Narooma Rotary Beacon 17 December 2020

Ange’s Chat

What a Year 2020 has been!

Last Thursday we had our Board meeting. Duck tickets are selling well with the community eager to witness once again the 1,000 ducks plunging en masse off the bridge. Race steward Charmaine White has determined the race time is now 10am with a race to the finish to Apex Park boat ramp.

The big Christmas market on Sunday 27 December was discussed and it will be all hands on deck for a great day.

Our Busking Championship has been deferred until May 2022. We will do some publicity in the New Year to let the public know.

We will have a social get-together for fish & chips at Quota Park Thursday 21 January, 6 for 6.30pm.

Our next formal meeting will be Thursday 28 January for our Youth Night when current and former tertiary scholarship winners from Narooma High will be invited by counsellors to come and speak about how they are going.

Our AGM got off to a great start and we are all elated and relieved to have all positions filled for the 2021/22 Board. Congratulations to President Elect Andrew Lawson, Vice President Ange Ulrichsen, Secretary John Rungen, Treasurer Mike Young, Public Officer Rod Walker and Directors Chris O’Brien, Laurelle Pacey, Lynn Hastings and Robyn Miller.

Andrew Lawson, recently inducted into our Club, gave a brief and inspiring talk to us. As a newcomer to Rotary, Andrew promises to be consultative, team orientated and is seeding some interesting ideas to light up our small but vital club again as we move forward with a spring in our step. One condition the DG has put on Andrew’s rapid promotion since induction is that he attend PETS (President Elect Training) which is at Temora on 20 – 21 February; Andrew is keen to attend with Mike Young also expressing interest. The year ends on a high note!

I wish you all a joyful and safe Christmas and New Year.

Hope to see you Thursday.             

THIS WEEK: Thursday 17 December

We will have a great end of year party at The Inlet 6 for 6.30pm. The cost is $40pp and the menu promises to be as good as last year. Members are asked to bring a present to the value of $5 – $10 dollars and Santa will also be there with his helper for a fun night.

The Week that Was

We toast a kindred club

At last year’s Renewable Energy Expo – Mayor Liz Innes, Bob Aston. Ange Ulrichsen and Frank Eden

Last week we toasted the Rotary Club of Mariefred in Sweden as kindred spirits. You might recall in the Beacon a couple of weeks ago that the RI Council on Resolutions rejected a proposal to consider adding a fifth question to The Four-Way Test: ‘Will it be sustainable?’ That addition which resonates with what Frank Eden and the Renewable Energy Expo was all about , was proposed by the Rotary Club of Mariefred in Sweden and endorsed by their District 2370.

The Mariefred Club is currently not meeting, following the strict advice of the Swedish Public Health to try to contain the Corona 19 virus. They would normally meet on a Monday night at 7.30; current President is Lena Bruhn.

Rachel McInnes and team win State award 

Wonderful to see the extraordinary efforts by the Mid-South Coast Branch of WIRES helping wildlife devastated by the recent bushfires has been recognised by winning the 2020 NSW Volunteer Team of the Year. They were joint winners with the NSW Foodbank Distribution Centre.

The Branch consists of 97 volunteers covering the area from Milton to Tilba, including our very own Rachel McInnes. The group rescued more than 2750 animals from early 2019 to early 2020, with a 60% increase over the bushfire period.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers in every region across NSW.

Out and About

Moruya Rotary lights up

Vulcan Street in Moruya will be the focus of The Luminous Festival this Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights, thanks to Moruya Business Chamber, Moruya Rotary, River of Art and Southern Phone. Sounds like a treat!

The Business Chamber, led by Jude Manahan, has worked hard to produce an innovative project that aims to bring Moruya out of the Covid doldrums and capture the imaginations of locals as well as visitors currently in this area. Moruya Rotary has made a significant financial contribution towards its success.

It’s a new venture and Moruya Business Chamber hopes this will be an annual project that encourages the Christmas Spirit, lifts the main street to supplement the Christmas Decorations and . This year a magnificent effort has been put in by a number of people to reinvigorate the town. The facades of shopfronts and heritage buildings, including Moruya Courthouse and two murals created during the River of Art Festival, will be lit up with multi-coloured static lighting and textured lighting programmed on a changing loop

Thursday and Friday nights should feature food stalls and buskers. During these evenings, Vulcan Street will be a focal point for mini mural painting by local artists on temporary walls, live music performances and late-night shopping. Saturday night will be quieter.

Pre bonbon Christmas jokes

BTW: The Oxford English Dictionary records the use of cracker bonbons and the pulling of crackers from 1847.

How do the elves clean Santa’s sleigh on the day after Christmas? They use Santa-tizer.

Why are Christmas trees so fond of the past? Because the present’s beneath them.

What do you call cutting down a Christmas tree? Christmas chopping!

Why does Santa always enter through the chimney? Because it soots him.

How much did Santa pay for his sleigh? Nothing, it was on the house!

What goes “Oh, Oh, Oh”? Santa walking backwards!

Narooma Rotary Beacon 10 December 2020

Ange’s Chat

Our guest speaker Jeff Lean was thanked by PP Rod Walker.

