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President's Press - 20th June 2023 

As we approach the end of the Fiscal Year and therefore the completion of my second Year as Club President, I examine my personal feelings about the experience and the outcomes.

Firstly, my exposure to a broad range of Rotary efforts both locally and internationally mainly due to attendances at various Presidents’ gatherings as well as District Conferences. This has deepened my commitment and feelings towards the entire Rotary movement given the extremely broad-reaching effect we have in the Worldwide community.

In addition, our own achievements as a single Club have seen us give financial and physical support to various efforts to help young people in our area. An investment in young people has a massive ongoing impact for the betterment of Australian society.

Not only youth, but a whole community has been benefitted in our drought and flood donations to the people of Molong. This has lead us to increase our Rotary fellowship with occasional visits to that town.

Australian society is entering a new period of increasing interest rates, super charged inflation, and possible downsides to our economy as we attempt to turn to renewable energy sources. Climate change is the popular discussion by Governments Worldwide and it is hoped that this effort does not cloud our reasoning and interfere with maintaining our high Australian living standards.

Welfare demand is already more widespread in some areas and the Govt is attempting to support this without affecting our country’s good economical ratings.

Our speaker this week was  Dr Phillip Lawrence who has made it his research effort to discover the various reasons that our Worldwide society is suffering from challenging international security conditions as well as global inequality of wealth. What he describes as runaway technologies has been described by some as useless goods.

Amazingly his research has settled on the main cause of current societal chaos has been the 1862 Company Act in the UK. Nicknamed the Frankenstein law because its effects spread rapidly throughout the whole World, it had the major feature of literally creating an extra persona amongst Company shareholders. This is the Company entity itself and is responsible for anything to do with the Company – good bad, dishonest etc. The Company Directors are absolved from any responsibility to do with the Company.

Company shortcomings which could be deliberate product fraud or major taxation evasion are just some of the high profile items that do occur and the Directors/shareholders are not held really responsible.

This was an extremely thought provoking presentation and the scope of conversation and further questions could be never-ending as we tried to come to grips with the enormity of the topic and why it can affect a very broad range of global societal ills.

One of our better speakers for sure with a topic almost out of left field.

Quote of the week : “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” ---- Malcolm X

Till next week stay well - Allen

President's Press - 13th June 2023 

Australia is currently in the grips of an overall housing shortage for full time renters and with the building industry suffering enormous cost and labour pressures along with enormous amounts of red tape to even get started on a building, there doesn’t appear to be a ready solution.

Public Housing is receiving the greatest pressure for demand as hundreds of thousands of migrants are arriving in Australia every year and private rentals are being extremely hard to find and then pay for high rents.

I can remember as a young boy that the Housing Commission built hundreds of  fibro houses and created whole suburbs that gave many families a respectable home and living standards.

To slow down the creeping expansion of home building into the outer Western suburbs of Sydney, there is more and more demand for building multi story blocks of apartments by developers  to house those in need. There is a lot of sentiment that these areas will turn into ghettos and future slums and so there is a resultant push back by society against this strategy.

However, our speakers this week shone a light on the amazing success that multi-story public housing has achieved at Greenway Flats in Kirribilli. These buildings consist of 300 units and were built 70 years ago and were an amazing breakthrough at the time as multi-story public housing really didn’t exist prior to this construction.

Bryce Gunn is the President of the Greenway Tenants Group and Chris Ireland is a Sydney based commercial photographer who has been photographing the tenants of Greenway and exploring the stories of some of the Greenway residents. Chris questions widely held thinking that people bring circumstances upon themselves and he presented some of the personal accounts of life as told by his subjects. His project is to eventually present at least 20 very professional portrait photographs to be used as an exhibition and a book which will include the stories of the tenants involved.

Bryce spoke of the community work that goes on amongst the tenants to do with a men’s shed (men and women) and various other social group occasions. Currently he is planning a celebration of 70 years anniversary for Greenway which will involve the above mentioned photography exhibition , stalls and other events to be held on site to mark the occasion. This will be a major effort and he relies on the support of Rotary, the North Sydney Council and other volunteers and donors to make it a successful occasion.

