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Presidents Press - 12 October 2021

Finally NSW has had the first step in the process of getting back to normal living. Greater Sydney area is now open for travelling around it , but not outside of it. Similarly , those in regional NSW cannot enter Greater Sydney but are free to roam the complete reginal areas of NSW (a couple of towns may still be in temporary lockdown).

I hope we don’t get “freed battery chooks syndrome” which was noted by a good friend some years back when he bought some chooks from an “egg factory”. For the first week or so , the chooks would carefully approach the cage door of the chook run when my friend opened it in the morning , stick their necks outside and look around , then race back to the enclosed safety inside. An amusing result of being set free and not being used to it.

Our Club members are already putting aside dates for future social occasions as well as projects which will be coming up. Added to this is the speculation as to when we will be able to return to the Piato for our face-to-face meetings.

One such social event is a joint dinner meeting (with partners) being put together by Chatswood/Roseville Club on 23 rd November. There will be three speakers who will be talking of the Covid event and possible ongoing results .

The original venue was to be Roseville Golf Club, but this is unavailable due to renovations. So , decisions on number of seats available and the venue is still to be decided.

14th December is our Club Christmas party to be held at the Kirribilli Yacht Squadron on 14th December. All welcome.

This week our Guest Speaker was Tony Irwin who presented The Case for Small Modular Reactors in Australia. Tony has been involved in the nuclear industry in both the UK and Australia and possesses a total knowledge of the use and costings of nuclear power – particularly interesting when compared with current renewable propositions. To my mind , it showed the hard road ahead to give reliable and plentiful supply of electricity using renewables only. Apart from being topical given our recent intent to purchase nuclear submarines, it was of great interest to all attendees and question time could have gone for much longer. Particularly of note is that this topic attracted 10 visitors who joined our meeting.

On a final and pleasing note, I am very pleased to announce our newest member, Christine Edwards, who has attended some of our previous zoom meetings as well as some of our Friday evening zoom get together. I invited her to join our Club and she enthusiastically agreed. So a big welcome to Christine,

I’m sure you will get a lot of satisfaction and social enjoyment out of our activities.

Saying of the Week : “The Only Impossible journey is the one you never begin” – Anthony Robbins

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 05 October 2021

On Sunday of the long weekend, I went for a kayak paddle around Berrys Bay and Lavender Bay. It was a beautiful morning, and it was gratifying to see Sydney siders out in numbers in all of the parks around those lovely harbourside areas. Everyone was keeping the appropriate distance with their groups and were having a great time. I have never seen so many other kayaks, canoes and inflatables being paddled about that area. All in all, it was evidence of a great revitalisation for life outdoors. As restrictions ease this will obviously increase with people travelling to areas outside Sydney for various longed-for outdoor activities --- the great Australian way.

As I write this, I see breaking news of Dominic Perrottet has been elected by his fellow members as the new Premier of NSW. So a new leader to take us into the “new normal” of post Covid lockdowns.

This week, our Club had a very interesting and topical guest speaker, Taylor Harrison, who is Founder and Director of Active Seniors Health Centre. These centres have helped thousands of Seniors remain active.

Taylor gave practical tips and information on ways to get bodies moving, prevent injuries and regain fitness following four months of lockdown. He advised that these exercises should become an ongoing habit to maintain flexibility, strength and balance.

At our next meeting (12th October), we will be involved in Hat Day which is part of Australian Rotary Health's Lift the Lid on Mental Illness campaign to raise vital funds for mental health research and create awareness about a topic that is not often talked about. Members will be wearing hats that are comical/amusing, or worn for practical reasons, or hold a special meaning to them .

As it will be a Zoom meeting we are unable to take donations but advise that you can donate direct by using this link:

Donate Today -- Quick Donation Form – Australian Rotary Health

We also noted 24th October which is World Polio Day. We will be attending Milsons Point Station to accept donations for this Rotary cause sometime in November when we expect more movement after the expected 80% double vax target has been met.

Saying of the Week: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” - Abe Lincoln

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 28 September 2021

Finally the citizens of NSW can see the actual end of the tunnel and we will start returning to “normal” in increasing degrees each month from October to December when we will be able to do everything that we used to do with some use of masks still required and some regions of NSW still maybe off limits. Other Australian States can only look on with envy as flights to other countries also become available to NSW people.

North Sydney Sunrise Rotary has set some firm targets in line with expectations with our Christmas dinner set for the evening of 14th December at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron where the required distancing is available.

Sculptures at Sawmillers has been moved back to 18th February under the advice of North Sydney Council. By this time the Council expects that gatherings of any size can take place and we will be clear of Christmas Holiday period. This will be a notable event for McMahons Point and will attract visitors from a wide area surrounding.

Rotary Hat Day which supports World Mental Health by Rotary Health, will be on 10th October and our Club will hold it at our Zoom meeting on 12th October. All welcome, wear a hat of some note, crazy or not, or a hat with significant memory to yourself.

Allan Coates has reported that the sale of Magic Show tickets is already underway and we see amounts of money arriving into our bank account. This year the Show will be streamed as per last year. This has not diminished the following and excitement of the event and we expect a good return for our involvement.

At today’s meeting our guest speaker was Tara Tan from Far West Children’s Home in Manly. This organisation was started in 1924 and it was wonderful to hear the enormous geographical area that the Far West Childrens organisation covers throughout NSW. No longer is it simply a home at Manly Beach for children with needs from the far West of NSW.

The organisation covers a range of services for kids from dental and medical to counselling, educational remediation, bushfire recovery (aimed at quelling anxiety in kids who have experienced trauma because of this event) and a telecare service which assures ongoing contact and comfort for the kids in need of this backup. The service is actual face-to-face out there in the bush and they have a wonderful bus that drives around the areas with services all inside.  This is indeed a worthy organisation to be one of the two major recipients of our Club fundraising and one which I feel will be ongoing for some time.

We are looking forward to face-to-face meetings again as it gives an extra dimension to our discussions, I feel. However, Zoom has been a wonderful alternative and has worked very well.

Saying of the week : “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”  ---- Henry Ford

Till next week, stay well.



Presidents Press - 21 September 2021

Yesterday I heard from a friend that has lived all of his life in Fremantle/Perth. He was returning from a road trip holiday up in the North on one of the Mackrel Islands off the coast at Onslow (have a look at a map to see where they are on the coast). He tells me the fishing is absolutely unbeatable. On his way South he saw a lot of vehicles with boats and caravans heading Northwards. Too late in the year, he says, it is extremely hot up there from now on. Once upon a time the locals would not dream of going there this time of year. Times have changed and people are making the most of holidays and retirement, who cares about the weather?  However, this is a sign of what we once deemed “normal”, still going on behind the Great Wall of W.A.

Here in NSW we are straining at the bit to get the first minor releases from lockdown to start moving about. Not long now and weather is prefect.

This week the guest Presenter at our Club Zoom meeting was Graeme Robinson who gave us a good grounding on the understanding and development of Ethics in our societies, dating back to when the basics of ethics stemmed from religious beliefs generally. In particular, it was noted how the Four Way Test that is one of the basic tenets of Rotary, is so outstanding in that it is not political , religious or formed and reformed by any management decisions. It is a pure message.

  1. Is it the truth.
  2. Is it fair to all concerned.
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned.

This was a good “reminder” of how society can operate to its optimum in business, sociably and influencing attitudes to others. A lot of interest from attendees and good questions.

Speaking of attendees, we had 9 guests this week as well as our members - a good sign that our speakers and Club efforts are attracting good attention.

Thought for this week ---- Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant .    R.L. Stevenson

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 14 September 2021

This Spring promises to be a great time as the garden comes out of its Winter torpor with good rain and the days becoming hotter. In fact, last weekend saw some really hot days which are to be followed with a couple of wet ones. Blossoms are starting to show all around, and a lot of colourful gardens will be a delight to see.

Our agricultural industry is also seeing the benefits of good weather resulting in successful crops and plenty of green grass and fodder for animals. Farmers are receiving record prices for crops and stock sales – a great relief for them after some very tough years.

NSW will probably be out of major restrictions well before end November which will see a much more enjoyable Christmas / holiday period than what we were expecting a couple of months ago. The immediate future looks great.

This week our Club had a Board Meeting and a Club Forum.

We are preparing our accounting system for the expected activity about to start with the Magic Show and we have a certified public accountant to oversee our financial results. This has been a gap left by the passing of our dear Moira.

We had some good discussion about our upcoming events and services and the positive attitude from all members means that we will be powering on with our commitments as soon as lockdown restrictions will allow. Some new ideas in regard to promoting the Club in the community and how to get local businesses to enhance our efforts.

We have this week to consider a Pride of Workmanship award and will firm up on our selection at next week’s meeting. This is an important community recognition and is accepted with much pride by the recipient.

So we look forward to a release from lockdown to enact our plans.

Saying of the Week - “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” - Winston Churchill.

Stay Well.


Vale - Colin Bush

Colin was the second youngest of 6 children and grew up on the family property near Dalton in the NSW Southern Highlands.

Our club Past President Allan Coates first met Colin in the late 1980’s when they shared a house in Greenwich. At that time Colin was a train driver on the suburban network based at North Sydney Station.

After time as a rail network supervisor at Sydney Central Railway Station he took up a position with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau based in Canberra investigating rail accidents.

He was then a Safety Standards Officer with John Holland Group supervising the contractors during duplication of the main Sydney / Melbourne rail corridor to provide faster passage of freight trains.

After being made redundant he then took up a position with Redflex Traffic Systems, the operator of mobile speed camera vehicles in NSW. Initially as a camera vehicle operator and then as a supervisor in their operations centre.

He was inducted to the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise on 19 December 2017 and was a valued member of our club.

Colin was always one of the first to volunteer for club projects and gave his time and energy to many roles including overseeing our involvement with Bunning’s BBQ fundraising events.

He will be sadly missed by all his friends at Rotary

Vale - Moira De Vos

Moira joined us at the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise in 2007. We met her at a time when our number was small and we were reaching out to the local community by selling whisky flavoured Christmas cakes, the prospect of which Moira clearly felt to be irresistible! She had been living at Lavender Bay for only a few years and was always looking for opportunities to get to know and help those around her, a worthy aspiration of an example for all Rotarians.

She quickly demonstrated her strong commitment to the ideals of Rotary and after serving as our Club President in 2010-11, continued until 2020 as Club Treasurer, a role to which she brought the highest standards of professionalism. Our partners in the World Festival of Magic project, the most important and financially successful undertaking in our Club’s history and an onerous task for our Treasurer, reported that Moira was amongst the most highly regarded of the many Club representatives with which they worked, a great compliment indeed!

Over many years, Moira brought to our attention a range of diverse community service projects, several of which have continued and grown in importance. Two are notable. Through the ‘Books in Homes’ charity, our Club provides books to every student attending Stuart Town Public School in Central NSW. Secondly, we support the Canberra based Nusa Tenggara Association which helps poor village communities in eastern Indonesia improve levels of education, productivity, and wellbeing. These projects are both now considered a tribute to Moira.

Perhaps even more important, Moira loved having fun with her family and friends, playing well on the golf course and sipping fine champagne! She will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.

Presidents Press - 07 September 2021

There seems to be more of a “buzz” in the air which I put down to firstly, the nice warm and sunny weather we are experiencing in the first blush of spring and associated blossoms starting to show in gardens.  Secondly, there is a promised date where we can expect an easing of current restrictions as we learn to live with Covid armed (excuse the pun) with vaccine in over 70% of the NSW population. Hopefully we can then get on with visiting, travelling, socialising etc and kids can get to school and learn living – I bet they can’t wait to get with their friends at school.

Our Club still has projects ahead of us which should take shape soon after restrictions are eased and we can be a community stalwart identity again.

For the meantime we keep our Zoom meetings up and have started a get together on Zoom each Friday at 5pm where we talk about anything apart from Rotary and enjoy a beer, wine or whatever.

This week we had two very interesting speakers - Jennifer Gripton-Corbett and Ceiny Mayberry. Their topic was “lets talk suicide” and they opened a complete insight to what is currently a major problem which has been increased due to the Covid lockdowns. Unfortunately, even minors have been included in the disaster, and, interestingly, 75% of people committing suicide are male --- this for a number of reasons, but notably because men don’t really confide in each other in regards to their problems and so experience a build-up inside them which can magnify their problems to a disastrous level.  Women, in contrast are more likely to seek help from siblings or friends or organisations such as lifeline before things go very bad.

Jennifer and Ceiny are involved in advising, helping and mentoring people who come forward looking for help from their organisation, Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury. This would be a never-ending task and we all admired their ability to “stay on top” of the problems without the work dragging down their own positive outlook on life.  This was a very sobering, yet interesting, professional presentation.

Thanks to the great topics that Ken Preshaw gathers for our meetings, we are getting people other than members attending to hear our speakers. Naturally, all are welcome.

Next week is a Club Forum and Board Meeting.

Thought for the week: “The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades”.

Stay well


Presidents Press - 31 August 2021

I am writing this on the first day of Spring, it is a beautiful day, and the expectation of some beautiful weather ahead is very uplifting. There is something about a nice sunny morning that is able to start the day with a positive note which is a tremendous lift as we are still undergoing lockdown in Sydney. Indications are that some restrictions will be lifted at the end of September and we can start approaching the “new normality”.

At this stage of the Rotary year, we are still looking forward to some effective activity both in fund raising and community activity. Today we transferred $2500 to the Nusa Tenggara Association which sadly is half of our normal donation as we have been unable to get a matching grant. Discussion will be taking place with the NTA and other Rotary clubs to investigate the possibility of a Global Grant to make up for the current shortfall.

NTA make a big difference in the lives of poor farming communities in South East Indonesia with their effort involved in education, income generating programs, health and now Covid prevention and treatment. So it is important that we seek a way to keep donations to them at a useful level.

This week we had a very entertaining presentation from some entertainers. That is, Mario Millo, a guitarist singer, song writer and television composer. His co-presenter was Jim Towers who is a band booking agent and promoter.  The theme was “The Australian Music Industry from 1960s and beyond.

