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.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 24 September 2020

Last Week

Many thanks to our Club Youth Protection Officer Lynda Ord for the special training presentation about child protection via Zoom last week, aided by our increasingly technical whizz Bob Aston. Now to complete the paperwork…


Like many Rotary Clubs, we are alternating Zoom and dinner meetings. This Thursday we will enjoy a dinner meeting at the Golf Club in the Seahorse Room. Please let Rod know if you will be coming by Wednesday afternoon.

We will also be finalising arrangements for the Markets the following Sunday (27th). Posters are up around town and we should have front page in Narooma News for our larger than normal advertisement. Charmaine says the markets are getting a large number of likes on Facebook (not just Rotary Facebook) which suggests the community welcomes the return of the markets as a return to some semblance of normality, albeit with Covid restrictions in place.

Out and About

From Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotarians are looking forward to their first face-to-face Rotary meeting in months at their normal Moruya Golf Club venue on Tuesday 6 October, but President Peter Smith says he’s not cheering wildly yet. “While I am looking forward to getting our Club back to the routine of regular meetings, the recent disappointments in getting our meetings going have made me somewhat cautious …,” he said. “With many of us out of face-to-face contact for so long, it will be a good opportunity… to simply enjoy the fellowship and catch up with old friends.”

The Club has lost a few members this year, partly due they think to the drop in the normal Club fellowship because of Covid.

Berry Rotarians’ ambitions realised

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward recently officially turned the first sod on the Rotary Nature Play Park at Boongaree in Berry after securing $4.4 million (!) funding from the NSW Government for this project. He was joined by representatives from Berry Rotary and the Rotary Nature Play Park Steering Committee.

The concept is an adventure playground with a range of activities for all ages and levels of ability within a nature theme and is seen as popular with tourists as well as local families. It will include flying foxes, climbing nets, water channels and tunnels  and will encourage children to ponder over details of nature, to play creatively with loose materials, to imagine, to role play and engage socially with each other in games of their own. Other features will include  a ‘learn to ride’ roadway track to enable local school students to learn road rules, seniors’ fitness and exercise stations, BBQ picnic areas, garden landscaping and toilets.

Berry Rotary has been raising funds for this project since 2014 with the project adopted by Shoalhaven City Council as part of the Berry Strategic Plan in 2016 and the Master Plan endorsed by Council in 2018.


Another Zoom meeting. Details to be announced.


Narooma Rotary Beacon 17 September 2020


Last week we had a face to face Board meeting in the Conference Room at the Golf Club, followed by dinner in the Seahorse Room. We welcomed a guest Andrew Lawson from Wandella. Andrew would like to get involved in our Club activities and get to know us.

From the Board meeting:

 A huge thank you to our Market Manager Chris for her efforts in making our markets on 27 September possible, our first markets since February. These will go ahead as long as there are no confirmed COVID cases in this area. A lot of work has gone into trying to make it as COVID-Safe as possible and, thanks to Chris, the markets are now officially registered with the NSW Government as a Covid-Safe event.

Members will be asked to greet visitors at two entrance gates where hand sanitiser will be available as well as free face Masks for those who don’t have one; the other two gates will be designated ‘exits’.  All Stalls are to have their own hand sanitisers and contact list. We decided not to operate the food van this markets but will sell a selection of cold drinks from the Esky.

 Thank you Lynn for having the books in order. Thank you Ange for organising a guest speaker for Hat Day on 8 October. October is Rotary Mental Health Month. A $5 charge per Hat on the night will go to Australian Rotary Mental Health research.

On the Ringlands Track. We will try to meet up with the Dalmeny-Narooma Bushwalkers for a bit of a tidy up. No date set yet. Also we need to print a new version of the pamphlet.

A flashbackNarooma Rotarians during a Ringlands Walking Track working bee with members of Dalmeny-Narooma Bushwalkers and local residents October 2012

The 2021 Busking Narooma Championship going ahead depends on two things: being able to form an organising committee with the assistance of people from outside the Club and of course on whatever the Covid situation will be in May.

Unfortunately the Christmas Race Day, our combined fundraiser with Moruya and Batemans Bay clubs had to be cancelled because of Covid concerns.

