Narooma Rotary Beacon 2 March 2023

Ange’s Thoughts

Bega President Phil McDonald with Narooma Rotarians Julie Hartley, left, and Acting President Ange Ulrichsen.

How fantastic to see so many Rotarians and potential Rotarians at Sunday’s Market; great to see Françoise Cleret, Greg Heath and Ana Koen join in with our merry throng. It was also an excellent result for the van attracting more business due to the Pizza mob taking a well-earned month’s break. (See more on the market below.)

Last Thursday (23/2) our club met up with Bega Rotarians for our annual informal dinner at Cobargo Pub. What a lovely evening. Conversation flowed and the meals were great. It’s so beneficial to interact and support our respective clubs by sharing ideas and experiences. I reminded the gathering that Narooma Club was chartered in 1958 with Bega our sponsor club. That was the year the space race warmed up with the United States trailing Russia at that stage and NASA was established, Qantas began its first global air service, Ashley Cooper won Wimbledon and the US Open, and the Queen installed Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales. Bega Rotarians helped enormously to get us started. Our Charter members dreamed of doing good in the community just as we, today, are being challenged to ‘Follow Our Rotary Dream’. Back then Rotarians (all men then) would have regular sing-alongs at meetings.

Bega Rotary President Phil McDonald and others shared some valuable insights from their Business Breakfasts. Other great initiatives are the highly lucrative Book Fairs Bega Rotary runs twice a year, with the inaugural Art Fair also in February (raised about $17,500 including about $5,500 from the Art Fair).

Bega and other Bega Valley Clubs pioneered the Carers’ Accommodation for Bega Hospital some years ago and have been sharing their experiences with our Eurobodalla’s carers’ accommodation group for the new Eurobodalla Regional Hospital which is still in its early days.

Both Julie Hartley and Mike Young shared their experiences with Bega Rotarians running the Narooma Prostate Cancer Support Group (PCSG) each month.  They passed on some useful contacts and information to Bega President Phil for the recently formed Bega Valley PCSG.


Thursday 2 March: No meeting, being the first Thursday in the month.

Friday 3 March Noon: Clean Up Australia: We have registered to do our usual patch from Mill Bay to the Apex Park boat ramp and environs, meeting at noon at Mill Bay. Volunteers to date are Ange, Françoise, Laurelle, Gero and possibly David. If anyone else can help, please contact Laurelle.

Friday 3 March 4.15pm: Board Meeting, Golf Club

The Week that Was

The Market

Sunday’s Market turned out to be quite an amazing day, once the early shower passed. Treasurer Mike Young was delighted.  Market takings were Gate $ 1,150.00, Wishing Well $126.00, Van sales $983.33 (with Square sales 30% of sales) + money reimbursed from till.

More on Cobargo dinner with Bega

John McKee spoke of shared history when in 1974 Narooma joined with Bega, Merimbula and Eden Clubs to raise funds for a new van for the Far South Coast Blood Transfusion Service, in association with the Red Cross Society. John , then a surgeon, was Bega President; Jack Taylor was Narooma’s.

Bega Rotary President Phil shared some interesting insights into Bega Club. He said since Covid they haven’t been able to build up their evening meeting numbers to pre-Covid levels, but their Business Breakfast numbers (at Bega Cheese Heritage Centre)  continue to attract good (numbers at BB sounded comparable to ours). Evenings they’re “lucky to get 12”, despite a much larger membership. They are about to install eight new Club members, some gained through the Business Breakfasts and some through Bega dynamo Margaret Taylor’s efforts.  Narooma’s Breakfast meetings were inspired by Bega’s initiative.

One of Bega Rotary’s major projects is assisting new aged care workers from overseas (Philippines, India and Nepal) to Bega settle in, including furnishing rental accommodation for them. Another Bega project Phil mentioned was Rotary’s Adopt-A-Tree Initiative where trees are being planted in environmentally impacted areas of NSW and ACT. A variety of trees and shrubs will be planted to ensure a balance in the local environment, encouraging native birds and fauna also grow and thrive. The planting areas are determined by experts, including Landcare, and Rotary will organise plantings under their guidance and with the assistance of local schools. (Merimbula is also taking part in this project.)

A joint project between Narooma and Bega Valley Clubs in 1974 – the purchase of a van for a new mobile blood bank vehicle for Bega District Hospital.

Out and About

Narooma Rotarians head to Merimbula

At this stage it looks like we’ll have at least six Narooma Rotarians going to District training at Merimbula 17-19 March. Julie Hartley, Lynn Hastings and Ange Ulrichsen are going for the whole weekend; Laurelle Pacey, Gero Mitchell and possibly Susanna Chung are going just for Saturday, with some others undecided. This is a fantastic turnout from our Club, the best for many years, and a sure sign that our small Club is determined to grow and prosper into the future.

This year, our District invited all Rotarians to attend, not just the incoming Board, saying everyone should find areas of interest in the Learning and Development sessions. If you want to go, please register via the District 9705 website.

Next Business Breakfast 16 March

Our guest speaker Jacqui van Teulingen from Business Australia’s Entrepreneur Programme says a current grant programme offers businesses professional expert support targeted to exactly what they need, whether they’re sole traders or larger established companies. It might be something really simple, or something quite complex. They can help, for example, an artist having trouble keeping their books, or businesses needing support for digital marketing or finding more innovative ways to attract new staff.

“Running a business can be quite lonely,” Jacqui said. “We’ve done that too, and we live here, so have had those same feelings. The beauty of this programme is you have someone professional who you can use the duration of the grant – at this stage until June 30.

“Most people know what they have to do but having the professional ear of someone who will walk the journey with them is often enough to get them motivated and moving forward,” Jacqui said. “Some people may not want to move further but be more interested in succession planning or winding up their businesses; we can help.”

From Pambula Rotary

Pambula Rotarian Clare McMahon has led the campaign to rebuild Kiah’s Hall after the bushfires. Courtesy Pambula’s Facebook page.

Pambula Rotary has been helping the Kiah community get back on its feet after the bushfires which destroyed the old Kiah Hall. A ‘Ground Breaking Ceremony’ for the new Kiah Hall took place on Monday (27 February).

Pambula Rotarian Clare McMahon, also Kiah Hall Committee President, led the campaign to rebuild the Hall. At Monday’s ceremony, Clare told how Pambula Rotary had quietly assisted the Kiah community’s recovery by building a pavilion with table, chairs and barbecue so that the community had somewhere to meet. She also mentioned the sanitation facilities that had been donated and connected at the back of the fire shed. These projects have been well supported by the Kiah community.

On Monday Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick and former Bega MP Andrew Constance turned the first sod. The building of this Hall is so different to building the Hall that burnt; a builder has been employed but his labourers will be rostered farmers and local lads.

From Merimbula Rotary

Merimbula Rotary recently donated $1,000 to set up a global grant with a Rotary club in Denmark to supply emergency mobile medical clinics to help victims in the Ukraine war.


6 for 6.30pm Club Assembly at Narooma Golf Club