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
Zoom meeting this Thursday 6.30pm when we join Mike Young in Broome.
The Week that was
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.
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’.
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.
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 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!
OUT AND ABOUT
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.