Here was proof that the high-rise housing can keep a great living standard with proper input in a community way from residents.

Quote of the week: “ The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you “ --- B B King

Till next week - Stay Healthy - Allen

President's Press - 6th June 2023 

There is enormous concern all around the World in regards to the effects of Climate Change on our planet. As a result there is action in most countries to act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that the climate is stable and predictable.

Australia is not one of the major polluters at al but we are still investing massive sums of money to advance the use of renewable energy, mainly, at present, using wind and solar power. This will require thousands of large installations to approach the everyday electrical requirements of the country and there is some alarm that closing down current existing Australian coal-powered power stations too soon could greatly affect our living standards and our economy.

Consequently there are major research efforts  into finding , proving and possible commercial manufacturing of alternatives .

One major alternative is the use of hydrogen power which leaves nil carbon emissions and reverts to being water once used (this is a very broad explanation) and there are many millions of dollars being invested in research of how to manufacture, store and distribute this product economically and safely.

Our speaker this week, Michael Dureau and he is deeply involved in the current efforts to bring forward the use of hydrogen. This is a topic that brought out multiple questions about the current status of research and the current status and progress of all of Australia’s efforts in converting to renewable energy.

Michael was a font of knowledge on all fronts and I know that this is a broad discussion that could have gone on for the rest of the day! To emphasise the depth of Michael’s knowledge on the topic, I have copied below his summary of his background and experience in this field and you can see how lucky we were to have such a prominent player in this area to talk to our Club.

Michael will discuss the problem and explore how Hydrogen could play a role in Australia’s Future Energy Vision. Australia is a lucky country and we can leverage our special position in the push to Net Zero by 2050. This talk will clarify the Hydrogen puzzle, describe the colours of hydrogen, and discuss what NSW and other states are doing with Renewable Energy Zones and incentives.

Adjunct Professor Michael Dureau AM has a proven track record as a successful CEO and Chairman of Private, Public and Not-for-Profit Organisations.  He was the Chairman of Engineers Australia’s National Committee on Fuels and Energy. He is passionate about renewable clean energy and is a director of BioTek Fuels Ltd. And a member of the NSW Decarbonisation Expert Panel. He is Chairman of Coal Innovation NSW.  

He is an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia (EA) and has been listed several times as one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers.

A very interesting meeting.

Quote of the week: “ The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you “ --- B B King

Till next week - Stay Healthy - Allen

President's Press - 23rd May 2023 

Azita Abdollahian - This week at our Club, we had a speaker who absolutely captured our attention with her mind-blowing insights into the inhuman regime in Iran. The traumatic and inhuman experiences doled out to the population if they demonstrate or speak out against the leaders is enough to make you cringe. Azita showed her own sadness as she spoke of the retribution that occurred in Iran as people in that country and all over the World demonstrated against the inhumanity and evils of those in charge of Iran.

Azita has a mighty resolve to try and help the country emerge from this evil regime and recognises that it will be a slow process but, most certainly needs the support of governments from countries all over the World. Sadly, this protest is not strongly supported greatly by Governments which is both a disappointment and an alarm for future consequences Worldwide as Iran joins up with Russia and China.

However, this is not Azita’s only effort at bettering and/or improving humanitarian conditions. She is the founder of the Shining Light Foundation which is helping homeless people find comfort and improved conditions.

Below is a precis of Azita’s efforts, results and awards:

Azita will talk about her vision to create a world where more women are empowered by their uniqueness, more women are financially independent and can live a courageous and fulfilling life.

Azita is the creator of the Authentic Power System: The “5 C's of Authentic Power”, the author of the Amazon #1 Best-selling book 'Breaking Free'. And founder of the Azita Academy that has trained over 1000 clients in how to create a life of more power, clarity and achievement. Azita is a well-known strategist sharing her wisdom and knowledge and helping others with emotional, personal and professional development. 

