Narooma Rotary Beacon 14 May 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

 A belated Happy Mothers’ Day to all our mothers in our Narooma Rotary Family.

At last some restrictions imposed because of COVID -19 are starting to be removed. I am looking forward to a time when I can go out for a coffee and even a draught beer. Hopefully we can get back to face to face meetings before too much longer.

In the mean time I have organised another Zoom meeting for this Thursday. We will commence at 6:15pm because the Board will be meeting beforehand. I have even organised a surprise guest speaker, so that you don’t have to listen to me prattle on.  I will send out the details on Wednesday evening.

Some interesting looks captured from the last Zoom Rotary meeting

I thought the Zoom meeting we had a fortnight ago was great, it is always interesting to here how others are surviving the lockdown and David McInnes’ musical rendition was something very different, hopefully he will be in fine form again this week. It was also interesting to hear from Mike Young and how his far flung family is coping. The video he sent us of the Broome coast line was breathtaking, thanks Mike for sharing it with us.  Charmaine assures me that she will have her sound sorted by Thursday and Laurelle has managed to download the app so this week’s meeting should be informative and entertaining. 

One of the things we will be discussing at the Board meeting will be our Changeover. Do members have any innovative thoughts on how we might induct Rolf into his role as Narooma Rotary 2020/21 President?

The Club still has some bushfire recovery funds to distribute, your innovative ideas and suggestions on how we can spend these funds are always welcome.

 Have a great week .  Bob


5.15pm – Board meeting on Zoom

6.15pm: Our regular meeting, also via Zoom, with a surprise guest speaker.


Check your Bowels before the end of May

Just a reminder that the test kits for the annual Rotary BowelCare programme are on sale at both Narooma pharmacies as well as Bermagui and Cobargo until the end of May.  This year the kit costs $20.00which includes pathology testing and the pre-paid envelope; both you and your nominated doctor are notified.

Our BowelCare coordinator John Rungen said the Club is proud to support this campaign each year.

Australia has the world’s highest incidence of bowel cancer with 1 in 12 men and women diagnosed with bowel cancer by the age 85; it is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer.

This programme is available for everybody regardless of age, whereas the free National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is only provided to those aged 50-74. This one simple and cheap test you do at home could save your life.

The new District 9705

The new Rotary District 9705 comes into being on 1 July. It will combine the old  District 9700and  District 9710,

In case you missed it… The first 9705 District Governor will be Dr Michael Moore AM PhD of the Rotary Club of Canberra

The District Governor Nominee Designate for the new District 9705 is Geraldine Rurenga of the Rotary Club of Murrumbidgee as the new District Governor Nominee Designate for District 9705.

Geraldine only  joined the Rotary Club of Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee in 2014 as a new teaching graduate, and  eventually became the President. It is a club new-age club that strives to do things differently. She had already had experience on management committees of a variety of non-profit organisations. Geraldine now works in tertiary education, designing university courses across disciplines and lecturing in teacher education.

Geraldine is passionate about Rotary because of the commitment Rotarians have to improving our world, and the opportunity to build capacity in our community – most importantly through investing in and developing our young leaders.

Rotary grants provide a major boost to Pacific vaccination project.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 30 April 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

I have decided it’s time to again publish our Narooma Rotary Beacon. We will publish a Beacon every two weeks until normal Rotary activities can be resumed.

President Bob

As you can guess with social isolation, not a great deal has been happening in the Rotary world, however, a few things keep ticking over, Rod has been doing a great job keeping us informed of what has been happening across the District and more broadly.

It is interesting to note that for those of you who receive a hard copy of Rotary Downunder, the subscription rate for 2020/21 will rise to $44.00 while those who receive an electronic version will see the rate fall to $34.00. If you currently receive a hard copy of the magazine and would like to go electronic please let Rod know so that he can update your details on the Rotary Downunder  website. 

The District has received $200,000.00 from the RAWCS National fundraising appeal and we are encouraged to apply for funding to help the bushfire recovery in our area. If you have an idea or suggestion please let me know. There is more information in the latest bulletin from the Rotary Bushfire Recovery Committee. The Committee has a dedicated website, you can access it by clicking here. 

As we struggle with COVID -19 we should remember that this week is ‘World Immunization Week’. Over the years Rotary has done a wonderful job helping to eradicate polio across the world. Each year, Rotary and our partners vaccinate more than 400 million children against polio, it is though the leadership of Rotary that we have almost achieved the goal of a polio fee world. If you want to know more click here 

THIS WEEK – a  Zoom meeting

I suggest that we hold another online meeting this Thursday @ 6:00pm. I would like to use Zoom this time as Jitsi seems to have a number of limitations. I understand there have been some privacy concerns with Zoom; however, I have been told that these have been addressed. A number of other Clubs and organisations have been using Zoom and report it works well. If you would like to attend the meeting please download the Zoom app and let me know you will be joining the meeting so I can send you the details of how to log in. 

Hopefully we are over the worst of COVID – 19 and we can make tentative arrangements in the next month or so to meet face to face. 

Stay safe everyone and enjoy the serenity of isolation 

Cheers Bob


From Moruya Rotary

Moruya Rotary President Marian Pearson is hard at work sorting out her own rural property after the bushfires. Fortunately her house was saved. It’s a big project involving the removal of trees (and cutting them up for firewood), removal and replacement of a large shed, water tank and fences. It will be another few weeks before she will be back to normal domestic arrangements.

From Batemans Bay Rotary

Dave Harding, one of Batemans Bay Club’s outstanding Rotarians, has died. He was President of the St Cecilia Music Scholarships for ten years and organised Royal Military College Band concerts.

