Narooma Rotary Beacon 12 August 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Our President Andrew Lawson and fellow local Cobargo BlazeAid coordinator Peter Provost at the dinner for Cobargo BlazeAid volunteers on Thursday sponsored by Narrandera and Narooma Rotary Clubs.

As reported last week, a major achievement for our Prostate Cancer Support Group was getting formal approval last Monday from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. As you know, this will be our main project for 2021/22 so we are off and running. Mike, Julie and I met this Tuesday to further plan, and an official opening and commencement at the Men’s Shed by the end of September is eminently doable.

To put our planned Group into context, our area has double the national average of prostate cancer sufferers, yet the nearest Support Groups are currently Yass and Shoalhaven. I am delighted to also announce that the Lighthouse Surgery (Braveheart Healthcare) will be the medical practice officially aligned with our Support Group.

Funding for the Support Group from sales of the Whale Watching raffle, thanks to Narooma Charters,  is going really well. We have raised over $1,100 to date. As ever, Ange is doing the heavy lifting but, to be honest, I think we should all be more actively supporting the cause.

On Thursday evening we hosted, helped by the very generous donation from RC Narrandera, a dinner of appreciation for BlazeAid at Cobargo Hotel (see below). Seven of us joined the dinner, which by any measure was a resounding success and will have generated much goodwill.

This Thursday we have our dinner meeting at the Golf Club and Robin Burbidge will tell us all about Bee Keeping. No doubt his talk will have a ‘sting in the tail’!

I am very conscious that Covid hangs over us like the Sword of Damocles. At this week’s Board Meeting we shall obviously be thinking long and hard as to how we may be affected. But regardless, it’s onward and upward mes amis!


Our monthly Board meeting is this Wednesday at the Golf Club at 4pm.

This Thursday is our first August dinner meeting at the Golf Club when we shall hear from Robin Burbidge on natural beekeeping. No ‘Honey’ or ‘Sweet’ jokes please! This is a delayed event so we look forward to finally catching up with Robin. Please let John Rungen know numbers by Tuesday PM.

The Week that Was

All Narooma Rotarians who ventured to Cobargo Pub last Thursday enjoyed the evening with Cobargo BlazeAid volunteers. Cobargo Pub is of course President Andrew and Lynn’s ‘local’. Everyone greatly appreciated the generosity of Narrandera Rotary Club, our ‘twin’ club, which sponsored dinner for the volunteers.

President Andrew praised the work of BlazeAid volunteers which he said epitomizes this year’s Rotary theme of ‘Serve to Change Lives’

President Andrew told the volunteers, “we’re all so grateful for the job you amazing BlazeAid people are doing. What you’re doing really epitomizes this year’s Rotary theme of ‘Serve to Change Lives’.”

Cobargo BlazeAid coordinator Peter Provost said their volunteers have clocked up 102,000 man hours since early 2020, mainly fencing properties in areas burnt out by the bushfires. They hope to finish in December.

He said the Cobargo BlazeAid camp peaked last year at 100-120 people and 666 volunteers had passed through. At the moment Cobargo has 15 BlazeAid volunteers; six live in the camp and the others are locals who do a few days a week. Some have been involved since day one.

“What we all get from helping in this way is the satisfaction from helping people in their recovery as well as enjoying the camaraderie,” Peter said. “For some property owners, just having their fencing redone somehow seems to kick them into gear and help them move on from the fires.”

Since the start, feeding the volunteers has been a mammoth effort with some food and meals provided by various individuals and community groups, particularly Tilba and Cobargo CWAs, as well as occasional contributions such as Thursday’s dinner by Rotary. Our Club has previously provided a barbecue meal at the BlazeAid camp and paid for two meals from Cobargo Hotel.

You might be interested to know the Australian Bureau of Statistics values 102,000 volunteer hours at $4.26m. That is an absolutely extraordinary volunteer effort!

Out and About

Rotary Race Day

Rotary Race Day Chairman David Ashford has called a meeting with Moruya Jockey Club’s Ken Brown and the presidents of Batemans Bay Moruya and Narooma clubs to bring everyone up to date with the 2021 Covid-19 restricted Rotary Race Day. Proceeds of the Race Day are to go to community projects for the three Clubs. The meeting also will be an opportunity to discuss future Race Day community projects, particularly for 2022.

In the past over $170,000 has been raised for the community, going mainly to the Moruya Hospital Oncology Unit, Surf Clubs, defibrillators, Muddy Puddles and the Yumaro/Eurobodalla Meals on Wheels people mover. Hopefully well before next Easter, with vaccination, full Race meetings can return to the Jockey Club. The Rotary Race Day was moved from the Sunday before Christmas to Easter Saturday.

From Moruya Rotary

Covid-19 restrictions are extracting a heavy toll on Moruya Rotary’s fundraising efforts, as well as on our own. Running the canteen at Moruya Race Course is the Club’s major revenue source, but low numbers of racegoers are resulting in low takings at the canteen.

The Moruya bulletin reports last week’s takings were possibly their lowest ever. After they extract rent and food costs there won’t be much left for the charity account. The frustrating is the task of setting up and running the canteen is basically the same as for any other race day. They’re all hoping the next race on Sunday 15  August will be busier.


Unfortunately the August Business Breakfast has been cancelled because of Covid-19 fears. We hope to resume the breakfasts in the Spring.