Narooma Rotary Beacon 29 July 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Gero Mitchell last week gave a fascinating insight into her life, thanked here by VP Ange Ulrichsen

Like all good married couples, Lynn and I shared everything last week including a horrible stomach bug, so I was unable to see you all. Thank you Ange for chairing the meeting in my absence.

By all accounts it was a really good meeting with Gero giving a great talk. It was also good to have a Visiting Rotarian, the new President of RC Coolamon (near Wagga Wagga) Albert Suidgeest who has bought a holiday house in Dalmeny and will be a neighbour of Lynn Hastings.

Ange was outside Aldi again on Saturday selling raffle tickets. What a star! Please feel free to help!

We have no meeting this week. However, our core Prostate Support team of  Julie, Mike and I will meet Bernie Perrett from the Men’s Shed  on Tuesday and some detailed planning will follow. I shall meet Dr Gundi Muller from the Lighthouse Surgery on Thursday with a view to that practice being part of the team too. We are looking to formally launch by the end of August.

Next Thursday is the BlazeAid dinner at Cobargo Pub. I have booked and, assuming there are no changes to Covid rules, then we shall certainly go ahead. You may have seen they have just passed 100,000 volunteer hours! So please come along and support these great people.

As ever, our plans will be governed by Covid, but stay positive. Onward and upward mes amis!


No meeting (was to have been the now postponed Greek dinner at the Men’s Shed).

The Week that Was

Our meeting last Thursday

It was lovely to have Mike Young back from Broome where he has been spending time with his family. Tourism there is “going gangbusters”, Mike said.

With the start of the Olympics, our International Toast by Julie Hartley was appropriately to the Rotary Club of Tokyo. They normally meet for lunch on a Wednesday at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel but are not meeting at the moment because of Covid-19 concerns and restrictions. They have 339 members (!).

Our guest speaker Gero Mitchell, one of our recently inducted members, filled us in on her life to date, and what a fascinating story she told. Her roots are firmly in Narooma being one of the Mitchell family of sawmillers (hence Mill Bay); her father Ted Mitchell managed the family’s Batemans Bay sawmill. Her childhood and school holidays were largely spent in Narooma. School was in the Bay and then at Loreto Convent in Sydney. She graduated in pharmacy at Sydney Uni and travels followed. She spent a few years in New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands as Clerk of the Court. Then returned to Australia, a stint with Festival Records, being the ABC’s first female Concerts Officer. A few years with WEA Records followed where clients included Cold Chisel, Richard Clapton and Sherbet; that’s where she first did catering. “I learnt a lot about catering from my mother; she was a great cook and I loved to help her in the kitchen and my parents had the most wonderful parties.” Then London and from there to Greece where she stayed for 20 years where her work included organising concerts, functions and catering etc and became fluent in Greek.

Gero moved back to Australia in 2000 and established a small catering company in Sydney with her cousin Chris while also teaching cooking at evening college. But in 2015 she decided she’d had enough of Sydney and moved to Narooma in to be closer to her extended family Chris and her aunt Mina Watt. “It’s lovely being here in Narooma,” she said.

Gero tries to keep up her Greek. She studied Linguistics and Modern Greek externally through UNE and does regular Zoom linkups with friends in Greece.

President of RC Coolamon (near Wagga Wagga) Albert Suidgeest visited last week

Our visiting Rotarian Albert from Coolamon said he had only been in the Club less than 12 months when he was nominated President Elect (more common than we thought!). About 20-25 members turn up at meetings each week. A major fundraiser is through the annual Gears and Beers Festival around Wagga Wagga (Coolamon is roughly the half-way mark).

Out and About

From two of our Tertiary Scholars

Rory Spurgeon (2020) achieved amazing results with three High Distinctions. He writes:

University life was becoming much more normal [last semester] and I had chemistry labs and some lectures in person which was great. I was also volunteering doing chemistry ‘peer mentoring’ so I had quite a few contact hours with people in science (outside of Fenner Hall). COVID restrictions were also becoming much more relaxed. However all of this may be changing since the new outbreak so I’m not sure how the next semester will look. 