More on Bushfire Recovery

The NSW Government has partnered with Minderoo Foundation’s Fire Fund to provide recovery pods” to people rebuilding after the disastrous bushfire season. The design was based on feedback from impacted people in rural and remote locations who need to stay on their properties and in their communities while working towards longer term rebuilding.

The 7.2m x 2.4m units pods are stand-alone temporary accommodation units with built-in electricity, water and ablution systems and would be provided to people for up to two years.

District Bushfire Recovery Committee Chair Phil Armstrong has asked us if we know of anyone in our community who may have fallen through the cracks and not been registered with Minderoo, to please let Bob know and he will in turn let Phil know.

On a lighter note

Reproduced from the April Rotary District 9710 newsletter – not to say our Zoom meeting on Thursday will be anything like this!

Narooma Rotary Beacon 2 April 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

Welcome to the new normal. As all members are aware, all Club activities have been cancelled until further notice. Hopefully we will be able to meet again before the new Rotary year commences. However, at this stage it appears unlikely.

Laurelle has asked me to continue as president for the time being, which I am happy to do as I don’t think I will be required to make too many decisions. If a decision needs to be made I will consult with Board members by email. Rod will continue to forward messages from the District and RI for individual members’ information.  

To get the latest from Rotary International regarding COVID-19 click here.  It is interesting to note that Global Youth Exchange for 2020/21 and the 2020 Rotary International Conference have both been cancelled.

I propose to hold a virtual meeting this Thursday from 6:00pm if you would like to participate please let me know by Wednesday afternoon so I can send you the information about how to join. Please remember to bring a drink with you to the meeting!

Stay safe everyone and keep up the contact with other members, it is important to keep in touch.

Kind regards Bob


As Bob said, this Thursday we’re having a virtual meeting at 6pm. Have a glass of wine or whatever with you. Let Bob know please if you would like to join and he will send info. Your editor had no problems linking up so it’s obviously quite easy. Thanks Frank and Bob for exploring this.

“Where are we going Pooh?”
” Home Piglet. We’re going home because that’s the best thing to do right now.”
(Kind of cute – Courtesy Batemans Bay newsletter with apologies to A A Milne.)

Out and About

Rotary Youth Driver Awareness update

RYDA organiser Neil Simpson reports in the Bay Rotary newsletter that trying to hold RYDA later this year presents many challenges. These include securing the presenters and venue and fitting in with all school calendars.

Year 11 students do exams in late September and start their Year 12 HSC work in October. With schools closing, Neil predicts all face-to-face learning time will be very precious. So, once the coronavirus bans are lifted, there is not much opportunity to get it running for this year.

RYDA is a joint youth project of Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma Rotary Clubs. It is a wonderful programme that gives students an extensive introduction to road safety from understanding how personality impacts risk, to the impacts of a crash, to how to buy and maintain a safe car. In the RYDA workshop, students work with their peers to come up with strategies to be better prepared and make good decisions, both as drivers and as highly influential passengers.

MUNA 2020 postponed

MUNA organisers, the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise (RCCS), have announced the postponement of MUNA 2020. Although it is impossible to say what the situation will be on 7-9 August, the dates originally scheduled, current restrictions make it impossible for schools, Rotary clubs and Districts to properly prepare for the event, particularly where they wish to organise run-off competitions. As the situation becomes clearer, they will work with all those interested to identify a date later in the year.

Narooma High teacher Monique Weeks says they are still keen to participate should it go ahead, so we as a Club need to register our interest in sponsoring a team at a later date should that be the case. Something for this Thursday’s meeting perhaps.

What’s also interesting is that RCCS is considering options to run online MUNA-style events while Covid-19 restrictions are in place, to provide an opportunity for students to participate in a positive activity during this difficult time. The format of these would be determined in consultation with schools involved; at this stage we believe that costs to participate, if any, would be minimal.

Rotary Youth Exchange suspended

Rotary District 9705 (a combination of previous Districts 9700 and 9710) has suspended its Youth Exchange Program for the foreseeable future because of the corona virus pandemic

This means students will not be arriving from overseas  in the middle of the year, selection of Australian students to go overseas in early 2021 has been cancelled, and some students currently here on exchange have already headed home. All other students here are being supported in discussion with their parents.

 The program is designed to promote peace and understanding globally as well as to build individual leadership skills in through the exchange program. Organisers look forward to the time when the program can recommence; meanwhile Rotarians will be working hard through the ‘stand down’ time to evaluate the program and determine how to improve it.

On a lighter note

A guide to paper-free hand dryers, courtesy Tommy Siegel.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 26 March 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

Some of our Narooma Rotary time at Cobargo BlazeAid last week – John Rungen, Therese Aston and Rolf Gimmel.

We had a great time last Thursday preparing and serving meals for all the volunteers at BlazeAid, Cobargo. I was very impressed with the organisation of the BlazeAid camp site and their food preparation areas. When we arrived, John Rungen, Rolf, Therese and I started cooking the meat and vegetarian skewers whilst Angie and Lynn Hastings finalised the salad preparation along with buttering the bread kindly donated by our local bakers.

At 6:30 we started serving the much needed food which was greatly appreciated by all volunteers. In fact we got lots of very positive comments about our culinary skills, some saying it was even better than food prepared by top class chiefs a few weeks ago!

Lynn Hastings and Ange Ulrichsen at Cobargo BlazeAid last week .

