Narooma Rotary Beacon 2 December 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Last Sunday’s market featured the Summer Safety Expo. We were blessed with great weather.

Well, what an exciting week! Just a shame I could not participate. It was excellent to hear that so many people attended the dinner meeting, both our members and their guests. By all accounts Dr Michael Holland’s address was compelling, especially in the context of his shock resignation earlier in the week.

I am grateful to Mike for “rattling the Prostate Cancer Support Group tin” and furthering the awareness of what we are doing. We collected $300 on the night, which will be matched by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to be invested in further prostate cancer research.

On Friday morning, I was interviewed by Paul West on ABC South East about the formation of the Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG). (Paul will be our speaker at the February Business Breakfast.)  I have heard from several people in different organisations that the message was well received and the awareness is getting out there. Next Tuesday evening our Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain will launch the PCSG so fingers crossed for a good turnout.

Gero Mitchell and Sussana Chung on duty at Gate 1 last Sunday

By all accounts, Sunday’s market was a great success; a few people who could not produce evidence of double Covid-19 vaccinations were turned away at the gate and there were no real dramas. With the weather holding off, a good time was had by one and all which was excellent. Our next market will be on Wednesday 29 December; traditionally this is our biggest of the year. By then, fingers crossed, all Covid restrictions will have been lifted.

Next week is the AGM where the 2021 Presidents Report and Financial Statements will be presented. We also look to confirm the roles of President, Treasurer and Secretary for 2022/23. This executive group will consider the other Board members for that year. As you all know, I shall be unable to attend.

The 16th December is the Christmas Party at the Golf Club. Please all come along, bring your partners and friends for what should be good fun. And don’t forget to bring a uni-sex present costing no more than $10! This will also be an auspicious occasion for one of our members (big secret!), so please be there to support.

As ever gang, it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!


There is no meeting this Thursday.

Our hardworking PCSG subcommittee would however appreciate your ‘beating the PCSG drum’ for the group’s launch on Tuesday 7 December at 6.30pm.

The Week that Was

Our meeting last week

Our own Mike Young thanked Dr Michael Holland

Last Thursday VMO Gynaecologist obstetrician Dr Michael Holland gave us all an insight into the frustrations of advocating to improve medical services in our area.  His shock resignation earlier in the week seemed to be prompted by a report by Southern Health, the “tone” of which basically ‘shot the messenger’.  Dr Holland described last week as “the most difficult of my career”.

He talked about the campaign to ensure the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital opened as a Level 4 Hospital with more services than we have now with a Level 3 hospital,  a campaign that is far from over. The NSW Government has only committed to a Level 3 which would not result in any improvements in services over what we already have. He also spoke about the gradual changes in the regional hospital system from local GPs being Visiting Medical Officers to locums and ‘fly in, fly out’ doctors.

Dr Holland spoke about the strength of our community and urged us all to write to our politicians and advocate for Level 4 hospital services from day 1 of the new hospital including tertiary education services, and also asked us to attend a protest rally in Moruya on Saturday. He also spoke about the need for hospital carers’ accommodation and the possibility it be taken on as community project by service clubs and the like, similar to what happened at Bega.   

Our Markets Manager Chris O’Brien with Joan Morgan, a great Friend of Narooma Rotary’

Gero Mitchell gave an international toast to the Rotary Club of Athenai Hellas; she lived in Greece for 20 years.

Our treasurer Mike Young was delighted with last week’s collection of $300 for the Prostate Cancer Giving Day, now to be each year on 25 November. The amount will be doubled by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s major sponsor. Mike said the Club will also be fully reimbursed for the cost of the two Prostate Cancer pull up banners and the NPCSG’s  brochures and business cards, a total cost of $860.

Postscript – Moruya Hospital Protest

Hundreds of people turned out in wet conditions last Saturday for the hospital protest at Moruya’s Riverside Park followed by a march across the bridge, organised by the One New Eurobodalla Hospital. The push is for the promised Level Four Eurobodalla Hospital to open its doors with Level Four services, whereas Dr Holland said the current Clinical Services Plan states Level 4 services would only be provided by 2031. Speakers included Member for Bega Andrew Constance, Shadow Minister for Health and the South Coast Ryan Park, Federal Member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips, Dr Michael Holland and NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns.

