Narooma Rotary Beacon 3 March 2022

Andrew’s Thoughts

President Andrew in full flight with Bega President Anne Ducray , right.

Perhaps not the week I planned but there we are. At least I was able to get back in time for Thursday’s joint dinner with RC Bega, which was great fun and much enjoyed by all. Anne Ducray and I have swapped notes and think we should do this twice a year, and possibly a joint project in 2022 / 2023. We shall discuss with their incoming President Phil McDonald.

I trust that we all tuned into ABC Southeast on Friday morning to hear Julie Hartley being interviewed about the Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG) by Paul West. Well done Julie!

It was a shame about the cancellation of the markets; of course Murphy’s Law dictated that the weather was fine. However Chris started receiving heaps of cancellations from Thursday so it would have been much diminished.

This week we have the next PCSG meeting with counsellor Sarah Lambert talking about the psychological issues and how to cope. In terms of spreading the word wider, I am talking with RCs Merimbula and Pambula in mid-March, and Bega 7 April. To top things off, we have been invited to speak at every Eurobodalla Library in June, at their Men’s Health week.

As I have already announced, the DG’s visit has been deferred until mid-June, when Adam will deputise.

So, as we move into March and out of this damp summer, we have two big events coming up. On the 24th it is the Cinder’s Night Annual Trivia Quiz with RC Moruya. Remember we are the defending champions! And then on the 31st it is the Movie for Polio Night at The Kinema and showing The Duke, which has already received five star reviews in the UK.

With no driving for three months, my movements will be obviously restricted, but I shall aim to be in town whenever and as much as possible. And as ever, it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!


This Tuesday: The March meeting of the Prostate Cancer Support Group at the Men’s Shed with guest speaker local counsellor Sarah Lambert.

This Thursday: No Meeting. The DG’s scheduled visit for Thursday has been deferred as our District Governor Leo Farrelly is indisposed. Instead our Area Governor Adam de Totth will make his visit on behalf of the DG as well; Adam’s visit has also been rescheduled for 26 May.

This Sunday 6 March at 7.30am Mill Bay: Clean Up Australia Day. Please contact Laurelle if you can help. So far only Mike, John, Ange and Laurelle have volunteered. Coffee will follow.

The Week that Was

We get-together with Bega Rotarians

Rod Walker, Bega Rotarian Dr John McKee and Gordon Bentley

While both Narooma and Bega Presidents had agreed the evening’s emphasis should be mainly social which was greatly enjoyed by all, we still managed to mention two of our recent achievements. Andrew spoke about the growing success of the Prostate Cancer Support Group and his upcoming meetings with Merimbula, Pambula and Bega Rotary Clubs, while PP Ange mentioned the success of our Business Breakfasts enabling members to reconnect with business, businesses to network more and how it is lifting our Club’s profile in the business community. The Business Breakfasts originated from a Bega initiative a few years ago.

Part of our happy gathering in Cobargo for the combined Bega-Narooma Rotary meeting.

From Merimbula Rotary Club

Merimbula Rotary hosted a barbecue for about 200 hospital staff at Bega Hospital to show their “immense appreciation for all their exceptional care during the COVID pandemic”. This was on 24 February. As a surprise, Merimbula Rotary President Noel Trevaskis presented the Executive Director of Southern NSW Local Health District Dr Liz Mullins with a Paul Harris Fellow Award in recognition of her work for the Community.  This followed an earlier presentation of Bega Valley’s Community Service Award to Dr Mullins recognising the work of Health Professionals in keeping our Community safe.  

A tree planting ceremony followed. A plaque will be mounted in front of the tree noting the Southern Health Team’s contribution.

Out and About

Polio Film Night 31 March

Bring your family and friends to the Kinema on Thursday 31 March to enjoy a fun evening to raise funds to help eradicate polio while also supporting a local business. Tickets $20 (includes white wine and nibbles) plus a Rotary raffle on the night. 6.30pm for 7.