We had a great roll up for Jeff Lean’s presentation last week; his topic ‘Climate Change, Consumption and Mindfulness’. He began by saying how complex the problem was and that ‘global pollution’ in his opinion would be a more accurate term than ‘climate change’.

He talked about Earth’s warming, what was causing it, and the accelerating rate of extinction of many species on our planet as a result. He showed an interesting graph with fossil fuels and carbon emissions responsible for only about one-third of global pollution, with human consumption the rest.

Jeff spoke about what drives people’s personal consumption and the resultant waste and its impact down the track. Waste is a huge problem worldwide, such as from agricultural runoff, breakdown of drugs, and micro beads used in many beauty products, just to name a few.

He said we are all influenced by the psychology behind advertising. Planned obsolescence means many goods are deliberately designed not to last and we’re all pressured to replace things more often than was the case in the past.

Jeff asked, “do we really need so much stuff?”. He said each of us can make a difference by being more “mindful of our purchases” and consider what effect they might have on some remote part of the world; question what we buy and what’s in it (avoid products containing polycarbonates). His message was simple: “Buy less and think more”.

Jeff’s message was sobering. Many people are now more aware of the warming of the planet and its serious implication for our future. CSIRO has predicted a temperature rise of 3 °C by 2030 unless everyone takes urgent action.

Welcome Andrew Lawson 

President Ange Ulrichsen welcomes new member Andrew Lawson

Last Thursday it gave me great pleasure to induct Andrew Lawson from Wandella into our Club. Andrew’s presence brings us new, much needed energy and commitment.


Our Annual General Meeting is this Thursday, 10 December. Secretary Rod is delighted to have received some nominations for our Board for 2021-2022 but more are needed.

The AGM will be preceded by a Board meeting at 5pm.

­The Week that Was

Last week’s international toast by Mike Young was to the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland in Ontario, Canada. Mike chose that club because it is the club of Jennifer Jones, the RI President Nominee who will be RI President in 2022-23 and the first female President of Rotary International. 

The club’s board is largely female and they are heavily involved in various Youth, Community/Vocational and International  Service Projects, including some Peace Projects (eg. Peace Schools), as well as The Rotary Foundation. Their Club meetings are all via Zoom at the moment because of Covid-19 issues in Canada.

Out and About

Zoom on membership with Evan Burrell

President Ange encourages us to take this opportunity and tune in to the District 9705 Membership Forum via Zoom Tuesday 8 December at 5.30pm with Evan Burrell. He will talk about ‘Telling the Rotary Story’…using social media and developing a good public image in a way to share the stories of Rotary doing good in the world. You need to register; details have been circulated.

Evan Burrell is a big Superman fan

So who is Evan? He is a Digital Media Consultant for Rotary Down Under, manages a digital consultancy start up, is a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra and been involved with  Rotary for almost 20 years, a member of the RI Communications Committee, as well as an Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for the whole of Australia in Zone 8.  He is also a big Superman fan.

Evan uses social media to show that Rotarians are not only making a positive difference in the world, they are also having fun doing it. He presents Rotary in a lighter more engaging way, showing the more fun and humorous side to our organisation, He finds it grabs people’s attention, member sand non-member alike. This makes the idea of Rotary more relatable, especially to new generations, who may feel disconnected with some of the formalities of Rotary but are avid users of social media.

Sad farewell to Maureen Manning

PDG Maureen Manning is leaving the District. This is a huge loss to Batemans Bay Club; she has also been a great friend of our Club. For years she was the driving force behind the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) weekends for high school students at Mogo.

Request for Stamps

Chris O’Brien asks members to please save your used stamps and give them to her. They will be sent to a charity. Chris says it would be appreciated if you could ensure there is a border of at least 1cm around the stamp.

From Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotarians had their Christmas party at the Golf Club last week “a splendid gathering” of 52 members, partners and guests “the like of which we not seen since pre-Covid days”. President Peter saw it as a sign “we seem to be on the road to recovery from a year that has been a once in a lifetime event”, describing 2020 as “a year that none of us will ever forget, and which will forge our aspirations and plans for the rest of our lives”.

Moruya has lost a large number of members during the year for various reasons but President Peter says “the Club is not diminished”. Members are doing some soul searching about the reasons why.

Peter notes in this week’s bulletin that much attention is given to recruiting new Rotary Members. “It appears to me that as we look to emerge from 2020 into better times, wiser and hopefully stronger, we also need to imagine a broader Rotary world where some of the energy put into and satisfaction derived from service to the wider community can also be directed back towards the needs of our fellow Rotarians in our lives… Rotary must be Fun!”


Our Christmas Party is on Thursday 17 December, 6 for 6.30pm, at The Inlet. If you haven’t already done so, please let Chris O’Brien know if you are coming and who you are bringing, partners and friends.

Let’s make it a great end of year party. The cost is $40 pp and the menu promises to be as good as last year. Members are asked to please bring along a present to the value of $5 – $10 and Santa and his helper will join us to add to the fun of the evening.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 3 December 2020

Ange’s Chat

PDG Phil on an earlier visit with then Rotarian John Doyle

We were delighted to have PDG Phil Armstrong from Moruya Rotary join us last Thursday. With his wealth of knowledge and experience we had a­­­­­­ positive discussion on how Narooma Rotary might move forward.