Elise Dixon and Rory Spurgeon at our Youth Night in January

I am still having an amazing time at uni though and I’m keen to keep learning. I’ve been given permission to do my first research project this semester which I am especially looking forward to. Also I have had to speak to a sub dean to plan my degree (it’s a bit disorganised as I was doing health science first semester last year and a lot of the courses have prerequisites). I will still be doing a full load of three courses this semester.

Elise Dixon (2021) was hoping for better results than her three credits and a pass, but she was not disappointed in view of the times. She is finding it difficult under current circumstances travelling between Narooma and Canberra but is working to improve her results this coming semester. Elise is very thankful for Rotary’s support and looks forward to seeing us all again.

July to be Supporting the Environment Month

The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.
It is now Rotary International’s seventh Area of Service with moves afoot to make Julys ‘Rotary Supporting the Environment Month’.
Categories of service activities are supported by global grants. Supporting the Environment joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.
Our Secretary John sent an email to members on 24/7 on behalf of the chair of D9705 Supporting the Environment Team. The Rotary Clubs of Sydney are presenting another free webinar in their Climate and Peace series on 10 August with links to the District Support the Environment page and the D9705 home page, for registration.

NEXT WEEK Thursday 5 August:

We’re welcome to join BlazeAid volunteers for dinner at Cobargo Pub 6 for 6.30pm, Covid-19 restrictions permitting.

If you would like to go, please contact President Andrew by Monday evening; he will liaise re numbers with Cobargo Pub. The cost to Narooma Rotarians will be about $25 a head; the RCs of Narrandera and Narooma will be sponsoring the BlazeAid volunteers.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 22 July 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Well it has been a strange and almost conflicting week in some respects. First up, because of the Covid-19 threat, we cancelled our breakfast meeting. This was a very hard decision indeed. It was gratifying that our intended speaker Cath Peachy of Oyster Festival fame agreed that we’d made the “right call”.

At the same time we decided to cancel this month’s market. That was an easier call what with the restrictions on Regional NSW and concerns of possible visits by ‘delinquent Sydneysiders’.

This Thursday we were due to have Dr Michael Holland speak about the new Moruya Hospital. But due to his work schedule he is unable to come, so we shall have a club night dinner. Feature speaker will be our very own Gero Mitchell on ‘This is My Life’. I might also be first up for a three minute talk on experiencing English pop stars!

Among all the bad news was our Board’s great decision to approve the prostate cancer initiative. On Saturday Ange and I sold whale watching raffle tickets at The Plaza. The response from the public was simply wonderful with great expressions of support, voluntary donations, and some heart breaking tales stories.

So very strange times mes amis! Let’s hope we clear this Covid hurdle soon and we can resume our normal schedule.


President Ange inducted Julie Hartley and Gero Mitchell into the Club in late 2020

Dinner meeting at Narooma Golf Club 6 for 6.30pm. Our guest speaker is one of our newest members Gero Mitchell. Her talk is ‘This is My Life’.

Coming soon hopefully, will be a similar talk by Julie Hartley who was inducted at the same time as Gero.

The Week that Was

From Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotarians had their Club Assembly last week.President Chis Manahan listed four areas in which he particularly sought members’ ideas – Membership, Youth, International and Community projects. Chris saw Membership as the most important. Last week’s Moruya bulletin showed a table of ages in the Moruya Club which Chris identified the need to recruit younger members.

At the Assembly last week, they split into groups, each working on one of these four areas; the outcomes presumably will be incorporated into the Club’s plan for the year. A summary is in their bulletin this week.

While Moruya’s Membership plans are similar to our own, it was interesting to have them summarised so well.

Moruya’s Membership Report:

Leaflet and Publicity:  Perhaps Estate Agents should be approached to give a copy of the leaflet produced by Pauline Gleeson to new arrivals.

Retain Members by making meetings attractive: e.g. good speakers, Trivia nights etc.

Bring a Friend:  Encourage Members to bring a friend and ensure follow up.

Corporate Memberships: Approach businesses to sponsor employees to attend meetings.

