Narooma Rotary Beacon 1 July 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

President Andrew Lawson thanks Ange for all she has done in the 2020/2021 year

Well, what an extraordinary week! Our changeover took place last Thursday and we were honoured to have such distinguished guests. It was a special moment for me to present Ange with her flowers and wine from us all at the club. She has been amazing during 2020/21 through such traumatic times; her effervescence and leadership have inspired us all. 

As I said last Thursday, I am humbled at becoming your President and also to be the Narooma Rotarian of the Year. I am very aware of the responsibility that goes with the office and I am conscious that we have much to do. Yet at the same time, I start to see new initiatives, new faces, and chins off chests.

This Thursday will be a club Zoom (usual time, log in info already sent) and hopefully we can ‘Zoom to Broome’ to see Mike. The 8th July will be our first dinner meeting, and I urge you to all attend if at all possible as these kicks off the year. I propose updating everyone on our vision for the year, the planned projects, and how we can all participate and importantly have fun. Please ‘ink into the calendar’.

So as I frequently say, “onward and upward mes amis”! Cheers Andrew

Andrew’s Board – Laurelle Pacey, left, Robyn Miller, Chris O’Brien, Ange Ulrichsen, John Rungen, Lynn Hastings, with Mike Young away.


Zoom meeting this Thursday 6.30pm when we join Mike Young in Broome.

The Week that was

Our Changeover

Our wonderful MC David McInnes with outgoing President Ange

Our Changeover at the Golf Club last Thursday was quite uplifting and fortunately its timing just beat the changed COVID-19 restrictions. Again David McInnes did a great job as our MC. Guests included DG representative PDG Phil Armstrong, our Area Governor Adam de Totth, Moruya President Chris Manahan and his wife Jude, Cr Lindsay Brown and wife Lynn, Cr Phil Constable and Mandy, presidents of other local service clubs, and various members of Rural Fire Service and other emergency services.

Our retiring President Ange Ulrichsen said the 2020/2021 year began with great uncertainty as communities grappled with the challenges of navigating through COVID-19 restrictions and trying to return to some semblance of normality while still keeping everyone safe.

President Ange made a $500 donation to VRA representative Jacqui Smith

Many regular Rotary programmes had to be cancelled, but Ange said the Club was “thrilled to regain some ‘near normality’ with the resumption of monthly markets in September after a seven month’s absence”, holding the Duck Race and the traditional Youth night in January.  We still managed to donate over $25,000 in the year to local and international causes.

She credited members’ “will and enthusiasm”, several fun functions some with other Rotary clubs, the instigation of monthly Rotary Business Breakfasts and the drive of incoming President Andrew Lawson  for contributing to the Club’s success despite the challenges. In recognition of his contributions during his short time in the Club, Ange awarded Andrew Lawson the Club’s Rotarian of the Year.

New President Andrew said he was humbled by being a member of Rotary International and by the honours given to him. He is optimistic about the year ahead which he said would be one of focus, fun, communication and community, so enhancing Rotary International’s theme for the year – ‘Serve to Change Lives’.

PDG Phil Armstrong

He said a major project in his year would be the Narooma Rotary Prostate Cancer Support Group for individuals and families, drawing on the experience of the Rotary Club of Young.

PDG Phil Armstrong in his response to Andrew’s Toast to Rotary International said Narooma Rotary was “a great club that does some amazing things”. He also outlined some of the impressive projects clubs in our Rotary District 9705 still managed to do despite the year’s difficulties.

Sunday’s Market

There was a flurry of phonecalls and emails late Saturday afternoon after the NSW Government brought in tighter COVID restrictions; should we hold the markets, and if so, should we have the Rotary food van. The fact we were not in lockdown meant we implemented our COVID-19 Plan for the markets, operating only two entrances. The new rules were explained to people as they entered, people asked not to enter if they had been in the locked down areas in the past week, masks encouraged, registration essential, and hand sanitising requested. Social distancing was emphasised which also meant we did not operate the food van.

Everyone seemed pleased the market did go ahead and it was such a stunning day.