Both men had enormous experience in this area and the stories and details were extremely interesting as well as amusing and certainly conjured up the youth of this writer when they mentioned various entertainers and venues from yesteryear.

The meeting ended in some disarray as we were “bombed” by some thoughtless juveniles. However, this pointed out how lucky we have been Zooming over the past 18 months, so now we are investigating the various means of preventing this unfortunate and meaningless activity.

This week a quote from Winston Churchill---- “There is nothing Government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place”

Stay Well.

Regards Allen

Presidents Press - 24 August 2021

It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of one of our members Colin Bush, late last Sunday evening at RNSH.  Colin had spent a considerable part of this year in hospital for several treatments which lead to complications and infections, all of which were too much for his system. Colin was a regular attendee at our breakfast meetings at Piato and contributed his time and energies to many of our club’s projects. He will be greatly missed by us all and we pass on our sincere condolences to his family.

This year has seen the passing of two other members of our Club – all of them far too young. However, I feel that they have all left a “presence” with a memory of their companionship and personalities.

On a brighter note, we have had some healthy enquiries from people interested in joining North Sydney Sunrise Rotary and this could be a good time for some new personalities.

We had an extremely interesting Speaker this week (by Zoom), Dr Daniel Nour who has achieved one of his ambitions to address the needs of the underprivileged and vulnerable members of the Community. To this end he has established “Street Side Medics” which operates mobile medical vans fitted with the necessary equipment to provide primary health care service reaching out to the homeless community across multiple locations.

Street Side Medics have recently been supplied with a new van courtesy of Mercedes Benz which is an indication of the growth and effectiveness of this admirable organisation.  The amazing thing is that the whole operation is manned completely by volunteer doctors and support staff and relies on donations for its operation.

Further information can be found on the website:

This week, an old Italian Proverb ---- “after the game, the King and Pawn go into the same box”

See you all next Tuesday on Zoom and don’t forget the casual drinks by Zoom  each Friday at 5pm, all welcome. Contact Ken Preshaw for zoom address

Stay Well.

Allen Colburt

Presidents Press - 17 August 2021

The NSW Lockdown has been extended for another month with a possibility of loosening of conditions when vaccination reaches a certain level.

This has been a very quiet time for our Club with any activities that could be planned, all side-lined.

Zoom meetings are effective enough for all members to have some contact and consider any Rotary event or efforts. However they lack the ability for natural conversation and as a result, input by members is often short or accidentally drowned out by another’s contribution.  It seems that our meetings have become shorter because of that and, also, the lack of face-to-face activity that normally generates discussion.

Thankfully, Ken Preshaw does such an outstanding job of getting speakers each week that we always have a meeting that is entertaining, educational and interesting.

We are lucky that the three main events in our Club’s calendar/financial support are unaffected by current events. These are Magic Show, Far West Children’s Home and Phoenix House. Our input to Phoenix house will be magnified by our Member, Andrew Harvey, volunteering to be on the Phoenix House Board. Good on you Andrew.

Our Guest Speaker this week was Clyde Campbell form the Shake it up Foundation. Clyde is the founder of Shake It Up Australia Foundation and has an entrepreneurial spirit and a vision for the future. Clyde decided not to sit back and wait for the rest of the world to find a cure for Parkinson’s but to join the action. In 2011 he launched Shake It Up Australia Foundation with one mission – to increase awareness and funding in Australia targeted at finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for Parkinson’s. Clyde also wanted to ensure that 100% of all donations received went to Parkinson’s research. This commitment is made possible by Clyde and his brother Greg funding all the administration and overhead costs of the foundation. Since 2011 the foundation has co-funded over $15 Million into Parkinson’s Research in Australia and are now the leading non-government funder of Parkinson’s research across multiple institutes.  On 26 January 2021, Clyde was appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in the Australia Day Honours List, in recognition of his significant service to community health, particularly to people living with Parkinson’s disease.

He spoke of his diagnosis and how he came to start the foundation and establish a partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation and the research agenda and progress.  Clyde is a person with great energy and successful ambition and we were really absorbed in his excellent presentation.

On another note, the Club a has begun a Friday evening casual get together via Zoom and it has proven to be very good. With everyone locked down, it was a tremendous opportunity to talk together ( within the limits of Zoom) and retreat from the sometime  boredom of lockdown. All welcome , if you have not received the Zoom address, drop a note to Ken at

A thought for this week: “ the quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back into your pocket”

Until next Tuesday morning – stay well.

Presidents Press - 10 August 2021

Another Club Zoom meeting – they are becoming the norm as we wait for the day when lockdown is over. Even then, I feel that there will be separation conditions which will not allow us to have our normal physical meetings.

In the main, however, a certain amount of Rotary work can still be done, mostly, at this stage, in preparation for the end of lockdown.

Chatswood/Roseville Club is proposing a get-together of all 8 Clubs in our cluster. This to be held at their normal dinner venue at Roseville Golf Club on 23rd November. We would expect Covid conditions will allow it by then.

The main purposes are to finally allow some Rotary fellowship which will include a number of Clubs plus their partners. What a breath of fresh air after what we have been going through.

In addition to the dinner, there will be some presentations about the latest and accurate information about Covid 19. This will be very interesting, particularly given the growing knowledge of the sickness and how to handle it . By 23rd November we should hear of the very latest results and activities.

Finally, funds raised will be sent to Australian Rotary Health.

Club Member Andrew Harvey has been talking with the Chairman of the Board of Phoenix House in regard to him being appointed to the Board. Phoenix House is our second major beneficiary of our funds. Money received from us is earmarked to help purchase a new (second Hand) vehicle for use by Phoenix House.

This week our guest speaker was Ian Burnett who gave a very interesting presentation on Joseph Banks which described his involvement with Captain Cook on the Endeavour and the trip from Tahiti to New Zealand and on to Botany Bay. His colleagues, Solander and Patterson were very much a necessary requirement to be able to conduct a professional identification and cataloguing of what they discovered to do with flora and fauna.

 In addition, it was Bank’s life after that trip which gave us details of his very interesting life and ongoing involvement with nature and his amazing collection in his home in England.

Ian’s knowledge of his subject was total, and he fielded questions with ease and accuracy. A most interesting speaker.

Stay healthy and we look forward to next week’s Zoom meeting.

Presidents Press - 27 July 2021

Another week of lockdown for Greater Sydney because of the dreadful Delta strain of Covid 19. This is a very trying time for all residents of the Greater Sydney area and we can only hope that the measures being taken will be successful and we can have a more normal existence after end August.

However, our Rotary Club keeps moving on , meeting on Zoom and contacting each other by phone, SMS email etc. Thank goodness for modern digital technology!

Our meeting this week was a Club Forum and included a Board meeting.

Phoenix house was approved by members to be our second major beneficiary for our funds. The specific purpose of our funds is to replace the aged motor vehicle currently being used by Phoenix house to conduct their community service.

Members discussed how we would like to use the Sculptures at Sawmillers event to promote the Club and hopefully attract new members. This activity to take place alongside our volunteers helping in the general running of this attractive community event.

Unfortunately we were unsuccessful in our application for a grant of funds for Nusa Tengarra dance festival in Indonesia and we will investigate further Global Grants , but this appears to have difficult conditions.

This lead to discussion in regard to a fall-back plan if our application for an outdoor gym is only partly successful, or not successful at all. To this end, we will investigate Corporate Rotary membership and Corporate funding.

I am going to investigate the awarding of a Local Hero in our community . We have a recipient in mind and need to make sure that other Clubs in the Cluster are not doubling up for the same person.

Magic Show is all looking good with an increased emphasis this year on tickets for Zoom attendees which would complement sales to attendees (this could be affected by a lock down extension). We have approval from beneficiaries of our donations (Far West Childrens’ Home and Phoenix House) to use their organisation’s name in the marketing of the product.

I also attended a cluster meeting and a DG’s District meeting (by Zoom) last week and some good ideas came up which I will share with members at our next meeting (we literally ran out of time this week for further business).

So our Club is still being very active in our efforts and our Zoom meetings have become very effective over the last 18 months or so with all attendees getting their input. It will be nice , though , to get back to person-to-person meetings.

Stay Healthy

Presidents Press - 20 July 2021

This week’s meeting was a visit from DG Lindsay May and his wife Tania.  In addition we were joined by ADG John Zhang and ADG Jade Catherall.

Zoom meetings have become almost “normal” given the sinister advance of the Delta strain of Covid and the high transmission rate which is leaving the time to be under lockdown open-ended. In fact Lindsay had earlier indicated that he would push our meeting out to the New Year rather than have a Zoom meeting. However , the changing circumstances of extended lockdown mandated the Zoom meeting.

We also had a delightful visitor from New Zealand, Gordon Lukies ,who was a very early member of the Club in the late ‘80s. He gave us some detail of his Rotary membership which is now over 60 years.

We had 10 members “present” and a few of those were involved in those items in the presentation that were pertinent to their Club Oficer’s task..

Our Power Point presentation was complimented by Lindsay and he said that he was impressed with out planning and budgeting .

Lindsay also gave us some tips re District and global grants which can attract a matching amount of funds to that put up by the club.

Also noted was the one-day Conference at Rooty  Hill RSL on the 19th March 2022.

In addition, he noted that our Club will be 35 years old later this year. Quite an achievement.

Tania gave us more interest in Street Side medics – a voluntary medical service for homeless people in Sydney. This could be a beneficiary we could investigate as well.

The meeting closed at 8:30 and I must say , I found it very enjoyable.

Next week is a Club Forum as well as a Board Meeting. 

Presidents Press - 13 July 2021

Well, the Lockdown continues and zoom meetings are  almost becoming the norm. However, we still get our business done and everybody gets to have their say, as expected.

Today, we had 12 members and 6 visitors attend by zoom to hear Commander Ray Rees, RAN retired give a presentation detailing the 1942 Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbour.

Ray was an excellent speaker detailing the lead up to the attack and the Japanese activity that lead up to the midget submarines actually entering Sydney Harbour and sinking the Ferry Kuttabul. Details of each submarines’ attack and then the aftermath were all supplied and gave everybody the complete story of the events before and after.

In regards to Club business, I passed on DG Lindsay May’s preference to not attend our meeting next week by Zoom, preferring to delay the meeting to later in the Rotary Year. At this time, it appears that we wont be able to avoid a Zoom meeting. We wait for further instructions by the Govt in this regard.

I had spoken to Elsa Atkin, the organiser of Sculptures at Sawmillers and she relayed the fact that  by the 30th June cut-off date, she had received 95 entries from sculptors for the event. She thinks that she will narrow this down to 50-60. However, she currently is unable to sit with her judges given the current Covid restrictions.

She has had feedback from the various sculptors that her exhibition is the best organised etc of any others that occur within NSW (including the more famous one that skirts the clifftops to Bondi Beach).

Andrew Harvey spoke of his contact with Phoenix House and the outcome is that we can have a very tangible benefit for them by helping fund the purchase of a modest vehicle to replace the aged one that they currently use in their ongoing work for the youth of the district.

We agreed to make a final decision re acceptance of this beneficiary at our next meeting. Allan Coates feels that we have at least until the end of July to pass this information on to the Magic Show marketing team to be used in their promotions.

Andrew Young has received a request from Jonas Jost , the magician from the Magic Show for us to make a short video to present the new show. Current restrictions are going to make it hard to get this done.

My first full meeting as President went well and I enjoyed it immensely – on to next week!

Changeover - 06 July 2021

This is my first day as President of the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise and I am very proud of the fact that the members supported my election to the position.

This morning we had a Zoom Changeover due to the current lockdown conditions in Sydney and the event was controlled very competently by PP Allan Coates as MC. The meeting was very well attended by members and included the new District Governor, Lindsay May and his wife Tanya, Past District Governor David Clarke and Assistant District Governor John Zhang.

President Cathie (now Past President) welcomed all comers and narrated the events that had occurred during her year as President. This was an impressive list of events and causes and was a great reflection of Cathie’s sense of detail and her resolve to achieve the Club’s Goals and plans. It is enlightening to hear of all of the occurrences for the year compressed into one “listing” as the Club achieved so much during a year that was plagued with lockdowns and other conditions regarding the Covid 19 directions. You don’t realise how much was done until it is presented in such a way.

Well done Cathie , quite a memorable achievement.

Cathie then had the delightful task of presenting Paul Harris awards to Ken Preshaw and Greg Blainey for their outstanding service to the Club and Rotary.

And then --- Cathie handed over the regalia (notionally) and the Presidency to me. What a proud moment for myself.

Iain Clark added to the discussion with some interesting facts about how the Rotary International organization also managed a year of unprecedented disruption and yet achieved so much. He then proposed a toast to Rotary International which was well received.

Being the President from this moment, I spoke to Cathie about the Members’ appreciation of the great work she had done during a very difficult year .

Her attention to detail, her ability to be always available either by phone, SMS or email was the hallmark of her presence and she was happily involved in everything that came her way , giving sensible consideration and answers to all sorts of topics and problems . A great Team Leader which always assured her of total support by a great Team. She began her year with things looking fairly bleak in the way of fund raising but carried on with her tasks to find that eventually, The Magic Show , the backbone of our Club’s funding, became , once again, a great source of funds (Moira always called it “the gift that keeps on giving”) as they moved their business to an online capability.

Consequently, we moved through our plans and goals, achieving them all.

Then it was my great pleasure to present Cathie with a Paul Harris Award for her outstanding work as President – all to great applause and plaudits.

Now, as President, I outlined my plans to keep to the normal goal and plans that we are always involved in and have budgeted.

We are on the lookout for a new recipient of our funds and currently Andrew Harvey is looking at possibilities. Also I spoke of the  Gymnasium at Anderson Park – our own acknowledgement and memorial item to 100 years of Rotary in Australia. In addition, our involvement in Sculptures at Sawmillers could be a good opportunity to receive donations and also to seek new members from the community. New membership is one area we will put some focus and I looked at having a presence at the local markets but , at this point , cannot think of an effective way to be involved and interesting.

Some social events and maybe a weekend away into rural NSW could maybe be of interest.

The meeting concluded in the normal way and I am looking forward to the upcoming Rotary Year.