Phil praised our small, dynamic Club and said he had always admired just how many things we had achieved over the last 60+ years. He noted our introduction of innovative projects like the Busking Championship, Renewable Energy Expo and the Duck Race.

Phil said Rotary is changing and we need to adapt and change to suit ourselves and the community we serve. Rotary International was initially a networking club for business leaders; then it became an organisation that saw achieving greater social benefits to individuals and communities in need, locally and globally as a key objective. We became a Service Club with the motto ‘Service above Self’.

He emphasised the critical need for Rotary Clubs to elect ‘Skill Based Boards’ in order to enable Change Management. Skills like the capacity to lead through participation by all, strategic planning, marketing, and the capacity to be creative. Above all we need to encourage participation and club membership of younger, more diverse people. AND have fun.

He noted that younger women are about to play key roles in Rotary: our District Governor Nominee Geraldine Rurenga from the Rotary Club of Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee, Rotary International’s President Nominee Jennifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland in Ontario (the first woman to be RI President), and the RI Director-Elect representing Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Jessie Harman of the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast in Ballarat.

Phil was adamant that becoming a Satellite Club which meant we would lose our valued Charter would be tragic and should not be an option.

So, let’s rise to the challenge and take a hard look at our public image, new technologies, how often we meet, breakfast meetings, commitment and listen to the ideas and needs of younger generations to gauge new pathways for our community.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: Thursday 17 Dec

This our end of year party. The Inlet Restaurant has been booked 6 for 6.30pm. Please let Chris O’Brien know names of partners and friends. Let’s make it a great celebration to end 2020. What a year it has been…


We have a dinner meeting again this Thursday at the Golf Club with guest speaker Jeff Lean, rescheduled from October. Jeff will speak on ‘Climate Change, Consumption and Mindfulness’.  

Please invite partners and guests and let Secretary Rod know if you are attending and the numbers of guests by Wednesday.

Jeff is a retired Consulting Engineer and Environmental Engineer, a member of Earthwatch, Climate Council, Australian Conservation Council, NEC – New Economics Foundation, AELA Australian Earth Laws. He talks of the plant’s warming, the causes, and the accelerating rate of extinction of many species. Jeff will discuss how we can reduce our personal damage to the planet.

The Week that Was

Narooma Rotary Tertiary Scholarships

Our 2020 Tertiary Scholar Rory Spurgeon with the President Bob Aston

Many of you are aware that each year we award a three-year Narooma Rotary Tertiary Scholarship to a student from Narooma High School to help them pursue their studies and achieve their dreams. This is thanks to a bequest by Alexander Birch.

Bob Aston reports he has received four applications this year. A panel of Peter Bull, Lynda Ord and David McInnes will interview these students on 19 December. Whoever they select will be the 31st student to receive this scholarship. That assistance will then total over $260,000.                                                                                   

Annual General Meeting 10 December

Secretary Rod is getting worried he has had no nominations yet for our Board for 2021-2022. Hopefully he will be inundated with nominations this Thursday.

Out and About

International Day of People with Disability

Every year on 3 December, people around the world take part in International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), a day to celebrate the achievements of people with disability and promote awareness, understanding and acceptance in the community. One in five people, or 4.4 million Australians, have a disability. We all have a role to play to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as others to reach their full potential.

From Merimbula Rotary

Courtesy Merimbula Rotary website

Merimbula Rotarians have been busy replacing and painting the fire-damaged fence at Cobargo Cemetery. Two members, Don and Cam, found the remains of this seat at the Cemetery and set about restoring it to its original condition.  They removed the steel frames and took them home, cleaned, undercoated with cold galvanise, and finished with killrust black paint.  The seat slats were coated with oil-based decking finish, and fastened with new galvanised bolts. On their webpage they ask if anyone would like to help with their fire recovery projects to contact the club through Facebook, messenger or the Club’s webpage.

Merimbula Club generally meets in Club Sapphire at Merimbula but is changing the format of their meetings to alternate with a social event so people are urged to check the club’s webpage or Facebook.

From Pambula Club

Pambula Rotarians recently enjoyed a weekend visit from their Rotary colleagues from out west … Ken from Parkes Rotary and Chris and Chris from Forbes. They checked on the installation of some of the bird boxes they built and donated for local burnt out properties. It was lots of fun.


It’s our AGM. Hope to see you there. Don’t forget to put your nomination forms in beforehand.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 26 November 2020

Ange’s Chat

Narooma Rotary Markets on Sunday with Andrew Lawson, left, and President Ange Ulrichsen selling Duck raffle tickets and welcoming early market goers, while our Markets Manager Chris O’Brien finalises the Covid Safe signs .

Last Thursday 19 Nov, we joined our District 9705 Governor Dr Michael Moore AM PhD on Zoom. Michael’s impressive credentials will serve him well in this new role.

He began by congratulating us on our terrific website, which he described as “the best in the District” (!). It was updated some time ago thanks to Frank Eden’s brilliance, showcasing the beautiful environment we live in and the many great contributions we have made to our community and internationally over the years.

