Narooma Rotary Beacon 22 August 2019

Charmaine’s Chat

Mike Young thanked our guest speaker Susanna Page of St John Ambulance

Our Rotary Club has been recognised as a ‘Ruby Club Supporter’ by contributing $25,000 to ShelterBox Australia. Quite an achievement. 
Decisions made by the preceding Board meeting were discussed at last week’s meeting. 
Last week’s guest speaker Susanna Page outlined the amazing history of the St John’s Ambulance Service. She is one of several St John’s volunteers who work tirelessly in the Eurobodalla Shire helping with numerous festivals, community and sporting events.
On the August markets, Rod is still after volunteers for this month’s Market. Please help if you can.
Lynda Ord and Ash sold some more whale watching raffle tickets.
The MUNA team went well at Canberra and I shared some photos of them on our Facebook page. They hopefully will tell us about their weekend at our 5 September meeting. 


Our guest speakers this week are Shirley and John Hayes-Cornish from Moruya Rotary, moving soon to Caloundra. They booked a booth at the recent RI Convention in Hamburg to share their experience ‘teaching sex education by pictures’ in the Philippines, Kenya, Timor Leste and PNG with other Rotarians from around the world. They will talk about the problems that prompted the project, now a RAWCS project, and their experience in Hamburg which attracted a steady stream of interested Rotarians.

The Week that Was

Last week

Our guest speaker was Susannah Page, the Divisional Superintendent of St John Ambulance after what she described as “a quick rise up through the ranks”. Susannah and other St John Ambulance volunteers are often at events around Eurobodalla Shire ready to provide health and first aid services should they be needed; St John is also the largest first aid training organisation in Australia. Her talk prompted many questions and discussion.

What an extraordinary story Susanna told of the organisation’s origins, dating back to the eleventh century and the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem who provided free care for sick pilgrims to the Holy Land. Then it became a military religious order providing safe passage for pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Land.

In 1530 the King of Spain “gave them” Malta, much to the angst of the locals, where they ‘ruled’ until Napoleon drove them out in 1798, presumably to the relief of the locals. They then scattered throughout the world.

They made their headquarters in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century with the blessing of Queen Victoria. In 1877, the order established various St John Ambulance associations in major railway centres and mining districts to train railway men and colliers in how to give first aid to victims of accidents. The Order’s Grand Priory then founded a hospice and ophthalmic dispensary in Jerusalem (still supported today) and, by 1887 had established the St John Ambulance Brigade to undertake practical and life-saving work.

Apparently the eight-pointed cross on St John’s volunteers’ uniform is the symbol worn by the knights in that first hospital in Jerusalem. Susanna said although often referred to as the Maltese Cross, there are several different Maltese Crosses. The Lions and unicorns are Queen Victoria’s ‘gift’. The ceremonial garb reflects that rich history.

Today St John Ambulance is the name of a number of affiliated organisations in different countries which teach and provide first aid and emergency medical services. Today it has nothing to do with religion; it accepts members of all religions.

St John Ambulance Australia is a self-funded charitable organisation dedicated to helping people in sickness, distress, suffering or danger. Susanna thanked our club for its recent donation to assist with purchasing medical supplies.

Narooma students excel at MUNA

Ange Ulrichsen was delighted at how well Narooma High students did at the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) in Canberra last weekend. “By Sunday they had really warmed to the task of debating important current world issues and performed well, were more relaxed and more confident,” Ange said. “They did Narooma High proud.”

Narooma High’s MUNA team of teacher Monique Wicks and students Aisha Thomas, Luka Potts and Crystal Elmasri.

Our senior students Crystal Elmasri, Aisha Thomas and Luka Potts represented Syria and were coached by Narooma High teacher Monique Wicks.

MUNA is held annually in the old Parliament House (now the Museum of Australian Democracy) and is a prestigious event that aims to give students experience of United Nations’ style resolutions to increase their sense of international understanding and goodwill. Resolutions debated over the weekend related to:

  • preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsular
  • regulating international migration
  • international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
  • protecting global climate for present and future generations
  • protecting journalistic freedoms
  • human rights in Venezuela

Adjudicators said the standard of students’ performance this year was very high which made their decision more difficult.
Our District Governor Peter Ford congratulated the overall winning team from Penrith High which represented the United Kingdom. Second was the Southern Highlands Christian School representing Japan. The Carroll College team from Broulee, representing New Zealand, came third. DG Peter presented all participants with certificates and praised them highly for the thoroughness of their research, their debating skills and expressing the power of the spoken word so well.

Ange said the Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise again did a superb job in organising MUNA. She would also like to thank Narooma High teacher and counsellor Monique Wicks for her efforts which resulted in a polished and confident performance by our students. Ange has invited our MUNA students, their parents and Monique to join us on Thursday 5 September to share their MUNA experience.


We meet up with Bega Rotarians next Thursday at Cobargo Hotel 6 for 6.30. $15 for main, dessert extra. Ange reminds us this combined meeting was initiated by the interest shown by our Club in Noel Trevaskis’ talk to us last year and the Business Breakfast Club started so successfully by Bega. This led to 18 new Rotarians at Bega. Should be a good night.

On a lighter note

Why do the French only eat one egg for breakfast? Because one is enoeuf.