Bob has been busy talking to High School students by Zoom regarding our Rotary Tertiary Scholarship. Application forms have been distributed. Applications close 13 November with interviews on 19 December. Thank you Bob.

Tony Butcher will be inducted as a new member sometimes in November at a Club meeting at the Golfie when we can properly welcome Tony and his wife Lisa to the Club. Tony as well as Andrew Lawson will help out at our September market.

THIS WEEK – 6pm: We Zoom

Everyone should have by now received an email re this week’s Zoom meeting. Our Club Youth Protection Officer Lynda will be our special speaker with a special training presentation about child protection.  Andrew Lawson will also join us in our Zoom meeting.


Our Hat Day

Our Club will help Australian Rotary Health Lift the Lid on Mental Illness by having a Hat event at the Golf Club on Thursday 8 October.  Ange has organised for local psychologist Nadine Hills to talk with us about the effect of fires and Covid on the mental health of our community.

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. Almost one in five Australians experiences a mental illness every year, and about 45% of the population will experience a mental illness at some stage in their lives.

Australian Rotary Health CEO Joy Gillett OAM said she hopes the campaign will encourage not only Rotarians, but the wider public to support mental health research.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by mental illness in some point during their lives, so if anything, please consider that you will be helping them and many others if you decide to make a donation,” Ms Gillett said. “Our research has already focussed on areas such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse and self-harm and suicide. But there is so much more we can do with your help.”

If you would like to make a donation directly, visit or

From Batemans Bay Rotary

The Bay Club nominated Anthony Bellette from Malua Bay Surf Lifesaving Club for the Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards. This Rotary project recognises both volunteers and paid members of our emergency services for their outstanding contribution to their community. Emergency Services Agencies involved in this project include Fire and Rescue NSW, Marine Rescue NSW, Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Ambulance, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and NSW Volunteer Rescue Association.

Anthony has since been selected as a finalist in the Surf Life Saving division and will attend the Awards Dinner in Sydney on 30 October. At this dinner, one winner in each emergency service will be announced. Then from the seven winners, two overall winners will be selected (one paid and one volunteer).

The Bay is also sponsoring the U13s Batemans Bay Football team ‘The Strikers’ for the year.

Clubs combine for Bega Evacuation Centre

Rotary Clubs Bega and south are helping to improve facilities at Bega Showground, the primary emergency evacuation centre for Bega and surrounds.  They are driving a project to replace the inadequate and outdated stand-alone amenities block with a larger capacity, modern, easy to clean facility with better disabled access and laundry facilities which do not currently exist.

Merimbula Rotarian Shane Osta is the project manager for the work that is expected to cost about $260,000. He said the current facilities are thought to have been built in the 1970s and have both structural and plumbing issues.

The Rotary clubs plan to start work in February 2021 and expect to complete the project in June. The contractors are booked, they just need the money. The Rotary clubs have put in $9,000, council has agreed to do all inspections at no cost, and the showground land manager has put in for a grant but the rest will rely on donations.

Any additional funds donated will go towards improvement of emergency evacuation facilities at Eden.

NEXT WEEK: Dinner meeting at Narooma Golf Club 6 for 6.30pm.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 3 September 2020


It was good catching up last week with those members who could make it to our dinner meeting at the Golf Club. Paul (Chef Extraordinaire) is more than happy to get back to some sort of normality catering for our Club. He mentioned we could now have meetings in the Seahorse room for up to 20 people. For the moment though, that will be on alternate weeks


PDG John Egan

PDG John Egan will be our guest speaker for our Zoom meeting this Thursday. John chairs the D9705 Australian Rotary Health committee and is keen to talk about Australian Rotary Health (ARH) which is unique in the world of Rotary. Hope you can join us.

ARH has had recent success in destigmatising mental health and encouraging support and help for suffers. It has also educated around 25% of indigenous health works through indigenous health scholarships which will go a long way towards closing the health gap. That is apart from the many grants for research.


Just a few short news stories.

From Batemans Bay Rotary

The Bay is also alternating Zoom and dinner meetings at the Catalina Club with guest speakers.

From Bega Rotary Club

Rotary members recently picked up a trailer load of aluminium chairs and seven wardrobes from Kianinny Cabins and delivered them to the Quaama fire recovery centre for use by people who have lost houses. Every action counts towards recovery, big or small.

