Narooma Rotary Beacon 23 December 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Santa Mike with his helper Celeste

What an eventful week!

The Christmas Party was great fun. Special mention to Chris for leading the entertainment and to Mike, ably assisted by Susanna Chung’s daughter Celeste as Santa’s helper.

On Saturday evening I went to the Cobargo Pub to cheer on the BlazeAid heroes. Regrettably, the fun was curtailed by a very violent storm!

Chris O’Brien treated us to a Christmas Trivia quiz and some Carols.

Sunday saw John and me shaking buckets at the entrance to the Narooma Cup Races at Moruya Jockey Club collecting on behalf of the three Rotary Clubs in Eurobodalla. People were really generous and we anticipated that almost $1,000 was raised. On Easter Saturday we will provide both shifts on the gate which will require four of us, in two shifts. Forewarned is forearmed!

As we all know, the market on Wednesday 29 December is a BIG event. The roster has been circulated. and thanks in advance to all who are helping out.

So we roll into Christmas and into 2022. Hopefully our festivities will not be curtailed by the dreaded ‘C’, and that we have a clear run through the new year. I wish you and your families my sincerest best wishes for The Season, and I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Onward and upwards mes amis!


Wednesday 29 December : Our December Market is normally the biggest of the year.

Sunday 16 January:  Open House at Andrew and Lynn’s home at Wandella (instead of the 9th January) from 1200 until late. Andrew circulated details and directions to members on 17 December. It’s open house to Rotarians, their partners, children, rellies, friends, dogs, horses. Andrew says, “We’re really looking forward to seeing you all and to really kick off Rotary 2022!” Andrew and Lynn hope they will also be joined by a few of Lynn’s CWA chums in her new Area role. RSVP by 9th please.

Wednesday 19 January: Next Board Meeting at Lynn Hastings at 4pm (if she’s back), otherwise at the Golf Club.

Out and About

Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group

The next meeting of the Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group is on Tuesday 4 January at 6.30pm at Narooma Men’s Shed. Everyone is welcome.

At the recent launch of the Narooma Prostate Support Group by Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is supporting members and friends of the Narooma Group. “Community awareness is key to prostate cancer survival which is why we’re so committed to work closely with Narooma Rotary and the Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group to support local men and families,” said PCFA CEO Anne Savage.

“Educating men and families about the importance of PSA testing and early detection is one of our core priorities, especially for men with a family history of prostate cancer. Current guidelines recommend screening from about 40 for men with a family history, or age 50 for those with no family history. If you experience symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

“We want to thank Narooma Rotary and the Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group for working with us to help save lives and support men and families impacted by prostate cancer.”

Ms Savage said the organisation has Prostate Cancer Specialist Telenurses on call during business hours via 1800 22 00 99 and hospital-based specialist nurses in Bega, Canberra and Nowra. For more information, call 1800 22 00 99 or visit

Gillian Kearney of Marine Rescue Narooma dropped into our Party with a Certificate of Appreciation for Rotary’s ongoing support.

The next Beacon will be mid-January. Have a great Christmas and hopefully a wonderful 2022.

Narooma Rotary Beacon 16 December 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

At the Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group launch. our President Andrew Lawson, left, Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain, Dr Gundi Muller-Grotjan of Braveheart Healthcare, and Narooma Rotarians Julie Hartley and Mike Young.

Well, an important week on many counts. First, we had the much heralded launch of the Prostate Cancer Support Group last Tuesday (please see report below). Then our AGM took place on Thursday electing a new Board for 2022-2023 (one vacancy) with me continuing as President for another year. Thank you to all who nominated. More in a later Beacon.

Saturday was a very important day for me chairing the panel to select a deserving pupil from Narooma High for our Rotary Tertiary Scholarship for the first time. We had eight applicants. I was joined on our panel by our good friends Lynda Ord and David McInnes. Our decision was unanimous and I look forward to announcing it at Narooma’s Australia Day event.

This Thursday sees our Christmas dinner which should be great fun. Due to various circumstances, several will not be able to come along but, rest assured, we shall have fun!

On Saturday next I shall represent our Club at the ‘Farewell to BlazeAid’ barbecue at Cobargo Pub. These people have really been local heroes and, after almost two years, their work has finished. Astonishingly, they will have rebuilt over 70 km of fencing. Incredible… As you know, we had a very successful dinner for the BlazeAid crew at Cobargo Pub in August.

Then on Sunday, it’s Narooma Cup Race Day at Moruya Jockey Club. A few of us will be ‘rattling the bucket’ as people arrive, hopefully raising lots for Rotary in the Eurobodalla. All in all, a busy few days!

A final reminder that our December Holiday Market is on Wednesday 29 December. This is normally our biggest market of the year by far and it really will be all hands on deck. Please feel free to bring friends and rellies to help out!

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible this Thursday! Joyeux Noël mes amis!


This Thursday is our Christmas dinner at the Golfie. You should have booked with John by Monday afternoon. Andrew asks everyone to please be there at 6pm so we can fit in all the festivities. The cost is $40 per person, except for the ‘little people’, and don’t forget the sub $10 unisex gift. We decided a white and red wine per table was getting into the too hard basket, so we will all be getting our own drinks. Should be a fun-filled evening!