President Cathie's Changeover Speech - 06 July 2021

Allan, as our immediate Past President, I would like to thank you for your help in my role as President and for being our MC this morning.

I have been honoured to be President of the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise. Throughout the year I have strived to uphold the values of Rotary.  It has been a great experience and I have learnt many things along the way. The last 18 months will remain in our memories as the time the world came face to face with a pandemic.

This year our theme was Rotary Opens Opportunities. We have certainly had to look for new opportunities as our ‘normal’ way of doing things was not always possible. As restrictions came in our Club adapted well with a quick uptake of Zoom. Thank you to everyone involved in setting it up, hosting the meetings and to Members for coming along on Zoom. Ken has managed throughout these challenging times to arrange our wonderful Speakers’ Programme, covering such a range of topics. With the return to meetings at Piato Restaurant we began having hybrid meetings so that Members and guests could also join us online. We are all thankful that we are able to get together each week, whether it has been on zoom or in person.

We have welcomed two new Members, David Dellagiacoma and Andrew Harvey, and we have enjoyed getting to know them as they have become involved with our Club. 

I would like to thank our Committee Members from the bottom of my heart. I have really appreciated your support and assistance throughout the year. There was always someone that I could contact to ask for help or to be a listening ear. There is a lot of Rotary Wisdom in our Club.

The day to day running of our Club takes a lot of time and commitment from Members and without everyone’s valued contribution over many years our Club wouldn’t be able to achieve all that we have.

Some Members kindly took on new roles, including Don as our Treasurer. Thank you Don for managing our accounts so proficiently – we always knew what was happening through your monthly reconciliations and reports at our Board Meetings.

Thank you also to Members who continued in their roles on the Committee.  As a Club we work together to develop, and then endeavour to achieve, our goals and look at ways that we can help others as Rotarians. As Secretary, Allen Colburt has maintained our Registrations, Insurances and Working With Children Check records as well as Minuting our Club Forums and Board meeting.

I would also like to thank John Zhang. As our Assistant Governor he coordinated the Cluster meetings and this was an opportunity for me to meet in person with our local Club Presidents. It was so important as I had few chances to meet with Rotarians from our District during this time

The year brought sadness with the death our Club Member and friend Moira. She joined our Club in 2007. She held the position of President in 2010 – 11 and was our Treasurer for many years. She contributed so much to our Club including initiating our involvement with organisations such as the Nusa Tenggara Association and the Books In Homes programme. We will miss Moira.

We have had many achievements over the year.

At the start of the pandemic we really didn’t know how we would go with fundraising but we were pleasantly surprised at the success of the World Festival of Magic Show. They had to adapt to the Covid 19 restrictions so it was a streamed event in December. This was made available to children that would not otherwise have been able to enjoy the show ‘in person’. This is our major fundraiser. The main beneficiaries were the Your Side Young Carers’ Programme and Royal Far West Childrens’ Health Programmes.

Our new website was launched in September and it has been great to be able to promote our Club and for Members, potential Members and Rotary friends to see our activities, news and projects online. Greg is our Webmaster and we are all pleased with our new look – thank you Greg and Ken for all the time and energy that you have given to setting up and maintaining our new website.

Planning face to face social contact has been difficult. We were able to visit the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway with Reg Chard, a Kokoda veteran, as our guide. We enjoyed a walking tour of Barangaroo guided by our fellow Member, Don. Jaz shared her insider’s view as an active member of the Millers Point community. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know more about this part of our city and to socialise with our Rotary friends.

We have organised dinners when possible, and we were pleased to present our Pride of Workmanship Award to Angelika Knoerzer at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Overseas Projects - We continued our support to the Nusa Tenggara Association through a District Grant. The Music and Dance Festival was unable to go ahead due to the pandemic but the project was revised and the funds went to schools in Eastern Indonesia for furniture, books and school hygiene posters. Iain continues to coordinate our grant application and to liaise with the Association.

We continued to give to the Sumba Project that has programmes to assist communities on the Island of Sumba in Indonesia.

We made several donations to School For Life in Uganda – we contributed to the Girls’ and Boys’ new boarding facilities and we continued with child sponsorship. We also donated Wallabies ‘Memorabilia’ from the Rugby World Cup that was auctioned at the Gala Ball.

October was End Polio Month. We were fortunate that we were able to raise funds at the Milson’s Point railway station and to share the news that the goal of the global eradication of polio is becoming closer to being achieved. Bharat had also been collecting for this worthy cause at his pharmacy.

Rural communities  - We managed a trip to Molong mid July. We enjoyed the Drought Relief Project dinner with the Rotary Club of Molong and Allen Colburt and Allan Coates attended a meeting of the Cabone Shire Council as they had assisted with the project.  Through the Adopt a Town programme our Club has an ongoing involvement with Molong and Allan maintains contact with the Rotary Club. We are hoping to visit again soon and enjoy their new ‘trail walk’.

Our involvement in the Books in Homes programme at Stuart Town Public School has been different this year. We attended their book presentations on Zoom! We were still able to share the childrens’ delight as they received their books and listened to authors who are ambassadors of the Books in Home programme.

Closer to home

In July Jaz found an opportunity for us to hold 5 Gourmet BBQs at the Millers Point Monday Night Farmers’ Market. This was also the time for us to embrace new technology by setting up a ‘tap and go’ facility and this is now our ‘normal’ way of paying each week at our meetings.

We celebrated Lift the Lid on Mental Illness ‘Hat Day’, raising funds for Australian Rotary Health. It brought some fun to our Zoom meeting with everyone wearing hats from near and far.

Once again we participated in Clean Up Australia Day, collecting rubbish in the area along Balls Head Bay and the land adjacent to HMAS Waterhen..

We volunteered at the Red Sheild Appeal in May. This is coordinated by the Salvation Army and the Rotary Club of North Sydney and it was great to see students from local schools giving their time on a Sunday morning.

Our Club has had a long involvement with the Crows Nest Centre. Your Rotary D Caf, a monthly get-together for people living with dementia and their carers, was planned to commence in March 2020 but Covid 19 changed that. It was finally launched in April 2021. We are working alongside the Rotary Clubs of North Sydney, Crows Nest and Northbridge and the Crows Nest Centre. Past Assistant Governor, Ward Pollard and Assistant Governor, John Zhang are on the D Caf planning committee.

The Crows Nest Centre Movie group has recommenced after many months of not being able to run. Recently we were able to donate funds to support their new programme - Pets as Therapy.

Rotary Youth Programmes

Thankfully MUNA (Model United nations Assembly) was able to go ahead and we sponsored two teams from Monte Sant Angelo.

District Events have been different this year. I participated in the online Rotary Leadership Institute programme and many Members attended the District Assembly sessions online. Our District Conference ‘Rock The Boat’ was virtual. We were still able to hear about many projects with keynote speakers and the House of Friendship presentations. Our NSS video made it into the top 10!

To finish up –  I have really enjoyed my time as President. I would like to thank all Members and friends of our Club for their support and friendship throughout the year. We have had challenges along the way and worked together in Rotary fellowship with a common goal of service to others.

I am proud to be a Rotarian. We have celebrated 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand and it is so good to be involved in projects that are made possible through a global organisation such as Rotary International and more locally with District 9685.

I look forward to the year ahead with Allen as our President, Lindsay as our District Governor and John as Assistant Governor.

 Thank you everyone 

Presidents Press - 06 July 2021

I am thankful that we have the technology to hold our meetings on Zoom when we are unable to meet in person due to Covid-19 restrictions. This gives us the opportunity to keep in touch with Members and our Rotary friends as well as continue with our Speakers’ Programme.  

This week, Denise Ward, Executive Officer of the Crows Nest Centre (CNC) joined us on Zoom. She spoke of her earlier connections with Rotary, firstly as a participant in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards programme (RYLA) and later as a recipient of a Rotary management scholarship. In her current role she works closely with local Rotary Clubs and a recent project is the establishment of a dementia café, Your Rotary D’ Caf. This was launched in April 2021 and is a partnership between the CNC and the Rotary Clubs of Crows Nest, North Sydney, North Sydney Sunrise and Northbridge.

During Denise’s presentation she spoke about the history of the CNC, their areas of focus and how the D Caf is an important initiative offering support to people that are living with dementia and to their carers. She gave us information about the incidence of dementia in Australia and overseas, normal ageing versus symptoms of dementia, the common types of dementia, early signs and common symptoms of dementia and ways that we can maintain our ‘brain health’.

Further information about the Crows Nest Centre is on or you can follow them on Facebook.

This is my final President’s Press. I have really enjoyed my time as President of the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise. I would like to thank all Members and friends of our Club for their support throughout the year. We have had challenges along the way and worked together in Rotary fellowship with a common goal of service to others.

Our Club’s Changeover Dinner on the 6th July has been cancelled due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. We will have the Changeover next Tuesday 6th July but it will now be on Zoom at our normal breakfast meeting time of 7.15am. I look forward to welcoming Allen Colburt as our President for the year ahead.

Presidents Press - 29 June 2021

Our Rotary year is coming to an end.  We met this week to continue planning for the year ahead. A number of ‘not for profit’ organisations were discussed as possible recipients of funds raised. Ideas were considered for the promotion of Rotary and our Club, fundraising and service projects. We spoke of ways that our Club could support rural communities, especially during times of hardship.

Opportunities for Rotary District and Club social events have been limited at times due to Covid-19 concerns that began in early 2020. Our Members are looking forward to being able to plan more regular social get-togethers, events such as going to the theatre, outings to areas of interest in Sydney and visits further afield to Molong and surrounds.

Our Club’s Changeover Dinner is on the 6th of July at the Northbridge Golf Club and this will be a good chance to catch up with Rotarians and friends of Rotary.

The Rotary D’ Caf for people living with dementia and their carers was held at the Crows Nest Centre on Wednesday. Participants enjoyed socialising, gentle exercises, games and a delicious morning tea in a friendly, supportive environment. Volunteers from four local Rotary Clubs and staff from the Crows Nest Centre are involved in the planning and running of this monthly community activity.

Next Tuesday, Denise Ward, Executive Officer of the Crows Nest Centre, will talk to us about dementia and the formation of the Rotary Dementia Café.

Our meeting will be conducted within Covid-19 social distancing rules so attendance will be limited. Please advise us if you plan to attend.  Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online. 

Presidents Press - 22 June 2021

Andrew Harvey, a Member of our Club, shared his ‘story’ with us this week. He told us about his childhood growing up on a farm in southern New Zealand and his work, firstly in New Zealand and then Queensland, the NSW Central Tablelands and more recently Sydney. He has worked in senior management and development roles in the healthcare and community sectors and is currently CEO of a not for profit organisation that enables people across Australia to connect with community care services. Andrew talked about the importance of supporting people in their ability to access appropriate and timely assistance. He is a non-executive Director of a western NSW disability provider and regularly volunteers with a 24-hour telephone crisis support service. He spoke of the value of helping people in their time of need.

It is with great sadness that I write of the death our dear friend Moira de Vos on the 10th of June.  She has been a valued Member of our Rotary Club for many years and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family at this time. Her funeral will be held on Monday 21st of June.

Next Tuesday, 22nd of June, we will have a Planning Meeting at Piato Restaurant as we have postponed our visit to Molong and the Books In Homes presentation at Stuart Town Public School. As our Rotary year ends soon this will be a great opportunity for us to explore options and come up with ideas for our Club for the year ahead. Our President Elect, Allen Colburt, will chair our meeting. Guests are very welcome.  Please note that Zoom will not be available for the breakfast meeting on the 22nd.

Presidents Press - 15 June 2021

We held our Club Forum and Board Meeting this week. It was good to reflect on ways that our Club has been involved in the local community over the last few months, at times alongside Members of our local Rotary Clubs. We reviewed our recent achievements including supporting social, health, education, youth, community, rural and overseas projects. We discussed how the coming Rotary year will bring new opportunities for our Club and that we are always looking for ways that we can serve together as Rotarians.

We continue to have interesting speakers and I look forward to Tuesday mornings to have the chance to experience presentations covering a broad range of topics. I have enjoyed catching up each week with Members and guests at Piato Restaurant and have appreciated the staff’s support and assistance during these challenging Covid 19 times. We have been pleased to welcome Members and guests online via Zoom.

Next week Andrew Harvey, a Member of our Club, will give us a Member Talk.

Please note that Zoom will not be available next Tuesday 15th June and that there will be no breakfast meeting on the 22nd June as Members from our Club will be visiting Molong and attending a Books In Home presentation at Stuart Town Public School.

Presidents Press - 08 June 2021

Dr Alexandra De Young joined us via Zoom this week for her presentation about Paediatric Medical Traumatic Stress. She is a clinical psychologist and research fellow at the University of Queensland and the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. As a recipient of an Australian Rotary Health Research Grant Alex and her fellow researchers were able to trial the effectiveness of the CARE screen and treat early intervention for improving physical and mental health outcomes in young, injured children and their parents. Alex told us about some of the risk factors that can impact on how a child and their family respond to their experience during times of stress related to health care, natural disasters and Covid 19. She spoke of interventions that health care workers, families and carers can use to help reduce the impact. She has been involved in the development of the website ‘Birdie’s Tree’ that has resources featuring Birdie and Mr Frog. They have been designed to help the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young children and are available online or in print. There are games, storybooks, early childhood curriculum resources and information and resources for parents and carers that can help the child and carer before, during and after the event.

Our Club was involved with the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal last Sunday. (photo below) Members from several local Rotary Clubs, coordinated by the Rotary Club of North Sydney and the Salvation Army, assisted students from local schools to collect funds by doorknocking in our area. A QR code and online facility made it possible for supporters to donate digitally.