‘The Duke’ is the true story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history.

Rotary and the Ukraine tragedy

Rotary International released the following statement on 25 February:

It is a tragic and sad time for the people of Ukraine and the world. At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there. Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.

As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission. We join the international community in calling for an immediate cease fire, withdrawal of Russian forces, and a restoration of diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict through dialogue.

In the past decade, Rotary clubs in Ukraine, Russia and nearby countries have transcended national differences and have actively engaged in peace-building projects to promote goodwill and to marshal assistance for the victims of war and violence.

Today, our thoughts are with our fellow Rotary members and others in Ukraine coping with these tragic events. Rotary International will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region.

In 2014 Ukraine had 46 Rotary Clubs, several of them in Kyiv, and approximately 850 Rotarians. Ukrainian and Belarusian Rotary Clubs formed District 2232 in 2016 after being part of District 2230 with Poland since July 2000.

Posted on Rotary e-Club Ukraine Facebook page

A Rotary Peace Square in Kyiv, designed to promote Peace, was completed on 28 March 2021. It was a joint project between the Rotary Clubs of Kyiv Synergy (D2232), Kyiv Capital (D2232) and Westminster West (D1130). All Rotary clubs in Kiev attended the opening.


Wednesday 9 March 4pm: Board Meeting at Lynn Hasting’s home.

Thursday 10 March: Club Dinner at Narooma Golf Club 6.00 for 6.30pm.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 24 February 2022

Andrew’s Thoughts

What a great Business Breakfast we enjoyed with Paul West on Thursday. He was as fascinating as always. The meeting had a great vibe, the location continues to deliver, and the choice of breakfasts seems to have been greatly appreciated. It was also fantastic to see how our Rotary team all pitched in to get the venue ready and then clear up with no fuss. Great work everyone. See Laurelle’s report below.

February Business Breakfast guest speaker Paul West with Narooma Rotary President Andrew Lawson

I hear the MHERV visit on Friday was a big success. Many thanks to everyone who filled the roster to help MHERV nurse Bill Powers book people in. Thanks again to Chris O’Brien for looking after the MHERV’s Narooma arrangements. Interesting to hear of the numbers of women who also attended. Laurelle has more below.

The bad news from me though is I am in hospital in Brisbane having had a stroke in my left eye and permanently losing sight in that eye. I am not allowed to drive for three months so shall be ‘Lynn dependent’, but we’ll work something out. I still hope to be at the dinner with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo on Thursday, all being well.

Nevertheless it is still onwards and upwards mes amis.


We finally catch up with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo Hotel at 6pm. Bega is our ‘mother club’ and over the years we have tried to make this an annual event. If you’re coming, you should have already told John.

Andrew and Bega President Anne Ducray have been planning this for some time so hopefully Andrew can make it. Hope you can make it.

Just a refresher on a few of who’s who in Bega Club, apart from President Anne. Secretary Suzanne Simon, Treasurer Charlie Blomfield, Membership Dorothea Polonyi, President Elect Phillip McDonald and Public Image Phil Elsey.

The Week that Was

Breakfast with Paul West

As Andrew said, there was a great vibe at Thursday’s Business Breakfast after our break over the busy tourist season. Paul West was a popular choice as speaker attracting about 40 people, our biggest so far, and included 12 Rotarians. Paul moved to the area in 2013 to host ‘River Cottage Australia’ for several years and now lives at Bermagui.   Paul has “never written a speech in his life” and only decided on his topic while driving up from his home in Bermagui.

He spoke about five guiding principles that have stood him in good stead in shaping his business career over the last 10 years. He hoped they might have some relevance to others.