Azita is a proud Rotarian and a well-known community leader and advocate for women safety. Azita is also the founder and CEO of Shining Light Foundation and have been providing relief to homeless people for the past five years. 

Other honours include awards for being recognised as Westfield Local Hero 2020, Woman of The Year 2019 Local, Woman of The Year Business Category from Western Sydney University 2019, Citizen of the year Commendation 2018 and her nomination as a Finalist for NSW Women of The Year 2019.

As you can see from the above one cannot be anything but enormously impressed with this amazing lady who came to Australia as a refugee from Iran 23 years ago and is setting a volunteering standard that should be a shining example and hopefully an inspiration for all Australians.

Quote of the Week : “ Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile” – Albert Einstein

Till next week - Stay Healthy - Allen

President's Press - 9th May 2023 

I’m constantly amazed how much support is given by the community to those in need. Those in need can be people without a home, job, family support, physically or mentally compromised --- the list goes on.

There is an enormous number of volunteer organisations and individuals who selflessly give their time, physical support and/or money to allow those that are disadvantaged to better be able to be involved in Australian society.

Obviously, Rotary is one of these identities who put enormous support into local and regional communities, often without recognition, generally, by the public of the work and contribution of Rotary. To this end, we have been discussing how we could get some exposure to make the general public more aware of our operation. At the same time, we are hoping to maybe attract members to strengthen our impact in society. We are currently considering joining with fellow local Clubs, Crows Nest and North Sydney to try to get benefit for all three Clubs. I hope we have some success in our efforts.

Our visitor this week was Kevin Rangi who is the Business Manager of Therapies for Kids which is a pediatric allied health service which specializes in Intensive Therapy Programs, Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Speech language Pathology and Exercise Physiology for children of all abilities.

TFK is an Allied Health Provider, a private practice with 3 clinics. Two in Sydney and one in the Riverina district. TFK treats about 400 children weekly, and Kevin described the benefits and successes that they have experienced and underlined the fact that every child was different. As a result, they have to work with children individually to ensure a best result i.e., no size fits all.

Battery powered toy cars have shown to be very successful with various children to assist them in their quest for independence. What was notable was the persistence of the individual pediatrician and their influence on parents to maintain exercise and enthusiasm with the kids.

This is a tremendous movement which could spread more rapidly and usefully except for the fact that there is a shortage of people with the required qualifications. The support of NDIS is a blessing and allows attention to be focused 100% on the children and the expected success of each one.

Quote of the week: “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” –John Barrymore

Till next week - Stay healthy - Allen

President's Press - 2nd May 2023 

Last Tuesday 25th April was Anzac Day and people were involved in ceremonies all over Australia and other parts of the World, especially at Gallipoli where the Anzac legend became a byword.

Australians have proved themselves brave and resourceful in many fields of conflict and have secured enormous respect for their effectiveness in battle.

We could consider very many items of bravery that have been recorded since the Boer War until the present and decorations are warded recognising the personal sacrifice that bravery requires.

So Anzac Day covers involvement at all levels by servicemen in many fields of conflict. But outside of the recognition that our servicemen have received, Australians constantly demonstrate their ability to invite and overcome a challenge , whether during normal life, business or in the sporting field.

Our Guest Speaker this week was John Taylor, a local resident, who gave us a very insightful account of his twenty-first involvement in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. We have had other presentations of this famous event but John gave us a real feeling of the privations, discomfort and excitement that are features of this event for crewmen.

John’s photographs captured the moments which he used to describe the conditions within the yacht and on deck.

Being wet and cold was a given and also recognising the enormity of the ocean given that they rarely saw another of the competing yachts while at sea. However, upon entering the Derwent River at Hobart, yachts appeared from everywhere, keeping the crew on its toes.

The yacht in which he sailed – “King Billy” was luxurious when compared with the yachts that have been designed specifically for racing. King Billy was designed for cruising and therefore had luxuries like a proper toilet, a refrigerator and a proper kitchen sink. In addition they were able to carry preprepared dinners of good quality compared to yachts who are looking for speed and carry no extra weight.

