Narooma Rotary Beacon 21 September 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello everyone

It was a busy meeting last week with 27 members and guests. Ron Finneran, Steve Goodchild, Graham Brown and Wayne Tuckfield from Merimbula and Pambula Rotary Clubs gave a most interesting presentation on the Sapphire Coast Arts and Sports Youth Development Fund, something I think our area should seriously consider. Laurelle has more elsewhere in the Beacon.

We also heard from our two MUNA students about their experiences recently in Canberra. They had a wonderful time. Thanks again to Sandra and Lynda who supported the students on the Club’s behalf.

We also held our September Board Meeting last Thursday. Key decisions were to:

  • Form a committee to coordinate our 60th Birthday celebrations next August. We have set aside 11 August as a combined Changeover and 60th
  • Assist Moryua and Batemans Bay Clubs to finance three students from Moruya HS to attend NYSF
  • Allocate $1,000 to ShelterBox to assist response to disasters in Asia, Mexico, North America and the Caribbean
  • Allocate $200 to St John’s Ambulance to help them purchase new equipment
  • Write a letter of thanks to Narooma Charters thanking them for supporting our Whale Watching raffle
  • Form a small subcommittee to review the operation of the Market and report by February 2018
  • Commence selling Duck Race tickets on 28 December. Proceeds of the raffle to go towards Australian Rotary Health and our Scholarship Fund.
  • Accept with regret, the resignation of Joan Morgan. Hopefully Joan will be able to continue to help the Club from time to time
  • Support the Lions Club spectacle drive by collecting old spectacles
  • Invite Paul Croker to our meeting on 9 November. We will also invite Expo exhibitors to the meeting. Paul will run a workshop for exhibitors on how to enhance their Expo presentation
  • Man the food van at the Early Falcon’s car rally on 15 October and Narooma Motors events on 21 October and 27 January.

We also decided to hold our Christmas Party on 21 December with a venue to be confirmed. The only get-together over the Christmas holiday period will be on Saturday 20 January at the Aston residence.

It is with sadness that we learnt that Sharlie Young’s mum passed away last week. Our thoughts are with Sharlie, Mike and their family.

Last week’s guests included Rotarians Wayne Tuckfield, left, Steve Goodchild, Graham Brown and Ron Finneran, friont, shown here with President Bob Aston.

Have a great week everyone.

Cheers Bob

The Week that Was

The Sapphire Coast Arts and Sports Youth Development Fund

This is a classic case of how individuals can make a difference. This fund was started 12 months ago by five Rotarians including Paralympian Ron Finneran and Steve Goodchild. Their aim was to support young people from the Bega Valley Shire in taking their arts and sporting pursuits to the next level.

Ron and Steve said that while the south coast is a beautiful place to live, for kids to develop to the elite stage in their respective passion, they need expert tuition which is usually not available in the area. ‘It’s a long way to travel to get it and it’s costly,’ Ron said. ‘That was the stimulus for establishing the fund; to fill this gap.’

However, this fund is not a Rotary project even though Rotarians kicked it off. It’s run entirely by a varied group of volunteers and funded by donations from businesses, community groups, clubs, private individuals and Bega Valley Shire Council. In 12 months, the fund has helped 20 young people under 18 with about $14,000 in grants, each grant usually $250 to $500. Their pursuits have ranged from the viola to women’s rugby, swimming to stage production. Some have reached state level. ‘We can’t always cover the entire costs, but hope to help out with fuel and travel to wherever the kids need to go and sometimes tuition,’ Steve said. They assess individual applications according to need, with many recipients being from single parent families.

‘It has a huge effect on the kids; it can change their lives by opening up more opportunities for them,’ Wayne said. ‘The extra costs involved can be a huge impost on families and parents are sometimes in tears. We get quite overwhelmed with some of the feedback but we couldn’t do it without our sponsors.’

President Bob suggested last week that a similar fund should be established for our area. Since then however, Narooma Sporting and Services Club has also recognised the need and taken an independent but similar initiative (article in this week’s Narooma News). The Club has created a $10,000 fund for Narooma High to assist students with travel and accommodation costs associated with pursuing more elite training or attending competitions and events, and not only for sport.

However that fund covers only Narooma High students. It is unclear at this stage whether anything further is needed. Watch this space…

Narooma High students to MUNA were Isaak Anderson and Cyann Vlatovic, shown here with Narooma Youth Director Lynda Ord and Secretary Sandra Doyle.

Students thank Club for MUNA

It was fascinating hearing from Lynda Ord and Sandra Doyle, and Narooma High students Cyann Vlatovic and Isaak Anderson about MUNA, particularly how many students acted out their country’s world stance and idiosyncrasies so well. Part diplomacy, part theatre it seems. It was a shame Narooma teacher Lachlan ‘Reilly could not join us last Thursday; his support has been vital for the success of our recent MUNA teams.

Narooma’s team represented France. Cyann said she was not sure what to expect. She enjoyed researching France’s stand on particular issues and listening to the arguments put by various teams. Isaak also was not sure what to expect but came away having really enjoyed the experience. Both Cyann and Isaak thanked the Club for its support. Both students were accompanied by family members.

ShelterBox assists

Our Club answered ShelterBox’ request for more financial assistance.  ShelterBox is currently responding to disasters in south-east Asia, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Since the Monsoon season started in June, excessive rain in Bangladesh resulted in catastrophic flooding over about a third of the land. A ShelterBox team is working with Rotary contacts, authorities and other aid organisations to assess needs. The team is also working to understand more about the needs of Rohingya refugees.

In the Caribbean Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc destroying 90-95% buildings on some islands, with Hurricane Maria following. Four ShelterBox Response Teams have been deployed and are working with other aid organisations and Rotary connections to help families who need it most. Those who have lost absolutely everything will receive the traditional ShelterBox, while others receive ShelterKits.

This week: We are in for a really interesting talk by historian Eleanor Robin on the coming of the telegraph and its impact.

Cheers Laurelle

Random thoughts, courtesy Peter Bull

I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes 1,500 days in a row.

I decided to change calling the bathroom the John and renamed it the Jim. I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

Everyone has a right to be stupid; politicians just abuse the privilege.