From Merimbula Rotary

Merimbula Rotary is alternating between Zoom meetings and other activities, such as dinner at Merimbula RSL Club. Apparently they have yet to return to their ‘normal’ meetings at Club Sapphire.

Their first market since the lockdown was on Sunday 15 August when they ‘put their toes in the water’. The next is Sunday 20 September. They advertise their markets as ‘Covid Safe’ with a registered Rotary Club of Merimbula COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.  They ask everyone to use the hand sanitising dispensers at each of their wishing well entry stations and practise social distancing and urging stallholders and patrons not to come if they are feeling unwell.  

On a lighter note, courtesy Moruya Rotary

Teacher:  Donald, what is the chemical formula for water? Donald: HIJKLMNO Teacher: What are you talking about? Donald: Yesterday you said it’s H to O

NEXT WEEK Thursday 10 September

We will be back at the Golf Club. 5-6pm: Board meeting 6 for 6.30pm: Our regular dinner meeting at the Golf Club when we hope to welcome someone who is keen to meet us and find out what our Club has to offer. 

Narooma Rotary Beacon 27 August 2020


Some of our crew at last week’s Zoom meeting including our Tertiary Scholars Rory Spurgeon and Cassidy Ker – Lynn Hastings, Frank Eden, Ange Ulrichsen, Iris Dormeier, Mike Young, David McUInnes and Charmaine White..

No Rolf’s Rambles this week but here’s a quick review of last week’s meeting. How wonderful to have our current two Tertiary Scholars Rory Spurgeon and Cassidy Ker join us on Zoom. We had already caught up with their impressive exam results via emails in a recent Beacon, but so much better to hear from them personally.

Rory had also filled us in on his first semester, from being involved in so many societies, sporting events etc. to lockdown and online learning. He spoke more about living on campus, but for the lockdown they were strongly advised to go home. He reckons studying online involves a lot more work than face-to-face. Although everything has opened up more now, there are still a lot of restrictions. He is really enjoying going to the chemistry lab which is face-to-face

Cassidy is living off campus and is glad she was able to enjoy last year at Wollongong Uni pre-Covid. Most of her lectures are now online which she is finding a challenge. Law lectures last two hours which are “really exhausting”, and exams are three hours online but she can type faster than write by hand so that is an advantage. She said the style of writing is quite different to school; she struggled with the transition initially but added she has been grateful to Narooma High English teacher Pam Walpole who got her into the habit of doing things early

We’re certainly getting a lot more proficient at Zoom meetings, recent technology for many of us, although sometimes finding the microphone mute and video buttons still eludes a few. We will all get there eventually!


This week we’re back at the Golf Club for a face-to-face meeting over dinner. Hopefully more can make it this time. If you are coming, please let Rod know before 4pm Wednesday (this afternoon).


Thanks from Narooma RFS

You may have seen the lovely thank you note circulated by Rod from Narooma Rural Fire Brigade for our recent donation. Narooma RFS Secretary Angela Marshall wrote:

During last summer’s terrible fires Narooma station was in constant use and was also the hub for many other emergency services involved in that crisis. It quickly became apparent that the station was not prepared or equipped for the task and the brigade has decided to upgrade the station facilities so that we are better prepared for coming fire seasons and other emergencies.

Our donation will be put towards this work of new lighting and desks in the office, a new computer and printer, and installing a pantry for ration packs and food donations.

Dapto Rotarians visit Nerrigundah

Nerrigundah RFS Captain Ron Threlfall, Ag Bureau secretary Trevor Kincaid, Dapto Rotary secretary Rod Young and president Dennis Couley, and Ag Bureau treasurer Liz Kincaid with Dapto Rotarians and some Nerrigundah residents behind.

About 20 Dapto Rotarians visited Nerrigundah last Saturday to check out how local residents are faring with their recovery from the bushfires. They were met by Nerrigundah RFS Captain Ron Threlfall and several Nerrigundah Agricultural Bureau representatives, and one Narooma Rotarian (your editor!). Dapto Club had earlier given $3,000 to the Nerrigundah Agricultural Bureau to help with converting the former Department of Education Bournda Field Studies Centre – Nerrigundah Annexe into a new community hall to replace the former hall which was destroyed in the fires (all but the loos!). The former Field Studies Centre survived the fires, although was singed in many places.