Some of our Narooma Rotary team Zoomed with DG Dr Michael Moore

Michael said that Rotarians are highly respected and play an important role as volunteers, contributing 47 million hours/year amounting to an equivalent Economic Value of $850m annually. He spoke at length about the District’s aspirations for the future. In 2020/21 we celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia, a great achievement. He appreciated the problems our Club is facing and offered help and support as we navigate our future.

We thanked Michael for his succinct and informative talk and we look forward to he and his wife Helen coming down from Canberra to possibly join us at the December markets or the Duck Race on Australia Day.

Lynn Hastings and Charmaine White welcomed market goers at Gate 2, while also selling quite a few Duck Race raffle tickets.

What a great market on Sunday and what an excellent result. Well done everyone! So happy the rain held off. Total takings were $2,438.50 (gate $1090, drinks $44, wishing well $439.50, and Duck Race raffle $865).

Bob, best wishes for your hand operation this week and thank you for the great support you always give. President Ange


This Thursday PDG Phil Armstrong from Moruya Rotary is our guest speaker. Phil has a wealth of knowledge and experience and we can look forward to a positive, interactive discussion on how Rotary Narooma might move forward.

The Week that Was

From Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotary is again most appreciative of PDG Phil’s latest efforts, having secured up to $8,000 funding for a joint venture with the Chamber of Commerce in their quest to produce a Light Show ‘Luminous’. Everyone involved is quite excited about this project spearheaded by Jude Manahan. Moruya Rotarians sound as if they will also be playing a significant part in the show.

Moruya Club has had two more resignations by two of their younger members; one due to work pressures, and the other is moving out of the area. This week the Club is discussing forming a satellite club, apparently in the hope of attracting younger members.

The Club has also made a significant step forward in that Chris Manahan has agreed to accept nomination as President Elect.


On ESC draft plan and NATA Oval

You may remember that our Club put in a submission on Council’s draft Plan of Management for Narooma Sport and Leisure Precinct. The final plan goes before this week’s Council meeting. Plans to bring in the perimeter fence to allow people to walk around the outside (!) have been scrapped as have plans to plant trees and erect picnic tables within the perimeter. The revised plan includes power to the southwest corner for a temporary stage for events, but there seem to be no plans for a sound shell as such.

BowelCare report out

The report on 2020 BowelCare is out. Of the 10,235 tests done, 6.2% were positive. It is interesting to note that 61% of those tests were in the 75+ age group who cannot access the free Government tests. Also interesting to note that people under 50 also used the test, some of whom tested positive. That means they don’t necessarily have bowel cancer but follow up was needed.

It is disappointing to hear that from next year BowelCare kits will only be available in our area by mail order. For 30 years, with Rotary’s assistance, the bowel cancer awareness program has operated as a Community service but the report says kit sales have gradually declined due to the introduction of the Australian Government program.

“Covid-19 and increased manufacturer’s costs have forced us to change to a Mail Order only program (except for the Central Coast of NSW which has administered the programme for our District) for 2021. Even though over the years substantial losses have resulted from running the program, it has been a great Community Service. Of course, we are not sure whether a 2021 Mail Order program will be successful and therefore, if we will be able to continue the service in future years.”

Cancercare Australia Director Rod Chippendale thanks clubs like ours which has been involved in this programme possibly from Day 1. “Without your help, and the help of others, it would have been impossible to successfully run the program.”

At Sunday’s Markets, market goers Chris and Pete Stranger chat with John Rungen.

RI’s Council on Resolutions

Interesting to note Rotary International’s Council on Resolutions which meets online each year recently considered  31 Resolutions proposed by clubs, districts, the RI Board of Directors, and the General Council or Conference of RIBI. Only 12 were adopted. The RI Board will consider all resolutions adopted by the Council.

One resolution adopted is to ask the RI Board to consider reintroducing professional development as a value of Rotary. It was proposed by the Rotary Club of Paris 20ème Service & Industrie and endorsed by their District 1660.

Another of particular interest to our Club is that a proposal to consider adding a fifth question to The Four-Way Test: – ‘Will it be sustainable?’ – was rejected. It was proposed by the Rotary Club of Mariefred in Sweden and endorsed by their District 2370.Maybe a future toast to the Rotary Club of Mariefred in Sweden…

Narooma Rotary Beacon 19 November 2020


Our DG DR Michael Moore

We join our District 9705 Governor Dr Michael Moore AM PhD on Zoom this Thursday night. Michael faces many challenges in trying to cover such a large District.

Michael is the former CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia and is a Past President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. He is the chair of a number of health networks. Michael is a Distinguished Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, was formerly a teacher and consultant and served four terms as an elected member of the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1989 to 2001. Michael was Australia’s first independent Minister when he was appointed as Minister of Health and Community Care. In 2017 he was honoured by being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


Last week’s meeting at Narooma Golf Club was pretty hectic as our meeting coincided with Narooma High School Year 12 Formal. Students in all their finery had to wait in the Seahorse Room before going up stairs. Because of a few delays we ended up in the 1st Hole room for our meeting. In all we had 16 members and guests in attendance, filling the room to capacity.