That morning, Andrew Constance and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced the NSW Government would provide an extra $60m on top of the already promised $200m for the Eurobodalla Regional Hospital. They said this would provide for an eight- bed intensive care unit, new mental health beds with overall bed numbers to go up by 16, and a new (MRI) machine for medical imaging.

The community has also called for radiation oncology services plus a boost in the number of maternity and paediatric beds. The new hospital will be built near Moruya TAFE with construction expected to begin next year.
Moruya Rotary President Chris Manahan reported in the Moruya bulletin that, of the politicians and dignitaries that spoke, Dr Michael Holland received the most applause. He added the topic is alive and well as is the Hospital Carers’ Accommodation project that Dr Holland has mentioned it now at all three Eurobodalla Rotary Clubs. “Unfortunately Covid got in the way this year but next year we’ll be pushing ahead with hopefully a Level 4 Hospital as well,” Chris said.

David McInnes and John Rungen on first shift on the barbie at Sunday’s Market.


Our AGM is on next Thursday at Narooma Golf Club, 6 for 6.30pm.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 25 November 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

President Andrew Lawson with Merivale Regional Manager Jenn Black at last Thursday’s Business Breakfast.

Last Thursday’s Business Breakfast at the Surf Club attracted lots of interest and was a great success, thanks to our charming and astute guest speaker Jenn Black, Merivale’s Regional Manager. Jenn gave a frank and interesting talk, answered lots of questions from local business people. We had about 30 guests, including Rotarians. A major attraction at these breakfasts is being able to catch up with other business people in town and networking. We will have a break in December and January and resume on Thursday 17 February when Paul West will be our guest speaker.

Our new pamphlets and flyers have now been printed and had their first public outing at last week’s Business Breakfast. They are available for members to hand out whenever. See Laurelle if you would like some. We will have them available for guests at future Rotary meetings.

I am not sure at this stage if I will be at this week’s meeting; bit knocked around after a fall earlier in the week, but I hope so. If not, Laurelle will chair the meeting which will feature Dr Michael Holland which should be a particularly interesting meeting.

This Sunday is of course our markets, the first since June, which will feature our Summer Safety Expo. Many thanks to Chris for organising that. We need all hands on deck!

As ever, onwards and upwards mes amis!


Local Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Michael Holland will speak this Thursday about the campaign for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital at Moruya and the battle to have the NSW Government fund it as a Level 4 offering more servicesm rather than a Level 3 hospital. Both Batemans Bay and Moruya Hospitals are Level 3.

Just this week Dr Holland and GP Obstetrician Dr Lisa Hyde from Moruya Hospital, resigned from the Southern NSW Local Health District, their resignations effective from February 2022. Dr Holland has been the VMO Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Moruya Hospital for 19 years, providing services for women and their families from Milton-Ulladulla to Eden. The reasons for their resignations relate to their relationship with NSW Health. No doubt we will hear more on Thursday night

Dr Holland’s visit to us has been postponed a couple of times due to Covid. We will have a good number of partners, friends and relatives to hear what he has to say.

The Week that Was

At last week’s Business Breakfast, Merivale Regional Manager Jenn Black deftly dealt with ‘Narooma Rumours’ around Merivale’s current and planned operations in Narooma. She said “Justin [Hemmes] absolutely loves this place”, a feeling she obviously shares, and he has no intention of taking away from the local integrity. She said at that time Merivale had not settled or exchanged on any other properties in Narooma.

Plans include the introduction of a Merivale brand restaurant at the Whale in December and gradual renovation of accommodation in the first part of 2022, and plans to eventually open up the back of The Inlet. They are delighted with the response they are getting at the Quarterdeck.

Jenn said Merivale currently employs 45 locals in Narooma with the only Sydney ‘imports’ a small team of managers to establish the venues with the Merivale quality brand and ‘culture’. All Narooma staff will get the same training and opportunities as all Merivale staff, adding career opportunities within Merivale “are second to none”. She they would like to open seven days a week but, like all hospitality venues along the coast, they struggle to find staff with a key issue the lack of affordable accommodation for staff.

Merivale’s aim in all their venues is “attention to detail” and “to provide great food, great service and a great vibe”. She said the key to achieving that is to treat their staff well and with respect.

Jenn said Merivale sees great opportunities ahead for all businesses in the local area to work together, possibly partnering up with other businesses and organisations to achieve sustainable year-round tourism.