Thanks to John and Sandra Doyle and Charmaine who prepared salads, to Angie, John Doyle and Rolf for organising meat, other food and utensils required on the night. Also thank you to Lynn Hastings, John Rungen, Angie and Therese who also prepared salads and Rolf who won over many with his delicious slice.  

Our Club’s efforts were greatly appreciated by the crew at BlazeAid.

The BlazeAid crew is doing a wonderful job repairing and replacing hundreds of kilometres of fencing in and around Cobargo. At this stage they plan to be in the area until at least Christmas. No doubt we will be called upon again to help feed the crew.

As you are all aware, we live in strange times with COVID–19 now infecting more than 1000 people across Australia. We need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones at this time. Please stay safe.

The NSW Government has closed down all non-essential activities. Because of this I have decided to cancel Thursday’s meeting and all meetings at least until the end of May. We may look at holding some virtual meetings using Zoom or some other video conferencing system. I will email all members later in the week when we have more information.

Regards Bob


Regrettably this week’s meeting at the Golf Club is cancelled, as are all meetings for the foreseeable future. Tim Burke was to have been our speaker this week; Tim might run a virtual talk on Thursday; details through the week if that is the case.

We will continue to publish the Beacon but maybe only every few weeks or when there is something to report. All contributions gratefully received.

The Week that Was – Out and About

Thank You Ange

Ange Ulrichsen puts so much thought and effort into finding fascinating guest speakers for our meetings. She had organised a wonderful line-up through to June. Hopefully we will be able to catch up with them when we are through all this.

Pride of Workmanship

Already we have received some worthy nominations for this year’s Pride of Workmanship Awards. These have been postponed to later in the year.

Only a Week Ago

How rapidly things can change. Only a week ago, VP Laurelle Pacey represented our Club (last Monday) at the ‘meet and greet’ with Premier Gladys Berejiklian and some NSW Cabinet members at Club Narooma. Many people were there from Bega Valley and Eurobodalla Shire Councils, the various fire authorities including the Rural Fire service, Police and a multitude of community groups. The idea was to thank everyone for their work through the bushfires and to try to reassure everyone that the recovery would continue even through this Covid-19 crisis.

The Batemans Bay Rotary newsletter reminded your editor of some good advice our Member for Bega Andrew Constance gave last Monday. He said during the fires our community proved to the world what true resilience and kindness is about. He said we now need to dig deep and care for our neighbours, our seniors and our local community and businesses. Our bushfire recovery cannot stop because of the virus and whilst we all face the disappointment of cancelled community events and gatherings, we must maintain our spirit. Please ensure everyone follows the health advice and let’s look after each other.

On a lighter note

This is what social distancing would have looked like in the 1960s…

There are many tools available to help work out social distancing…

Look after yourselves. Cheers Laurelle

Narooma Rotary Beacon 19 March 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Georgie Staley and Dave O’Brien of Georgie’s Fine Jewellery.

Hello Everyone

We had a great start to last Thursday’s meeting with a tour of the workshop at Georgie’s Fine Jewellery. Georgie and Dave showed us the many processes used to make a piece of jewellery.

We were amazed to learn that they use finely crafted tools, presses, laser welders, microscopes, high tech computer design programs and 3D printers. Georgie and Dave have invested heavily to ensure that the far south coast has the best available jewellery. And of course, they employ award winning jewellers to make it all happen.

Georgie explains to our members what’s involved in crafting a fine piece of jewellery.

We were delighted to welcome Fred and Pam Falk to our vocational tour and the meeting that followed. Fred, the District Chair of ShelterBox, presented the Club with a certificate recognising our commitment to ShelterBox.  He also updated us on his quest to collect old or unused hospital equipment for distribution to those in need.

This Thursday we are off to Cobargo with the evening meal for BlazeAid so no formal meeting at the Golf Club.

All members are aware of the devastating hold Covid-19 is having across the world. I don’t think any of us would have thought that cities and countries would be locked down, sporting and cultural events cancelled, and international flights all but stopped. However, this is the world we now live in. Let’s hope the virus is quickly controlled and we can get back on with our lives.

Our job as Rotarians is to help those in need, so please do not hesitate to help others who may be more adversely impacted by Covid-19 than us. Please ensure that you read the email sent to all members by RI President, Mark Maloney and RI President Elect, Holger Knaack.

Advice from PDG Peter Kaye, Chair Zone Insurance and Protection Committee is that Rotary markets and events should be suspended. Based on this advice and advice from the Board, I have decided to cancel our markets set down for this Sunday. A determination about the April markets will be made at a later time.


There is no meeting at the Golf Club this week. Our Rotary team will be providing dinner for the BlazeAid team based at Cobargo. The team (either preparing salads, getting supplies or serving out) consists of Bob Aston, Sandra Doyle, Rolf Gimmel, John Rungen, Ange Ulrichsen, Lynn Hastings and possibly Rod Walker. You do us proud.

The Week that Was

Busking Championships cancelled

Our Busking Championships committee decided on Monday to cancel the 2020 event to avoid the possible spread of COVID-19.

Committee chair Di Riley said it was sad such a decision was necessary. In the media release, she noted how much the organisers appreciated the support of the event’s loyal sponsors and buskers, and that any funds already paid would be refunded.

“Everyone was looking forward to it to help in the recovery from the summer’s bushfire emergency, but our main concern has to be public safety,” she said. “Our committee looks forward to a bigger and more vibrant event in 2021.”

The 2020 Narooma Busking Championships was being organised by Narooma Rotarians with the assistance of a number of community volunteers.