Complying with rules designed for everyone’s safety was interesting as it ranged from regular position reports down to compulsory wearing of safety vests in rough seas.

Over the years there have been some very heavy storms and big seas during this event and every year this is a possibility that crewmen are aware of before they go outside Sydney Heads.

This was an extremely interesting insight into this challenging race and has shown that the taking on of a significant challenge needing loads of  courage is typical of the Australian personality.

We could have gone for much longer than our meeting time with John’s fascinating presentation and he was greatly appreciated.

Quote of the week: “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated” --- Ernest Hemingway

Until next week - Stay well - Allen

President's Press - 18th April 2023 

The main direction of Rotary Clubs Worldwide is to contribute to the betterment of the local community and in selected foreign societies.

What this means is that we are not simply fund raisers for other voluntary causes necessarily, but raise funds to further our own efforts as mentioned above.

Our Rotary Club has consistently supported good causes and institutions mainly in our North Sydney region with some funds being sent to overseas causes such as Nusa Tenggara in Eastern Indonesia. In addition we always support the End Polio International Rotary effort.

So it follows that we had an interesting insight into our local community this week with a presentation by our member Felicity Wilson. More importantly, Felicity is also the State Member for North Sydney and has only recently won the seat for another term, which is a good reflection of her involvement in her electorate.

We heard of the various major roadworks project which is going right through North Sydney with the extension of the freeway from the Northern part of the Harbour bridge which is affecting the area around Kirribilli, and just East of the North Sydney city area. This includes changes to road and foot traffic as well as creating new garden areas associated with the project.

This led into quite a discussion on the community alarm over the Cycleway that is proposed at Milsons Point which is generally considered to be an eyesore as well an almost unnecessary design size taking over a large part of the parkland alongside Milsons Point Station.

Felicity was right across the various situations which were brought up by attendees at the meeting and was able to give detailed information on requirements, decisions and expected outcomes from all community items including schools and other public areas.

She is currently waiting to see how the recently elected Labor Government for NSW will treat projects that have already need for ongoing support and those that are planned and will need support by the new State Government to be undertaken.

This was a very good down-to-earth presentation that touched on items that affect all those living in the electorate and gave members information that is not always so readily available in such an informal way.

Quote of the week ---“Having a young child explain something exciting he has seen is the finest example of communication you will ever hear or see.

--- Bob Talbert

Till next meeting - Stay well - Allen

President's Press - 21st March 2023 

Last weekend, myself ,and a number of members and our partners attended the District 9685 Annual Conference which was held at Cowra South West of Sydney.

One of the things that Cowra is known for is the prisoner breakout from the prisoner-of-war detention camp in August 1944 during World War 2.  Consequently the Conference was named the “Cowra Breakout Conference” in line with the event that took place all those years ago.

A  large number of Japanese prisoners escaped and in the following 9 days, 334 prisoners were retaken. In all 234 Japanese were killed and 108 wounded.

All survivors were recaptured in the surrounding countryside in the days that followed.

The Japanese Gardens that were designed by  renowned architect Ken Nakajima in 1977 and most of the funding came from Japanese companies who  realized the significance and empathy of the memory of the breakout.

These gardens are now considered the best Japanese gardens in the World outside Japan.

The Conference itself was held in the pavilion at the Cowra Showgrounds featuring some very interesting speakers. The night before , there was a BarBQ on the site and Sunday morning the attendees gathered at the Japanese Gardens for brunch, entertainment, details of the history of the Garden and a fantastic speech by the Japanese Ambassador to Australia Mr Yamagami Shingo.

Our Club nominated Associate Professor Tony Irwin  a Professional Engineer(Nuclear Engineering) for a vocational Excellence Award which he received onstage together with another recipient Professor Mary-Louise McLaws.

For myself the Conference refreshed my knowledge of the work that Rotary does Worldwide and emphasized the effective impact that rotary has on the community.

It was a terrific Conference and the Blackheath Rotary Club (DG Mina Howard’s Club) did a fantastic job overcoming the difficulties of distance from the venue and some real physical setbacks that were thrown in their path. Obviously they had enormous support from the Cowra Rotary Club to achieve a fantastic result.