Out and About

From Moruya Rotary Club

Last Week Moruya Rotarians presented the Eurobodalla Show Society with a cheque for $1,970.00, proceeds from the Club’s Melbourne Cup luncheon at the Jockey Club.

The Society’s treasurer Lindsey Boyton gave an outline of the Society’s interesting history, remembering this is the Show Society for the Narooma area as well.  It began life as the Moruya Agricultural and Pastoral Society in 1872. In the 150 years since then it has mounted 144 shows — fires, floods, wars and Covid being responsible for missed years. For about 40 years the show was held beside the river bank where the Bowling Club now is, moving to the present site in 1915 where it now has a grandstand, display sheds and cattle yards The sesquicentennial show is on 22/23 January. Horse events will extend over four days and include showjumping, hacks and ponies. The Eurobodalla Show Society flourishes at a time when so many similar events in country towns have folded thanks; its continued success is due to the enthusiasm, organization and leadership of the Society’s committee and teams.

From Bega Rotary

Bega Club hopes to hold its wonderful Book Fair again early in the New Year. The date is still to be announced. In the meantime, they’ve suspended the drop-off and collection of books because they have run out of storage space. It is going to be a monster book fair when they can finally hold it!


There will not be a meeting next Thursday, being the first Thursday in the month.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 18 November 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Our President Andrew Lawson inducted Susanna Chung into our Club last Thursday.

What a great week it was; we now feel we’re gaining traction again. We had a good and positive Board meeting last Wednesday, followed by a really enjoyable dinner the following day which had two highlights.

Julie Hartley told us about her life spent so much ‘on the move’. We’re delighted she and Pete finally moved here.

Firstly, Susanna Chung was inducted into our Club and we are delighted. Her skills in graphic design etc. will be really useful going forward and she will bring an important younger outlook. Secondly, Julie Hartley told us about her fascinating life story and how she and Peter ended up in Narooma; we are all still wondering where in NSW she has not lived!

Other news is that the Duck Race tickets are printed, so now is the time to get selling. We also received great news that our old mate Gordon Bentley will be relocating to Narooma in January when he will transfer from Dubbo to our Club.

This week is our Business Breakfast week and at the time of writing, it looks like we shall have well over 30 people for what should be a really interesting talk from Jenn Black.

On Sunday week our markets are back! We will have the Emergency Services Expo at our November market. This is always a fun day, especially for the kids, but it is going to be very demanding as we shall have to admit double ‘vaxxers’ only, and we shall need a Covid Marshal on each gate. Bob is currently doing the roster, but it will really be “all hands to the pump”, so please rustle up friends and rellies!

Finally, we all send our best wishes to Lynn who by now will be in Seattle visiting her ailing mother.

OK Gang, let’s finish the year on a roll – we deserve it after all the frustration. So it really is “onwards and upwards mes amis!”


Our Breakfast Meeting this Thursday starts at 7am (sharp) at Narooma Surf Club with Merivale Regional Manager Jenn Black as our guest speaker. Cost is $10. It should be a particularly interesting meeting.

The Week that Was

Last Week’s Board Meeting

Our Board approved donations of $500 each to the Australian Rotary Health for mental health research and to the Rotary Foundation for Polio Plus. Both follow the featuring of the two programmes in October. The Board also finally approved the new flyer and pamphlet for the Club which will now be available for whoever and whenever.

From Batemans Bay Rotary

Batemans Bay ran their Pride of Workmanship Awards last week. They presented five Awards based on the nominations by employers for a valued and skilled employee. Narooma’s Pride of Workmanship Awards will be presented in May.

Moruya Rotary recognises Charter Member

Moruya Rotarian Michel Nader last week received the Charter Member lapel pin. Worldwide there can be very few Charter members with 65 years continuous service like Michel.

Out and About

Kristy McBain confirms PCSG launch

We are delighted the Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain has confirmed she will be able to officially launch the Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG) at Narooma Men’s Shed on Tuesday 7 December at 6.30pm. The Group will then regularly meet at Narooma Men’s Shed on the first Tuesday of each month 6.30-8.30pm.

The PCSG is a Narooma Rotary initiative, affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and draws on the experience of the Rotary Club of Young.


Dr Michael Holland will speak next Thursday about the campaign for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital at Moruya and the battle to have the NSW Government  recognise it as a Level 4 rather than a Level 3 hospital. His visit has been delayed a couple of times due to Covid-19. We anticipate a good turnout, so please bring partners, friends and relatives. All are welcome; please just let John Rungen know by Tuesday afternoon at the latest. 

