Narooma Rotary Beacon 27 February 2020

Narooma Marine Rescue’s Gilly Kearney  and Paul Houseman- our hosts last week.

Bob’s Buzz

Hello Everyone

   Thank you to Angie for organising our visit to Narooma Marine Rescue last Thursday, a very informative night. We are indeed fortunate to have such a talented and dedicated group of volunteers to look after our coast and be on call to assist those in need. Our meal at the Thai restaurant afterwards was most enjoyable, allowing us to support one of our local businesses affected by the January bushfires.

   Our first market for the year took place on Sunday; it was a beautiful sunny day with lots of stallholders and a good crowd of visitors looking for a bargain. Thanks to Chis for all her work in making the markets happen, to John Doyle and Ange for ensuring the food van ran smoothly, and thank you also to members, friends and partners who helped out, either marking out, staffing the gate from the early hours or cooking or serving in the food van. It was great to see Tony Butcher come along and help at the food van. Tony and his wife have a weekender at Mystery Bay and they helped us greatly at the evacuation centre on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Hopefully we will see more of him in the coming months.  

   Don’t forget our annual Cinders Trivia Night is next Thursday, 5 March. Peter Bull assures me the questions will be challenging yet fair to all concerned. Please invite friends and partners to come along; we need some assistance to beat the Moruya crew on our own turf. We will need firm numbers to Charmaine by Monday 2 March, the two-course dinner will cost $32.00.

   Elsewhere in the Beacon you will read a wonderful email from Tim Dunkelberg. Tim was a Rotary Exchange student in Narooma in 2011/12. Tim tells us about the positive impact our Club had on him as a 15/16-year-old and how he is now involved in the Rotary Family. We can be proud of the fact that our small Rotary Club can and has made a difference.

   We still need a member of the Club to assist Ange at RYDA on Monday 30 March. Please let me know if you can help.

   Therese and I are away this week catching up with friends from our time in Nyngan so Laurelle will be in the chair. Please remember that the meeting will be held at the School of Arts’ Studios, behind the BP and Kinema. Our guest speaker will be PDG Phil Armstrong. Have a great week everyone.

Regards Bob


We welcome PDG Phil Armstrong of Moruya Rotary Club as our guest speaker. He will talk about BlazeAid in Moruya and outline Rotary’s support for various fire recovery funds.

Please note a change of venue because our normal Golf Club room won’t be available until next week. We will meet at the normal time 6 for 6.30 at the School of Arts Studios (red cottage behind the BP and Kinema). Please park behind the Kinema (off Garvan Street – the street behind the Kinema) or in the Council car park beside the Kinema and walk down behind the Kinema to the cottage.

Please BYO drinks; wine glasses, coffee and tea are available there. We will phone through an order of takeaway fish and chips to The Inlet to be picked up by one of us and taken back to the cottage.

Hope to see you there.

The Week that Was

Great night last week

What a fascinating night last week at Marine Rescue. Paul Houseman took us through the history of the volunteer organisation, established in 2009 with the support of the NSW Government, and with Jillian Kearney showed us their control room.

It brought together members from three former marine rescue organisations along the coast – the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol and Volunteer Rescue Association’s marine fleet – into a single integrated service. It is not a Government agency but a not-for-profit, community-based organisation.


Our markets manager Chris O’Brien described the February markets as a ‘medium sized market’. Takings were gate $1,055.00, van $621.35, wishing well $130.20 (includes $27.50 from evacuation contributions).

Out and About

This Sunday – Clean Up Australia Day

Our Club has registered with Council to again clean up between Mill Bay and the Apex Boat Ramp on Sunday morning 1 March at 9am – tide should still be ‘lowish’. The high school students will have done a lot of that area so we may just check along the shoreline. Another group will do the shore from the bridge to the end of the caravan park. Start from pool so end up with bags at Ken Rose Park bins. So far Bob Aston, John Rungen, Ange Ulrichsen and Laurelle Pacey have volunteered, but more are welcome. Please contact Laurelle if you can help.