Next Year, the Conference for incoming DG Christine Owen, will be held at Terrigal and I’m sure those that were at Conference in Cowra will be attending Terrigal.

This week our Club held a Board Meeting and a Club Forum which resulted in us finalizing our budgeted expenditure(donations) as we have achieved our income goals. In addition we will be moving along with our proposed marketing drive to increase Rotary awareness in the community and hopefully, new members to our Club.

Quote of the Week: --" It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it” ----- W. Somerset Maugham

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

President's Press - 21st February 2023 

I recently attended a “Mens’ Dinner” organised by The Hub which operates in the Waverton district, initially to give support for older people who are not so mobile and/or need help, attention and friendship.

The Hub has developed from this to now having roughly 200 members , consisting mainly of people who have retired from work. It seems that , once working days are over, there is still a need for human contact etc and  involvement and now the Hub has a range of activities from local and out-of-area  walks, Tai Chi, Coffee Catchup (once per week at local coffee lounge),Happy Hour (once per week at local bar/bistro) Boules and other interests. The Hub has become a community model that is being adopted by other Local Councils in Sydney.

What the Hub does indicate is that there is a great  need for people to remain “in touch”.

Our Guest Speaker this week was Denise Ward who is the Executive Officer for the Crows Nest Centre. This is an organisation that reaches out to members of the local public who are either old and not very mobile, or who are disadvantaged with problems such as dementia or people who are homeless. The range of services includes organising Meals on Wheels, theatre outings, gatherings at the centre, offering comfort and inclusion for homeless and many services that are too numerous to account here.

Whereas the Centre receives money to operate from the Govt , support from North Sydney Council and a range of donations, they still receive physical support from an enormous number of volunteers. Denise is continually juggling with fitting her budget into the extremely large range of demands for the services of the Centre. Added to the workload is an increasingly heavy workload to respond to a number of requirements from bureaucrats from a range of Govt. departments. I sometimes wonder if a lot of the so-called regulations balance out with the requirements that are demanded – are they completely necessary?

Denise has been recognised by our Club with a Pride of Workmanship Award for the amazing work she is doing in the community, and I am full of admiration for her commitment over a number of years.

I often wonder how various Governments would be able to manage their business without the army of volunteers that give back-up support for community requirements.

Obviously the Rotary Organisation contributes mightily Worldwide through Rotary International, right down to grass roots, face-to-face efforts from each individual Club.

Quote of the week ---- “ I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou

Till next week - Stay well


President's Press - 14th February 2023 

With only about two weeks of summer left, we in Sydney are still waiting for a few weeks of hot summer days instead of what seems to be more cool days than usual.

The last few months have seen enormous amounts of rain that have left floods and devastation even out in the Far West of NSW. However, currently,  there are bushfires being experienced in some Western Areas. None of the weather extremes are new , having been experienced before over the time when records have been kept. But because of increased population more people are being affected and the power of the media means that people are becoming aware of the effects of weather extremes quicker and more accurately than was ever possible.

The upshot is that people are trying to find ways to prevent modern society from having any effects on the weather and this is now an everyday topic with new industries springing up everywhere and new inventions/ways of life/mineral requirements being front page news.

How effective all of this is to controlling climate is arguable but a good result of this topic is that we are now finding ways to be more efficient in how we treat and use our environment and its natural assets.

This was made clear to our members by our speaker this week, Daniella MacDowell who is North Sydney Council’s Sustainable Business Officer – a position that would never have been envisaged say, ten years ago. Under her direction and advice, the Council is contacting and advising businesses under the Small Business Partnership Program how to develop a sustainable action plan. It is a one-stop shop for all programs, events, rebates and supports relating to sustainability. Whether it is saving on energy, water or reducing waste costs, increasing staff and community engagement or buying better through , sustainable purchasing there are lots of opportunities .