Narooma Rotary Beacon 11 November 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

As anticipated, it has been a quiet week for Rotary – a bit of a lull before the storm, what with the Board Meeting on Wednesday, the dinner meeting on Thursday when we shall induct Susanna Chung, followed by the Business Breakfast with Jenn Black the following Thursday, dinner with Dr Michael Holland on 25th , and a resumption of our markets after so long. So much to do and so much to enjoy!

The PCSG ‘three amigos’ President Andrew Lawson, Mike Young and Julie Hartley have been busy spreading the word from Batemans Bay to Eden.

Meanwhile, the Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG) marketing has continued with ongoing visits to medical practices and Men’s Sheds up and down the coast. The feedback has been very positive and we’ve received some interesting observations and advice. Laurelle, as ever, has done a splendid job of publicising with all our regional media, including a brief spot for me on 2EC/ PowerFM. local news on Thursday’s Kimmi’s Breakfast Bar.

In the immediate future, can I ask you all to please bang the Business Breakfast drum? There is little doubt that this is a major opportunity to engage with a younger cohort which is so important to the Club’s future.

So, as ever, it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!


Our dinner meeting on Thursday (11th) will feature our very own Julie Hartley speaking on ‘This is My Life’. The Board meets the day before (Wednesday) at 4pm at Lynn Hasting’s home.

The Week that Was

Vulnerable Youth Project inspires Clubs

Our District’s Vulnerable Youth Project ‘Ruby’s’ featured at a meeting hosted by Merimbula Rotary last Wednesday which was also attended by Rotarians from Pambula and Bega Rotary Clubs and invited guests.

District 9705 Governance Board chair Dr David Marshall gave an inspiring presentation about the project which aims to support youths (12-17 years) who are at risk or currently experiencing homelessness for various reasons in the ACT and Southern NSW. The concept is to try to help families stay together while providing young people with a safe and secure place to live. It addresses the biggest gap in social services across the country – finding accommodation for youths who find themselves without a roof over their heads. Ruby’s Rotary Youth Support Program is a designated District 9705 project. More information

Invited guests included Member Eden-Monaro Kristie McBain, Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick and Cr Mitchell Nadin from Bega Valley Shire Council, PC Sarah Bancroft, Beth Moore of PCYC and various community organisations.

Moruya Rotarians head to the Races

Moruya Rotarians and friends enjoyed a great day at their Melbourne Cup Lunch with Moruya Jockey Club last Tuesday; it was a lot of fun and a wonderful team effort. They had a Calcutta and Sweeps galore by the sound of it, and even Fashions in the Field. Kim Armstrong, Michel Nader and Derek Anderson won prizes for their sartorial elegance in the Fashion Stakes. Money raised on the day was donated to Eurobodalla District Show Society whose catering team did the honours on the day.

Out and About

Support for local to assist Guatemala

Local Rotary Clubs are providing support to local Jessica Thomas who will soon be on her way to Guatemala to work with the Rotary Club of Columbia Falls, Montana, USA. The project is being funded by a Rotary Global Grant to help provide clean drinking water. Jess reached out to Moruya club for support and, because of the Rotary Global Grant, Phil Armstrong suggested Moruya Club spread the word to clubs across District 9705. As a result, a friend of a Weston Creek Rotarian donated $2,000 to Jessica’s cause, Batemans Bay Rotary $500, Milton Ulladulla Rotary $200 and Moruya Rotary $500. Moruya was able to present Jess with $3,200, enough to cover her airfares. Jess is a dedicated young lady and will stay in touch with Moruya Club.

On a lighter note

Life is sexually transmitted.
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.
Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers.  What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow.


Our Breakfast Meeting next Thursday 18th starts at 7am (sharp) at Narooma Surf Club with our guest speaker Jenn Black, Merivale Regional Manager. Cost is $10. Bookings essential.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 4 November 2021

We ‘lifted the lid’ on Mental Health

Winner of our Hat competition Mike ‘King Tut’ Young, judge Denise Rungen, with runners up Laurelle Pacey and Joan Morgan.