A few in the Nerrigundah community have been having fortnightly working bees on the conversion, aided by various generous people, such as some tradies from Sydney who installed a shower and laundry for the use of locals who no longer have such facilities and two kitchen flatpacks.

 The Dapto donation has gone towards concreting paths to the loos, shower, and laundry and a slab where the hall will be extended to accommodate more people (post Covid!). They are keen to donate more, once a specific need is identified. They also passed on some new books for the local school library (Bodalla), courtesy of the Rotary Club of Liverpool.

Several children’s books were also handed over from Liverpool Rotary for Bodalla School.

The Dapto Rotarians stayed in cabins at the Big 4 Moruya Heads Easts Dolphin Beach, making it into a greatly enjoyed fellowship weekend. They organised a bus to take them into dinner at Moruya. They also met up with a few Moruya Rotarians on Sunday morning at Quarry Park, a Moruya Rotary project. They wanted someone to give them an overview of that project and of Moruya’s contribution to the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Who better to talk about the history than Moruya Rotarian Chris Greig Adams whose family was so closely involved with the quarry and the Bridge.


Bega Rotary

Bega Rotary Club has to again postpone their Book Fair, due next month, because of Covid. They hope to hold another Book Fair in January, Covid dependent of course. They are unable to accept book donations because still have so many from the Summer Book Fair that was hampered by the bush fires. 


It looks like another Zoom meeting with a possible guest speaker. More details to come.

On a lighter note, courtesy Moruya bulletin

Teacher:        How old is your father? Kid:                 He is six years old. Teacher:        What? How is this possible? Kid:                 He became a father only when I was born.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Letting’ the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting’ it back in.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 13 August 2020

Rolf’s Ramble

At an informal meeting with some Board members, we discussed free Facemask handouts and a possible set-up for hosting a Covid-19 Safe Rotary Market on Sunday 27 September. Fingers crossed.

Many thanks to David and Rachel for your efforts with Club facemasks, and thank you to Ange for inquiring about District facemasks. Turns out the District is – at $20 a pop! Information has been sent to all members, including an order form, should you be interested in buying your own.

We’re also one step closer to donating a ‘Thank You Meal’ at the Cobargo Hotel for volunteers at the Cobargo BlazeAid Camp. This is to show our appreciation for their much needed help with erecting new fences for local farmers following their destruction by the bushfires. If you would like to donate, you can drop it into Charmaine or direct deposit into our Charity account BSB: 641 800 Acc: 200808137 Ref: BlazeAid. The Club will make up any shortfall. Thank You.  

THIS WEEK Thursday 13 August

We plan to have our weekly meeting at the Golfie for a face-to-face with a sit down meal. We’re in the 1st Hole Conference Room 6 for 6:30 pm. Please let Rod know ( by Wednesday 4pm if you would like to attend.

NEXT WEEK Thursday 20 August

We will hold a 6pm Zoom meeting when we hope to hear from our scholarship students about their First Semester. Both Rory Spurgeon and Cassidy Ker achieved very good results (see below).  

The week that Was

At Eurobodalla Shire Council meeting this week, it was mentioned that our Rotary Club had recognised Cr Lindsay Brown for his leadership in Narooma during the bushfires by making him a Paul Harris Fellow.

Out and About

News from our Tertiary Scholars

PP Bob Aston with Rory Spurgeon earlier this year

Rory Spurgeon, our 2020 Tertiary Scholar, has been in contact with his counsellor Bob Aston with his impressive results plus an update on his first semester at ANU.

Hi Bob

I hope you and the Rotary Club are going well. I have been really enjoying my university experience. When I first arrived I met lots of very nice people in my hall (Fenner Hall). I also went to many social (tea nights, bar nights and dinners) and sporting events (interhall sports training and games). I joined the ANU AFL team (still haven’t played a game yet though), the science society, physics society, computer science society and Fenner green (gardening club).

I was also elected to be the first year sports rep for Fenner Hall. This involves organising social sporting events for everyone at Fenner Hall, and helping out with the inter-hall sporting events (where Fenner plays against the other halls in lots of different sports).  

For the first four weeks of uni, all my classes were in person and I was really enjoying what I was learning. I got to know my lecturers for Chemistry, Programming (advanced), and Health in the 21st Century very well. I was learning very interesting concepts in all my courses and really loving it.