Martin Dunk at Cobargo BlazeAid

Our guest speakers Martin Dunk and Jude Turner gave us a wonderful insight into BlazeAid in Cobargo. Martin is a backpacker and is the current coordinator of the BlazeAid Cobargo site. He has been at Cobargo since August and will return to Sydney in a couple of weeks. Volunteering with BlazeAid is a popular option for backpackers because the volunteering is considered as ‘rural’ work, allowing them to extend their working holiday visa.

BlazeAid is a volunteer organisation formed by Kilmore East farmers, Kevin and Rhonda Butler after the Black Saturday fires of 2009. The role of BlazeAid is to help farmers rebuild fences as well as rebuild lives.

The BlazeAid Camp at Cobargo has operated since January. Since January more than 500 people have spent time there volunteering. Currently there are 21 volunteers in the camp with four jobs underway.

To date 351 farmers have registered for assistance and 104 properties have been completed. It is anticipated the BlazeAid will need at least another 12 to 18 months to complete all projects. When all work has been completed, it has been estimated that more than 4,900km of fencing will have been rebuilt. A great effort.

BlazeAid is a fascinating mixture of backpackers, grey (and not so grey) nomads and locals. Bega Valley Shire Council provides logistic support for the camp and many volunteer organisations such as Rotary assist in many other ways, including the supply of food and other supplies. Local businesses also strongly support BlazeAid. Bob Aston


Bay Rotary invites Royal Zoom

Interesting that Bay Rotarian Pam Thorpe invited Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to a Zoom meeting with them to discuss the recent bushfires in their area and the Club’s efforts in the recovery. His Kensington Palace assistant responded:

“His Royal Highness was saddened when he heard of the devastation that was caused by the bush fires on New Years Eve 2019. The Duke was heartened to learn of efforts, the members of the Rotary Club have gone to in Mogo to help with the recovery efforts. Though you have been delayed in your efforts due to COVID-19 outbreak, it is encouraging to hear this has not deterred the members in wanting to complete the recovery of Mogo.

“The Duke was extremely grateful for your kind invitation having given careful consideration to the possibilities, however, I very much regret that his Highness reluctantly feels he has to decline.” He sent Bay Rotarians “his best wishes”.

Rotary plants help Cobargo Recovery

Bega Rotarians, Canberra-Weston Creek Rotarians and Brindabella Rotaractors joined the community day at Cobargo last Saturday with a big plant give-away to help the community recover its green environment.

Through the Cobargo Green Recovery team, Cobargo and Quaama residents affected by the summer bushfires could choose from about 4,000 trees and plants organised by the two Rotary Clubs. The plants were grown over winter by Rotarians and volunteers, many of whom were older and isolated at home and welcomed such an activity.

The Plant Replacement Project was led by Rotarian Margaret McIver with help from Canberra horticulturalist Paulene Cairnduff whose Phoenix Garden Recovery group helped re-green Weston Creek after their 2003 fires. 

The Cobargo Community worked for many months to make the day happen and almost everyone in the District seemed to appear. Headspace Bega and Red Cross were also there to offer support. A ‘welcome to country’ and songs in Yuin language started the day’s events. Bega Rotary provided a barbecue and there were fun events and live music for families.

When Cobargo’s re-building and infrastructure is nearly completed, some street trees will also be provided as part of this project.


PDG Phil Armstrong of Moruya Club and a long term supporter of our Club will be our guest speaker.


Bob’s Buzz

Peter Gorton’s talk on Electric Vehicles was quite fascinating, pointing the way to the future.

Hello Everyone

What a great presentation from Pete Gordon last week. His information about electric vehicles was most enlightening. I was really impressed with the way we engaged using Zoom. It does go to show that Zoom meetings are an effective way to interact in our changed world and may even provide opportunities to hook up with guest speakers from many parts of the world, not just our local community. Thank you to Frank and Ange for organising the event.

There will also be a Board meeting at the Golf Club commencing at 5:00pm on Thursday. I encourage all members who are not on the Board to attend if they wish.

Have a great week everyone.


5pm Board Meeting at Narooma Golf Club

6pm:  We are back at the Golf Club for a face-to- face dinner meeting. Our guest speaker is Martin Dunk. Martin is the coordinator of BlazeAid at Cobargo. Martin left university in 2011 and has lived in several different countries including France, Austria, Canada while working for the UK’s largest ski tour operator managing teams of people providing services to customers. After returning to the UK, Martin started looking for the next adventure and decided Australia was the place to be. He had been living in Sydney on the Northern Beaches and working in Surry Hills when COVID hit. To stay and extend his visa and Martin needed to participate in regional work and that’s how he found BlazeAid. He will tell us a little about BlazeAid and what they do, and how volunteers make it all happen.

Please let Rod know by Tuesday afternoon if you will/will not be attending or bringing guests. We need accurate numbers for the Golf Club.

Out and About

ROMAC’s wonderful work featured

Vincent and his mother at his first birthday, spent in Canberra

Great story recently about some of the wonderful work Rotary does in the Canberra Times and ABC.  It was about a baby Vincent Toto from the Solomon Islands whose oesophagus was not connected to his stomach. He had a gastrostomy tube put in when in the Solomon Islands so he could get fluids and nutrients but he needed more substantial medical care.

Rotary stepped in through the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) programme to provide that care. ROMAC has saved dozens of Pacific Islanders by bringing sick babies and children to Canberra for critical care, which is donated by the hospital and the ACT government under a memorandum of understanding. Not all states and territories yet have that.

