Narooma Rotary Beacon 3 August 2017

Bob’s Blog

Hello everyone

Last week the Club received a letter from Batemans Bay Rotary Club seeking support from our Club for a Global Grant Application for a water and sanitation project in conjunction with the RC Intramuros in Manila, Philippines.

The project will build toilet facilities for the three Aetas communities of Sitio Flora, Sitio Kalawang and Sitio Babo to address their current problem of inadequate access to sound sanitation facilities.  To me it sounds like a worthwhile project to support, it is a great example of how we can support another Club and ‘Make a Difference’ internationally.

I have also been contacted by Ron Finnegan from Merimbula Rotary. Ron is also the chair of the Sapphire Coast Arts & Sports Youth Development Fund. The Fund was first established in October of last year with the specific purpose of supporting the youth in the Bega Valley Shire in an effort to relieve the cost constraints for children and their parents associated with travel and other expenses to major population areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra to participate in regional and state-wide sporting and cultural activities.

The Fund is its own organisation; it seeks and enjoys funding support from service clubs, business houses, community clubs and arts groups in the community. Since inception it has supported 20 performing arts students and athletes and the list grows. Ron is keen to come and talk to us about the Fund and how it operates. It is something we may wish to consider as another way of ‘Making a Difference’ in our own community.

Thank you to Michael O’Connor who has organised time slots with the Council to sell Whale Watching raffle tickets. Michael fronted up at the newsagency and IGA last Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to sell tickets. I helped on Friday and Saturday and John Rungen last Wednesday. Michael is a fantastic salesman, his skills enabling us to sell 10 of 40 books to date, without his willingness to take on this role our task of selling would be that much harder.

Speaking of Michael, he will be our guest presenter this week. I know all members are keen to hear the highs and lows of his epic trek. Remember it is a partners’ and friends’ night; it would be great to see a room full of people on Thursday.

Have great week.



The Week That Was

Jenni Bourke’s talk last week was a delight. While we see aspects of her work and influence most days around town, that is just a small part of an extraordinary range of Jen’s work and creativity. Jen is a local ceramic artist, sculptor and potter. What impressed us was her passion and enthusiasm for her art, for teaching (not only kids but her Wednesday ceramics class which includes dedicated students Peter Hartley and Donna Anderson), for our community, and for expressing through her art issues that deeply affect her.

President Bob Aston thanks Jenni Bourke at last week’s meeting.

Jen was born in England and grew up in North Narooma where her parents ran Wagonga Slopes cabins (where Fishermen’s Crescent is now). She trained in Canberra in the mid1970s at the Canberra School of Art and then received a Diploma of Education.

Her first involvement with Narooma Rotary was in 1979 when she installed three tall wooden people sculptures in Rotary Park. Our Rotarians cut trees Jenni had selected from the forest, carted them to her studio where she painted them, and then installed them in the Park. They proved very popular.

From 1979, Jen taught Art and Ceramics at Narooma High until retiring a couple of years ago. Her students also painted telegraph poles around town and later large murals around Narooma, including on the toilet blocks at Kianga and Bar Beach.

Some of her sculptural works she showed us are powerful, realistic and moving statements on social issues, such as the life-size sculptures of abandoned babies in Afghanistan prompted by Mahboba’s Promise and then from meeting Mahboba.

Her amazingly detailed dog sculptures are exhibited regularly in a Sydney gallery.

She throws herself 150% into projects she cares about, like making 200 ‘boob candle pots’ and ‘bra bowls’ to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Network and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, or in the renovations to the Kinema.

In thanking Jen, her former boss President Bob described Jen as ‘an outstanding teacher’.

Busking Festival thank you to sponsors

We are working towards having a thank you evening for sponsors of the busking Festival on Thursday 31 August. Details to come.

This week

As Bob mentioned, this Thursday Michael O’Connor will be talking about his walking of the Bibbulmun Track. This is a partners’ and friends’ night so please don’t forget to let Anthony know numbers so we can ensure you have a seat.

The Renewable Energy Expo committee will meet beforehand at 5pm at the Golf Club.