When COVID became serious, the university had a break for a week and everything went online. Compared to the first part of the semester this was less enjoyable however I was still learning interesting things and having a good time. After a few weeks of being locked down I decided to go back to Narooma. This was because the university was strongly encouraging everyone to leave, everything was online, and the accommodation contract could be canceled for free.

Once back in Narooma, I continued doing all my studies online and attended a few Fenner events which were organised online. I found it more difficult to learn when not being face to face however I just put in more time so I still got the most out of the courses.

I attached a screenshot of my texted results for Semester 1: two high distinctions and two distinctions. This semester [Semester 2], I have returned to Fenner Hall and it is similar to the start of Semester 1 (except everything is socially distanced).

My application to transfer degrees was approved. I am now doing Bachelor of Science – Advanced (Honours) (BSA). Although I was very happy in my old degree (Bachelor of Health Science), I am still very interested in physics and the BSA allows me to major in physics. I am also still trying out computer science and considering majoring in that.

My current courses are Physics 1, Chemistry 2, Mathematics and Applications 1, and Structured Programming (Advanced). After this semester, if everything goes well, I will have minors in chemistry and computer science and be on my way to majoring in physics and computer science.

If there is anything else you wanted to hear about let me know.

Thanks, Rory Spurgeon

Cassidy Ker, our 2019 Rotary Tertiary Scholarship winner, has also sent us her exam results for her first semester. She is doing a Bachelor of Psychological Science-Bachelor of Law at the University of Wollongong. She received two distinctions and two credits… a wonderful result.

Lae community donates to bushfire recovery

(adapted from ABC News 30 July 2020)

Bega Valley Mayor Sharon Tapscott has thanked the community of Lae City in Papua New Guinea for its generous $61,000 donation to the region. She spoke of the amazing story behind this donation for which the people of the Bega Valley are incredibly grateful; these people have little themselves. The minimum wage there is 3.5 kina (one Australian dollar) per hour.

The fundraising began with the Youth of Lae City pushing wheelbarrows around the streets, collecting bushfire relief donations for their ‘cousins’ in Australia. A young woman from the Youth of Lae City explained that people realised they had benefited from Australian-built health centres and hospitals in the past, so this was their turn to reciprocate ‘from the heart’. With additional support from Lae Rotary Club, they raised $61,000. [It’s interesting to note that our Club helped fund a health centre or hospital in Lae over several years in the late 1990s/early 2000s through Jeremy Ferguson’s PNG connections.]

Youth of Lae City fundraising to help bushfire communties in Australia. Courtesy Helen Taylor

Lae Club President Huon Gulf wrote to District 9600 in Queensland, where clubs have an association with Rotary Clubs in PNG, Solomon Islands and Nauru), looking for a bushfire recovery contact in the Eden-Monaro region. They subsequently contacted  PDG Phil Armstrong who had just been recognised for his leadership of the combined Districts’ Bushfire Recovery Committee.

Former Merimbula President Andy Thorp followed it up with the Lae contactsand with Bega Mayor Tapscott and Chair of the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast and Co-chair of the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, Mick Brosnan.

The Lae community then sent the money to the Rotary Club of Merimbula which transferred $50,000 of the donation to the Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund to support bushfire impacted communities. That fund focuses on unmet needs and aims not to duplicate the provisions being met by other agencies and charities, a trialed recently in Cobargo.

Merimbula Rotary used the balance to buy two trailers which will initially be used by the BlazeAid camps in Bemboka and Towamba. When the camps close, the trailers will be repurposed for firefighting and provided to the Rural Fire Service.

Rotary builds Kiah Pavilion

The Rotary Clubs of Merimbula, Pambula and Bega have completed the Kiah pavilion project in response to an approach from Council and the Kiah Community.

The pavilion is located near Kiah’s tennis courts and RFS shed and provides the Kiah community with a large undercover meeting space with an electric barbecue, a sink, seating area and landscaping. It means the Kiah community will once again be able to gather together for various social, sporting and educational activities, while the Kiah Hall is rebuilt.

Rotary funded this project to the tune of $45,000 which included a large donation from the Rotary Club of Northbridge in Sydney.