Vincent came to Australia in July 2019 when only two months old. He underwent three significant surgeries, dozens of gastroscopies and ended up in the neonatal intensive care unit on a few occasions. After 16 months of treatment in Canberra, he became well enough to eat. 

Vincent and his mother Cosinta Matesonia stayed with retired nurse and Rotarian Sandra Goldstraw when not in hospital. Mrs Goldstraw, a most remarkable woman, has housed, fed and clothed 23 Pacific Islander children, including Vincent, over the past 15 years. Vincent’s Mum was most appreciative of everyone who helped them especially the doctor, the hospital and Rotary, “without their help Vincent would have died”. They have now returned to the Solomon Islands.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant this programme has had to be halted, yet there are about 200 children waiting to come over for what is often life-saving surgery; some will die before they can have surgery.

Covid restrictions affect Moruya race kiosk

Business at Moruya Rotary’s Kiosk operation at the Melbourne Cup Race meeting at Moruya Jockey Club last week was very quiet because “as usual the members and guests brought along their picnic baskets and there was no public presence”. The Moruya bulletin reports “chips, pies and hamburgers were not on the menu or the minds of the great majority”. Fortunately their coffers were topped up income derived from the food vouchers handed out to the race course staff and most people associated with putting the day on. Peter Smith reported, “At the end of the day we can be happy that we have made a small but meaningful contribution to the local economy. We have spent money with local businesses, we have supported the Jockey Club with one of their major events of the year and by donating a substantial amount of bread and rolls to the women’s refuge we have assisted those living in the most difficult of circumstances.”

Interesting too that Moruya is also looking for someone to put up their hand to be President for 2021-2022.


We will ‘Zoom’ with District Governor Dr Michael Moore AM.

Our District 9705 is huge with a lot of ground to cover. Michael says he has enjoyed meeting many clubs over the past five months, sometimes face to face, sometimes by Zoom. In the New Year he and his wife Helen hope to meet those Rotarians he has met via Zoom actually in person (in a Covid safe way of course). Hopefully that will include us. He said in the last District newsletter that as he moves from club to club, he notes that many are using the changed year to look for opportunities to do things in different ways. Zoom meetings being one very good example.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 5 November 2020

Hello Everyone

Because we did not have a meeting last week Therese and I headed off to Newcastle for a few days to to catch up with family and friends. It was the first time we have been able to visit Therese’s mum since COVID-19 started to take hold in early March. When you think about it COVID-19 has impacted greatly on all of us this year, especially our ability to keep in touch with family. Hopefully we have turned the corner with infections in Australia at an all time low. I think it is also important to reflect on the hardships endured by those in Victoria during their hard lockdown, I am sure that their efforts have helped reduce the spread of the disease across the whole country.

The best thing about coming home on Saturday ? Taking the new NorthConnex Tunnel, it was fantastic and saved the frustration that we have had to endure in the past trying to navigate a congested Pennant Hills Road.

This week we welcome Pete Gordon to our Zoom meeting. Pete is retired, though he does work for fun as a business analyst in Defense. He has for many years had a keen interest in renewable energy and sustainability, and as an ex ‘petrol head’ the introduction of Electric Vehicles (EV) into the community.  Pete is a committee member of the Australian EV Association, and he carries out electrification of bicycles as a hobby, when not driving his own little BMW i3 EV.  Pete lives near Merimbula, in a self-built, fully sustainable, passive solar house, with 7kW of PV and a Tesla battery.

Friends of Rotary and members of the public getting our Beacon by email wanting to hear Pete are asked to email me at and I will send you an invitation.

have a great week everyone.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 29 October 2020


Apologies for the late posting but there is no Club meeting this week, neither at the Golf Club nor via Zoom.

The Week that Was

Our guest speaker last week Narooma Rotarian Robyn Miller from the Nature Coast Marine Group was thanked by Mike Young.

Our guest speaker last week was our fellow Rotarian Robyn Miller who thankfully was able to bring her talk forward a few weeks after our scheduled speaker had to pull out due to ill health. She is a life member of the Nature Coast Marine Group

Robyn spoke about Narooma’s ‘ancient residents’ (not our members!). She studied Geology at Newcastle Uni and has since loved palaeontology. Now she studies live creatures instead of in the Cambrian rocks, and shared with us her valuable photos taken over years of diving and snorkelling the waters of our region. 

Many of her beautiful photos were taken in Wagonga inlet and included many different rays, jellyfish, an octopus, small fish, rock clinging and bottom dwelling critters that have been around for hundreds of millions of years. They are all critical parts of our cleverly balanced marine environment and definitely need looking after. Robyn’s enthusiasm for her underwater activities and photography was amazing.

Thankyou Robyn.                                                                            Mike Young


From Moruya Club

It was an amazing coincidence that in the same week we heard from Robyn, Moruya Rotarians heard from the Nature Coast Marine Group (NCMG) President Dr Jane Elek about the local marine environment. Jane explained  why Marine Parks are needed, adding that, science tells us that our sea temperatures particularly in this hot spot area have risen 1-2 degrees in the past 20 years.

