Narooma Rotary Beacon 29 July 2021

Andrew’s Thoughts

Gero Mitchell last week gave a fascinating insight into her life, thanked here by VP Ange Ulrichsen

Like all good married couples, Lynn and I shared everything last week including a horrible stomach bug, so I was unable to see you all. Thank you Ange for chairing the meeting in my absence.

By all accounts it was a really good meeting with Gero giving a great talk. It was also good to have a Visiting Rotarian, the new President of RC Coolamon (near Wagga Wagga) Albert Suidgeest who has bought a holiday house in Dalmeny and will be a neighbour of Lynn Hastings.

Ange was outside Aldi again on Saturday selling raffle tickets. What a star! Please feel free to help!

We have no meeting this week. However, our core Prostate Support team of  Julie, Mike and I will meet Bernie Perrett from the Men’s Shed  on Tuesday and some detailed planning will follow. I shall meet Dr Gundi Muller from the Lighthouse Surgery on Thursday with a view to that practice being part of the team too. We are looking to formally launch by the end of August.

Next Thursday is the BlazeAid dinner at Cobargo Pub. I have booked and, assuming there are no changes to Covid rules, then we shall certainly go ahead. You may have seen they have just passed 100,000 volunteer hours! So please come along and support these great people.

As ever, our plans will be governed by Covid, but stay positive. Onward and upward mes amis!


No meeting (was to have been the now postponed Greek dinner at the Men’s Shed).

The Week that Was

Our meeting last Thursday

It was lovely to have Mike Young back from Broome where he has been spending time with his family. Tourism there is “going gangbusters”, Mike said.

With the start of the Olympics, our International Toast by Julie Hartley was appropriately to the Rotary Club of Tokyo. They normally meet for lunch on a Wednesday at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel but are not meeting at the moment because of Covid-19 concerns and restrictions. They have 339 members (!).

Our guest speaker Gero Mitchell, one of our recently inducted members, filled us in on her life to date, and what a fascinating story she told. Her roots are firmly in Narooma being one of the Mitchell family of sawmillers (hence Mill Bay); her father Ted Mitchell managed the family’s Batemans Bay sawmill. Her childhood and school holidays were largely spent in Narooma. School was in the Bay and then at Loreto Convent in Sydney. She graduated in pharmacy at Sydney Uni and travels followed. She spent a few years in New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands as Clerk of the Court. Then returned to Australia, a stint with Festival Records, being the ABC’s first female Concerts Officer. A few years with WEA Records followed where clients included Cold Chisel, Richard Clapton and Sherbet; that’s where she first did catering. “I learnt a lot about catering from my mother; she was a great cook and I loved to help her in the kitchen and my parents had the most wonderful parties.” Then London and from there to Greece where she stayed for 20 years where her work included organising concerts, functions and catering etc and became fluent in Greek.

Gero moved back to Australia in 2000 and established a small catering company in Sydney with her cousin Chris while also teaching cooking at evening college. But in 2015 she decided she’d had enough of Sydney and moved to Narooma in to be closer to her extended family Chris and her aunt Mina Watt. “It’s lovely being here in Narooma,” she said.

Gero tries to keep up her Greek. She studied Linguistics and Modern Greek externally through UNE and does regular Zoom linkups with friends in Greece.

President of RC Coolamon (near Wagga Wagga) Albert Suidgeest visited last week

Our visiting Rotarian Albert from Coolamon said he had only been in the Club less than 12 months when he was nominated President Elect (more common than we thought!). About 20-25 members turn up at meetings each week. A major fundraiser is through the annual Gears and Beers Festival around Wagga Wagga (Coolamon is roughly the half-way mark).

Out and About

From two of our Tertiary Scholars

Rory Spurgeon (2020) achieved amazing results with three High Distinctions. He writes:

University life was becoming much more normal [last semester] and I had chemistry labs and some lectures in person which was great. I was also volunteering doing chemistry ‘peer mentoring’ so I had quite a few contact hours with people in science (outside of Fenner Hall). COVID restrictions were also becoming much more relaxed. However all of this may be changing since the new outbreak so I’m not sure how the next semester will look. 

Elise Dixon and Rory Spurgeon at our Youth Night in January

I am still having an amazing time at uni though and I’m keen to keep learning. I’ve been given permission to do my first research project this semester which I am especially looking forward to. Also I have had to speak to a sub dean to plan my degree (it’s a bit disorganised as I was doing health science first semester last year and a lot of the courses have prerequisites). I will still be doing a full load of three courses this semester.

Elise Dixon (2021) was hoping for better results than her three credits and a pass, but she was not disappointed in view of the times. She is finding it difficult under current circumstances travelling between Narooma and Canberra but is working to improve her results this coming semester. Elise is very thankful for Rotary’s support and looks forward to seeing us all again.

July to be Supporting the Environment Month

The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.
It is now Rotary International’s seventh Area of Service with moves afoot to make Julys ‘Rotary Supporting the Environment Month’.
Categories of service activities are supported by global grants. Supporting the Environment joins peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development.
Our Secretary John sent an email to members on 24/7 on behalf of the chair of D9705 Supporting the Environment Team. The Rotary Clubs of Sydney are presenting another free webinar in their Climate and Peace series on 10 August with links to the District Support the Environment page and the D9705 home page, for registration.

NEXT WEEK Thursday 5 August:

We’re welcome to join BlazeAid volunteers for dinner at Cobargo Pub 6 for 6.30pm, Covid-19 restrictions permitting.

If you would like to go, please contact President Andrew by Monday evening; he will liaise re numbers with Cobargo Pub. The cost to Narooma Rotarians will be about $25 a head; the RCs of Narrandera and Narooma will be sponsoring the BlazeAid volunteers.