Next week we are holding our Club Forum and Board meeting. All Members and guests are welcome and Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 01 June 2021

William Chan, an Australian architect, urbanist and design strategist, joined us at our meeting this week. He has been involved with Rotary since he was 12 when he completed a community service award programme through a local Club. He was a member of Interact and was elected President as a Year 11 student and he has participated in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) programme.  William talked about some of his experiences while studying as a Rotary Foundation Global Grant recipient for his Master of Architecture in Milan. He shared how his ideas developed, including the need to consider the social outcomes of architecture and the need for community perspectives to be considered from the outset. William told us about  the  City of Sydney 2050 Expert Panel where he presented to the Citizen’s Jury and advised on the development of the city’s future strategy. William also spoke of innovative programmes such as the transformation of plastic waste from refugee camps in Greece into useful 3D-printed objects designed by refugees. He presented this idea at the UN General Assembly. Our Members were interested to hear of the many ways that architecture and design can impact on societies and the affect it can have on us all.

I enjoyed our District’s President’s lunch last weekend. It was great to meet with other Rotarians ‘face to face’ as previous meetings during my year as President have been on Zoom due to Covid 19 restrictions. Each Rotary Club received the commemorative book ‘Humanity In Action’ which celebrates 100 years of Rotary Clubs in Australia and its near island neighbours.

The monthly Rotary D Caf was held this week at the Crows Nest Centre. It was good to see familiar faces from last month and to welcome new participants to the group. Bobby Redman, Rotary District Chair for the Dementia Awareness and Support Committee, was our guest and she spoke of her personal experiences with dementia and her involvement in dementia advocacy work.

At our next meeting Dr Alexandra De Young, a clinical psychologist and research fellow, will talk to us about Paediatric Medical Traumatic Stress. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join our meeting online.

Presidents Press - 25 May 2021

Dr Chris Hodge spoke with us this week about our eyes. Chris is an orthoptist and in his current role as the research coordinator at Vision Eye Institute he is responsible for running clinical trials and developing research projects.  75% of all eye diseases occur after 50 years of age including presbyopia, diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Chris told us about treatments that are now available as a result of the increase in technology and improved health care. It was a reminder to us all that it is important to have regular eye checks. 

This week is National Volunteers’ Week. I attended the Crows Nest Centre Volunteer Appreciation Lunch on Thursday. As a representative of our Club I volunteer with the monthly Movie Group and the Rotary D’ Caf. The ongoing commitment of the local Rotary Clubs to the Centre was acknowledged and Tom Sweeney from the Rotary Club of Crows Nest spoke about some of the reasons that drew him to join Rotary and how being a Rotarian fits in well with the values of volunteering. Denise Ward, Executive Officer, gave a presentation on the Crows Nest Centre that included the Centre’s Vision for ‘a connected community’. Volunteers are involved in many of their services that meet the needs of older people, people with a disability, migrants, parents and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

For further information about the Centre go to or follow them on Facebook.

The Rotary District Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) programme is being held this weekend and our Club is pleased to sponsor two teams from Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College to participate in the programme. We wish them an enjoyable time in their role as delegates to MUNA.

Next week Rotary Foundation Global Scholar, William Chan will talk about his Global Grant experience in Europe (2015-17) and how that has led to civic leadership opportunities in Sydney. He is an architect, an urbanist and design strategist. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join our meeting online. 

Presidents Press - 18 May 2021

Bev Young, a member of Sydney Wildlife Rescue since its inception in 1997, joined us at our meeting this week. During Bev’s presentation we heard how the volunteer run organisation supports the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned wildlife in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area. The volunteers are trained in the rescue and care of a range of native wildlife including birds, adult possums, turtles and lizards. Further training is available for volunteers wishing to extend the range of animals that they can care for. There is a 24 hour ‘rescue line’ and a service where volunteer vets run a weekly clinic in a mobile van on the Northern Beaches. Sydney Wildlife Rescue are involved in educating the community about habitat preservation and caring for our wildlife. This includes providing information about feeding wild birds, using wildlife friendly pest control and advice about the ever present brush turkeys. A ‘glove box’ booklet is available to help us if we come across wildlife in need.  Further information is available on

Our Club continues to be involved with the Crows Nest Centre’s monthly movie group. I enjoyed the outing to the Hayden Orpheum cinemas, talking with participants as we travelled in the Community Transport bus and hearing their thoughts about the movie they had watched as we returned home.

The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal is coming up and Club Members are able to volunteer in several ways. The ‘door knock’ will be in person this year on Sunday 30th May and donations can also be made digitally to the North Sydney collection area.

Our District Assembly continues on Zoom with sessions available to support our Members in their Club roles for the year ahead.

Next week Dr Chris Hodge will talk to us about our eyes as we age - what challenges we may experience and treatment options.  Zoom continues to be available if you would like to join our meeting online.

Presidents Press - 11 May 2021

Emeritus Professor Don Napper, a Member of our Club, spoke to us this week about vaccines. His presentation started back in history with the Chinese introducing a small amount of viral material into the body to teach the body’s immune system to fight off that virus. Many centuries later Edward Jenner used cowpox material to create immunity to smallpox and the medical and technological advances over the next 200 years resulted in the eradication of smallpox.

Don told us about Covid 19 vaccines that are currently being used worldwide. We learned of the different ways that modern day vaccines are developed and how the various vaccines work, including newer scientific advances such as mRNA vaccines.

Vaccines give protection against the disease by stimulating an immune response to the virus. Covid 19 vaccines are not 100% successful at stopping us from being infected with the virus and potentially passing it on to others. They are effective at preventing serious illness and death from the virus and are expected to provide some protection against new virus variants. We discussed that it will be some time before we see the benefits of mass immunisation and global recovery from this pandemic and that we will need to continue to be vigilant in maintaining any Covid 19 restrictions and testing guidelines set by health authorities.

Next Tuesday Bev Young, a volunteer with Sydney Wildlife Rescue, will tell us how they rescue and care for wildlife and ways that the public can be of assistance.

Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us at our meeting online.

Presidents Press - 04 May 2021

Ray Walsh, a volunteer with the Australian Maritime Museum, took us on a Voyage of Discovery this week. The story started with the death of Ferdinand Magellan exactly 500 years ago. Magellan was the instigator and organiser of the first circumnavigation of the globe and this proved that the Earth is round. Ray spoke of the Spice Islands in Indonesia and the value of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg to the Europeans during this period. The advances in ship construction, deep water navigation, cartography, armaments and food storage made it possible to sail further, with less loss of life. This opened up new opportunities for sea voyages for trade, exploration and religious reasons. Ray’s interesting presentation enabled us to envisage the journeys of sailors from Spain and Portugal and from Ming Dynasty China, where the focus was on promoting the glory of China as well as finding treasures.

The first monthly Rotary D’ Caf was held this week at the Crows Nest Centre. It was great to hear friendly conversation during a delicious morning tea and we look forward to our next get together in May. Many thanks go to the staff of the Crows Nest Centre and Rotary volunteers.

I attended my final City North Cluster Group Presidents’ Meeting on Thursday. I have enjoyed the fellowship of AG John Zhang and the other Presidents throughout the Rotary year. It’s always good to hear news from our Rotary District and local Clubs.

Next Tuesday Emeritus Professor Don Napper, a Member of our Club, will share with us how vaccines are prepared, how they work and how they differ from each other. Zoom will be available if you would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 27 April 2021

This week we held our Club Forum. It was a great opportunity to review what we have been doing and to plan ahead so that we can continue to be involved in our local community as well as rural and overseas projects.

I attended the Rotary Club of Iron Cove Inaugural Dinner on April 16th. Iron Cove is a bay bordering Drummoyne, Balmain and Leichhardt and this reflects the broader area covered by the Club. Previously it was the Rotary Club of Drummoyne, chartered in 1952. It was great to hear about some of their current projects including the Rotary Hydrogen Project that is a great example of supporting the environment, Rotary International’s latest area of focus.

On Sunday some Club Members attended the Rotary District Assembly via Zoom. There are further online sessions to be held over 3 Sundays in May sharing information about a number of Club roles.

Last Thursday several Members enjoyed an evening of laughter, Comedy For A Cause. It was hosted by the Rotary Club of Northbridge and was a fun way to raise funds and share the company of fellow Rotarians and friends.

The first monthly Rotary D’ Caf is on Wednesday 28th April at the Crows Nest Centre. This is a social group where people living with dementia and their carers can meet for a chat over morning tea and join in some gentle exercises and games. It is organised by the Rotary Clubs of North Sydney Sunrise, Crows NestNorthbridge and North Sydney along with staff from the Crows Nest Centre. Bookings are essential. For further information please call Valerie Willemsen on 9439 5122 or email her at

We look forward to welcoming Ray Walsh, a volunteer with the Australian National Maritime Museum, to speak with us at our next meeting. He will take us on a historical voyage of discovery.

Zoom will be available if you would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 20 April 2021

Our speaker this week was Ian Burnet, author, historian and a Member of the Rotary Club of Northbridge.  His presentation was of great interest to us all. He spoke about the history of the original Duyfken (‘Little Dove’) built around 1595 in the Netherlands. Ian used historical maps to tell us about maritime battles as well as some voyages of discovery made by the Dutch. In 1606 the Duyfken reached the west coast of Cape York, Queensland. This was later documented as the first meeting on Australian soil between the Indigenous people of Australia and Europeans. The First Contact Memorial, opened in Mapoon Queensland in 2013, commemorates this with a silhouette of the Duyfken.

A full-scale reproduction of the Duyfken, launched in 1999, was built in Fremantle in the same way that the original ship would have been built. Ian spoke of the voyages of re-enactment that it has undertaken, including sailing to Holland to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Dutch East India Company.

The Duyfken replica vessel has joined the permanent exhibition of ships at the National Maritime Museum. Ray Walsh, a volunteer Guide and Crew Member, was at our meeting and he shared some of his experiences as a volunteer on the Duyfken and the wonderful stories told to visitors as they sail on Sydney Harbour of times past including the difficult conditions experienced by the sailors who crewed this vessel over 400 years ago.

Next week is our Club Forum. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 13 April 2021

It was great to welcome Trent Zimmerman to speak with us at our meeting this week. He is the Federal Member of Parliament for North Sydney and a Member of our Rotary Club. He spoke about the Covid 19 pandemic including the present situation, the vaccination programme and future management plans in Australia. Our role in assisting with vaccination programmes in some of our neighbouring countries was discussed. The pandemic is a topic at the front of all our minds so we appreciated the chance to be given an update and to have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss some of the current and longer term issues. We are looking forward to overseas travel opening up and being able to meet with family and friends that don’t live in Australia.  It was good to have 8 guests at our meeting and for Members and guests to be able to join us via Zoom as well as at Piato Restaurant.

At our next meeting Ian Burnet will talk about the history of the original Duyfken, the construction of the replica ship and the various voyages of re-enactment that it has undertaken. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 06 April 20021

We stepped back in time this week as Kate Branch, Public Relations Manager of Emerald City Hotels, shared with us the story of the recently opened Albert Hotel in Mosman. It was built in 1886 as a stately home named Telopea and is next door to Boronia House which was owned by the same extended family. Kate told us some of the history of the building and showed us photos of the original home and its occupants. The building has been restored and developed and a modern wing has been added to turn the site into a luxurious boutique hotel. The opening of the hotel had its challenges as it was during the Covid-19 pandemic. The hotel group includes Dalziel Lodge, Glenferrie Lodge and the Cremorne Point Manor and Kate spoke of changes to the accommodation needs of visitors over the last year and the impact this has had on the sector.  

Next week Trent Zimmerman, our local Member for North Sydney and a Member of our Club, will review the present situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and what we may expect over the next 12 months. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 30 March 2021

Professor Tony Basten from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research gave us a very informative presentation about the Covid 19 pandemic and vaccines. He has over 40 years of experience as a clinician and scientist. It was great to have the opportunity to learn how our immune system is regulated in health and disease and how vaccines are developed. Tony gave us a comparison between the Covid vaccines that are currently available in Australia. We had many questions and were able to clarify some points that had been raised in the media. Tony is a Rotarian and has been a Member of the Rotary Club of Chatswood (now Chatswood / Roseville) for 29 years.

Last Monday a couple of our Members participated via Zoom in a Books in Home book presentation. There are currently 16 students at Stuart Town Public School. It was fun to see them receive their books and we met the new principal, Patricia Henderson. Author, Lynette Ralston, read us her 3rd book ‘Bo - The Bone Sucking Zombie Worm’. It is based on a real 1cm worm that scientists believe has been around for millions of years but was only found in Australian waters for the first time 15 years ago. The story ends with a great safety message for the children by stressing the importance of swimming between the flags. We look forward to visiting the school once they are able to receive visitors.

At our next meeting Kate Branch will talk to us about the Albert Hotel in Mosman – a luxurious boutique hotel in a beautifully renovated heritage home. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 23 March 2021

Our dinner at Ivan and Lissie’s Tea House and Eatery was very enjoyable (and delicious). It was a great opportunity for us to socialise with Members, their partners, guests from the Rotary Clubs of North Sydney and Crows Nest and our AG, John Zhang.

Last weekend I watched the Virtual Rotary District Annual Conference ‘Rock the Boat’. The wonderful presentations covered such a range of topics including personal experiences from Rotarians and projects from Australia and overseas. I was proud to be a Member of the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise as I watched our Club’s video. It is a terrific representation of our fellowship, speakers’ programme, social activities and our involvement in the community, both local and further afield. It was interesting to view other Clubs’ videos and have a glimpse of some of the projects in our Rotary District.

Our monthly dementia café, D Caf, will start on Wednesday 28 April 10am - 12md at the Crows Nest Centre. The Rotary D Caf is for people living with dementia, their families and carers and will be a welcoming place to enjoy a chat over morning tea, gentle exercises, games and puzzles. The café is supported by volunteers from the Rotary Clubs of Crows Nest, Northbridge, North Sydney and North Sydney Sunrise and staff from the Crows Nest Centre. For further information please call Valerie Willemsen on 9439 5122 or email Bookings are essential.

Our Club continues to support ‘School For Life’ in Uganda. Our recent donation went towards girls’ education. The girls' boarding facilities are now complete and will be home to 300 girls. There was no face to face education over the last year due to Covid 19 so it is good news that they were able to reopen the classrooms this month. Staff continued to provide support to the students and their families during the Covid lockdown.