Friends of Rotary: Some people might like to join us in activities especially those requiring physical efforts (given our aging membership!) or the Kiosk

President Chris also reported attending a meeting at Mollymook to discuss the initiative of Rotary International to make ‘Supporting the Environment’ a priority. Present were PDG and Chair David Brawn, AG Adam de Totth and Ulladulla Rotarian Peter Hodge. Each club in District 9705 has been asked to submit a list of projects that would come under the title of Environment.


We had scheduled to hold the Greek Dinner at the Men’s Shed but that has been postponed because of Covid-19 restrictions.

So our next scheduled meeting is the Blaze Aid dinner at Cobargo on Thursday 5 August. Members are being encouraged to attend, Covid-19 restrictions allowing.


Andrew’s Thoughts

I really enjoyed our Club Dinner last Thursday at the Golfie. It was great to see everyone and feel a real feeling of camaraderie and a buy-in to what we want to do this year. We obviously majored on the proposed Prostate Cancer Support Group. Of equal importance was the keenness to look for ways to have fun!

This Thursday I was looking forward to the Business Breakfast with guest speaker Narooma Rocks and Oyster Festival Chair Cath Peachey but uncertainty wrt Covid-19 spread caused us to cancel. We can look forward to hearing from Cath in the near future about the fascinating data analysis they have done from the recent Festival.

The uncertainty surrounding the spread of Covid and the nature of the markets caused us to also cancel our July markets.

As I have mentioned before, the Rotary Club of Narrandera has kindly donated to ‘a ‘bushfire event’ and with their approval, we have arranged to host a dinner for the BlazeAid team at the Cobargo Pub on 5 August, Covid permitting. I urge as many of you as possible to come along and help salute these local heroes.

Last Friday I met with President of RC Bega Anne Ducray who is also a PDG. There was much bonhomie and we have proposed a joint Club meeting with Bega at Cobargo Pub on 25th November – so a date for the diary!

We have much to do, but I really start to sense a new chapter in the Club’s development. So as ever, upward and onward mes amis!


Our first Business Breakfast featured Narooma Oyster Festival Chair Cath Peachey just before the Festival in May. We were to have her back for the July Business Breakfast , now cancelled. Hopefully we will hear from her some time soon. Seen here are President Andrew, Past President Ange Ulrichsen, Cath Peachey and Narooma Chamber of Commerce President Dr Jenny Munro.

This Thursday’s Business Breakfast with guest speaker Narooma Rocks and Oyster Festival Chair Cath Peachey has been cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns.

Out and About

Donate books to Bega’s Book Fair

Some Rotary Rotarians are busy sorting books donated for their Book Fair 13-14 August at Bega Showgrounds. If you have any books you would like to donate, please drop them off at Andrew Constance’s office at 122 Carp St Bega, or Elders at 3/248 Carp St Bega. There is a limit of two to three bags of books in good condition (no encyclopaedias, Readers’ Digests or magazines please). COVID-19 guidelines mean they can’t accept books during the Book Fair.

From Merimbula Rotary

Merimbula’s Changeover Dinner in early July had to be postponed because of COVID-19. Merimbula President 2021-2022 Andy Thorp is delighted Noel Trevaskis has nominated for the position of President of our club for the 2022/23 year


A dinner meeting at Narooma Golf Club with guest speaker Dr Michael Holland on Eurobodalla’s new Regional Hospital, Covid permitting. Dr Holland, well known obstetrician and gynaecologist, has long spearheaded the need for a Level 4 Regional Hospital for Eurobodalla. While the site has been decided near Moruya TAFE, the agreed Local Clinical Services Plan which included the new Level 4 hospital seems to have been overridden by a new Coastal Services Plan which demoted the new hospital to level 3 (what Moruya hospital now is). A disappointed Dr Holland says a new community campaign needs to be mounted to restore the Level 4 plan.