On ShelterBox

During Fred Falk’s visit last week, we heard that 33% of ShelterBox Australia money comes from D9710 and the three adjoining Districts, possibly largely influenced by Fred’s hard work on behalf of ShelterBox.

Out and About

Moruya cancels meetings while Bay continues

Moruya Rotary Club has cancelled meetings until further notice, while Batemans Bay Rotary Club continues.

The Batemans Bay bulletin this week reports: “The future is uncertain meetings will continue as planned until we are advised to do otherwise.. If you are feeling at all unwell do not come along to meetings. If there is a change to the situation and meetings are cancelled you will be advised by email.”

RYDA postponed

The respective school systems have banned all student excursions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore RYDA will not go ahead at Moruya on 30/31 March 2020 as planned.

Eurobodalla RYDA Organiser Neil Simpson said if the situation improves after winter he will look for another date September/ October and see if they can get it up and running for this year.

BlazeAid Moruya

Several Moruya Rotarians are active in this volunteer organisation which is likely to be ongoing for many months. Phil Armstrong is part of the Management Team and others are involved in the fencing teams and administration tasks including catering. Depending on the day’s program, up to ten fencing teams may go out.

Currently, the program is concentrating on securing the boundary fences of the affected properties. Teams work under the guidance of an experienced team leader to strip damaged fencing out and replace it with a system agreed to by the farmer concerned,.


Tim Burke is our scheduled speaker to talk about ‘Never Judge a Book without a cover’. It promises to be a fascinating talk about his accidental step into the health care industry and how he operates a business within it, complete with some great stories and examples of the amazing work produced by some of his clients.

At this stage we are scheduled to meet in the Golf Club’s Board Room. A decision about whether or not to proceed with this meeting will be made at the weekend.

On a lighter note…

Narooma Rotary Beacon 12 March 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Moruya Rotary’s John Spencer holds the much coveted Cinders Trophy for Moruya for another year, watched by President Bob.

Hello Everyone

We had a great night last Thursday with our annual Cinders Trivia Competition against our friendly rivals, Moruya Rotary. The food was excellent and Peter and Karen Bull were excellent in their roles of quiz master and assistant. The only down side of the night was we didn’t answer enough questions correctly and Moruya once again walked away with the Trophy, congratulations to the Moruya crew on an excellent effort.

This Thursday we start out at Georgie’s Fine Jewellery for a tour of the workshop before dinner at the Golf Club.  Please meet in front of Georgie’s at 6:00pm sharp. Dinner afterwards will be in the 1st Hole Room.

On 19 March we are due to cook dinner for BlazeAid at Cobargo. I think it is very important that as a service club we strongly support BlazeAid volunteers who are doing a wonderful job helping farmers get back on their feet after the bushfires. Cooking dinner is one simple and practical way we can help.  We will discuss the details at our meeting on Thursday.

There is an excellent article in the Rotarian / Rotary Down Under about President Elect of Rotary International Holger Knaack. Holger is the first President Elect from Germany and he has some excellent ideas about how to grow Rotary in our community. You can read the article by clicking here.

Thank you to Ange and John Rungen who have offered to represent the Club by helping out in the wonderful Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) programme on 30 March.

Have a great week. Bob


This Thursday we start in front of Georgie’s Fine Jewellery at 6pm sharp for a tour of the workshop before dinner at the Golf Club’s 1st Hole Room. Should be a fascinating insight into this wonderful business.

The Week that Was

What a great Cinders evening

Thanks to great work by President Bob and quiz master extraordinaire Peter Bull and his assistant Karen, plus top food from Paul’s kitchen, this year’s Cinders was a great evening enjoyed by all.

Quizmaster Peter Bull does the sums, but alas we lost.

We had a lovely note from John Spencer on behalf of Moruya Club thanking us for “a thoroughly entertaining night”. John asked Bob to convey their thanks to the kitchen “for the delicious meal and your members for been such excellent hosts”. He added that they “look forward to hosting next year’s battle and retaining our trophy”. Now there’s a challenge! As John mentioned on the night, it used to be regularly won by Narooma with Micki and Ian Thomlinson mentioned as key factors in Narooma’s previous success. With the Moruya contingent was their Danish exchange student Josefine.

More from this week’s Moruya bulletin: Despite Narooma’s attempt to soften our acuity by the warmth of their welcome and the sheer size and quality of their enormous dinners, we (not to put too fine a point on the outcome) won – two teams (Moruya) against three (Narooma). It was good to have Peter Bull back again as quizmaster – a fine range of questions, including three pictorial sheets and a delivery spiced with humour. Our Team 1 scored 65 and our Team 3 scored 64 – scores would have been equal had your Editor on Team 3 not insisted that a sonnet always has 12 lines. So thank you Narooma for a great night of friendship and laughter.

Out and About

Pride of Workmanship Awards

These annual awards which give employers the opportunity to recognise employees who take great pride in the work they do and go ‘the extra mile’, are on Thursday 16 April. Letters have gone out this week to about 50 employers inviting nominations. This is a prestigious Club event. The cost for a two-course meal will be $35 a head).

Rotary helps again at Nerrigundah

The Bay Rotary newsletter reports that tradesmen and their friends from Sydney have been helping the Mogo and Nerrigundah communities in their recovery, volunteering their time. At Nerrigundah, they have been helping turn the disused NSW Department of Education Field Study Centre that miraculously survived the recent bushfire into the new community hall for the district. The former hall, the Agricultural Bureau, was totally destroyed in the fire. They have installed a new kitchen, new water tanks, and showers and generally assisted the community. Rotary has donated to the project by supplying building materials, presumably Moruya or the Bay Clubs. Our Club contributed to the secure storage container on site for tools and other donated goods.

