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!

Narooma Rotary Beacon 8 October 2020


We Zoom again! One feature will be a report from the Board meeting this Wednesday at Bob’s place.

We had hoped to have our Area Governor Bruce Whiley join us for this week’s Zoom  (see last week’s Beacon). It was a long shot at such short notice but President Rolf had a lovely response from him. Bruce is travelling this week and possibly would be unable to connect to the web, but he will contact Rolf on his return and discuss another possible time to meet with us.

The Week that Was

Last week we were back to Zoom with a good number of members plus our friend Andrew Lawson. It is frustrating that many of us can only see nine on our screens at a time so it’s always a surprise when someone unseen pipes up… (the advantage of a computer screen over an ipad perhaps). But then a flick and there they are!

Out and About

From Moruya Rotary

Tuesday this week is Moruya Rotary’s first dinner meeting back at the Golf Club for over six months and there is great excitement, especially with it being a partners’ night. Interesting Moruya has moved their meetings at the Golf Club to Tuesday rather than Wednesday; Tuesdays are quieter.

The Rotary crew manning the kiosk at Moruya races were almost run off their feet at last Friday’s races, bigger takings than last year. Manning the roster is becoming quite challenging because of falling membership.

This week’s Moruya bulletin mentions the imminent departure of Moruya Jockey Club Manager Brian Crowden who was instrumental in the combined Rotary Club Christmas race days which have raised so much money for community projects over recent years, beginning with the new Oncology Unit at Moruya Hospital. Brian has been a true friend of Rotary. All three Clubs will wish him well.

From Merimbula Rotary

Merimbula Rotary’s September market was twice the size of their August market. They’re anticipating a further doubling in October with the return of many regular as well as new stallholders. Their Covid-Safe Plan is available on their website for stallholders to check.

Merimbula Rotary has a tent at the Market and they encourage people to pop into the tent and say ‘hello’.  They also invite people to pop in with any suggestions of a project they think would benefit their Community and discuss it with Rotarians.

Another interesting aspect of their markets is online shopping with some of their stallholders for those unable to attend the market.

The Donation Dollar

Merimbula Rotary is encouraging people attending their market to ‘spin’ the donation dollars now being produced by the Royal Australian Mint into the market’s Wishing Wells at each market.

Photo courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint

The Mint released the world’s first Donation Dollar last month to produce millions of “daily reminders to give”. The Mint intends to release millions of these Donation Dollar coins into circulation over coming years – one for every Australian.

This innovative concept comes after the tumultuous 2020 year leaving many Australians in need of a helping hand. New findings in the Australian Generosity Report suggest one in five Australians say they’ll need some degree of charitable aid over the next 12 months, either for themselves or family.

Two in five Australians say finding a Donation Dollar in their change would encourage them to give to charity more, so the Mint hope the new coins will promote charitable behaviours and provide Australians with a tangible way to give back to those who need it most – not just in times of crisis, but all year round, in smaller amounts, more often.

NEXT WEEK: Thursday 15 October

Our Club will help Australian Rotary Health Lift the Lid on Mental Illness by hosting a Hat event at the Golf Club in the Seahorse Room. Our special guest speaker will be local psychologist Nadine Hills who will talk about the effect of fires and the pandemic on the mental health of our community.

Please bring along partners and friends (please book in with secretary Rod – we are restricted to 32) and encourage them to wear a hat. Rolf would like to collect $5 per hat to go to Australian Rotary Mental Health research.

To put the event in context… October is Rotary Mental Health Month with World Mental Health Day two days later on October 10. 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.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 1 October 2020

Rolf’s Ramble

President Rolf with Lynn and John

It was so good to have the markets back on Sunday after a seven month’s absence due to the pandemic. This return to near normality was greatly appreciated by everyone, locals and visitors alike, everybody seemed to be doing their best to follow NSW Health guidelines with social distancing.

Ange mans the gate to ensure our Covid Safe plan is followed, thanks to all the hard work by our Market Manager Chris O’Brien

I want to thank all members involved for the market’s success. With fewer members able to be ‘hands-on’ and with the new ‘COVID safe’ approach, we still attracted many stallholders and plenty of visitors. The new set up with Rotarians on two gates welcoming visitors and encouraging them to use hand sanitizer worked well but few, if any, took up the offer of free masks.

Andrew Lawson and John Rungen

A special ‘thank you’ to Andrew Lawson who ran the drink stall with John Rungen for most of the day.

Takings on the day: Gate $650.00, Wishing Wells $564.50, Drinks $88.00.


We have a Zoom meeting. Everyone should have received details.

The Week that Was

Last Thursday we enjoyed having dinner and a chat in the Golf Club’s Seahorse Room, especially handy to finalise arrangements for Sunday’s markets. Good to catch up with everyone face-to-face.

Out and About

On our Area Governor Bruce Whiley

Under our new District 9705, Assistant District Governors are now called Area Governors and have new responsibilities. We are in Area Six and our AG is Bruce Whiley from the Rotary Club of Nowra. He grew up in Cowra where his father was in Rotary and his mother in Inner Wheel and Rotary.

After school he spent nine years in the Air Force maintaining transport aircraft, then moved to Orange with his young family and started farming and growing grapes. He supplemented this income by returning to aircraft maintenance and worked for several maintenance organisations in the central west, eventually establishing his own business at Orange. He was invited by one of his customers to join the Rotary Club of Orange North which he says “is a wonderful club”.

They sold the family farm and business and moved to Jervis Bay where he became a member of the Rotary Club of Nowra. Having taken on the role of Area Governor for Area 6, he was looking forward to travelling to the clubs in the area but Covid is not allowing this at the moment. He hopes this will soon change. (Courtesy Moruya Rotary newsletter)

End Polio Day – 24 October

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a paralysing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. It mainly affects children under five. It can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.

When Rotary and its partners formed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent with just two countries continuing to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners, nearly 19 million people who would otherwise have been paralysed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. 

Interestingly, the infrastructure Rotary 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.

For more than 30 years, Rotary and our partners have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Our PolioPlus program was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. As a core partner in the GPEI, Rotary focuses on advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and awareness-building.

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries from this paralysing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.

2021 Rotary Convention

Rotary International is obviously optimistic international air travel will return to near normal by June next year with its promotion of the 2021 International Convention in Taiwan 12-16 June. Here’s hoping.

NEXT WEEK: Change of plan

Our efforts to help Australian Rotary Health Lift the Lid on Mental Illness with a Hat event has been moved  from next week 8 October to Thursday 15 October at the request of the Golf Club. With the influx of visitors to Narooma for the school holidays, the Club needs the Seahorse Room for the overflow from the Bistro (under Covid spacing rules).

We will discuss next week’s programme at tonight’s Zoom meeting.

On a not so light note

A thought from American social and moral philosopher the late Eric Hoffer:

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. Those who have finished learning usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.