          Jane retired to Moruya a few years ago and joined the NCMG. She said the NCMG strongly supported the Batemans Marine Park (BMP), particularly its Sanctuary Zones where no fishing was allowed. In the years since 2007 when it was gazetted, she said its sanctuaries have shown the wisdom of the plan — bigger and more numerous fish, an altogether healthier marine environment.

She also spoke of the Group’s opposition to the NSW Government’s decision in December 2019 to allow fishing in six sanctuary zones in the BMP without any scientific advice or public consultation and without following the government’s own principles for decision-making with regard to the marine environment. She hopes that a two month consultation period with interested bodies will start soon.

From Batemans Bay Rotary

They recently had our Area Governor Bruce Whiley join them at the Soldiers’ Club. Then last Saturday night, they Lifted the Lid on Mental Health at the Soldiers Club when they hosted the Wollongong Rotary Club.

From Bega Rotary

Bega Club has joined with Forbes Rotary Club to sponsor Sarnelli House in NE Thailand (RAWCS Project 75-2013). Sarnelli House provides a home to children with AIDS. They are taken in and given education and medicines that have enabled them to survive and thrive.

 Sarnelli House also runs an outreach programme in the village for families in need. Members from Forbes Rotary Club, prior to the COVID-19 travel embargo, had been to Sarnelli House and speak volumes about their first-hand experiences that included painting the classrooms, providing advice on soil improvement etc. as well as observing first-hand the many ways their sponsorship has helped these orphaned children. Bega Club is proud of be part of this project with Forbes.

Bega Rotary, in addition to their fortnightly meetings on the first and third Thursday evenings every month at the Grand Hotel in Bega, organises and encourages social meetings for members and friends around the area.

On a lighter note

Courtesy of the Narooma Men’s Shed newsletter (they always have good jokes).

Why did the gym close down? It just didn’t work out!

Two artists had an art contest. It ended in a draw!

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick!  

You know what I saw today? Everything I looked at.

NEXT WEEK 5 November

We ZOOM CHAT with guest speaker Peter Gorton from Merimbula on ‘Electrifying Public Transport in Australia’.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 22 October 2020


Hello Everyone

It was great to be back at the Golf Club last Thursday wearing our strange and unusual hats and headwear to help raise funds for Australia Rotary Health’s ‘Lift the Lid on Mental Illness’ campaign. Congratulations to Chris O’Brien for taking out first prize with her Melbourne Cup style fascinator.

Our hat judge Anne Colquitt with Mike Young, with Bob Aston in background

Although he didn’t win a prize, I thought Michael Young’s effort was the most innovative headwear on the night. We raised $200.00 on Thursday – a great effort. Overall, we will be donating $1,000 to Australian Rotary Health to assist in mental health research.

Dr Nadine Hills

Our guest speaker Dr Nadine Hills gave a thought-provoking presentation on how to best manage our mental health. After the meeting Nadine sent Angie an email thanking the Club for the opportunity to speak about mental health.

Don’t forget our market this Sunday. It would be great if all members could help out for an hour or so on Sunday; the more helpers we have, the lighter the task.  We will finalise the roster this Thursday.

We were due to have a planning meeting on 29 October – I think that it is best that we postpone this meeting to a later date, I will let you know the revised date once finalised.

Well the footy final season is well and truly upon us. Mrs Aston was cheering on Saturday night as the Panthers crushed my team, the Rabbitohs’, hopes for another year, very sad… Now I must cheer the Panthers when they take on the Storm on Sunday night; hopefully the kids from the foot of the mountains can make it 18 wins on the trot and send the Storm packing.

Enjoy your week. Regards Bob


Last week

Some of our guests last week at our Lift the Lid on Mental Health night

Aspects of Dr Nadine’ Hills’ talk last week keep resonating; as one Rotarian said it was like receiving a free counselling session. Nadine said the impact of the bushfires, and then the pandemic so soon after, has had a huge effect on many in our community. Nadine’s emailed thanking the Club for the opportunity to speak:

I wanted to thank you all at Narooma Rotary Club for the opportunity to meet with you yesterday evening. The company was refreshing, the food delicious, and the gift of wine glass and heart, appreciated!

We spoke of challenging events, including the bush-fires and Covid-19 impacts. This was an opportunity much needed post-bushfire to speak of some of the experiences people had had. Thank you to those who shared with us all.

I worked through an approach which gives us a way to feel and acknowledge the natural associated feelings. And then how to move in the direction of what is important to us.

I hope that the hand-outs will offer further guidance, and also encourage us in the daily habits that can keep us healthy and resilient within and through the various “fires” that we experience.

My best wishes to each of you, and to you all as a Rotary Club.

Thanks once again. Nadine


We have a dinner meeting again this Thursday at the Golf Club with guest speaker Jeff Lean.  Jeff will speak on ‘Climate Change, Consumption and Mindfulness’.  Please invite partners and guests and let Secretary Rod know if you are attending and the numbers of guests by Tuesday.

Jeff is a retired Consulting Engineer and Environmental Engineer, a member of Earthwatch, Climate Council, Australian Conservation Council, NEC – New Economics Foundation, AELA Australian Earth Laws

Jeff talks of the plant’s warming because of continually increasing rates of pollution, and the accelerating rate of extinction of many species due to increasing rates of habitat loss. But Governments and businesses continue to prioritise profits over species survival, including our own species. The UN is now pleading we significantly reduce our personal consumption. Jeff will discuss how we can reduce our personal damage to the planet.