NEXT WEEK 19 March

Instead of our weekly meeting, we will be cooking dinner for BlazeAid at Cobargo. Ange is taking the lead on this, having already been assisting down there .Thank you to all who have offered to help but more are needed. More discussion this Thursday.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 5 March 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone.

This week’s meeting is one of the biggest on our Narooma Rotary calendar – the annual Cinders Trivia night with our friends from Moruya Rotary.  For many years we were unbeatable, however in recent times Moruya have honed their skills and thrashed us on a few occasions. No doubt this week’s competition will be tough, yet fair to all concerned. Please ensure you let Charmaine know numbers by Tuesday, we need to know exact numbers as the Golf Club will charge based on the final numbers we submit on Tuesday afternoon.

Our guest speaker PDG Phil Armstrong was thanked by John Doyle at last week’s meeting which was held in the School of Arts’ Studios.

Thank you to Laurelle for chairing last week’s meeting in my absence, I understand that Phil Armstrong provided members with some good up-to-date information on Rotary’s bushfire relief efforts on the far south coast.

Thank you also to Lynda Ord and Ashley who dropped into the Leisure Centre on Saturday to meet up crew from Sydney overseeing ‘Mattress for a Mate ‘ project (please see story below). 

We still need a member of the Club to assist Angie at RYDA on 30 March. Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) is a great project that informs learner drivers about the dos and don’ts of driving. The feedback from students and teachers over the years has been excellent and it saves lives, so if you can help out please let me know as soon as possible.

Have a great week everyone, Bob


We are back at Narooma Golf Club to welcome our Moruya Rotary friends for the annual battle for the greatly coveted Cinders Trophy. Please bring your partners and all your friends (particularly if they are trivia buffs!) to the Golf Club for our annual Cinders Trivia challenge with Moruya Rotary Club. Moruya currently holds the much coveted Cinders trophy and competition will be keen on the night. As Bob said, please book in any extras with Charmaine. Cost is $32 per person for a two-course meal (entrée and main, two-drop). See you then.

The Week that Was

Phil’s Visit

With the Seahorse Room at the Golf Club still being used for the Disaster Recovery Centre last week, our alternative venue of the School of Arts’ Studios worked out well with take-aways from the Inlet.

Our guest speaker PDG Phil Armstrong from Moruya was, as always, really interesting. His main thrust was to say there is a lot of Rotary funding available to assist in the bushfire recovery and as usual we can quickly build on funds, viz we put up so much as a club which can be matched by district and also from Rotary International. The first thing is to identify where in the community that money could best be spent and what that community really needs. Phil is also closely involved with BlazeAid at Moruya.

Clean Up Australia Day

Ange Ulrichsen and Laurelle Pacey ‘cleaning up’.

We had three helpers on Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday – Ange Ulrichsen, Steve Deck and Laurelle Pacey. President Bob had to pull out due to a heavy head cold, courtesy of catching up with old friends from Nyngan days. A key observation from the clean-up was again the marked absence of bottles and cans compared with several years ago, testament to the success of the introduction of cash for returnables.


Narooma Rotarians Lynn Hastings, Ange Ulrichsen and Lynda Ord were ready to lend a hand on Saturday and Sunday, if needed, with the distribution in Narooma of new mattresses to people from Cobargo and Quaama to Batemans Bay who lost their homes due the recent bushfires.

Lynda dropped by to see if they were needed, having already spotted a number of burley blokes there. They weren’t but Lynda was very impressed with the whole project.

The project was coordinated by Sarah Richards from Kurrajong/North Richmond Club in conjunction with The Women for Western Sydney. About 700 mattresses donated by manufacturer AH Beard are being delivered to fire impacted areas across NSW.   People had to register with the project to receive the mattresses.

At Narooma Sport & Leisure Centre at the weekend were Gary Beard of AH Beard who donated the mattresses, Senator Jim Molan, Rotarians Sarah Richards and our very own Lynda Ord, Fiona Kotvjos of Dignams Creek and RFS member who spoke at Narooma’s Australia Day Eve celebrations, and Alyn Beard. Photo by Ashley Stanley.


We have another vocational visit, this time to Georgie Staley and Dave O’Brien’s Georgie’s Fine Jewellery. Meet at 6pm at Georgie’s, with dinner at 7 at the Golf Club after. Please ensure you let Charmaine know by next Tuesday if you are an apology and any extras you might like to bring.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 27 February 2020

Narooma Marine Rescue’s Gilly Kearney  and Paul Houseman- our hosts last week.

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

   Thank you to Angie for organising our visit to Narooma Marine Rescue last Thursday, a very informative night. We are indeed fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated group of volunteers to look after our coast and be on call to assist those in need. Our meal at the Thai restaurant afterwards was most enjoyable, allowing us to support one of our local businesses affected by the January bushfires.

   Our first market for the year took place on Sunday; it was a beautiful sunny day with lots of stallholders and a good crowd of visitors looking for a bargain. Thanks to Chis for all her work in making the markets happen, to John Doyle and Ange for ensuring the food van ran smoothly, and thank you also to members, friends and partners who helped out, either marking out, staffing the gate from the early hours or cooking or serving in the food van. It was great to see Tony Butcher come along and help at the food van. Tony and his wife have a weekender at Mystery Bay and they helped us greatly at the evacuation centre on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Hopefully we will see more of him in the coming months.  

