It was wonderful to hear from our President Elect Andrew Lawson last Thursday as our guest speaker. Andrew entertained us with a fascinating talk in which he unraveled some of the many threads of his life.
Andrew was born in London in 1950 and his family moved to Essex at an early age. He said being a student of the Humanities fashioned him. He attended London Metropolitan Uni where he read Accounting and Law.
Andrew is passionate about many things especially Rugby Union, having started to play 1st team footie in Year 10. He said he was very fortunate to have been approached by the Harlequin Football Club, the most prestigious Rugby club in England where he played 2nd and 3rd grade. An equal love is Folk Music and he spoke with great fondness of a folk club in Essex where Paul Simon was a regular as well as various pop stars. Needless to say he’s a regular at the Cobargo Folk Festival.
Andrew’s long, varied and high level career has spanned the continents. He started with a chartered accountancy firm. He then dropped tax and audit to work on special projects such as with TNT on acquisition searches, “an enthralling exciting time”. Having then decided public accounting was not for him, he became the Chief Financial Officer for a major UK conglomerate which included, among other things, the UK’s largest bottler of edible oils.
Then he was in the United States for three years sorting out efficiency issues at the company’s Nuclear Maintenance Operations in Virginia. He returned to the UK in 1987 when he started a consulting business with his second wife Maggie which continued until 2007. Finally, he is chairman of a UK company that manufactures ophthalmic equipment in China with an office in Hong Kong, both of which are extremely successful in the current climate.
Family is a vital part of Andrew’s life. He has two children and grandchildren in the UK, so with Covid he has obviously not seen them for a year. He has a daughter supervising bull breeding on a cattle station in Theodore, Queensland and a son (ex ANU) who is an immigration lawyer with Home Affairs in Canberra.
Andrew and Lynn have known each other since teenage years and their paths crossed many times. Lynn moved to Australia in the 1980s. They finally married in 2007 when Andrew moved to Australia; they initially lived in Brisbane. They moved to Wandella five years ago. Their house fortunately survived the bushfires, but not some of their outbuildings. It was during their evacuation to Narooma during the fires that we first met Andrew.
Andrew says he is honoured to be a member of our Rotary Club, as are we to have him join us.
A postscript – Andrew’s Harlequin jumper still fits! He also follows Tottenham Soccer Club, “it’s in the blood”.
We’re at the Golf Club for a dinner meeting 6 for 6.30pm. Organise next Thursday’s breakfast meeting
This Sunday (14 February)
This is our Valentine’s Day Car Rally when we will be joined by our Moruya Rotary friends. It is being organised by our car rally supremo David McInnes, so it promises to be a fun day.
Time: meet 11.45 above Tuross boatshed/café at corner of Trafalgar Rd and Nelson Pde Tuross Head to scrutineer and head off at noon.
Cost: $20/car (money is pooled for fabulous prizes). David suggests four people per car (driver, navigator and cryptic riddle solvers).
Lunch is a barbecue at Chez McInnes, 88 Long Point St, Potato Point (beef or chicken burgers with salad, some veg) along with live music. Cost $10. Please bring your own chairs, plates, cutlery, glasses and drinks.
If you do get lost (unlikely!), please call David on 0419 863 303.
The Week that Was
From last week’s Board meeting
The board made some major decisions, one prompted by the cost now in using a room at the Golf Club. Many thanks to Bob Aston for providing us with background papers on two major issues for the Board’s consideration. The following decisions were made after considerable discussion, to last until the end of this Rotary year.
Meeting venues and times:
- Meet at the Golf Club each month only on the second and fourth Thursdays. The cost is $27 rather than $22 per person to cover the extra cost.
- Have a Zoom meeting on the first Thursday of the month. That way Frank Eden and Iris can join us as well as David McInnes and PE Andrew if they’re away, and Gordon Bentley if he is home in Dubbo. It also allows us to more readily access some more remote speakers, such as former tertiary scholars and exchange students
- Have Board meetings on the second Thursday
- Trial a breakfast meeting at Casey’s Café on the third Thursday in March (18th), April (15th) and May (20th). More details to come
- Any fifth Thursday will be a ‘day of rest’ so no meeting 29 April.
The 2021-2022 Board will review these arrangements.
The Food Van
Bob highlighted the significant issues with our van, such as its age and general neglect. Many Board members are reluctant to do away with the van so it got down to the cost of fixing it compared with the cost of replacement versus alternatives. Various board members undertook to make inquiries re fixing various components while Bob will look at possible replacement cost. They will report back to the next Board meeting.
Out and About
From Bega Rotary
Bega Rotary were finally able to hold their Book Fair last weekend at Bega Showgrounds. Bega has run the book fair for 12 years and typically holds it twice a year in January and July. It’s the Club’s major fundraiser. The bushfires in January 2020 and then Covid in July postponed the fair until January, but then that was rescheduled for February due to the border closure with Victoria.
Bega Rotarians had all measures in place to respect COVID-19 regulations. The Showground Pavilion was set up with fewer tables and spaced apart to respect the 1.5 metres ruling. Donated books for sale were deemed safe from the virus having been in storage since March 2020.Interestingly, Bega only accepts quality books.
Treasurer of Bega Rotary Charlie Blomfield said the most popular genre in the non-fiction books is cookery and gardening while the most popular genre overall is children’s books. They encourage children’s reading by making the first five books free.
Celebrating 100 years of Rotary in Australia
Batemans Bay and Moruya Clubs are considering geetti g together , possibly somet time in May, to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia. More discussion to come, possibly including with Narooma….
Thursday 18 February: no meeting
The following week, Thursday 25th: Roz Hill from the RC of Tumut will talk about the ‘Prostate Cancer Support Group. Please invite partners and friends along to hear about this important health issue.