Rotary exchange programme on hold

Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program (YEP) sends about 150 teenagers overseas each year and hosts a similar number of foreign students. However, the coronavirus pandemic is testing the resilience of young people on student exchange in Australia and abroad.

Rotary International has urged students to strongly consider ending exchanges and fly home if possible and safe. Eighty of the current contingent have returned home to Australia or overseas. While some are glad to be home, others have resisted a premature end to their exchange despite it being a greatly restricted experience. Rotary’s long-term youth exchange program has been suspended for 12 months.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 30 July 2020

Rolf’s Ramble

Last week’s Zoom meeting… shame about the photographer…

Last week we could enjoy each other’s company at home via Zoom which is the safest place to be at the moment. Thankyou Charmaine for putting the word out there and on Facebook.

Cobargo BlazeAid is in urgent need for a ‘work ute’ to move volunteers and equipment around. The organisation has been able with the help of volunteers, now mostly stranded backpackers, to replace hundreds of kilometres of fences in the Cobargo area alone. The vehicle would only be needed until ordered utes make it across the border from Victoria. Our Club is also discussing again helping out the camp once more with a donation towards catering for the now only about 14 volunteers at the Cobargo Camp.

The long awaited rain finally came. Staying home and staying safe was never as easy for me as it has been over the last few days. If it wasn’t for the garbage bins, I would have stayed dry too.  As Mike predicted three weeks ago, our July market would have been a total washout but thankfully we had already cancelled because of Covid.

This week we’ll have a Zoom meeting again; we’re getting quite good at it now. Everyone can attend and it seems to be suiting us best at this time. Thank you Frank for offering to suss out some possible guest speakers for one or more of our Zoom meetings.

The Rotary Down Under Magazine July issue was interesting as always, full of knowledge, facts and ideas. One article, ‘SHEP goes global’, honoured the work of Shirley and John Hayes-Cornish (guest speakers last year), former members of Moruya Club. Shirley received the District 9710 2019 Excellence in International Award for her work with Sexual Health Education by  Pictures. Congratulations to Shirley and John.

Please let me know if you like to discuss a topic or idea at this week’s meeting. Thank you.

Stay safe

Pres. Rolf


Again a Zoom meeting. Members should have already received details.


From Moruya Rotary

Moruya’s plan to hold the first regular weekly meeting at Moruya Golf Club on Tuesday 4 August was shafted by the latest Covid edicts on permissible bookings in clubs. They think now such meetings at Moruya Golfie may not be until the end of August.

Whether the Moruya Races will be held on 4 August is still up in the air at the time of going to press which means organising Rotary’s roster for the canteen is a work in progress.

Moruya was planning to host the visit of the Men’s Health Education Rotary Van (MHERV) to Moruya during its visit to the south coast, but that visit has been cancelled after consultation with the NSW Public Health Unit. MHERV is a Rotary project, an initiative of D9670. It’s made possible by fundraising, generous sponsorships and time freely given by hundreds of Rotary volunteers. A custom built caravan with a dedicated registered nurse travels New South Wales offering free health screenings to regional and rural men. Les Corrigan of the MHERV Management Team from the Rotary Club of Warners Bay hopes the Covid situation will improve to enable MHERV to reschedule a visit to the south coast in 2021.

From Bega Rotary

The Club’s Rotary Book Fair planned for September has now been cancelled due to the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 restrictions. The Club will try again 7-10 January 2021.

Bega is now meeting formally twice monthly at The Grand Hotel when COVID-19 restrictions allow.  Bega has informal meetings on the other two Thursdays.  

From Batemans Bay Rotary

Bay Rotarians plan to hold their first market for some months on Sunday 16 August, bringing their food van brought out of ‘hibernation’.

They will hold a Zoom meeting this Thursday night with a guest speaker and hope to hold their first dinner meeting for months the following Thursday.

The July issue of Rotary Down Under has an article about former AG Vere Gray and Bronwyn Geppert representing the Bay Club at the Club’s sanitation project in the Philippines. Our Narooma Club made a donation towards this project last year.

The Bay’s newsletter reports that, thanks to the tireless efforts of Maureen Manning, the Club has received a $10,000 grant from the District Bushfire Relief Fund. This money will resource the Mental Health Unit at the Mogo Happy Hub. In addition they have a $3,000 District Grant to assist in obtaining plants to replant gardens of people affected by the bushfires, with Maureen in discussion with the West Wollongong Rotary Club to assist in replanting of the gardens.