   Don’t forget our annual Cinders Trivia Night is next Thursday, 5 March. Peter Bull assures me the questions will be challenging yet fair to all concerned. Please invite friends and partners to come along; we need some assistance to beat the Moruya crew on our own turf. We will need firm numbers to Charmaine by Monday 2 March, the two-course dinner will cost $32.00.

   Elsewhere in the Beacon you will read a wonderful email from Tim Dunkelberg. Tim was a Rotary Exchange student in Narooma in 2011/12. Tim tells us about the positive impact our Club had on him as a 15/16-year-old and how he is now involved in the Rotary Family. We can be proud of the fact that our small Rotary Club can and has made a difference.

   We still need a member of the Club to assist Ange at RYDA on Monday 30 March. Please let me know if you can help.

   Therese and I are away this week catching up with friends from our time in Nyngan so Laurelle will be in the chair. Please remember that the meeting will be held at the School of Arts’ Studios, behind the BP and Kinema. Our guest speaker will be PDG Phil Armstrong. Have a great week everyone.

Regards Bob


We welcome PDG Phil Armstrong of Moruya Rotary Club as our guest speaker. He will talk about BlazeAid in Moruya and outline Rotary’s support for various fire recovery funds.

Please note a change of venue because our normal Golf Club room won’t be available until next week. We will meet at the normal time 6 for 6.30 at the School of Arts Studios (red cottage behind the BP and Kinema). Please park behind the Kinema (off Garvan Street – the street behind the Kinema) or in the Council car park beside the Kinema and walk down behind the Kinema to the cottage.

Please BYO drinks; wine glasses, coffee and tea are available there. We will phone through an order of takeaway fish and chips to The Inlet to be picked up by one of us and taken back to the cottage.

Hope to see you there.

The Week that Was

Great night last week

What a fascinating night last week at Marine Rescue. Paul Houseman took us through the history of the volunteer organisation, established in 2009 with the support of the NSW Government, and with Jillian Kearney showed us their control room.

It brought together members from three former marine rescue organisations along the coast – the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and Volunteer Rescue Association’s marine fleet – into a single integrated service. It is not a Government agency but a not-for-profit, community-based organisation.


Our markets manager Chris O’Brien described the February markets as a ‘medium sized market’. Takings were gate $1,055.00, van $621.35, wishing well $130.20 (includes $27.50 from evacuation contributions).

Out and About

This Sunday – Clean Up Australia Day

Our Club has registered with Council to again clean up between Mill Bay and the Apex Boat Ramp on Sunday morning 1 March at 9am – tide should still be ‘lowish’. The high school students will have done a lot of that area so we may just check along the shoreline. Another group will do the shore from the bridge to the end of the caravan park. Start from pool so end up with bags at Ken Rose Park bins. So far Bob Aston, John Rungen, Ange Ulrichsen and Laurelle Pacey have volunteered, but more are welcome. Please contact Laurelle if you can help.

Rotary marks its 115th anniversary

Our market day last Sunday was the 115th anniversary of the founding of Rotary, thanks to the vision of Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905 so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.

Paul Harris said, “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves”. 

Former Exchange student Tim thanks us for the opportunities

Dear Bob and Narooma Rotary Club,

I am not sure how many of you will remember me. I was your exchange student in 2011-2012.* A lot has happened since my time with you, but a lot of decisions I have made since have been greatly influenced by the experiences and lessons you gave me. I thought it was important to share this with you.

Today I attended my first Presidents-Elect Training seminar as I will be the president of the Riga International Rotaract club in the upcoming Rotary year. One of the topics discussed was the motto that Holger Knaack [incoming Rotary International President] has set for this year: ‘Rotary opens Opportunities’ .

Due to my time in Narooma I found this very fitting. You not only gave me the opportunity to visit a beautiful spot with some of the friendliest people I have met so far, but you as a Rotary Club gave me the opportunity to become who I am today. You also gave me the opportunity to see the value community service can give in life and to spread this further in the world.

It is very important for me that you know that this is not normal for a youth exchange, sadly also not for one with Rotary. Narooma sets an example and there are so many other Rotary clubs that I have met since then, that could learn from you.

Some of the things that were exceptional were:

  • During your meetings, you treated me, the 15 year old boy, almost like a regular Rotary member (and I was always taken along to the meetings – this I have so far only seen in Narooma and nowhere else!)
  • You let me be a part of events you held.
Tim Dunkelberg with then President John Messner

Through this, there are so many things I can now implement in projects that I help to facilitate.

Rotary today has problems with attracting younger members and a big part of that problem that I see, is that Rotary invests a lot of time and money into young people and after their time and money has been invested they see their duty as being fulfilled. They never get into contact with Rotary again. This future generation of possible Rotarians is ‘’lost’’. Narooma is very different! Due to the way that you engaged with me, Rotary will have one more young member. If all clubs worldwide would be like yours, the statistics that I saw today would look very different.

The fun and engaging projects that you did set an example for me and my time in Rotaract. At the moment our Club has just some smaller projects. Most of them are fundraising events and one is more hands on. In the fundraising section we organize Regular Pub Quizzes, we host an event where we ask university professors to be DJs at a local night club and take entrance fees as well as some other smaller ones. With this we can annually raise about 10 000 Euros. During Christmas we use a small amount of this money to cook a three course meal together with a Christmas party for 250 people that did not have as much luck in their lives.

