Narooma Rotary Beacon 24 March 2022

Andrew’s Thoughts

Jo King from Narooma CWA joined Narooma Rotarians Ange Ulrichsen, Lynn Hastings and Gero Mitchell at Anglicare’s request.

Another very interesting week and one where our wonderful Rotarians filled me with pride. On Tuesday, Ange led the team of Lynn and Gero, ably assisted by Jo King of Narooma CWA, to help ‘pack and stack’ the belongings of a poor lady facing eviction. It was great to work closely with Anglicare and CWA and may this be the first of ongoing relationships.

Narooma President Andrew Lawson with Pambula President Rebecca Fox

Tuesday also saw me, with the help of chauffeur Lynn, attend a joint meeting of Merimbula and Pambula Rotary Clubs hosted by Pambula with my Prostate Cancer Support Group hat on. It was an excellent meeting with the message getting both across and being well received. I thank Rebecca Fox, President of RC Pambula for arranging things. I shall make the same presentation to Bega Rotary Club on 7th April, thanks to President Anne Ducray.

Last Thursday we hosted the Business Breakfast for approximately 30 people, with Erica Dibden of Tilba Real Dairy presenting. Erica was as inspiring as ever and many  thought she should present to budding entrepreneurs (see below). The next Business Breakfast (21 April) sees Carrie Taylor, Project Manager from Visit Tilba discussing new initiatives there, and how Tilba and Narooma can interface going forward.

This Thursday is Cinders Night, one of the great evenings of the year when we take on Moruya Rotarians at all things trivial. Our reputation is on the line! So everyone please turn up and bring as many ringers as you like! Thanks to Chris for her sterling effort in organising the questions the proceedings.

Sunday is the Markets. The weather forecast is less than ideal, so let’s hope the rain holds off. We shall plan on it all happening.

And finally, don’t forget that Thursday week is our fundraising movie night at The Kinema in aid of Rotary Australia’s National Flood Appeal. Get in quick to get your tickets, and again thanks to  organiser Ange.

So, as ever, it’s upwards and onwards mes amis, and when it comes to Cinders it is “to infinity and beyond!”.


This Thursday is our annual Cinders Challenge when we welcome our friends from Moruya Rotary at Narooma Golf Club 6 for 6.30pm. Hopefully you have already told John Rungen if you are coming, and if so, how many guests you are bringing

This Sunday is of course the Markets (weather permitting!). Andrew has sent the roster around.

The Week that Was

Erica inspires Business Breakfast

Erica and Nic Dibden at our March Business Breakfast with President Andrew

Erica Dibden was totally inspiring with her insights into their Tilba Real Dairy journey. She said “passion is the key to success”. The challenge they faced was how could a small business like theirs launch itself against big players in the dairy market. The answer was the story behind the product and its sustainability; “once people become hooked on that, it is almost addictive”.  “We had no marketing problems,” Erica said, stressing the importance of food in people’s lives, engaging directly with customers and building a profile, such as through farmers markets at Moruya and Canberra. She said they try to always treat their customers with integrity, graciousness and respect.

She spoke of the company’s growth, their significant investment in upgrading equipment, and the importance of retaining staff by trying to get them to share their vision and passion. They currently employ 22 staff.

While everyone’s journey is different, Erica said resilience is the key. They deal with problems as they arise; “failure is not an option”, She added they have “a strong resilient community”.

Erica said we are in extraordinary times of changes but feels the future is very bright. She would like to see more and more boutique food industries on the south coast.

Moruya celebrates Harbour Bridge’s 90th

Rotary’s ‘float’ featured a special ‘non-functioning’ bicycle built for six. Photo courtesy Moruya newsletter

Moruya Rotary played a big part in Moruya’s very successful celebrations over the weekend to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opening of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Moruya’s special connection to the Bridge. It was a Moruya Chamber initiative with two Rotarians also on the organising committee.

The good ship ‘Rotary in the River Lights on Saturday night with the ‘Sydney Harbour Bridge’ . Photo courtesy Moruya newsletter

A ‘Mardi Gras type’ Street parade attracted over 50 entries with vintage cars and various floats. Rotary’s ‘float’ featured a special ‘non-functioning’ bicycle built for six flying a Rotary flag that attracted rousing cheers. An afternoon of music, fire dancers and singers followed, then River Lights featuring the good ship ‘Rotary’ and fireworks. Sunday featured two well attended quarry tours and a photographic display. Moruya Rotary also helped out with some last minute unexpected catering.

Out and About

Philippines WASH Project completed

 PAG Vere Gray reports that a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Project in the Philippines that our Club contributed to more than three years ago has finally been completed, despite the many setbacks thrown up by Covid-19. The ‘Turn Over Ceremony’ for the project was on 17 March 

The Rotary Clubs of Batemans Bay, Moruya, Narooma, Yass and Intramuros as well as D9710 (as it was then) and D3810 (Philippines) all financially contributed to Global Grant No 1985543 to construct a Water System and Toilets in two villages four hours’ drive north of Manila.

Its completion was largely thanks to the perseverance of local Rotarian Prof Jumar Basco from the nearby Republic Central Colleges (University) when travel was permitted locally. The WASH Project was also supported by the Rotary Foundation, the Rotary Club of Intramuros Manila (local club), and the Rotary Club of Batemans Bay (international partner) in cooperation with the Community Extension Service Office of Republic Central Colleges. Vere said the value of the Project was US$47,000. 

Prof Jumar said, “We pushed through with this project even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to establish the facilities and bring the services that will definitely change the lives of more than 1000 residents for the better.”

BowelCare Program 2022               

This year’s Rotary BowelCare Program will be run again as a Mail Order service 1 April – 30 June. More in next week’s Beacon.


We’re raising funds for Rotary Australia’s Flood Relief Appeal with a fundraising film night at Narooma Kinema to see the delightful movie ‘The Duke’. It’s 6.30 for 7pm.

‘The Duke’ is the true story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London in 1961. It was the first and only theft in the Gallery’s history.

Bring your family and friends AND we encourage you to dress up as maybe Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent), his wife Dorothy (Helen Mirren), the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya or even the Duke of Wellington, or anyone related to this event. Prizes for the best outfit.

Tickets $20 (includes wine and nibbles) plus a Rotary raffle on the night. Hope to see you there.