Rotary marks its 115th anniversary

Our market day last Sunday was the 115th anniversary of the founding of Rotary, thanks to the vision of Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905 so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities and around the world.

Paul Harris said, “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves”. 

Former Exchange student Tim thanks us for the opportunities

Dear Bob and Narooma Rotary Club,

I am not sure how many of you will remember me. I was your exchange student in 2011-2012.* A lot has happened since my time with you, but a lot of decisions I have made since have been greatly influenced by the experiences and lessons you gave me. I thought it was important to share this with you.

Today I attended my first Presidents-Elect Training seminar as I will be the president of the Riga International Rotaract club in the upcoming Rotary year. One of the topics discussed was the motto that Holger Knaack [incoming Rotary International President] has set for this year: ‘Rotary opens Opportunities’ .

Due to my time in Narooma I found this very fitting. You not only gave me the opportunity to visit a beautiful spot with some of the friendliest people I have met so far, but you as a Rotary Club gave me the opportunity to become who I am today. You also gave me the opportunity to see the value community service can give in life and to spread this further in the world.

It is very important for me that you know that this is not normal for a youth exchange, sadly also not for one with Rotary. Narooma sets an example and there are so many other Rotary clubs that I have met since then, that could learn from you.

Some of the things that were exceptional were:

  • During your meetings, you treated me, the 15 year old boy, almost like a regular Rotary member (and I was always taken along to the meetings – this I have so far only seen in Narooma and nowhere else!)
  • You let me be a part of events you held.
Tim Dunkelberg with then President John Messner

Through this, there are so many things I can now implement in projects that I help to facilitate.

Rotary today has problems with attracting younger members and a big part of that problem that I see, is that Rotary invests a lot of time and money into young people and after their time and money has been invested they see their duty as being fulfilled. They never get into contact with Rotary again. This future generation of possible Rotarians is ‘’lost’’. Narooma is very different! Due to the way that you engaged with me, Rotary will have one more young member. If all clubs worldwide would be like yours, the statistics that I saw today would look very different.

The fun and engaging projects that you did set an example for me and my time in Rotaract. At the moment our Club has just some smaller projects. Most of them are fundraising events and one is more hands on. In the fundraising section we organize Regular Pub Quizzes, we host an event where we ask university professors to be DJs at a local night club and take entrance fees as well as some other smaller ones. With this we can annually raise about 10 000 Euros. During Christmas we use a small amount of this money to cook a three course meal together with a Christmas party for 250 people that did not have as much luck in their lives.

Tim ready for the ducks in the 2012 Narooma Duck Race

The biggest project that we are planning now, in direct partnership with one of the local Rotary clubs, is directly influenced (one could also say 100% stolen) from your club. We are organizing a Rotary Duck Race in Riga (the Capital of Latvia); this project was initiated by me but you were the ones that enabled it.

Overall, I wish to say is – “thank you”. I feel that when I was with you and just 16 I did not understand the impact that opportunity would have. Therefore it is important for me that you know how important and valuable the work is that you do. This is especially true for my host parents during that year – Jeremyand Heather, Bob and Merinda, Phil and Daiva.

After I left you and returned to Germany I finished high school. The year after that I spent in the Peruvian rain forest where I was a volunteer in a project where 40 young boys without families lived and learned.

When this also impactful year that taught me a lot about how lucky I am ended, I started my studies. Since then I have been studying medicine in Riga, Latvia.

I hope this letter shows you how, with your service, you have truly made my life better and I will be trying to pass this service on to many other people. I also hope that it will further motivate you to do the great work that you do.

With gratitude,

Tim Dunkelberg

 *Tim came from Karlsruhe in southern Germany, a city of about 300,000 people.

NEXT WEEK – Cinders Challenge

We are back at Narooma Golf Club to welcome our Moruya Rotary friends in the annual battle for the greatly coveted Cinders Trophy. Please bring your partners and all your friends (particularly if they are trivia buffs!) to the Golf Club for our annual Cinders Trivia challenge with Moruya Rotary Club. Moruya currently holds the much coveted Cinders trophy and competition will be keen on the night. As Bob said, please send firm numbers to Charmaine by Monday 2 March.