We had a very enjoyable ‘Hat Night’ at the Golfie last Thursday to acknowledge Australian Rotary Health’s ‘Lift the Lid’ on mental illness. While we were few in number, it was relaxed and good fun. Many thanks to Chris O’Brien for a thought-provoking quiz on hats, after a fascinating history of hats (thank heavens the quiz wasn’t a comprehension test!).

Mike Young though stole the show with his Tutankhamun headdress, direct from Vinnies rather than the Cairo Museum. Runners up were Joan Morgan and Laurelle Pacey. Many thanks to our judge Denise Rungen. We also took great pleasure in reintroducing ‘Happy Moments’ with everyone contributing. Julie Hartley’s International Toast was to the Rotary Club of Mammoth Lakes in California. That’s where Julie and Peter’s daughter lives.

At the start of the evening, Laurelle Pacey gave a brief overview of Australia Rotary Health, one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia. Australian Rotary Health is a project of the Rotary Districts of Australia supported by Rotary Clubs. It provides funding for areas of health that do not readily attract funding and promotes findings to the community. These include Mental Health Research, general health research, scholarships for rural medical and nursing students as well as for Indigenous health students.  Proceeds raised on the night will support Australian Rotary Health’s mental health research.

Andrew’s Thoughts

Well, it was a disappointing week. I was awaiting a Covid test result so could not be at last week’s Hat Dinner which was a real disappointment for me. I was surprised at the numbers compared to last year.

There is no meeting this week but November will prove to be an exciting month with Jenn Black’s talk to the Breakfast Meeting (18 November), Dr Michael Holland speaking about the new Regional Hospital at Moruya and, of course, our first market after too many months’ absence. Let us not forget that after our Board Meeting on the 10th, we shall be welcoming Susanna to Rotary at the following day’s dinner meeting. I urge you all to actively support these events, and feel free to bring as many guests as you wish.

So, a quiet week, ahead of an exciting month, but as ever it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!

Birthdays this week

A very happy birthday from us all to Ange Ulrichsen (31 Oct), Rolf Gimmel (1 Nov), John Rungen (2 Nov).


No meeting this Thursday.

The Week that Was

Lunch with the GG

Mike Young and Julie Hartley represented our Club at lunch last Friday with Governor General David Hurley and his wife Linda at Moruya Showground. The gathering was of representatives of the various service clubs in Eurobodalla Shire.

Duck Race

Julie Hartley, with Ange Ulrichsen’s assistance, has things well in hand now for the Great Australia Day Rotary Duck Race on 26 January. Ducks are booked and tickets ordered. Tickets will be on sale from the November markets.

Out and About

From Moruya Rotary

Congratulations to Moruya Rotarian Shirley Hayes. Her Sexual Health Education in Pictures (SHEP) project has been recognised to participate in the Rotary International Convention 2022 in Houston, USA (she spoke about it at one of our meetings well over 12 months ago). Shirley will share a booth with a Rotary Action Group called Maternal and Child Health (MCH). MCH handles multi-million dollar projects mainly in Africa and India. Shirley and John hope to attend the Convention and revitalise the momentum for SHEP that was gathering after the Conference in Hamburg a couple of years ago.

Rotary International Convention 2022

The 2022 Rotary Convention in Houston (4-8 June) is expecting more than 20,000 participants from around the world. The Convention is expected to inject about US$30m into the local economy. This will be Rotary’s 113th annual international convention and the third held in Houston.

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta said everyone is thrilled it will be the first in-person convention since 2019 and, for the first time, “it will be open to members of the public who want to connect, learn and be a part of our work to grow and change lives”.

More on Environmental Envoy Outreach

Rotary International added ‘Supporting the Environment’ as a seventh Area of Focus for the organisation worldwide in June 2020; it was recently renamed ‘Protecting the Environment’. From July 2021, the Rotary Foundation has been considering suitable environmental projects for global grants.

Our District 9705 fully supports this new direction. Our then District Governor Michael Moore announced the formation of a new District Environment Team at the Conference in Bathurst with PDG David Brawn to establish and lead it.

On a lighter note

Notice in a farmer’s field: ‘The farmer allows walkers to cross the field for free, but the bull charges.’

Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say: “close enough”.

(compliments Narooma Men’s Shed Newsletter)


Our dinner meeting next Thursday (11th) will feature our very own Julie Hartley on ‘This is My Life’ as our guest speaker. We have a Board meeting the day before (10th at 5pm), possibly at Lynn’s place.