On Tuesday Professor Tony Basten from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research will join us to talk about the pandemic and vaccines. Zoom will be available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 16 March 2021

We were pleased to welcome back Jenny Horsfield to our meeting this week. Jenny is a Canberra writer and historian and NSS Member Allan’s sister. She spoke to us about her latest book ‘A Bookshop In Wartime’ which is about Verity Hewitt’s bookshop during the Second World War. It was established in 1938 and was the only bookshop in Canberra during this time. It was a great place for people from all walks of life to go as they could browse through a broad range of books and periodicals and keep up to date with world events. Alongside Verity had a library and art gallery. Publications were difficult to source due to the war and paper was rationed. Jenny spoke of the importance of Penguin and Pelican paperbacks which were inexpensive and gave people access to a variety of fiction and non-fiction topics. Throughout Jenny’s book we read about some of the political, social and cultural events of this period and gain an insight into how life was for residents of our nation’s capital during the war years.

On the 13th and 14th March the Virtual Rotary District Annual Conference ‘Rock The Boat’ is available to watch online. Links for the two day programme have been emailed to Rotarians. They are pre-recorded sessions so they can be viewed at a time that is convenient. These links will continue to be available after the Conference weekend. I am looking forward to the many guest speakers’ presentations as well as the House of Friendship and Club Videos.

Please note that there is no breakfast meeting next Tuesday as we are having a social dinner.  

Presidents Press - 09 March 2021

We held our Club Forum this week. We reviewed our Club’s activities and explored opportunities to contribute and be involved in our local community.

On Sunday a group of Club Members participated in Cleanup Australia Day. We collected rubbish in the area near HMAS Waterhen Naval Base, along part of Balls Head Bay and Waverton Park. Each year we seem to collect less litter which is great. Many thanks to all who participated and to Allan who coordinated our clean up, brought along the kit to ensure that we all maintained our safety and enabled us to have a successful day. He then reported back to the Clean Up Australia organisation about the rubbish we collected. Their website has further information about ways that we can ‘Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost’. Their ‘Buy Recycled’ programme has products for purchase made from recycled content. Our ‘clean up’ crew enjoyed a well deserved coffee and chat at the end of our morning at the Coal Loader Café.

Next week we have Jenny Horsfield, a writer and historian, joining us to talk about her book ‘A Bookshop in Wartime’. It tells the story of Verity Hewitt’s bookshop in Canberra during the Second World War along with the impact that war had on Canberra and the broader community.

Zoom will be available during our meeting if you would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 02 March 2021

We were pleased to welcome John Elliott this week to our meeting. He is the National Programme Manager of Road Safety Education Limited (RSE). He gave an interesting presentation that we could all relate to about RSE and their Rotary Safety Youth Driver Awareness programme (RYDA). RYDA has been running in various forms for 20 years. It was started by a Rotary Club in Northern Sydney in response to a road incident in which a group of young people died. There are currently over 600 schools throughout Australia and New Zealand involved with RYDA. The one day workshops are run by a team of trained facilitators. There are pre and post workshop activities as well as resources for students and parents. The students develop an awareness, skills, attitude and behaviours that support them to stay safe on our roads both as drivers and passengers. RSE is a not for profit organisation and has corporate and community support including partnerships with over 300 Rotary Clubs. Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week is an initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of road safety. Their theme is ‘Drive So Others Survive’. For further information on these programmes and road safety tips for school students and adults including choosing a safe car, getting home safely and a basic list of things to consider in your role as driving instructor go to 

Next week we are holding our Club Forum. Zoom will be available if you would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 23 February 2021

Assistant Governor, John Zhang joined us at our meeting this week. He spoke about the Special Children Services Centre (SCSC) which was founded in 2008 and is run by volunteers. It is a registered non-profit and charitable organisation. They offer early and ongoing intervention with a variety of specialised programmes and activities that support the health and wellbeing of children with special needs from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The children can develop their confidence and living skills as they participate in enjoyable programmes and practical experiences. SCSC also supports carers with information sessions and workshops and there are opportunities for parents to socialise and support each other. John is a volunteer at SCSC. He was elected to the management committee and has been the President since 2018.

Our guest next week is John Elliott. He is the National Programme Manager of Road Safety Education Limited (RSE), a not for profit organisation. In this role he is responsible for the roll-out of the Road Safety Youth Driver Awareness programme (RYDA) with schools throughout Australia. John will talk with us about RYDA which has been running in various forms for 20 years.

 We continue to have Zoom available if you would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 16 February 2021

Brigitte Cox gave a very interesting and informative presentation about how to prepare, serve and store our food safely to avoid food poisoning from bacteria and viruses. There are an estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia on average every year. She spoke of the reasons that the incidence of food poisoning has increased and the importance of taking it seriously, especially as we age. Brigitte is a Director, Scientific Committee of the Food Safety Information Council. The Council includes members from academia, CSIRO, and State and Federal departments involved in food safety and it ensures that information is scientifically valid and up to date.  Further information on food safety is available on

On Tuesday evening Allan and I went to visit the Royal Far West Centre at Manly and met with Tara Tan, the fundraising manager. She gave us a tour of their ‘state of the art’ building. There is a full range of specialist paediatric services to assess, support and strengthen the health and wellbeing of children and their families in Australia's rural communities. They may be online or, if required, there are residential facilities for the child and carer. Onsite there is a Department of Education School. Our Club recently made a donation to Royal Far West.

Next week our AG, John Zhang, will join us and talk about the Special Children Services Centre for intellectually disabled children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families.

We continue to have Zoom available if you would like to join us online. 

Presidents Press - 09 February 2021

We were pleased to Induct Andrew Harvey as a Member of our Club. We have enjoyed welcoming him to our meetings since his recent move to Sydney from the Central Tablelands where he was a Member of a local Rotary Club.

Rotary held a streamed Australia Day Celebration event that showcased Australian performers and shared news of some ongoing Rotary projects such as End Trachoma and newer projects including Give Every Child A Future and Rotary ‘Safe Families’. I was reminded of the positive effect that volunteers can have when they work together within Australia and around the world.

Sister Mary Leahy and Master Marina Ted van Bronswijk joined us as our guest speakers this week. It is estimated that around 100,000 seafarers finish their contracts and fly home every month in normal times. This is not currently happening due to the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and they are unable to leave their vessels to return home. Sister Mary and Ted spoke of ways they are able to support seafarers during these unprecedented times including the importance of building relationships on board, providing care packs and looking for any way that they can assist.

We look forward to Brigitte Cox speaking at our meeting next week. She is a Director, Scientific Committee Chair of the Food Safety Information Council and an Honorary Fellow in Agriculture and Food at CSIRO. She will talk with us about Food Safety. Zoom will be available if you would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 26 January 2021

On Saturday some Members, their partners and a grandson met for morning tea at Barangaroo. We then enjoyed a highly informative walk around the area guided by our fellow Member, Don. We learnt about the history of the site, the architectural and engineering features of some of the more recently constructed buildings and the plans for the area that is currently under construction. The end of our walk brought us to the reinstated Watermans Cove. Jaz shared with us her insider’s view as an active member of the Millers Point community. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know more about this part of our city and to socialise with our Rotary friends.

District Governor Elect Lindsay May and his wife Tania joined us at our meeting this week. Lindsay told us about his experience in the 2017 Fastnet Race from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, out to Fastnet Rock off the tip of Ireland and back to Plymouth in the UK. The course is 605 nautical miles and 362 boats commenced the race. This was Lindsay's second Fastnet Race, his first was in1983 as part of the Australian Admiral's Cup team. He had some fantastic photos in his presentation that gave us some idea of the conditions and challenges during the race and the navigational aids that he used.

Next Tuesday there is no Club meeting as it is a Public Holiday. Members have received an email with the details of the Rotary Australia Day Celebration event, live streamed from 12.30pm – 2pm. The theme for this Australia Day is ‘Reflect, Respect, Celebrate’.

Our next meeting at Piato Restaurant is on February 2nd with Sr Mary Leahy coming to speak with us. She is known as the ‘angel of Sydney’s waterfront’ having spent the past 20 years helping those who earn a living on the sea. Over the last year she has been offering support to thousands of seafarers caught up in the centre of the Covid 19 pandemic. We will have Zoom available if you would like to join us online for our meeting.

Presidents Press - 19 January 2021

Happy New Year. Our first meeting for the year was a Club Forum and it was good to meet up with Members and guests at Piato Restaurant. We were able to look back at our achievements and plan for the coming months. We discussed ways that we can be further involved in our community and explored opportunities to support and assist others. Our budget was reviewed and decisions made as to where our funds will be donated. The two major recipients from funds raised through The World Festival of Magic are Royal Far West, supporting childrens’ health country wide, and the Your Side Young Carers’ programme. As a result of the Covid 19 restrictions the Magic Show was a streamed event in December. The online show was filled with fun and laughter and it was wonderful to see the response and involvement of the audience that had attended the show in person. We were able to share the link with our family and friends. We also gave the link to the students and families at Stuart Town Public School. We have enjoyed several Zoom ‘book presentations’ through the Books in Homes programme with these students over the last year.

We are looking forward to a social get together at Barangaroo this Saturday 16th January with an informal morning tea followed by a guided walk around the area.

Our Rotary District is holding a Virtual Reality Conference on the 13th and 14th March 2021 and the link has been provided to Members to register their interest in attending the Conference.

Next week our guest is Lindsay May. He will speak to us about the 2017 Fastnet race. We continue to meet within the Covid 19 restrictions so please advise us if you would like to attend this meeting. We continue to have Zoom available if you prefer to join us online.

Presidents Press - 15 December 2020

We enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on Tuesday. It was great to be able to dine with Members, their partners and our Rotary friends and share some Christmas cheer. We were pleased to present our 2020 Pride of Workmanship Award to Angelika Knoerzer, North Sydney Yoga. Club Member, Allen Colburt, spoke of her professionalism and integrity. Over the past 23 years Angelika has held Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga classes in her studio in McMahons Point. She is a senior member of the Yoga Association of Australia, an organisation for professional teachers, enabling her to conduct three year teacher training courses. Communication is important to Angelika. She has a monthly newsletter for students, past and present, with interesting articles about the practice of Yoga, health and wellbeing. You can find out more about her Yoga Studio at -

Our speaker this week is Denise Ward, Executive Officer of the Crows Nest Centre. Denise will give us an update about the work of the Centre which is a local not-for-profit company that works with older people, people with a disability, migrants, parents and people who are homeless or at risk.

Tuesday 15th December is our final meeting for the year. We will meet again on the 12th January 2021 at Piato Restaurant.

Presidents Press - 22 December 2020

Denise Ward, Executive Officer of the Crows Nest Centre was our guest speaker at our breakfast meeting this week, our last one for the year. Denise showed us their video about volunteering with the Centre and volunteers and clients spoke of how the services had such a positive impact on their lives. There are around 200 volunteers and 500 clients and each person is made to feel very welcome and supported by the Centre’s 17 staff members.

The Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise has worked in partnership with the Crows Nest Centre for many years, supporting monthly movie bus outings, the Chinese Seniors’ group, the linen service and a ‘dementia café’ due to start in early 2021. There are many ways that the Centre assists people to continue to live independently, to improve their health and general wellbeing and to feel a part of their local community. For more information have a look at their website

Our Club is hosting a World Festival of Magic show that is generously sponsored by some of Sydney’s business community. Due to Covid 19 restrictions the show this year is online and is available from the 18th to 20th December. It is a one hour show that is lots of fun for children and their families.

Our Club will start off the new year with a Club Forum on the 12th January at Piato Restaurant, McMahon’s Point. On Saturday 16th January members, family and friends are welcome to come along to Barangaroo for a picnic brunch and a guided walking tour of the area.

I wish you and your families all the best for the Festive Season and a happy and healthy year ahead.

Presidents Press - 08 December 2020

This week we held our AGM and Club Forum. We looked back at the past year, one that will remain in our memories as a time the world came face to face with a pandemic. Our Club adapted well with a quick uptake of Zoom as restrictions came in to play. Our wonderful Speakers’ Programme continues to give us the opportunity to enjoy such a range of topics and this was something to look forward to each week as our world had sometimes narrowed during social isolation. Seeing each other on Zoom and having time for a chat was great but it was even better when we could meet face to face again.  We reviewed our Club’s achievements and we are appreciative of our Members and Rotary friends who have continued to support our Club in so many ways. I am really thankful for all the work that our Committee Members have done behind the scenes - they have always been there to keep our Club running smoothly over this challenging time. We gave thanks to the staff and management of Piato restaurant as they have worked with us to have our Changeover Dinner and, when Covid 19 guidelines allowed, our in person meetings. We congratulate Allen Colburt in his new role as our Club President Elect. We look forward to the Rotary year ahead.

On the 3rd December some Members attended the Books In Homes Virtual Book Giving Assembly at Stuart Town Public School. We met Joy Harvey, Acting Principal, and we spoke of looking forward to being able to visit the school again for a book presentation. Storyteller, Jo Henwood, was a guest at the Assembly and she spoke of her love of books and storytelling and some ways that she shares this passion with others. She is a Librarian and a Member of the NSW Storytelling Guild. It was fun to watch the students as they opened their book bags and excitedly took out their new books, holding them up for us to see on Zoom. Students showed us three terrific posters they had created thanking the Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise for their books.

Please note that there is no breakfast meeting next Tuesday 8th December as we are having our Pride of Workmanship presentation and Christmas Dinner at The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli.

Presidents Press - 01 December 2020

Ron Besdansky joined us this week and shared the story of the Tramways of the North Shore. The tale began with Sydney's first horse-drawn trams in 1861 and ended in 1961 with the closure of the tramways throughout Sydney. Along the way steam, cable and electric trams were developed. It was the biggest tram system in the southern hemisphere and the second largest of the Commonwealth countries following London.

On the North Shore trams played an important role in the expansion and growth of the area. In 1886 the McMahons Point line was opened and the number of services increased with Ron showing us photos of Opening Day celebrations. In 1932 trams travelled across the newly opened Sydney Harbour Bridge. 1958 saw the end of trams in the North Shore. Some remnants of the tramway system, such as the steep cutting in the escarpment at Balmoral, are still visible.