Also don’t forget our Markets this Sunday 25th October.

Out and About

Lynda Ord has alerted us to a lovely post-bushfire recovery story from Lake Conjola, now home to PP Bob Antill and his wife Merinda. It involves Joe Vassallo from Conjola Park who lost his treasured trumpet in the devastating bushfires (his home survived but not much else) on New Year’s Eve, Merinda, and Lynda’s husband Ash who had a Furstenberg trumpet that had been stored in his loft unplayed for quite a while.

The call went out from Lake Conjola about how it would be lovely if Joe was able to play a trumpet again. Merinda answered the call with “I know someone who may be able to help”. The upshot was Ash donated his trumpet, one of several apparently. Merinda has written a lovely story about this; hopefully Lynda will have a chance to tell the story in coming weeks including with the postscript. Big hugs all around.


The proposed visioning meeting has been postponed so there will be no meeting on the 29th. The following week will be a Zoom meeting. More details next week.

On a lighter note on Zoom meetings

I showed up late for a Zoom meeting… when asked for a reason, I confessed: “You wouldn’t believe the network traffic”.

I feel really bad for the class of 2020. They say the year really flies by, but I just didn’t realize it would Zoom.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 15 October 2020


Our Club helps Australian Rotary Health Lift the Lid on Mental Illness by hosting a Hat event at the Golf Club in the Seahorse Room. You should have already booked partners and friends in with secretary Rod and encouraged them to wear a hat. President Rolf would like to collect $5 per hat to go towards Australian Rotary Mental Health research.

Our guest speaker is local psychologist Nadine Hills who has called her talk ‘Feeling, Breathing & Living by my Values in Challenging Times’. For over 25 years, Nadine has helped people of all ages face their various challenges and find a way forward through the valleys, up the cliffs, and trudging through the muddy situations that life presents.

“Together we find breath and a way to live their life drawn forward by their values,” she said. “Within ‘the fires’ of life, (including the frightening fires experienced by our South Coast earlier this year, the invisible ‘fire’ of Covid-19, and our own internal and personal emotional ‘fires’) we long for peace and internal ease to appreciate the beauty and magic of life, to thrive within our circumstances and opportunities.”

October is Rotary Mental Health Month. We know one in five Australians experience a mental illness every year, but with the fires plus COVID-19 it is anticipated these figures will increase. An estimated 45% of the population experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives.

Therefore, it is more important than ever that we continue to fund mental health research, especially for our youth.

The Lift the Lid campaign is a National mental health fundraising and awareness initiative that aims to raise funds for mental health research and ultimately improve the lives of all Australians.

The Week that Was

We zoomed

Last week we zoomed. One highlight was a very proud David McInnes mentioning that Rachel was part of the WIRES Mid South Coast team who recently won the South Coast Volunteer Team of the Year. 

This well deserved award particularly recognised the team’s amazing efforts during and after the bushfires caring for and protecting our native animals. Theirs really was a huge and devoted undertaking on top of their normal work. Well done our local WIRES team; we are particularly proud of Rachel knowing the difficult tasks she has often had to perform.

Rachel McInnes (second from left) was part of the WIRES Mid South Coast team who recently won the South Coast Volunteer Team of the Year. 

From Moruya Rotary

Last week, Moruya Rotarians enjoyed their first normal dinner meeting at Moruya Golf Club since 18 March when no one dreamed the embargo on normal meetings was just around the corner. President Peter Smith summarised what the Club had been doing in the intervening period

He particularly mentioned two projects done by individual members. Steve Young ran a one man show, providing and setting up water tanks in a fire ravaged area adjacent to the Clyde River near Runnyford to aid native animals, mainly kangaroos , from dying of thirst. He identified a need, sourced funding through a Rotary District Program and completed the project. Meanwhile Col Jay is working on the entrance gate to the historic Moruya Pioneer Cemetery used during the mid 1800s; only a handful of headstones still stand. Col is being assisted by Moruya Historical Society.

Out and About

World Polio Day is on 24 October

Just a reminder…When Rotary and its partners formed the GPEI in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Because of their efforts , nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. 

Today just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Eliminating all cases will take even more efforts. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation.

Rotary is optimistic that polio can be eliminated with sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas.

The infrastructure we helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases (including COVID-19) and create lasting impact in other areas of public health.


Dinner meeting at Narooma Golf Club with guest speaker Jeff Lean on Climate Change, Consumption and Mindfulness. Please invite partners and friends.

On a lighter note

Why did the chicken cross the road?  Because the chicken behind it didn’t know how to socially distance properly.

Who’s idea was it to sing “Happy Birthday” while washing your hands? Now every time I go to the bathroom, my kids expect me to walk out with a cake.

My husband purchased a world map and then gave me a dart and said, “Throw this and wherever it lands—that’s where I’m taking you when this pandemic ends.” Turns out, we’re spending two weeks behind the fridge.

I never thought the comment “I wouldn’t touch them with a six-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!