On a lighter note

A well-timed pandemic joke can help us make sense of the uncertain and traumatic times we are in. Here are a few you might like…

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

For our friends in the Greater Sydney Lock Down area…

I’m not talking to myself; I’m having a parent-teacher conference.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 8 July 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

President Andrew Lawson

Well, my first effort at hosting a Zoom meeting last week was a spectacular flop! Note to self – practice, practice! Our friends at the Rotary Club of Narrandera had a good chuckle, and we shall reconvene in August, after lots of practice.
As many of you know, RC Narrandera wanted to ‘donate a pig’ to help bushfire recovery. Well that went into their too hard basket and they are now making a donation instead. I have agreed with them that these funds will be used to host a dinner for BlazeAid at the Cobargo pub, and I encourage us all to join with them and recognise their amazing efforts (COVID-19 restrictions allowing…).

Ange and I are already out and about selling the Whale Watch raffle tickets; we plan to sell outside Woolis and Aldi on 17 July. All proceeds will go to our Prostate Support Group initiative, more about that later.

This week’s dinner meeting is very important when I would like to lay out suggested plans for our Club for 2021/2022; input from everyone will be much appreciated. Hopefully there will be a good attendance. These plans will then need to be endorsed by the Board at the 14 Jul meeting. At this week’s meeting we will hopefully meet Sussana Chung who is highly experience in Rotary and be possibly a new member.


This week’s dinner meeting at Narooma Golf Club (6 for 6.30) will discuss the Club’s proposed plans for 2021/2022. The outcome of this week’s meeting will be endorsed by the Board meeting next week.

Out and About

Recognition of Service through Rotary

The District Governors’ changeover dinner at Young on Saturday 26 June recognised many Rotarians from across the District. COVID-19 had a play in proceedings as the wearing of masks became mandatory from 6pm, just as the evening was kicking off. This didn’t deter those attending and it was a great night for everyone. Presentations made by outgoing District Governor Michael Moore included the following:

  • District 9705 Rotarian of the Year – PDG Steve Hill of Hall RC
  • For  Outstanding Service through Rotary
    • Fred Fawke – Belconnen RC: As many of us know, our old friend Fred is an inspiring Rotarian who devotes his life to Rotary and the people of the ACT and NSW. He is the driving force behind the District’s Recover, Rehabilitate and Reuse project which spans many Clubs. It rescues equipment not needed by its owners and provides it to people and organisations that need such equipment, both in Australia and overseas e.g. medical equipment, school uniforms, roofing materials. 
    • Two members of Pambula RC – Daryl Dobson and Mick Brosnan who have been at the forefront of bushfire recovery on the far south coast.  Among his extensive service to Rotary, Darryl led Pambula’s water & sanitation project for properties directly impacted by the bushfires overseeing the purchase, delivery and installation of 60 water tanks and 20 septic tanks as well as delivering food for people impacted by the fires and leading working bees on properties. Mick has worked tirelessly since the bushfires hit the local area. As an honorary member of Pambula Rotary and through his association with the Social Justice Advocates of the Sapphire Coast, Mick has sourced and delivered 69 caravans to people impacted by the fires as well as homeless for other reasons, and then assisting to connect to services.
  • PP Joan Graham (2nd PHF – Sapphire) – Narrandera RC. Joan was awarded a Sapphire Pin recognising her service not only as an Area Governor but for being such a committed community member and outstanding Rotarian.


Thursday 15 July 7, 2021

Narooma Rocks Chair Cath Peachey

A Business Breakfast at Narooma Surf Club (7am on the dot) Cost is $10. All members welcome. Covid-19 entry requirements.

Guest speaker will be Narooma Rocks Chair Cath Peachey who will report on some fascinating figures from the data analysis to date from the recent Oyster Festival.

The following week, Thursday 22 July

Dinner meeting Narooma Golf Club. Guest speaker will be Dr Michael Holland who will talk about the new Moruya Hospital. He is frustrated the original proposal for it to be a Level 4 Hospital has been overridden by a new Coastal Services Plan which demoted the new hospital to Level 3, which is what Moruya hospital now is. He is now pushing to have the Level 4 Plan restored. Partners and friends welcome. Hopefully the current Covid restrictions in regions will be eased by then.