The Week that Was

Launch of Prostate Cancer Support Group

Finally the new Prostate Cancer Support Group for the far south coast was able to be launched by Member for Eden-Monaro Kristy McBain last Tuesday, 7 December, in front of about 20 men and women at Narooma Men’ Shed. Covid had delayed the event.

Kristy saluted our Club’s initiative in starting the group, acknowledging the high number of prostate cancer sufferers in the region due to its age demographic. “Every family has someone who has experienced cancer in some form, including my own, and I fully appreciate the importance of the support this group will offer individuals and their families impacted by prostate cancer,” she said.

At the launch of the Prostate Cancer Support Group

President Andrew was delighted with the response of those present, the interactions and the feedback they gave. “It really exceeded my expectations,” he said. “Many said they were so grateful such a group had formed and they will be encouraging others they know to come along.”

The Support Group is affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. It will meet on the first Tuesday each month 6.30-8.30pm at Narooma Men’s Shed (41A Barker Parade, Narooma). The next meeting is Tuesday 4 January at 6.30pm. Braveheart Healthcare (Lighthouse Surgery and Bermagui Medical Centre) has aligned with the new Support Group.

News from our Tertiary Scholars

We have reports from two of our three Rotary scholars which give some insight into the difficulties they faced this last semester because of Covid-19.

Our 2020 Scholar Rory Spurgeon is doing Health Science at ANU; Bob Aston is his counsellor. 

This semester was a strange one. It started very well with almost all my classes in person. I was doing CHEM2203 which is the general second year chemistry course (in person labs, lectures and tutorials), PHYS1201 which is the general first year second semester physics course (in person workshops and labs), and SCNC3022 which is technically a third year chemistry research course which I found really interesting. 

My research project involved modifying and testing one of the major machines in the research school of chemistry building. The basic idea was to be able to shoot a laser beam into the testing area so it could test photo excitable compounds. To start with I was just trying to understand all the theory and I set up a beam path for the laser.

In week 3 though, COVID struck again. I think this was one of the worst ones so far in terms of lockdown. The ANU and halls had stricter rules then ACT which was fair enough as halls are much higher risk. But it did mean there were weeks where we could only leave our room to go to the bathroom. We had meals delivered at the start which was good but we couldn’t go outside at all. 

Slowly the restrictions eased and we got access to the kitchens but it was only for an hour a day and the time was always different. This made it very difficult to eat consistently. We were also allowed exercise time, initially one hour then two, but it could only be with 5 people so it was all still very isolating as this was pretty much the only time you could see people. 

It went on like this till about week twelve when everything opened up. Things went almost back to normal so the year did end very well for me. Everyone was very keen to play sport after all the iso which suited me nicely.

In terms of uni work everything for CHEM2203 became just pre-recorded and online. PHYS1201 had labs and workshops over zoom which were good but extremely time intensive. And my research project became partly a literature review but I also got to analyse the data from my supervisor as he was allowed back into the building to do tests (the project worked in the end).  [All in all three Distinctions for the semester.]

Overall this semester was very good practice for studying in a difficult environment and I feel I learnt a lot about what I need to study well. It was very difficult though which is why I was planning to discount my grades as I believe in a normal semester I could have done much better. It was a valuable experience nonetheless, and I’m very excited to learn more (hopefully in person) next year.

I have also been given the paid position of senior resident next year which means I look after everyone on my floor. It also means I move in on 22 January but I should still be able to come down for the meeting, and I’ll definitely do my best to be there.

I hope you have a great summer and holidays. Thanks, Rory

News from our 2021 Scholar Elise Dixon who is currently doing a Bachelor of Medical Science at ANU. Lynn Hastings is her counsellor.

This semester was another strange and difficult one. More lockdowns and my mum was in the ICU and flown to Canberra during the last week of semester and the first weeks of exams. I have to say I was glad for this one to be finished. Hopefully 2022 will be looking up for everyone.

Although my results are still not what I would have liked to achieve [a High Distinction in Psychology, a Credit in and a Pass], it wasn’t the easiest semester. That being said, I am looking into other course directions that may be better suited for me and my future studies. I will continue to look further into this over the Christmas and New Year period. I will also keep in touch to give updates on what I may pursue. I understand if this may affect the scholarship and I am already incredibly grateful for the support that Rotary has provided me. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Kind regards, Elise

Out and About

From Moruya Rotary

Some highlights from Moruya’s current bulletin… Moruya Rotarians have been busy preparing for the anticipated holiday crowds, post-Covid restrictions, and now have the kiosk at the racetrack ready for action. Last Sunday two Moruya members assisted Batemans Bay Rotary with a community project near Malua Bay where they are helping helping a woman with three children whose home was destroyed in the bushfires. The Bay Club is erecting a carport roof that will provide summer shade and tank water as the block is not on town water. Moruya’s Christmas party was on Tuesday at Tomakin and no doubt a great night was had by all. Each year Moruya Rotary erects Christmas lights along Moruya’s Vulcan Street and the lights, together with Moruya Lions’ Santas, bring Christmas cheer to Moruya.


Our Holiday Market is on Wednesday 29 December.

Then Sunday 9 December at Andrew and Lynn Lawson’ home at Wandella.

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.