  1. Being true to his core values when making any business decisions. A major one is his family and spending time with them; another is his artistic values. This has meant that as a freelancer he has turned down some lucrative commercial offers…  It’s a balancing act.
  2. Importance of relationships. Particularly important in small regional communities, noting while life is short it is also long.
  3. Adaptability to survive in a changing world. Paul noted “that no one in this room hasn’t had to do this over the last two years”.
  4. “Not being afraid of things going to shit”. Try new things; everyone starts somewhere, even small extra improvements.
  5. Recognition. It’s important you recognise what you do and its impact on your community. Referring to Rotary, he sang its praises and the pride in being part  of a team that makes a difference to people’s lives

Quite a few questions followed. One was about his River Cottage co-star Digger who is now nine, “an ever faithful companion”, “who fancies himself as Canine King of Bermagui”. Interestingly, Paul said Digger came from Dalmeny and was advertised on the IGA noticeboard. 

Paul is a chef and a passionate advocate of real food, community, regional living and sustainable agriculture. Paul regularly hosts cooking demonstrations at food festivals around Australia and is an occasional guest presenter on ABC Television. He is also the Narooma Oyster Festival.

MHERV visits Narooma

Narooma Rotarians Gordon Bentley and Julie Hartley with MHERV nurse Bill Powers.

We hosted the Narooma visit of the Men’s Health Educational Rural Van (MHERV) at Narooma Plaza on Friday. This van is a Rotary initiative and provides free blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol checks.

MHERV nurse Bill Powers was delighted with the response in the Eurobodalla Shire. In Batemans Bay he saw 14 people, 9 of whom were women. Moruya on Wednesday was his busiest day on the job so far with 34 customers including six wives, while in Narooma on Friday he saw 18 people, four of whom were women. Bill said although MHERV targets men because of their general reluctance to go to the GP, everyone is welcome. It’s all about keeping people healthy. From Narooma he headed to the Bega Show and then to Tathra.

Tonga Disaster Appeal

You will remember our collections at the January Market and the Duck Race for the Tonga Volcano Eruption and Tsunami Disaster Fund. That raised close on $1,750. The club doubled it to $3,500. That money has now been forwarded to the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) which registered a Rotary Australia Relief Fund to seek financial assistance from Rotary Clubs, the public and private sector. RAWCS will work with the Rotary New Zealand World Community Service (RNZWCS) and the Rotary Club of Nuku’alofa (Tonga) to provide aid and assistance to the affected communities.

Clean Up Australia

Our Club has now booked our usual clean-up site from the Mill Bay boatsheds to the Apex Park boat ramp for Sunday 6 March, the official Clean Up day. The best time to do this is around low tide which is about 6.30am or 6.30pm that day. So Laurelle who is the site manager suggests maybe 7.30am-8pm at Mill Bay, or 5-5.30pm. Names and feedback re times please to Laurelle.

Out and About

Film Night to raise funds to End Polio

Ange has arranged with Jade Griffiths at the Kinema to screen The Duke on Thursday 31 March as our fundraiser for the End Polio Campaign.

Sydney Harbour Bridge’s 90th Celebration

Moruya Business Chamber is organising a celebration on Saturday 19 March to recognise the 90th birthday of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The plan includes a street parade, river lights, music performances and food. Moruya Rotarians will play a role in helping to organise the event, possibly assisting with food, crowd control and moving barriers. There’s even a possibility of constructing a Rotary Wheel river light. More information soon. Moruya Rotary Club is donating $2,000 to the Chamber to help pay for the event.

District Conference at Temora 18-20 March

Registrations are now open for what should be an excellent Conference programme. Temora is home to the Aviation Museum and guests will find themselves buzzed by its rebuilt Spitfire. The convention dinner takes place in the Museum hangar.

NEXT WEEK Thursday 3 March

D9705 GOVERNOR’s VISIT – likely to be by last year’s DG Michael Moore who is currently deputising for DG Leo Farrelly. Please let John Rungen know if you are coming.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 17 February 2022

Andrew’s Thoughts

Last week I wrote my column at noon on Sunday and therefore before an amazing Pre-PETS Zoom on Sunday afternoon with our incoming District Governor Geraldine Rurenga and our Area Governor Adam de Totth.