When automobiles and buses arrived on the scene trams had to compete for space on the road. The suspension bridge at Northbridge was a good example of trams and motor vehicles competing for the right to cross the bridge. As I drove across this bridge during the week I appreciated the history even more. Ron had many wonderful photos of trams and the local roads and buildings of that era and Members were able to recognise many of the sites and had stories to tell of their personal experiences ‘on the trams’.

On the 3rd December there is a Virtual Book Giving Assembly at Stuart Town Public School, Some Members enjoyed the last presentation on Zoom and it was lovely to see the students receive their Books In Homes packages.

I look forward to our AGM and Club Forum next week at Piato Restaurant. We will have Zoom available if you would like to join us online.

SOS - Help for Seafarers

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, many Seafarers have been trapped on board their vessels, unable to visit shore when in port or return home. Furthermore, many of these vessels do not provide crew with means to communicate with family and friends or entertainment to pass the time, thereby adding to their feelings of longing, uncertainty and stress.

We all can help now with gifts of second hand Books, CDs and DVDs to fill 1,500 Christmas Care Packs being prepared and delivered over Christmas to cargo ships anchored off Sydney or docking at Port Botany.

To check the suitability of your books, CDs and DVDs and arrange delivery or collection, please contact Jaz Stephens at

Presidents Press - 24 November 2020

Our members really enjoyed the presentation this week by Uma Patel, a management consultant who works for FT Strategies – a part of the Financial Times. Uma is our Club member Bharat’s daughter. She shared with us very topical and interesting information about Fake News, a term that has become more commonly used since the 2016 USA election. Engagement with Fake News became greater than with factual news. Uma showed us ways that there is a concentrated effort to put ‘fake ideas’ into the minds of everyday people, some of whom only get their ‘news’ via Social Media and are therefore not exposed to a balanced view of the world. We can manage our news source and reduce the impact of Fake News by doing our own research, not looking at Social Media for news and not ‘sharing’ stories unless we know they are from a reputable source. Online news subscriptions can also give us access to and support trustworthy sites. 

I attended our local Cluster Meeting on Thursday and this was a great opportunity for the Presidents of our five local Clubs to meet with each other and with our AG John Zhang. Discussions are ongoing about ways we can celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand in 2021.

Last Friday some of our members visited Ted and Dawn Sheedy to celebrate Ted’s birthday. A very enjoyable day was had by all at the Gosford Sailing Club.

Over the weekend I attended the Rotary Learning Institute course on Zoom. It was very comprehensive and helped me to look at many elements of Rotary, both locally and internationally. Some of the areas covered will assist me and our members to explore ways that we can develop ‘hands on’ projects and raise awareness of Rotary.  

As Covid 19 restrictions continue, please RSVP to Ken Preshaw if you are planning to come along to our breakfast meetings as this will assist us in maintaining the rules.

Our guest speaker next week is Ron Besdansky. He will talk to us about North Shore Trams. They used to be a common sight in Sydney and some of our members may remember them well.

Presidents Press - 17 November 2020

Noel Phelan has been a volunteer guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum for several years and he is the team leader of the Museum’s Speakers’ Programme. This week we really enjoyed his inspiring presentation about women sailors - from Australia and overseas, young and not so young. Noel shared with us stories of women who have completed epic ocean journeys. One woman of note is Kay Cottee. In 1988 she was the first woman to perform a single-handed, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the world. There are many things that can ‘go wrong’ while at sea and the preparations and skills required to take on such challenges are extensive. Noel was able to show us Kay’s long lists of food, equipment and ‘spare parts’ that she needed for such an adventure. She also had strategies to look after her mental health and emotional wellbeing. He also spoke of ways that women sailors have used their journeys to raise funds for charities, tell their story through writing a book and become motivational speakers inspiring others with their personal experiences of how they  worked hard to achieve their dreams. We all remember Jessica Watson who, at the age of 16, sailed around the world and Noel spoke of being there to welcome her as she sailed into Sydney Harbour in 2010. Women have competed in and won classic yacht races and won Gold medals sailing at the Olympics and Paralympics.  

I enjoyed being part of the Crows Nest Centre Movie group this week – my first movie outing with the group for many months due to Covid 19 restrictions. Our Club has been involved with this monthly visit to the cinema for many years and it is always wonderful to spend time with the ‘movie goers’.

Next week we look forward to Uma Patel coming to our meeting. She will talk to us about Fake News and the role that we can have in helping to stop it.

November is Foundation Month 

NOVEMBER in the Rotary calendar is Foundation Month and Rotarians everywhere are encouraged to give! COVID 19 has made fundraising even more difficult than usual and so all Rotarians are encouraged this year to be especially generous in supporting our Foundation with personal donations during November.

GIVING to the Foundation this year funds Grants from the Foundation in three years’ time. The District Matching Grant helping us this year sponsor the highly anticipated Nusa Tenggara Music and Dance Festival in Eastern Indonesia is funded by donations to the Foundation from Rotarians both here in our District and around the world in 2017. So, to enable Rotary to continue doing good work around the world, please be generous!

All of us are encouraged to become Rotary CENTURIONS by donating Aus$100 to the Foundation. This donation may be directed into the Foundation’s End Polio Fund where it will also recognize the centenary of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, our donations to the End Polio Fund are both tax deductible and multiplied by contributions from other organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Giving is easy! If you need help, just ask and we can smooth the way! Click here

Presidents Press - 10 November 2020

Jeremy Dawkins, the Convenor of the Committee for North Sydney, joined us at our meeting this week. He is a leading Urban Planner and has managed projects such as the revival of Fremantle at the time of the America’s Cup. He is Vice President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners.

Jeremy gave us an insight into the founding of the Committee for North Sydney in June 2018. Their aim is to facilitate the progressive improvement of North Sydney through policy debate, public conversations and urban planning and design.

A quote from their website gives a great description of their vision – ‘We see a city that people love. A centre with a sense of place, and a distinctive character. Fine streets and public spaces, civic and public buildings. Everywhere, the presence of nature and biodiversity. Interesting corners and quarters, quirky places and places where people simply like to be.. A place for people’.

Jeremy shared with us the Committee’s recently released strategic vision for North Sydney, called ‘Five Big Ideas for the Future City Centre’. He spoke of ways to make North Sydney a vibrant city centre that may include a Town Hall, galleries, theatres, cinemas, and free civic spaces.

Protection of our history was also discussed with the consideration of the listing of the MLC Building, completed in 1957, as a building of state heritage significance. Traffic flow is an important concern with discussion of the impact of future developments, including the Western Harbour Tunnel, and ways that these concerns can be addressed.

Next week Noel Phelan will share with us stories of women sailors, from Australia and overseas.  Our meeting will be at Piato Restaurant and we will continue to have Zoom available for those who would like to join us online.

Presidents Press - 03 November 2020

This week we were pleased to return to Piato Restaurant for our meeting - our first breakfast together since the 21st July. It was my great honour to formally welcome David Dellagiacoma as a member of our Club. We all enjoyed meeting ‘in person’ for his Induction.

Last Friday members met at Milsons Point Railway Station in support of the Rotary End Polio Now project and World Polio Day. Commuters and local residents generously donated to this very worthy cause. Funds raised will assist Rotary and its partners to continue their efforts to eradicate polio worldwide through immunization and public health awareness programmes and surveillance efforts. The infrastructure developed to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases, including management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ian Mutton, a North Sydney Councillor since 2017, gave a very interesting talk about his experiences, starting from his election campaign to the present day. He spoke of his involvement in projects including The Sydney Harbour Highline, making Wendy’s Secret Garden permanent, the North Sydney Olympic Pool and protecting Luna Park. Population growth in our LGA and the rezoning for high rise buildings was discussed as well as the importance of public open space.

Next week we will meet at Piato restaurant. We will continue to have Zoom available for those who would like to join us online.. Our guest speaker is Jeremy Dawkins, the Convenor of the Committee for North Sydney. He will speak about the role of the Committee, the imaginative ideas in the strategy, and how the Committee’s vision could be implemented.

Presidents Press - 27 October 2020

This week we held our Club Forum and Board Meeting on Zoom. We discussed ways that Covid 19 has affected programmes such as RYPEN (Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment) which will be held online over two weekends in February 2021 and our participation in The World Festival of Magic Show which will now be a streamed event in December. I spoke with members about the Rotary Centenary Project ‘Give Every Child A Future’. This was launched by Rotary Australasia and will work in collaboration with UNICEF over three years to fund rotavirus, pneumococcal and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines for children in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and strengthen vaccine programme delivery in these countries plus Kiribati, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Niue and Nauru so that vaccines continue to be delivered to future generations of children. Further information can be found on

I attended the District Presidents’ Meeting on Zoom and Rotary International President Holger Knaack gave a video presentation from Germany and reminded us of this year’s theme ‘Rotary Opens Opportunities’. He spoke of the need to be innovative and prepare our Clubs for the future. Opportunities have arisen from challenges related to the coronavirus and this has enabled us to come up with new ideas and adapt some of our old ways.

As the Covid 19 restrictions are being revised from Friday we will be able to return to Piato Restaurant for our breakfast meeting on the 27th October. We will continue to have Zoom available for those who would like to join us online. Our guest speaker is Ian Mutton. He was elected to North Sydney Council in 2017 and he will provide insight into his experiences starting from the election campaign. 

Presidents Press - 20 October 2020

October is Mental Health Month and this year’s theme is ‘Tune In’. We can tune in to many things: to ourselves, to others, our communities and to stigma around mental illness. Australian Rotary Health holds ‘Hat Day - Lift The Lid On Mental Illness’, an annual event to support their awareness campaign and fundraising for mental health research. Our members and guests wore hats to our meeting on Tuesday. There was a great variety of headgear – some international, some fun and some old favourites.

Our guest speaker was Marshall Dunn, a Rotary Foundation Global Scholarship recipient. He studied for a Master’s degree in Psychology and Education at Columbia University. His area of focus was Peace and Conflict Resolution. He spoke of how the transformation of the world starts with the individual – being in the present moment, finding inner peace and connection and that this flows on to our family, friends and community.  Marshall shared some of his journey that led to him writing Letters to Mitch: The Healing Power of Grief, Love & Truth’ and hosting ‘Marshall Dunn’s Soul Hour’ Podcasts.

I attended the Virtual Launch of the School for Life's Girls' Fund and celebration of the United Nations International Day of the Girl. Co-founder and CEO, Annabelle Chauncy OAM, spoke of ways that they are determined that all the children have the opportunity of a quality education and the chance to realise their full potential. The new Girls’ Fund is part of their commitment to working together with local communities to remove the cultural barriers that so many girls face. Part of this initiative is the building of boarding facilities for girls as often the journey to school is long and unsafe. Boarding will also give the girls the chance to participate in extracurricular activities. The school in Uganda has been closed for many months due to the impact of Covid 19. Schoolwork has been sent to homes, sometimes with accompanying food parcels. Teachers have maintained contact with the students and families. Our Club contributes to School For Life with an annual donation.  

Our next meeting will be our Club Forum. We continue on Zoom at present.

Presidents Press - 13 October 2020

We welcomed children’s author, Karen Hendriks, as our guest speaker this week. She shared some of her journey with writing, including her involvement while a student teacher in the book Gang-Man-Gang, a traditional Aboriginal story retold by the teachers and illustrated by some of the children at the school. She is an accredited Reading Recovery teacher and she spoke of the importance of picture books and of reading to children from a very early age. An illness was the ‘call to action’ to finally pursue her dream and start writing.  Her debut picture books, Go Away, Foxy Foxy and Feathers, were released in August and September this year and she told the stories and inspirations behind these books.

Next Tuesday you are invited to wear a hat to our meeting in support of the Australian Rotary Health ‘Hat Day - Lift The Lid On Mental Illness’, their national fundraising and awareness campaign for mental health research.

We are continuing to hold our meetings on Zoom due to the ongoing Covid 19 restrictions. Our guest next week will be Marshall Dunn, a Spiritual Healer and Guide, Meditation Teacher and Author. In this talk, he invites people to drop into the essence of what it means to be a Human Being, through a connection with one's heart.

Presidents Press - 06 October 2020

Kyle Ford joined us on Zoom from his distillery in St Leonards and shared with us how he and his partner, Georgia Conn, came to start a distillery. They had both enjoyed successful careers in their fields. Then, in 2016, they resigned from their jobs and set off on a two year around the world trip. Whilst travelling they visited distilleries, wineries and breweries and enjoyed local produce. The idea for Finders Distillery was born and it was launched in March 2020. Kyle showed us their 300L copper pot still and explained the process of making their vodka and gin. Botanicals, including Wattle Seed and Native Gum that are native to the North Sydney area, are added to the gin. Bookings can be made for a tour of the Distillery and for visits to their Tasting Room where their spirits, including cocktails, can be enjoyed.

Last week I attended a Cluster Meeting of our local Rotary Clubs and we discussed ways that we could celebrate the 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand in March next year.

Our North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club ‘New Member’s Information Booklet’ has been updated. It is a great introduction to Rotary at the International, District and local level.

10th October is ‘Hat Day – Lift the Lid on Mental Illness’. This is Australian Rotary Health’s national fundraising and awareness campaign for mental health research. The money raised goes directly to research helping the 1 in 5 Australians affected by mental illness. My thoughts are that our Club can get involved by wearing a hat at our meeting on the 13th October when our guest speaker, Marshall Dunn, will be talking about mental health and wellbeing. If you would like to make a donation for ‘Hat Day’ you could do so directly to Australian Rotary Health – details will be given before the day.

Our next meeting will be on Zoom with children’s author, Karen Hendriks, joining us as our guest speaker. Some of us met Karen on Zoom during the Stuart Town Public School ‘Books in Homes’ presentation as she is a ‘Books in Homes’ ambassador.

Presidents Press - 29 September 2020 

We welcomed Clay Preshaw, Head of Catchment Protection WaterNSW, to our meeting this week. He gave a very informative and interesting presentation about water management issues in NSW. He quoted Benjamin Franklin ‘When the well is dry, we know the worth of water’ and this was especially so in 2019 / 2020 with the long drought, then bushfires followed by heavy rain in the catchment area. Clay shared with us plans for some future water infrastructure projects and ways that WaterNSW will maintain our water supply.