Tim ready for the ducks in the 2012 Narooma Duck Race

The biggest project that we are planning now, in direct partnership with one of the local Rotary clubs, is directly influenced (one could also say 100% stolen) from your club. We are organizing a Rotary Duck Race in Riga (the Capital of Latvia); this project was initiated by me but you were the ones that enabled it.

Overall, I wish to say is – “thank you”. I feel that when I was with you and just 16 I did not understand the impact that opportunity would have. Therefore it is important for me that you know how important and valuable the work is that you do. This is especially true for my host parents during that year – Jeremyand Heather, Bob and Merinda, Phil and Daiva.

After I left you and returned to Germany I finished high school. The year after that I spent in the Peruvian rain forest where I was a volunteer in a project where 40 young boys without families lived and learned.

When this also impactful year that taught me a lot about how lucky I am ended, I started my studies. Since then I have been studying medicine in Riga, Latvia.

I hope this letter shows you how, with your service, you have truly made my life better and I will be trying to pass this service on to many other people. I also hope that it will further motivate you to do the great work that you do.

With gratitude,

Tim Dunkelberg

 *Tim came from Karlsruhe in southern Germany, a city of about 300,000 people.

NEXT WEEK – Cinders Challenge

We are back at Narooma Golf Club to welcome our Moruya Rotary friends in the annual battle for the greatly coveted Cinders Trophy. Please bring your partners and all your friends (particularly if they are trivia buffs!) to the Golf Club for our annual Cinders Trivia challenge with Moruya Rotary Club. Moruya currently holds the much coveted Cinders trophy and competition will be keen on the night. As Bob said, please send firm numbers to Charmaine by Monday 2 March.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 20 February 2020

Bob’s Buzz

At last week’s Club Assembly – PE Rolf Gimmel and President Bob Aston

Hello Everyone

I am looking forward to this week’s meeting. We will start at Marine Rescue Headquarters on the hill where the Marine Rescue team will give us an insight into their volunteering role and how they support and assist those boaters who venture out to sea. After the demonstration will head to the Na Siam for a feast of Thai food. Please remember to let me know by 4:00pm Tuesday if you are or are not attending on Thursday. I need to give firm numbers to the restaurant by Tuesday evening.

At last week’s Board meeting, we formally approved payments that we have made to the various bushfire charities including the Cobargo Bushfire Appeal ($750) and the purchase of the shipping container for Nerrigundah ($1,100).

We also discussed how we can best support our 2018 Rotary Scholar, Alicia Bate as she starts afresh at a new university.  

Other discussions included the possibility of a combined meeting with Lions and Quota (Angie to follow up) and future directions of the Club. We agreed to revisit the idea of a ‘Business Breakfast’ to see if a different format will encourage younger people to join Rotary. Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

Regards Bob


This Thursday we meet at Narooma Marine Rescue (old Pilot’s Station) on the southern headland at 6pm for a tour of the facility. We will then go down to the Na Siam Thai restaurant on the Flat for dinner at 7pm. Bob has organised for them to do a banquet for us @ $30 a head. Please let him know final numbers by 4pm Tuesday.

Also, please don’t forget the Markets are this Sunday.

Out and About

Clean Up Australia Sunday 1 March

Our Club has registered with Council to again clean up between Mill Bay and the Apex Boat Ramp on Sunday morning 1 March, with timing TBC depending on tides. So far Bob Aston, John Rungen, Ange Ulrichsen and Laurelle Pacey have volunteered, but more are welcome. Please contact Laurelle if you can help.

Cinders is coming on Thursday 5 March

Please make sure Thursday 5th March is in your diary. Please bring your partners and all your friends (particularly if they are trivia buffs!) to Narooma Golf Club for our annual Cinders Trivia challenge with Moruya Rotary Club. We’re the hosts this year which means we also have to come up with the questions (thank you Peter Bull!). Moruya currently holds the much coveted Cinders trophy and competition will be keen on the night. Moruya Rotarians are currently organising numbers for a bus.

We feed BlazeAid at Cobargo

Our Club has volunteered to provide a meal on Thursday 19 March to the BlazeAid teams working out of Cobargo. BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works alongside rural families after natural disasters helping rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed, and also helping rebuild local communities. They have been repairing fences in the wider Cobargo area since 23 January. Up until this weekend they have been supplied with dinners from the international charity World Central Kitchen which has operated out of Kelly Eastwood’s Café and Cooking School at Bermagui. We will need a few volunteers to provide salads etc to take down there where we will provide a barbecue dinner to be ready for the volunteer workers at 6.30pm. Please let Bob know if you can help. Dessert ideas?

Bushfire recovery (from Moruya bulletin)

At the Shire level, involving all three clubs, PDG Phil Armstrong is working to establish BlazeAid teams at Moruya. Each team would be led by a skilled fencer supported by fit handymen or handywomen. This activity is centred at the showground. Already there are 110 cases identified as needing new fences. Priority would go first to perimeter fencing for large stock holders. Internal fences and the needs of hobby farmers would be lower on the list. The immediate need is to find fit volunteers and catering teams.

At the District Level, again involving PDG Phil, District Governors past and present are assessing the needs of clubs in the fire areas and possible uses of Designated District Funds. The RAWCS Rotary Australia Relief Fund is now well on its way to top the million dollar mark.

Pride of Workmanship Awards

Our annual Pride of Workmanship Awards are on again this year with the presentations on Thursday 16 April. This is one of our most prestigious events of the year, probably second only to the Changeover. Hopefully we will again have a good response from our local businesses. Please let Laurelle know if you think we should target any particular business.