Our DG 2022-2023 Geraldine Rurenga

There will be changes in what we do and how we do it, hence why my attendance at PETS was non-negotiable! Geraldine is 31 years of age (yes 31!) and she is the youngest District Governor in the history of Rotary International. She clearly has some real modernising ideas both in our operations and in our marketing. I look forward to meeting her at PETS in Cooma in March and working with her and Adam going forward.

On Tuesday, Mike and I went up to Batemans Bay and met Jim Lloyd who is the chief executive of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s (PCFA) National Support Groups. It was a really good meeting and clearly there are some amazing tools which PCFA has and which we need to pass on to our local members. I was inclined to re-schedule our next speaker, a mental health counsellor, but the last words spoken to me the previous Tuesday were “I was suicidal for two to three years”. That hit home.

Last Wednesday was our Board Meeting day followed by our Club Night of Thursday where we duly reported back. The good news is that we raised $1,750 by rattling the bucket for Tonga, and the Club is doubling this, so we shall be sending $3,500 to RAWCS for relief funds. The Club night was really good, seeing some new faces and some old, and it was lively! Some great ideas and initiatives were raised and the Board and I shall reflect and get back to the Club in due course.

This Thursday will see the 2022 launch of the Business Breakfasts with Paul West. At the time of writing, we expect a record attendance of almost 40 people. This week the Men’s Health Educational Rural Van (MHERV) is in Narooma on Friday at Narooma Plaza car park (see below). We shall man it throughout the day. Mike and Julie will also be there waving the PCSG banner.

Don’t forget the 27th is the next Markets and so, as ever, it will be all hands to the pump. The roster will be issued soon, and thanks in advance to John and Mike for offering to meet Bob on the Friday to mark out, and to members of the Men’s Shed who have volunteered to pull in the van.

The upcoming Club meeting on 3rd March is very important as we shall have our annual DG visit. As Leo Farrelly is indisposed, we are likely to be visited by Michael Moore, last year’s DG who is deputising. So, we need a very good attendance (a three line whip!), with best pressed clothes and polished shoes!

All in all, some important and exciting times ahead. So as ever, it’s onwards and upwards mes amis!


Thursday 17 February

Paul West

Business Breakfast at Narooma Surf Club 7-8am. Cost $10 per person. Bookings with President Andrew essential. Paul is a chef and a passionate advocate of real food, community, regional living and sustainable agriculture. He hosted ‘River Cottage Australia’ from Central Tilba for several years and now lives at Bermagui.  He regularly hosts cooking demonstrations at food festivals around Australia and is an occasional guest presenter on ‘Gardening Australia’, ‘Back Roads’ and ‘Catalyst’. He is also the Ambassador for Narooma Oyster Festival.

Friday 18 February

We are hosting the Narooma visit of the Men’s Health Educational Rural Van (MHERV) in Narooma Plaza car park (upper level) this Friday 18 February. MHERV is a Rotary initiative to try to improve men’s health by overcoming the reluctance of many men to visit their GP.

MHERV Project Coordinator Graeme Hooper estimates that MHERV has saved over a staggering 10,000 men’s lives since the project started in 2017.  “That’s from the 4% of men checked in that time who showed signs of acute health issues and were told to visit their GP as soon as possible,” he said.

MHERV will be at Narooma Plaza Car Park Friday 18th 10-4.

Bill Powers is the registered nurse who takes MHERV through rural and regional areas providing a mobile, accessible check-up and information service staffed by. Checks include blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels. MERV is travelling along the far south coast this week with stops at Batemans Bay and Moruya (Wednesday) before Narooma (Friday), and Bega and Tathra to follow.

Many thanks to Chris O’Brien for coordinating our Club’s efforts. If you can, please join Bill, his wife, Chris and Mike Young at the Golf Club on the Thursday 17th for dinner.