Our Club was able to ‘Double Our Impact’ with a donation to Royal Far West matched by Pennytel, a telecommunications service provider. Our beneficiaries from funds raised through the World Festival of Magic will again be Your Side Young Carers support programmes and the Royal Far West Children’s Services.

This week is Dementia Action Week with the theme 'Dementia – a little support makes a lot of difference'. Planning continues for our Rotary D Caf – a monthly café especially for people living with dementia, their families and carers. Our aim is to hold our first D Caf in February 2021 at the Crows Nest Centre. I attended a webinar presentation by Professor Susan Kurrle ‘Small Actions, Big Differences’ hosted by Willoughby Council and she gave an overview of causes and management of dementia as well as ways to promote ‘successful ageing’.

Congratulations to Felicity Wilson, a member of our Club and our local MP, on the birth of her son. Our best wishes go to her and her family.

I look forward to seeing you on Zoom again next week. Our guest speaker is Kyle Ford from Finders Distillery at St Leonards. 

Presidents Press - 22 September 2020 

At our weekly meeting our members and guests enjoyed a very interesting presentation by Julian Wee - ‘The Digital Evolution and Seniors’. Julian is the founder and managing partner of Seniors.Rocks, a social enterprise focused on the digital (online) well-being of seniors. He spoke of ways that ‘digital poverty’ can lead to social isolation and difficulty accessing goods and services. A programme is being developed that will act as a ‘concierge’ to facilitate easier use of technology to connect seniors with supports they may require to continue living well in the community.

The Rotary Adopt-A-Town Project was commenced by the Rotary Club of Caringbah in early 2019 as a way for City Rotary Clubs to help support farming towns in NSW. This has now been expanded to include all natural disasters. Our Club’s story of raising money to assist with drought relief, through the combined efforts of the Molong and North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Clubs, Cabonne Shire Council and Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS), has been posted on the Rotary Adopt-A-Town Project website under ‘Stories’.

Our guest speaker this week, Clay Preshaw - Head of Catchment Protection at WaterNSW, will talk about water management issues in NSW, including the 1998 Sydney Water Crisis, the ‘multi-barrier approach’ to water supply, the recent drought response, and future water infrastructure projects.

We continue to meet on Zoom due to the Covid 19 restrictions and I look forward to seeing members and guests ‘online’. 

Presidents Press - 15 September 2020 

With the launch of our new Website the decision has been made to streamline communication with our members, Rotary friends and the local community so, after this week, we will not be producing a Bulletin. We have enjoyed our weekly Bulletin and appreciated the commitment and sense of fun of our Editors, Ted Sheedy and more recently, Andrew Young. We will continue to send regular emails to keep in touch with you regarding our weekly Club news, upcoming events and broader Rotary news. On behalf of our Club I would like to warmly thank Ted and Andrew for their years of service.

On Tuesday morning we welcomed Sally Hetherington, CEO of Human and Hope Association. She shared some of her experiences of living in Cambodia from 2011 to 2017. During this time, she built up a not-for-profit organisation and realised that for sustainable change to happen the people living in the community need to be leading the organisations. In 2019 Sally received an OAMfor service to the international community through charitable initiatives’ and her book 'It's Not About Me' was published the same year. Here are the website where you can support Human and Hope Association

Several of our members enjoyed the Books in Homes presentation at Stuart Town Public School. We were on Zoom and it was wonderful to see the students’ delight as they opened their bag of books. Children’s author, Karen Hendriks, spoke with the children about her books Go Away, Foxy Foxy and Feathers. Meeting on Zoom was fun, but we are looking forward to meeting up with the children and staff again in person.

Earlier this year the Rotary Clubs of Crows Nest, North Sydney and North Sydney Sunrise along with the Crows Nest Centre had planned a monthly café (D Caf) especially for people living with dementia, their families and carers. This was postponed due to Covid 19 restrictions. Last Monday the D Caf steering committee met and decided to work towards starting the D Caf in February 2021 at the Crows Nest Centre. As plans progress, further information will be given to members and our local community

We continue to meet weekly on Zoom due to the Covid 19 restrictions and I look forward to seeing members and guests ‘online’

Presidents Press - 08 September 2020 

We continue with meeting on Zoom and on Tuesday we welcomed David Gallin and Ben Markos who shared their knowledge of the local and broader real estate market. This was of great interest as we are all affected by this market in some way. They compared previous years with the current market and looked at what the future may hold. They discussed sales and rentals in the residential, commercial and retail markets and the impact that Covid 19 is having. We discussed ways that developments can make a difference to our local communities.

Last week Felicity Wilson, our local MP and a member of our Rotary Club, spoke in Parliament about Rotary. She recognised the service and support provided by Rotary Clubs in our area.

I look forward to seeing members and guests on Zoom until we are able to return to Piato Restaurant for breakfast and our face to face meetings. 

Presidents Press - 01 September 2020 

Last Tuesday morning we held our Club Forum and Board Meeting on Zoom. We are pleased to report that we now have an EFTPOS facility available and the development of our new Website is progressing well.

We spoke of the effect the Covid 19 restrictions are having on our Club meetings, social activities, Rotary District programmes, Club service and fundraising opportunities. We discussed ways that we can continue to enjoy fellowship within our Club and community and look for new opportunities for service and fundraising. Our Rotary District Virtual Reality Conference will be held in March next year. The Rotary District Youth programmes have also been affected by the Covid 19 restrictions including Summer RYPEN (Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment) which will be held online over 2 weekends in February 2021.

On the 25 August the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. Rotary’s top priority is the global eradication of polio. The challenge continues as polio remains endemic in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our Club members will be coming together on the 23rd October to raise funds to continue our support for the Rotary End Polio Now project.

I look forward to seeing members and guests on Zoom until we are able to return to Piato Restaurant.

Presidents Press - 25 August 2020 

We were pleased to welcome two guest speakers to our meeting this week.

Vinita Deodhar, the Director of Community Service at the Rotary Club of Beecroft, is the founder of the Rotary Virtual Neighbours project. She spoke of the ways that this project addresses loneliness and isolation in our communities. Rotary volunteers make ‘virtual visits’ for a friendly chat over the phone or internet. The project started in April this year and has helped recipients of the service stay connected with their community and feel that they are not alone.

John Zhang, our Assistant Governor, gave an update on several projects run by Rotary Clubs in our local area. The Rotary Club of Northbridge is having a community ‘food drive’ with the collection of non-perishable food items in September. The Club is working with several charities to distribute the food to those in need.

Several Rotary Clubs, including North Sydney Sunrise, are working together alongside the Crows Nest Centre, to establish a regular social group, D Caf, for people living with dementia and their carers.

The Rotary Club of Crows Nest is fundraising with their Melbourne Cup Trifecta. John also spoke of ways that Rotary Clubs can hold social events online.

Our final Millers Point Monday Night Farmer's Market BBQ was on the 17th August. Thank you to all members who have given their time and energy to running the five BBQs at the markets.

Our next meeting is our Club Forum and Board Meeting. We continue with our meetings on Zoom due to the current Covid 19 restrictions.

Presidents Press - 18 August 2020

Our members and guests were pleased to welcome Noel Phelan as our guest speaker this week. Noel has been a volunteer guide at the Australian National Maritime Museum for several years and is Team Leader of the Museum’s volunteer speakers. He gave a very interesting presentation about the history of piloting vessels in and out of Sydney Harbour since the early 1790’s. Noel’s presentation included images of pilot boats, from the oar-powered whaling boats to the modern day pilot boats that are now based at Millers Point. He also spoke of the role the Watsons Bay area has had over the last two centuries as a navigational landmark and of the tragic shipwrecks in 1857, the Dunbar and Catherine Adamson.

This week our BBQ at Millers Point was postponed due to the forecast of heavy rain. Our final Millers Point Monday Night Farmer's Market BBQ will be on the 17th August 3 – 7pm. Many thanks to members who have given their time and energy to running the BBQs.

Our meetings will continue on Zoom for the time being and we look forward to John Zhang, our Assistant Governor, joining us next week to speak about Rotary projects in our local area.

Presidents Press - 11 August 2020

We had the pleasure of welcoming our District Governor, David Clark and Assistant Governor, John Zhang to our meeting this week. David shared some personal experiences from his 50 years with Rotary including his involvement in a project in the Philippines and ways that Rotary fellowship is shared around the world.  It will encourage us to think of how that we can share our Rotary story with others. He gave us an update on the End Polio Now project. Polio is currently confined to two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He spoke of our District’s plans for celebrating 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand and the importance of having fun as a Rotarian.

We presented our Club’s recent projects including the Nusa Tenggara Association (Indonesia) Music Festival and teacher education, our fundraising for services that support young people through our involvement with the World Festival of Magic, the joint Molong Drought Relief Project with the Molong Rotary Club and our participation in the Books in Homes programme in Stuart Town. We outlined our plans and goals for the year ahead. Thank you to members who contributed to the presentation.

On Monday we held our fourth gourmet BBQ at the Millers Point Monday Night Farmer's Market. Our final BBQ at the Market will be on the 10th August.

To comply with the current Covid-19 restrictions we will continue to have our North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club breakfast meetings on Zoom.

Presidents Press - 04 August 2020

It was great to see members and guests at our Zoom meeting this week.  

We were pleased to welcome Trent Zimmerman, our Federal Member for North Sydney and a member of our Club, as our guest speaker. Trent chaired the Parliamentary Inquiry into allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia, conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport. The report was released mid-June and Trent shared with us some of the findings including why the prevalence of allergies is increasing, what is the current advice to help minimise allergies and what State and Federal governments can do to help allergy sufferers. Allergic disease affects one in five Australians.

On Monday we held the third of five gourmet BBQs at the Millers Point Monday Night Farmer's Market. We will be there again with our BBQ on the 3rd and 10th August.

To comply with the current Covid-19 restrictions we will be holding our North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club breakfast meetings on Zoom until further notice.

We are looking forward to our Official Visit next Tuesday with District Governor, David Clark and Assistant Governor, John Zhang. Please join us on Zoom in welcoming them to our Club.

Presidents Press - 28 July 2020

Allan and I attended the District Changeover lunch last Sunday. A warm farewell and thanks were given to our outgoing DG, Kalma McLellan. DG David Clark was welcomed to his new role.  We look forward to meeting with DG David Clark and AG John Zhang during their Official Visit to our Club on the 4th August via Zoom. Congratulations to PAG, Ward Pollard, who was recognised with a District Service Award for his commitment to the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) Summer Camp.

On Monday we held the second of 5 gourmet BBQs at the Millers Point Monday Night Farmers Market. Everyone is very welcome to come along to this great market.

Our speaker at last Tuesday’s meeting was Garry Wood. He gave an interesting talk about the history of JP’s in Australia, the role of JP’s in NSW, what is required to be a JP and how they are appointed. He also told us where to find a JP in our area.

On the 10th July I joined in via Zoom to Government House, Canberra for the launch of the R100 Baton Relay. This is to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia in 2021. The R100 Baton Relay will run throughout Australia and New Zealand, state by state, district by district, club by club.

There has been a change to Covid-19 restrictions from the 24th July. To comply with these we will be holding our North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club breakfast meetings on Zoom until further notice.

Presidents Press - 21 July 2020

Last week we held the first of 5 gourmet BBQs at the Millers Point Monday Night Farmers Market and it was a great success – even the rain that had been forecast held off. It was wonderful to be a part of this community market.

A group our Club members and their partners were in Molong mid-week. We were there for a very special reason. Last December several of our members attended the Molong Rotary Club meeting. Invited guests from Molong and the surrounding area spoke of their experience of the worst drought in many years and the impact this was having on residents, farms and businesses.

With the combined efforts of the Molong and North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Clubs, Cabonne Shire Council  and Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) money was raised to assist with the drought recovery.

Recognition and thanks were given to both Rotary Clubs at the Cabonne Shire Council meeting and a very enjoyable time was had at the Drought Support Celebration Dinner. It was great to catch up with Molong Rotary Club members and to meet with the Rotary District 9705 Area Governor Doug Kinlyside , Cabonne Shire Mayor Kevin Beatty  and local residents including Jack Thomas the School Captain at Molong Central School who gave thanks for the money that was given to the schools in Molong.

Two ‘baskets of well wishes’ that included delicious treats, children’s drawings, decorated Molong rocks,  booklets about the District and business cards to build our relationship with the area were given to our Club to share with our members as a thank you from Molong and the District.

During the couple of days that we were away we had fun exploring the local area and spending time in fellowship with our Rotary friends.

Presidents Press - 14 July 2020

I would like to thank all our members for giving me the honour of being President of our great North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club. Past President Allan Coates has handed over the mantle to me and I will attempt to continue the excellent work he has done over the past 2 years.

We enjoyed our Changeover dinner at Piato restaurant and, as always, the service and food were excellent. It was wonderful to meet with members, their partners and guests during the evening. I would like to thank Warren for being our Master of Ceremonies.

I congratulate Moira de Vos, Andrew Young and Allan Coates as they received Paul Harris Fellow awards as special thanks and recognition of their great commitment to Rotary and our Club.

Trent brought smiles to our faces when he spoke to us after dinner.

A birthday was celebrated with cake and good wishes to Iain.

Allen, Sue and Allan will be attending the Cabonne Shire Council meeting on Tuesday in recognition of the combined efforts in drought relief of North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club and Molong Rotary Club. A group of our members and their partners will be attending the Molong Rotary Club Drought Relief Thank You Dinner on Wednesday night.

Please note that there will be no North Sydney Sunrise Rotary breakfast meeting on the 14th July as many of our members will be in Molong.

At the start of our meetings we give thanks for Rotary Fellowship and to me this is an important part of our Club - making friends in Rotary and having fun along the way.

I appreciate the support given to me in my role of President Elect and now President. It is a privilege to serve as your Club President I am looking forward to the year ahead.

Presidents Press - 07 July 2020

At last Tuesday’s breakfast meeting we enjoyed hearing from Neil Dix and his colleagues, Heather and Christina on the construction progress of Sydney’s Metro which will link Chatswood and Marrickville.  They provided a wide overview of the project and updated us on the work being undertaken at Victoria Cross Station, North Sydney and Blues Point.