Our guest speaker is PDG Phil Armstrong who will bring us up to date on BlazeAid at Moruya and Rotary’s involvement in the Bushfire recovery in our area.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 13 February 2020

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

Well what a relief to see the rain tumbling down over the weekend. Let’s hope it is enough it’s enough to put out the last of the fires, replenish our water supplies and help our farmers without doing too much damage to the fire-impacted bushland.

Laurelle reports on last Thursday’s meeting later in this Beacon but I was delighted we could make a donation to Narooma Pre-School from the proceeds of last year’s Busking Championships. The updates on the Pre-School provided by Kathy Phipps (Director) and Michael Gardner (President Pre-School committee) were most informative. Michael’s also spoke in his capacity as a member of Narooma Oyster Festival committee and the Chamber of Commerce and reported on their trip to Parliament House in Canberra that day.

Narooma PP Rod Walker, left, President Bob, Quota representatives Carol Hodges and Susan Pryke, Nerrigundah RFS Captain Ron Threlfall, Narooma Lions President Margaret Latimer and Secretarry Sandra Rafferty, and Cr Lindsay Brown at Nerrigundah.

Last Friday PP Rod and I visited Nerrigundah to hand over a shipping container to that community purchased jointly by Rotary, Lions and Quota.  It will be used to store community assets, including tools recently donated to the village, so that the old Field Studies building can be converted into a community hall. I think this a great way the town’s three service organisations can work together to do something practical for this village so devastated by the fires. Thanks to Cr Lindsay Brown for coordinating the purchase and getting Rotary, Lions and Quota involved.

This Thursday we will hold our first Club Assembly for the year. Please remember that if you wish to raise a matter please let me know beforehand so that I can be better prepared. At the Assembly I would like to discuss the future direction of the Club including the proposal held over from last year to hold a business breakfast to encourage younger generations to get involved in Rotary. I would also like us to consider if we need to continue with weekly meetings, maybe it is better to meet once a fortnight.

RYDA will be on again this year, we need at least two volunteers to help on Monday 30 March, please let me know if you are interested.

Regards Bob


A board meeting at 5pm at the Golf Club, followed by Club Assembly.

The Week That Was

Last week President Bob acknowledged the efforts during the bushfires of our very own John Doyle who is a volunteer with the Dalmeny-Kianga RFS. Former member Michael O’Connor is also an active member of that unit.

Busking Championships Coordinator 2019 John Rungen presented the cheque to Narooma Pre-School Director Kathy Phipps and President Michael Gardner.

As Bob mentioned, it was great to be joined last week by Kathy Phipps, Director of the community-owned Narooma Pre-School, and President of the Pre-School management committee Michael Gardner. They will use the $500 donation to buy a xylophone (already have a number of drums which are very popular) and put towards the cost of some indigenous murals which sounded like they might include something musical.

Kathy spoke of the trauma of some kids as a result of the dislocation and uncertainty their families experienced through January, adding “music and art are natural therapies for kids”. She said it was a great honour to be director of the Pre-School which relies on the generosity of volunteers both in time and money. They both invited us to drop by some time.

Michael then spoke about the difficult times many local businesses are facing following the disastrous loss of tourists over the holiday season due to the fires. “Narooma has burnt, but it hasn’t burned,” he said, explaining that many local businesses rely on the summer tourist season to see them through the year and many families have less income because of a loss of casual jobs or shifts. Many local businesses could fail as a result. “It’s going to be a rough year and winter is looking pretty scary.” He said Narooma businesses were not receiving the assistance other areas directly impacted by fire are receiving, but they were receiving great support from our local MPs Mike Kelly and Andrew Constance, hence their approach to Canberra politicians last Thursday. Unfortunately a Cabinet reshuffle that day reduced the anticipated interest from other politicians including Prime Minister Scott Morrison . “We’re out there championing the cause [on behalf of local businesses], doing the best we can,” he said.

More on the Nerrigundah container

During the devastating fires on New Year’s Eve, the Nerrigundah community lost its meeting place/community hall (the Agricultural Bureau) as well as many homes in the Belowra-Nerrigundah-Cadgee area.

The ruins of Nerrigundah’s community hall after the bushfire on New Year’s Eve. Note the toilets at the back survived. Photo by Susan Pryke.

Steps have been taken to secure the NSW Department of Education’s old Field Studies Centre in Nerrigundah as the community’s new meeting place. The Centre has not been used for at least 15 years and escaped major fire damage so became the repository for the many goods donated post-fire, including much appreciated tools.

What will become the new community hall at Nerrigundah, after a few repairs.

Our Club joined with Narooma Lions and Quota to purchase a secure shipping container (each contributing $1,100) so these goods could be moved out of the Centre and stored safely so repairs could begin. The donation was coordinated by Cr Lindsay Brown in conjunction with Nerrigundah RFS Captain Ron Threlfall.  The container was delivered on site last Friday by Bay Removals for free. On Saturday Tim Burke of Narooma installed shelving in the container which he donated.

Out and About

Cinders Thursday 5 March

Please make sure Thursday 5th March is in your diary. Please bring your partners and friends (particularly if they are trivia buffs!) to Narooma Golf Club for our annual Cinders Trivia challenge with Moruya Rotary Club. We’re the hosts this year which means we also have to come up with the questions. Moruya currently holds the much coveted Cinders trophy and competition will be keen on the night. Moruya Rotarians are currently organising numbers for a bus for the night. Very sensible.


Meet at  Narooma Marine Rescue (old Pilot’s Station) on the southern headland at 6pm for a tour of the facility. We will then return to the Golf Club for dinner about 7.