NEXT THURSDAY 24 Feb Cobargo

We finally catch up with Bega Rotarians at Cobargo Hotel on Thursday 24 February at 6pm. Bega is our ‘mother club’ and over the years we have tried to make this an annual event. It has obviously been delayed due to Covid. Hope you can make it. Numbers to John please by the end of this week.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 10 February 2022

Andrew’s Thoughts

Men’s Health physiotherapist Jamie Boulding was the PCSG’s guest speaker last week, with our PCSG crew Julie Hartley, Andrew Lawson and Mike Young.

Last week was a most encouraging week for the Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG). On Tuesday, we had a good crowd to listen to and participate with specialist Men’s Health Physiotherapist Jamie Boulding from Canberra. It was really heartening to see how people opened up about their issues, including some sensitive ones such as incontinence. I think we’re really starting to get some traction. 

More on the PCSG, I am booked to speak to a joint meeting of Merimbula and Pambula Rotary Clubs plus Men’s Sheds in mid-March and to Bega Rotary at the beginning of April.

This Wednesday (9th) is our February Board Meeting, and there is a Club Meeting on Thursday. I urge you all to come as I want us to reflect on where we are and what we need to do going forward. We naturally lost some momentum during Covid but we need to refocus and push forward.

Wednesday also sees our 2022 Scholar Raichel Brodie go off to ANU and we wish her well.

The 17th is the next Business Breakfast. and Paul West will brighten up our early morning. Please feel free to join us for what will certainly be fun. While these are not Rotary meetings per se, I regard them as a good marketing entree to future members.

I am giving advance notice of the joint meeting with Bega Rotary Club on the 24th February at the Cobargo Pub. They already have 18 people coming (!) so please do not let the Club down!

See you all during the week, and as ever it is onwards and upwards mes amis!


Wednesday 9 February 4pm – Board Meeting at Lynn’s Place

Thursday 10 February 6 for 6.30pm – Club Meeting Narooma Golf Club

Out and About

2022 NYSF – report from Moruya bulletin

This year’s National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) did not follow the past pattern of a two week residential course at a University. Instead, because of Covid, the courses were mainly online with opportunities for human contact being at workshops in ‘hubs’ at regional centres — in our case Canberra, in the second week.

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses offered highly qualified professionals to lead the online discussions. The 2022 NYSF cost per head was to be $1,900 but the efforts of Secretary Keith Armstrong and Director Phil in researching grants brought our (and the students’) costs down to nil. Our two candidates, Ave Weymans, current school Captain of Moruya High School, and Makkade Ethell of Carroll College, both gave glowing accounts of their experience, recognizing that self-discipline was needed to take advantage of what each day offered.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, as might be expected, got special mention. Both students are anxious to follow medical careers and found the Forum useful in helping to clarify the way ahead.

In summary, the NYSF organisers did remarkably well in organizing the 2022 courses to meet Covid demands. While the past residential programme offered a unique opportunity to personally interact with like-minded students and industry specialists, places were limited and very competitive.

This year’s NYSF programme was the largest held, with over 600 students from around Australia participating and through technology they were able to interact over a wide range of STEM topics.

Paul West


Thursday 17 February

Our Narooma Rotary Business Breakfast with Paul West as guest speaker 7-8am Narooma Surf Club. Paul is a chef and TV presenter most well-known for River Cottage Australia. Bookings essential via Andrew Lawson.

Friday 18 February

Narooma Rotary will host the Men’s Health Education Rural Van (MHERV) at Narooma Plaza Car Park (Upper Level) on Friday 18 February 10am-4pm. The Van is a Rotary initiative and tours rural and regional NSW, staffed by a male nurse who will offer free health checks to local men.

It is well known that most men are reluctant to visit their doctor, so this is a great opportunity to get a free check-up for Blood Pressure, Cholesterol levels and signs of Diabetes.