The meeting was my last as President of our club and this report being similarly so and I welcome Cathie to the role for the coming Rotary year.  I certainly could have not foreseen the events which have dominated our lives over the past 4 months but have been impressed with the great efforts of our club members to continue with meetings through Zoom.  While we have now returned to Piato for the past 3 weeks we continue to provide an online access with 6 Zoomers joining the 14 members, guests & speakers last Tuesday. Our thanks to both Andrew and Greg for to enabling members and guests unable to attend in person to enjoy the interesting and informative speakers Ken provides … thanks Ken.

I am pleased to confirm that we will be holding a Bunning’s BBQ on Saturday, 8 August and await to be advised on what operational changes will be imposed upon us to comply with the Covid19 restrictions.

As you would be aware our performance of the World Festival of Magic is scheduled to be held at Darling Harbour Theatre on Sunday, 13 December so it is indeed wonderful that our club can once again be involved in fundraising events after many months of restrictions.

In closing I would like to very much thank all club members for their support over the past 2 years and it has been a privilege to serve as your Club President and I wish Cathie a great year as President.

Presidents Press - 30 June 2020

In a sign that our lives are gradually returning to normality it was wonderful to have 9 club members and 7 guests attend our breakfast meeting last Tuesday to hear our speaker Noel Phelan.  We were also joined on Zoom by 4 other members/guests.

Noel is a volunteer at the Australian National Maritime Museum and the team leader for the museum’s speakers.  His very detailed presentation covered the chain of events that led to the grounding of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in January, 2012,  the failure of the ship’s Captain to take command of the situation and also the lack of any lifeboat drills.  He also gave us an insight to the complex salvage operation which took place over the following 2 years and cost 2 billion dollars.

As my tenure as President of North Sydney Sunrise draws to a close I can reflect on the past 2 years and confidently believe that our club has achieved many goals with fundraising efforts that have benefited not only our local communities but also the residents of Molong and overseas nations.  Our President Elect Cathie will have her role made easier as indeed I have by the fantastic assistance and guidance from other members of our wonderful club.

A Changeover Dinner will be held at Piato on Tuesday, 7 July and at this time invitation is only open to club members and partners due to the Covid19 restrictions. Should numbers allow we will be able to invite “Friends of Rotary”.

Presidents Press - 23 June 2020

We held our second post Covid19 breakfast meeting at Piato on Tuesday, 16 June to hear from our good friend Reg Chard who has spoken to us in the past. Reg is a spritely 97 years of age and told us of his WW2 experiences in Papua New Guinea in 1942 where he was involved in the battles of Milne Bay and the Kokoda Track. He was in his late teenage years at the time and witnessed some truly horrific events and endured terrible hardship during his time in PNG. A genuine digger and a great Australian - we owe Reg and his fellow servicemen a great amount of thanks.

I am pleased to advise that 14 club members and guests will be travelling to Molong on Tuesday, 14 June for a two day stay in this township. It will be a fantastic opportunity for some of us to once again meet local residents and Rotarians and for those who haven’t been to Molong to enjoy meeting residents of our Adopted Town.

Last Thursday, 18 June myself and 6 other club members attended a clean-up day at the Forsyth Park Community Centre, Neutral Bay. The Playgroup at the centre has been closed due to the Covid19 restrictions but hopes to reopen next month. We spent over 4 hours cleaning out the storage area and jet washing all the play equipment and toys. The storage area is in urgent need of drainage works to alleviate the flooding after heavy rains and North Sydney Council has made an application to the NSW Government for a Community Building Partnership to obtain funds to undertake such and other upgrades to the centre.
16 June 2020

Presidents Press - 16 Jun 2020

As an indication that our lives are returning somewhat to normal nine club members and one guest attended our first breakfast meeting at Piato last Tuesday. The area allotted to us is larger than the upstairs room and we are hoping to continue with this dining area for our future meetings. I am sure you all welcome this change and will not miss the steep stairs access which may not have allowed some guests to attend our meetings.

Club member Don Napper informed us of the three past Industrial Revolutions and the Impending fourth and how these events have dramatically changed the way society both live and work.

An invitation to a Drought Assistance Project Celebration Dinner to be hosted by Molong Rotary Club on Wednesday, 15 July can be found later in this bulletin. North Sydney Sunrise Club members will be visiting Molong to attend the dinner and we plan to stay in the town for two nights. Should you wish to join us please contact me rather than Janis Glasson, Molong Rotary Club’s President.

Our plans for the Millers Point Farmer’s Markets BBQ are on hold awaiting advice from the Sydney City Council that we can access the locked storeroom to inspect the BBQ facilities. Once we are able to do so we will then be in a position to commence our involvement.

Presidents Press - 09 June 2020

I am pleased to advise that our club will resume our Tuesday morning breakfast meetings on 9 June. To comply with the various Covid19 regulations we will be holding the meeting in the rear ground level dining area of Piato restaurant and attendees are required to RSVP as numbers will be strictly limited. While I am glad that we were able to hold meetings over the past 2 months using Zoom I am sure everyone will be looking forward to catching up in person.

Congratulations to both Andrew and Greg for their wonderful efforts in hosting those online meetings and to Ken for supplying informative and interesting speakers.

With the easing of travel restrictions in NSW I have been in contact with Janis Glasson, President of Molong Rotary Club to discuss plans for myself and members of our club to visit the town. I can now confirm that we have been invited to attend a Drought Assistance Project Celebration Dinner on the evening of Wednesday, 15 July to be held at the Molong RSL Club. Should you wish to attend the dinner and enjoy a few days away from Sydney please advise me as soon as possible so I can confirm numbers to Janis.

I am also delighted to advise that the World Festival of Magic will be touring Australia later in the year after advice from Bruce West, GM of IEG, the show’s organisers that our performance will be held at Darling Harbour on Sunday, 13 December. There will be many obstacles to overcome for the organisers such as social distancing regulations limiting the number of attendees to performances and a real possibility that financial support from businesses will be reduced due to the economic downturn.

Presidents Press - 02 June 2020

AAs President of our club I have attended quarterly Saturday morning meetings usually held at the Hornsby RSL together with our current DG Kalma and Presidents from clubs throughout District 9685. This all changed for what was the last meeting for the Rotary year 2019/2020 as I and 83 other participants joined a Zoom meeting on Saturday morning, 23 May.

Once the introduction by DG Kalma, reports from District officers and other general business was discussed we were joined by RI President, Mark Daniel Maloney from his home in Alabama USA. He gave us nearly an hour of his valuable time to inform us on how Rotary is reacting to and adapting to the Covid19 pandemic restrictions together with interesting tales of his worldwide visits during the last year.

The decision to cancel the Rotary International Convention which was due to be held in Honolulu from 6 – 10 June was regretful but had to be made and he informed us that we will be able to see an online presentation of such.

Our speaker at last Tuesday’s Zoom meeting was Greg Sutherland, an Associate Professor at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney. He told us of his research into how the brain donation program from donors across a broad cross-section of the community can offer future generations the possibility of improved health.

We are proceeding with plans to participate in a fundraising BBQ at the Millers Point Farmers Markets and hope to be able to commence our 5 weeks involvement in mid-June.

Presidents Press - 26 May 2020

At last Tuesday morning’s Zoom meeting we recorded our largest number of participants since we started the online format with 19 members and guests logging on to hear from our speaker Julie Beadle. Julie is a researcher at the Hearing Hub, Macquarie University and told us of her interest in ageing and communication, particularly how hearing loss can affect communication across the lifespan. She is seeking community members to be involved in research participation once the current Covid19 restrictions allow.

I am pleased to advise that myself and 5 other club members met for lunch at Piato on Wednesday for discussions on various club matters including plans for our club to be involved with a BBQ at a Farmer’s Market in Millers Point. We have been offered this fundraising opportunity for a period of 5 weeks with a possible start date on Monday, 15 June. For us to offer cashless transactions we are currently setting up 2 Square “tap and go” readers which will then enable us to utilize this payment method at future events and meetings. If you are willing to assist us with these BBQ’s, which are held each Monday from 3 – 7pm I look forward to hearing from you.

I would like to remind members that with no other fundraising options at the present time our request to members for a Zoom meeting levy of $30.00 per month is very helpful and look forward to your remittances to our club bank account.

A handmade thank you card has been received from a Molong family who had received vouchers for purchases at local businesses in our Drought Assistance package earlier this year. Such a kind gesture on their part makes me proud to be a Rotarian.

Presidents Press - 19 May 2020

Another successful Zoom meeting last Tuesday morning with 14 participants including club members, fellow Rotarian David Perabo the President of Chatswood Sunrise club and guests joining us to hear from club member Don Napper.  His presentation informed us of the attempts that both the Germans and Allies used to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front in WW1.  We heard how a German chemist, Fritz Haber used science for good and evil as he showed in 1909 how nitrogen in the air could be converted into fertilizer for food production. He was awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for this breakthrough.  Such an award was controversial as it was also Haber who introduced poisonous gas warfare in April 1915 which was eventually used as a psychological terror weapon by both sides.

All members will recall that as we continue to be unable to meet at our breakfast venue I asked for and it was generally agreed that each club member pay the sum of $30.00 per month for our Zoom meetings.  This amount is approximately the profit our club made each week after paying Piato for our breakfasts and will at least bring in some funds to the club while our usual revenue streams are on hold.  Thank you to those members who have already paid and I look forward to any outstanding remittances to our bank account.

Thanks to Jaz we have been offered the opportunity to operate a BBQ within a community based Farmers Market once restrictions allow and further details will be advised in coming weeks.

Presidents Press - 12 May 2020

Last Tuesday it was pleasing to once again have a good number of club members and a fellow Rotarian Ian Pocock from Crows Nest Club join us on our Zoom meeting to hear from Camelia Quek speak about Melanoma. Camelia’s research at the Melanoma Institute Australia involves Immunotherapy as a biological therapy that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.

We were pleased to have Andrew join us from his home in Lavender Bay and we all wish him a quick recovery. To lighten Andrew’s workload Greg took the role of host for the meeting.  Andrew did however publish our club bulletin and we all appreciate his wonderful efforts each week. 

Our planned update of the club website is proceeding well and Greg & Ken will be meeting online with MOBL CMS Pty Ltd on Thursday, 7 May. They will give us a further update at our next meeting.

Our next Zoom meeting will be held on Tuesday, 12 May with club member Emeritus Professor Don Napper speaking on the use of Gas Warfare on the Western Front in WW1.

Presidents Press - 05 May 2020

Our club reverted to a 7am start for last Tuesday’s Zoom meeting and I was pleased to see 12 club members and AG Ward Pollard join us to hear our speaker Dijana Dragicevich.  Dijana is a Senior Speech Pathologist at Royal North Shore Hospital and she told us of her research on Dysphagia, the difficulty of getting food from mouth to stomach. She is investigating swallowing difficulties in stroke patients and is recruiting people for her healthy participant study. Some club members have indicated that they are interested in assisting her with her research once restrictions allow.

District 9685 DG Kalma McLellan has advised me that 3 other clubs in the district share our Tuesday morning breakfast format and I will be in contact with the Presidents of such clubs for discussions on how we can perhaps share speakers during our time holding Zoom meetings.

I have also been advised by Janis Glasson, President of Molong Rotary Club that both the Molong Central School and St. Josephs School have now received their share of a $16,000 RAWCS payment. These funds will be used to provide excursions for 430 students in both schools later in the year when restrictions allow.

As members will recall myself, Jaz, Allen and his wife Sue attended a specially convened meeting of Molong Rotary Club in early December 2019 after we had earlier that day visited nearby Stuart Town Public School for a Book Giving Assembly. At that meeting we heard from residents, farmers & graziers on how the drought had affected the town and the surrounding region.  Our club then “adopted” the town of Molong under a project initiated by the Rotary Club of Caringbah.  A donation $2,000 from our club was distributed to 13 needy residents and 6 local retail outlets benefited from these funds.  Molong Rotary Club applied for and received a $5,000 Community Assistance Grant from Cabonne Shire Council which was combined with a further donation of $3,000 from our club and matched by a RAWCS grant of $8,000.  A special thank you to our Club Secretary, Allan for his efforts in pursuing this fantastic outcome for the township of Molong.

I am pleased to confirm that Andrew has been discharged from RNSH and will continue with his much appreciated production of the weekly club bulletin.

Presidents Press - 28 April 2020

Like many fellow Australians I arose early today to watch the televised Anzac Day dawn service from Canberra. On this most solemn of days for both our country and New Zealand we pause to remember the 102,000 Australian servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our freedoms. However due to the current restrictions this Anzac Day is being commemorated in a vastly different way to usual and ironically is was 100 years ago in 1919 the Spanish Flu had a similar effect on the events.

Our club continues to meet via Zoom each Tuesday and while it lacks that personal touch of our breakfasts at Piato it is however wonderful to see and hear from my Rotary friends.

We held a Club Forum last Tuesday and among the many topics covered on the agenda was an update of the club’s website. I am pleased to confirm that we will be proceeding with this project and hope to have such up and running within the near future … watch this space!

While we all hope that our lives will return to normal soon our club like all other Rotary clubs throughout the world will have to explore different ways of fundraising so we may continue to serve our communities.

Presidents Press - 21 April 2020

Thanks to Stephanie Heighes for joining us on our Zoom meeting last Tuesday and updating us on the wonderful work that Nusa Tengarra Association (NTA) is achieving in East Indonesia.  She spoke to us about the Music and Dance Festival which took place last November on the island of Flores. The event involved 255 students and 34 teachers from 17 schools and was a great success.  Our club has been involved with this event for the last two years and has received District Grants to assist in the training of the teachers and presenting the festival.

Stephanie also gave us the current Covid19 situation in Indonesia and while the death toll was reported to be under 400 and positive new cases approximately 4500,  the very low percentage of the over 270 million population who had been tested was a cause for concern.

As we all adapt to the changes and restrictions of our daily routines I am very pleased that we continue to meet online each Tuesday and look forward to  seeing you next week.


The Club

We look forward to welcoming you.


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