Moruya Changeover

Moruya Rotary’s Changeover on the Tuesday before ours was also a wonderful occasion. Special awards were presented to Honorary Rotarian Heather Chesher and Past District Governor Phil Armstrong, then PHF awards to three of Moruya’s valued members – Pauline Gleeson, Steve Young and John Spencer. Phil’s handsome “Excellence Award for Exceptional Service” certificate was for his chairmanship of the District Bushfire Recovery Committee (set up to financially support clubs in the recovery from fire devastation). The night was well supported by several members from Batemans Bay Rotary, Cr Rob Pollock and our Area Governor Adam de Totth.

Moruya has a huge board of 19 members; their photo almost needed a wide angle lens!


Resurrecting Cobargo Cemetery

A joint project by the Rotary Club of Merimbula, Friends of Cobargo Cemetery and Bega Valley Shire Council has been completed at Cobargo Cemetery which was impacted by the bushfires. The work included the construction of a new pavilion to provide shelter from rain or heat for loved ones and volunteers, an upgrade to the internal gravel road, replacement of a storage container lost in the fires, repair of a bench seat and fencing damaged in the fires, the installation of a new water tank, and construction of a new reflective rock garden. The Merimbula Club also presented the Friends of Cobargo Cemetery with a new ride-on lawn mower and whipper snipper to replace the maintenance equipment lost in the fires.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Cemeteries and Halls Officer Katrina Berenguer said Merimbula Rotary had done a fantastic job assisting with the project management as well as the upgrading of internal roads at Bermagui and Pambula cemeteries. Funding for the Cobargo project came from the Friends of Cobargo Cemetery ($10,000), the Rotary Club of Merimbula ($7,000), and the Australian Government under the Drought Communities Programme – Extension ($23,740).


Board meeting on Wednesday 7 July 5pm at Lynn Hasting’s home.

Dinner meeting on Thursday 8 July 6 for 6.30pm.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 24 June 2021

This Week

This Thursday

Our 63rd Changeover is Thursday night (24th) when we thank President Ange for her efforts over the past Rotary year and welcome incoming President Andrew Lawson. It will be in the Seahorse Room at Narooma Golf Club 6 for 6.30pm. David McInnes will be our MC. Bookings have been necessary $44 per person.

The special Changeover Bulletin will be emailed to those on our bulletin list after the Changeover.

This Sunday

Narooma Rotary Beacon 17 June 2021

Ange’s Chat

Our joint Board meeting scheduled for last Thursday had to be postponed much to Andrew’s regret. He had just returned from a flying visit to Queensland to connect with family, but as a key investor he had to prioritise UK business negotiations via Skype.  This important end of year Board meeting has now been rescheduled to this Thursday at 5pm at Lynn Hastings home (details emailed to Board members).

Nevertheless, six intrepid ladies braved the elements last Thursday and enjoyed a great chat over dinner in the 1st Hole – Laurelle, Julie, Gero, Robyn, Lynn and I. We talked about many things including the Vocational visit to the Men’s Shed on Thursday 29 July. The men are really keen to take us on a tour of their premises followed by a fab Greek dinner courtesy of culinary expert Gero. She and I sussed out facilities at the Men’s Shed last week and we’re looking at a max of 30 people dining with their Board and our Club members. It promises to be a great night of fun, food, wine and music. This was my intention to bring wonderful services in our community together to share some joie de vie.

Dr Michael Holland, well known obstetrician and gynaecologist, has long spear headed the need for a Level 4 Regional Hospital for Eurobodalla. A site has now been agreed near TAFE Moruya. He has accepted my invitation to be our guest speaker on Thursday 22 July which promises to be a big night for our community. Rotary Eurobodalla is already on board for this important long term project, much to his appreciation.

As the end of this Rotary year rapidly approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to thank these wonderful Rotarians with whom we have shared so many good times – Frank Eden, Peter Bull, Rolf Gimmel, Charmaine White and Lynda Ord are all moving on. We wish you all the very best and thank you for being such vital and integral members of our Club. You all will be sorely missed.


Regrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, our Breakfast meeting for this Thursday has had to be postponed. We hope to hear from our scheduled guest speaker later in the year. Zarina Fitzgerald from Apprenticeship Support Australia for the Far South Coast & Snowy Region was going to talk about government assistance for businesses employing apprentices and trainees. Our next breakfast meeting is scheduled for Thursday 15 July.

The Week that Was

From our meeting last Thursday

Robyn Miller referred to a fascinating article in the May issue of Rotary Down Under for her Rotary Toast last week. It was about Rotary’s association with the late Fred Hollows and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

In 1993 Fred was informed he would receive Rotary’s Highest Honour, the Rotary Award for World Understanding. Late that year, at the Rotary International World Conference in Melbourne his wife Gabby received the award posthumously for Fred plus US$100,000 from Rotary that helped launch The Fred Hollows Foundation.

In 2020, the Rotary Club of Melbourne started the End Trachoma Initiative, carrying on Fred’s work, encouraging Rotary Clubs in Australia to help end trachoma in our indigenous communities.

Then, in what approximated the old ‘three-minute talk’, Laurelle Pacey read out an article from her archives about financial assistance our Club gave in 1968 for surgery on the webbed hands of a 6-year old Aboriginal boy from Nerrigundah. At the time there were a number of Aboriginal families working at the Nerrigundah sawmill and picking beans on nearby farms. Apparently around that time Narooma Rotary also sponsored other medical treatment for Aboriginal families at Nerrigundah.

Out and About

Bega Rotary supports End Trachoma 

Bega Rotary is one of many Rotary clubs around Australia taking part in the End Trachoma Now project. Bega Rotarians recently put together 40 kits to help end trachoma, an eye infection that can lead to blindness. The kits are destined for young indigenous communities through schools around Alice Springs. Australia is the only developed country in the world with this disease. 

The kits comprise products such as soap and holder, towels, toothpaste and holder, shampoo, combs and a few extras to encourage young school goers to improve hygiene and reduce the incidence of trachoma. Four members of Bega Rotary – Dorothea, Maz, Suzanne and Chris – have been busy sewing and gathering supplies. Business people in Bega have been generous in donating various products for the bags, while Dr MacKinnon’s donation funded postage and helped in other ways towards the project.

Merimbula Rotary buys fire unit

Last week Merimbula Rotarians handed over a new purpose-built trailer-mounted Fire Fighting Unit to Merimbula RFS (courtesy Merimbula RFS).

In July 2020, the Rotary Club of Merimbula received an unexpectedly generous donation from the community of Lae in Papua New Guinea to put towards bushfire recovery efforts in the region.  Some of these funds were used to purchase two dual-axle galvanised box trailers. This Merimbula Rotary officially handed over a new purpose-built Trailer mounted Fire Fighting Unit to Merimbula RFS. This versatile Unit will be used for many important community-based activities, such as pile burns and asset protection. (From Merimbula Rotary webpage, from article & group photo courtesy of Merimbula RFS)

Merimbula Rotary has also supported the End Trachoma Now Project.


Our 63rd Changeover, when we thank President Ange and welcome incoming President Andrew Lawson, will be in the Seahorse Room at Narooma Golf Club 6 for 6.30pm. David McInnes will be our MC.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 10 June 2021

Ange’s Chat

Lynn Lawson with the empty cheesecake dish at one of the organising committee meetings, proof they not only had fun but ate well!

What a great informative Zoom we all enjoyed last week with Lynn Lawson in her capacity as secretary of the Far South Coast Country Women’s Association of NSW. She was on the organising committee for the 99th Annual Conference held 2-6 May in Bega. Lovely to have Frank Eden (Grandpa) and Iris (Omi) join us as well as Mike Young from Broome basking in 30deg. 

Four hundred delegates attended from all over NSW. The CWA is the single largest women’s advocacy group in Australia and this gives them great lobbying clout. Lasting five days, the conference was the culmination of superb long term planning by a great team which helped make it such a success. They also achieved great business sponsorship together with generous media coverage.

