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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.