Courtesy of Bega’s Rotary newsletter

This really appealed …

Narooma Rotary Beacon 23 July 2020

Rolf’s Ramble

Last week we were able to have a face-to-face meeting at our beloved Golfie with hand-sanitiser, ID and temperature check beforehand. Attendance was awesome. We filled the 1st Hole with 10. Fellowship with a beautiful meal was enjoyed by everyone; no take-aways or cook-at-home meal. I hope we can keep it up.  

The International Toast was to the Rotary Club of Sherwood Forest in England. Thank you Laurelle, always entertaining and informative. It was the first time we could welcome Tony Butcher to one of our meetings. Tony was one of the volunteers who helped us at the Rotary BBQ cook-offs at the unforgettable New Year’s Eve and Day at the Evacuation Centre. We have kept in contact and hope to see more of Tony as a possible new member of the club.

The Board meeting went well, thanks to Rod the secretary extraordinaire (best ever) and of course helped by being face-to-face.  Thank you Lynn for having the books up to scratch. The meeting included a very important discussion about the Markets. The Board decided to cancel the upcoming Market on 26 July after serious consideration along the lines of ‘Stop the spread. Stay home, stay safe’. Thank you Chris and her team who were eager to bring the van back into shape with all the new COVID 19 rules. Only if we can keep a clean environment for our members, visitors and stall holders AND the distance and face-mask rule we might, but only might, have a monthly Market soon. Until we get a vaccine I fear nothing is really going to change. In what position did we humans just put ourselves into?

Thank you everyone who came last week.

Stay safe. President Rolf

THIS WEEK:  This week’s meeting should still be at the Golf Club. Please let Bob Aston know today (Tuesday) if you are not coming to this week’s meeting. We’ll keep you updated if there is any change.

Our guest last week Tony Butcher helped us out at the Evacuation Centre during the bushfire crisis.


Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotarians were looking forward to their first regular meeting at Moruya Golf Club on Tuesday 4 August (note the move to Tuesday rather than Wednesday meetings), but the latest restrictions limiting bookings in Clubs to ten people puts resumption in doubt.

Similarly Moruya Rotarians are hoping to man the canteen at Moruya Races on 4 August, their major fundraiser through the year, after a gap of many months. But they’re a little wary after their costly experience with the last planned race meeting on Monday, 13 July. They had ordered food, planned menus and filled the roster, but Racing NSW made a last minute decision to abandon the races. So the Club is in close communication with Moruya Jockey Club to clarify whether the August races will go ahead.

Meanwhile Moruya has agreed to host the Men’s Health Van 7-8 September.

Batemans Bay Rotary

Batemans Bay’s new President is Chris Watson. This week’s meeting is in Chris’ home. The Bay Club hopes to have their first dinner meeting since the lockdown on Thursday 6 August.

Bega Rotary

Bega’s new President is Dorothea Polonyi. Their newsletter reports their Rotary Meetings are a little unpredictable at the moment. They aim to have a fortnightly meeting, if possible, on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month and a daytime social get together on the 2nd and 4th Thursday. Members are notified of arrangements in advance. This Thursday they are meeting in the open, (hopefully in the sun) at Kisses Lagoon for lunch with pizza ordered for those coming. Members are asked to bring a drink and a chair.

Bega Club is still planning to have their popular Book Fair in the Bega Showground 18-20 September. With recent restrictions the Book Fair had been delayed from their usual July School Holiday timing.


Possibly at the Golfie. We will keep you informed.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 16 July 2020

Rolf’s Ramble

Outgoing President Bob Aston handed over the chain of office to incoming president Rolf Gimmel.

I feel proud being part of Narooma Rotary and Rotary International and that we continue to do good in communities around the globe. I have adopted the Four Way Test in my daily life and that has helped me make decisions along my journey through life.

My plans for the year ahead? I feel responsible for the well-being of members of our club. Unfortunately the current situation and regulations with Covid 19 require quite a different approach to social gatherings than before, and fundraising activities have become more difficult. 

Hopefully we can keep up the good work and support, such as helping Monty’s Place. Ongoing support for Meals on Wheels is important too as services such as this may become even more necessary in coming months. 