Many motions, all of which originated at the ‘grassroots’ level, were debated and voted on. Lynn highlighted several that were passed:

– to advocate putting prescribed medicinal cannabis medication on the PBS – to mandate Australian wool insulation in all new public buildings in ACT and NSW – to change organ donation registration to opt out rather than opt in.

Others motions included:

–  to advocate for a just transition from coal and gas – to oppose large scale solar plants on prime agricultural land and protect food and fibre security.

There was lots of entertainment and fun, including a bush dance. In the lead up to the conference, the committee organised a stand up cow theme competition involving local schools and had a cow trivia competition, very appropriate for such a significant dairying region.

We came to appreciate that CWA is a vital and highly respected lobby group to all levels of government. Definitely so much more than ‘ tea and scones’.


We’re at the Golf Club with a combined meeting of old and new boards at 5pm, followed by dinner with everyone 6 for 6.30pm. Please let Secretary Rod know if you are coming or not by Wednesday morning.

The Week that Was

Concern about Buckeridge Lookout

The Lookout in April this year… calling out for some TLC

Having finally found out which government agency actually owns Harold Buckeridge Lookout and adjacent land at North Narooma, our Board is now seeking permission from Crown Lands to do some much needed work there. Meanwhile on the Narooma Community Facebook page last week there was some community concern about the Lookout and its sorry state plus an increasing realisation it was/is a Rotary Project. So we responded accordingly, both on our Facebook page and on the Community Facebook page; the story was subsequently picked up by the Beagle Weekly.

Many thanks everyone for your interest in the Harold Buckeridge Lookout at North Narooma which was a Narooma Rotary initiative in 2001. While a lookout was there years before, regrowth had blocked the view so in 2001 Rotary restored the view and created a viewing platform. Harold Buckeridge was a highly respected local forester with State Forests.
Over the years the Club just went in and did what was necessary to maintain it as a lookout, but times have changed. The land and road area is Crown Land under the jurisdiction of its Goulburn office rather than being Council or State Forest land.
As a responsible community organisation, the Club must get the owner’s permission to maintain and restore this wonderful lookout which will become even more popular as the nearby bike trails develop.
We are currently waiting to hear back from Crown Lands’ Goulburn office; hopefully we will get the ‘go ahead’ soon. We will keep the community posted.

Vale Matt Deveson

Matt Deveson at The Whale

Matt and Jen Deveson hosted our Rotary meetings at The Whale for many years until we moved to the Golf Club a few years ago. Matt was a true friend of our Club. His memorial service was held recently at The Whale. Quoting from the Chamber of Commerce’s tribute, “In the past fortnight our community lost a champion when Matt died far too young leaving so great a legacy for his family and the rest of us who knew and loved him”.

The Chamber’s tribute notes Matt and Jen moved to Narooma in 2006. They managed, then later owned, the Whale Motor Inn and Restaurant introducing fine dining and the slow food movement to Narooma with its emphasis on local produce. Matt was a founding member of a revitalised Chamber of Commerce in 2007 which launched the ‘Narooma – How Life should be’ brand, introduced annual business awards, and established the  Oyster Festival. He was involved in organising and running of the Festival over many years, and always a major supporter.

Matt was a member of the Liquor Licensing Board in Eurobodalla, a member of the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund, and had been a member of both Eurobodalla Business Advisory Committee and the Eurobodalla Tourism Board. He instigated the NAB Working Group in Narooma and from there organised the Narooma Community Workshops to develop the Narooma Community Plan – a strategic plan for future development which we heard about at the last Business Breakfast.

Our Club joins with the Chamber of Commerce in offering Jen and Matt’s family our condolences .

Out and About

It is a shame Batemans Bay’s and our Changeovers are on the same night which basically prevents us or them attending each other’s. Moruya representatives though will attend both functions. 


Our June Breakfast Business meeting with guest speaker Zarina Fitzgerald  from Apprenticeship Support Australia for the Far South Coast & Snowy Region. It is again at Narooma Surf Club at 7am and all members are invited. Cost is $10 a head. Bookings essential with PE Andrew.

Zarina will talk about government assistance for businesses. She says with the release of the latest Government Budget, adding apprentices and trainees to your business make both financial and practical sense.