting this Thursday as it is being drawn this Saturday at 12.30 at Narooma Wharf. 
Our MUNA students, their parents and teachers are coming this week to report on their experiences at MUNA. Partners are very welcome; please let me know numbers if you are bringing guests. 


This week we welcome our Narooma High students who went to the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Canberra in mid August. They are Crystal Elmasri, Aisha Thomas and Luka Potts. Joining them will be their ‘coach’ Narooma High teacher Monique Wicks and Principal Fiona Jackson, and the students’ parents.

The week that was

What a wonderful meeting with our fellow Rotarians from Bega last week, led  by President Phil Elsey; it is always so much better when we all mix in together with the seating. Thanks to Ange Ulrichsen for the initiative. It was lovely too that Kathryn Ratcliffe from Narooma Chamber of Commerce joined us.

The Bega Rotary Breakfast Club was a vocational committee initiative last year under the leadership of Past President Margaret Taylor who unfortunately could not join us last Thursday. However her brother and fellow Rotarian Phil MacDonald filled us in and generously shared so much of their experience.

Bega Rotarian Phil McDonald

He put the shared reality of our membership bluntly; “Look around the table and imagine who will be there in another 10-15 years.” PP Margaret’s idea was to look outside the square at young professional and business people in the area. “Our aim is to increase our members for when we fall off the perch,” as Phil so eloquently put it.

The stated aims of the Breakfast Club though are broader:

  1. networking with other Bega businesses
  2. informing Bega businesses on how Bega Rotary can support them and provide opportunities
  3. providing an opportunity to hear informative speakers on current business ideas and practices
  4. voicing how they want the Business Breakfasts to develop.

A major characteristic of young professional and business people is they are time poor, hence the appeal of a breakfast meeting. Interesting to note that at the time the Bega Chamber of Commerce had become inactive. They targeted invitations for a breakfast get-together; about 50 young people expressed interest and 32 turned up for the first meeting; 30 for the second.

They worked out when and where to meet; needed someone in the Rotary Club to push it. Bega Rotary paid for all breakfasts for the first two meetings (about $1,400). Decided start 7am, ‘big breakfast’, a guest speaker plus one or two people to present a two minute overview of their business. They had two meetings before Christmas, about one a month. Wasn’t until after several meetings that Rotary was mentioned, then next meeting asked if any wanted to join. At the following meeting they inducted some new members.

The breakfast meetings regularly attract about 30 people; “It’s is so refreshing to see the motivation of these young people and all their ideas,” Phil said. Interesting to see several starting to take charge and chair the meetings; they have come up with own projects. Have at least one member of Bega Rotary attends each breakfast meeting.

As a result of the breakfast club, they have so far inducted 11 new people into Bega Rotary who go to the breakfast meetings rather than the Thursday night meetings. Interesting another seven people joined Bega Rotary as a result of invites ‘over coffee’ and they seem to go to the Thursday meetings. An interesting aside is that as a result of the breakfast meetings, there are also moves to revive the Bega Chamber of Commerce.

Lots of ‘food for thought’ for us as a result and some good contacts made.

Bega invited us to their combined meeting with Merimbula and Pambula Clubs on Wednesday 6 November at Club Sapphire.

Out and about

Polio eradication Film night

Our Polio fundraiser on 24 October

Ange has organised a film night with Jade at the Kinema for Thursday 24 October To raise money for the eradication of Polio to help the End Polio campaign. The movie is ‘Ride Like a Girl’, the story of Michelle Payne who was the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. Please spread the word far and wide

The eradication of polio is one of Rotary’s longest standing and most significant efforts. Along with our partners, Rotary has helped immunise more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. We have reduced polio cases by 99.9% worldwide and we won’t stop until we end the disease for good. Every dollar Rotary commits to end polio will be tripled thanks to a matching agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (up to US$50 million a year).

Renewable Energy Expo

Plans are progressing well for our Narooma Renewable Energy Expo on Saturday 2 November to make it a ‘must see’ for everyone interested in saving power costs and having a low environmental footprint.

Our committee of Bob Aston (chair), Frank, Ange and Laurelle are hard at it, with exhibitors now firming up. An added feature this year will be renewable and low cost energy for caravaners. Hopefully all members will be able to lend a hand on the day.

Potential RYLA candidates

The next Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp will be a joint undertaking of the old Districts 9710 and 9700. It will be held in Canberra from Saturday 11th to Friday 17th January at the Greenhills Centre on Cotter Road. RYLA targets 18 to 25 year olds who already show potential as good leaders. It is a prestigious course and costs $910. Our Club expects parents or employers to contribute something to the cost. The closing date for applications is 7th January. We will need to interview a potential candidate well before then, so please keep your eyes open.


Board meeting at 5pm at Narooma Golf Club followed by a Club Assembly.