I hope to see you Thursday.

Cheers Rolf


5pm Board meeting at the Golf Club’s First Hole Room

6 for 6.30pm meeting, again in the First Hole Room, followed by dinner and fellowship.

The Week that Was

Our changeover at the Golf Club last Thursday, held under strict Covid restrictions, was certainly different to any previous changeover. But everyone enjoyed our first face-to- face meeting since the lockdown.

Retiring President Bob Aston described the past year as one of the most challenging in the Club’s 62-year history. In the absence of any one person willing to take on the presidency, Charmaine White, Ange Ulrichsen and Bob Aston shared the presidency through the 2019-2020 year.

At the Changeover Bob described the first six months as business as usual with dinner meetings with some great speakers, thanks to Ange Ulrichsen, and our monthly markets. But the second half of the year, overseen by President Bob was through the bushfires and then the Covid-19 lockdown.  Even so, the Club still managed to contribute over $30,488 to local and international causes.

The Club recognised Cr Lindsay Brown as a Paul Harris Fellow at the Changeover.

The Club recognised Cr Lindsay Brown as a Paul Harris Fellow for his community leadership at the Evacuation Centre during the bushfires, while Gloria and Neil Jenkins were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for their generous donation towards bushfire relief in our area. Laurelle Pacey was awarded the Club’s Rotarian of the Year. Disbursements on the night were made to Monty’s Place and to the Dalmeny Rural Fire Service.

President Bob Aston presented Helen Smith of Monty’ Place with a donation, supported by three Rotarian volunteers at Monty’s – Ange Ulrichsen, Chris O’Brien and Robyn Miller.

In handing over the chain of office to our new President Rolf Gimmel, Bob read from a message from an obviously chuffed Narooma PP Ted Bladwell, now in Toowoomba, who had invited Rolf to join our Club 11 years ago.  

“It is very satisfying for a Rotarian to propose and have their nominee inducted into Rotary and to then maintain a worthwhile service record as well as giving to the Community and to Rotary,” PP Ted said. “… It is very gratifying to know that Rolf is a Rotarian who the members of the Narooma Club now look forward to for the year ahead of leadership, direction and fellowship for Rotary.”

President Rolf is optimistic about the year with Rotary International’s theme ‘Rotary Opens Opportunities’ and the return of the Markets.

Special guest was the District Governor’s representative Past District Governor Phil Armstrong.

Gloria and Neil Jenkins


District Awards earned by our neighbours

District Awards given to or neighbours

Rotarian of the Year

PDG Phil Armstrong, the DG’s representative at our Changeover last week, was recently named the District’s Rotarian of the Year for his leadership of the combined Districts’ Bushfire Recovery Committee. That was at the recent District Changeover. In January 2020, Districts 9700 and 9710 formed the combined Districts Bushfire Recovery Committee (DBRC). It needed a dedicated and skilled leader, and that leader was PDG Phil Armstrong from the Rotary Club of Moruya. Phil has had an extensive involvement in Rotary, as have many of his family members. He was District Governor 2012/2013 and has held various key positions in Rotary and business along the way. Phil has led the DBRC in a decisive and caring way since its inception.

Phil has agreed to continue to Chair the DBRC through the next Rotary year and the rest of the Committee is also continuing.

Community Service Award

This was a hotly contested Award. The Rotary Clubs of Bega, Merimbula and Pambula won the District’s Community Service Award for their joint Sapphire Coast Bushfire Recovery project. The three clubs worked together as a Rotary Australia Benevolent Society project (established by RAWCS) to deliver bushfire relief and recovery projects to impacted families and communities.

Centenary of Rotary in Australia

Last Friday saw the launch of a baton which will travel to clubs around Australia over the next 12 months to mark the arrival of Rotary in Australia and the establishment of the Melbourne Rotary Club on 21 April 1921.

The ceremony was watched by 830 Rotarians around Australia as it was streamed live. The Governor General and Mrs Hurley opened proceedings. The R100 Centenary Ambassadors were also introduced; they will carry the baton as it travels across Rotary clubs and Districts.

There is also a R100 Centenary project, “Rotary Give Every Child a Future” which aims to save young lives in Pacific nations. Statistics show that in nine Pacific nations, one in 16 children die before the age of five.