Cityswitch encompasses businesses from different sectors and sizes assisting businesses to measure baseline carbon emissions and find practical solutions on how to improve energy efficiency .

What we can see here is a sensible movement to help people and businesses to reduce and be more efficient in their use of natural assets.

This is a country of plenty and previously no attention was given to control our excesses – in most cases we were unaware of our inefficiencies.

So we can see a terrific movement that was lying under the surface of society waiting to be practised – a great result from the so-called Climate Debate.

Quote of the week: “ The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere “ Barack Obama

Till next week.- Stay Well


President's Press - 7th February 2023 

The Covid pandemic greatly accelerated the World’s population into greater use of the internet and all other electronic programs used in our society.

Even professional users of various systems using electronics discovered the logistic advantages of using Zoom for conferences, for instance. This has lead to a complete revolution as to how and where a workday can be conducted. It is universally acceptable since covid for workers who used to commute to offices and other daily service places, to now work from home. A pattern seems to be establishing itself that some people attend the office for, say, 3 days and 2 days at home offices. In addition, some people have re-established themselves in regional areas and are conducting their total business from a home office. The whole world is your oyster.

However, there is a flip side to all of this new use of technology and that is the proliferation of scamming that is occurring Worldwide. Scammers act in a seemingly professional establishment and have mastered the theft of peoples’ identity allowing the scammer to empty bank accounts, raise funds without the victim’s knowledge and sometimes, literally taking control of someone’s computer operation. Everyone can be affected no matter their age and computer experience as the scammers have developed a range of means to get into your system, often with your unknowing consent.

The increased use and acceptance of online shopping, online Trade advertising and even, face to face efforts to scam someone, has enormously increased the number of chances and potential for scammers to indulge.

Our Guest Speakers this week were Senior Constables Dominic and Todd who are attached to the Crime Prevention Unit dedicated to getting some knowledge and control of this disease called scamming. Their job is enormous and they showed the example of December 2022 when there were 23,744 scams reported and over $34million lost. That is one month!!!

We were given some amazing details of the size and enormous range of scamming that is currently totally infecting the internet, email, Instagram etc,etc..

There is not enough room for me to describe the activities that are catching out even the most highly experienced and intelligent people. The sophistication of their activities is mind-boggling.

We were advised the following contacts : for information on services and advice

1800 333 000 – Crime stoppers

131 444 – NSW Police Assistance

9956 3199   North Sydney Police Station

9414 8499   Chatswood Police Station

These crimes are to be taken very seriously and the Police are quick to help and advise.

We could have been there until lunch time asking questions. A fascinating and yet disturbing presentation.

Quote of the Week : “ Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful” --- Joshua J. Marine

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen 

President's Press - 31st January 2023 

26th January – Australia Day when Australians celebrate the beginning of European settlement in Australia. From that has developed a society with one of the highest living standards and one of the greatest wealth per capita in the modern World.

Our country has famously been labelled “the wide brown land” yet it has so many beautiful assets that not many people can associate with that description unless they have literally travelled into the “dead heart”.

Our society is one of many mixed cultures because of our vigorous migrant policy as well as the many varied and colourful cultures of the original Australians whose knowledge of country has been a leading force in looking after the land and its environment. We are surrounded by sea which helps us control to a great extent, how we control our population numbers and police the possible introduction of harmful animal and plant diseases – sadly not totally successful over the years.

Australia has one of the most vigorous democracies in the World and is one of the safest communities .  A range of Governments , all with good and bad attributes have been unable to staunch the Aussie spirit of “having a go”. Each generation though, has mourned the terrible things that Government is doing/has done but we seem to ignore the bad bits and get on with it.

Our blessed existence was underlined by our speaker this week--- Ana Prada.

Ana Prada is Colombian and especially interested in Latin American local peacebuilding processes and sustainable agriculture. She has studied organic and agro-ecological production processes in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. She has also worked with different organisations in the implementation of a Peace Agreement in rural reform, economic reintegration and solutions to the drug problem. She is currently a Rotary Peace Fellow at the University of Queensland. She is also an alumna of the International Training in Dialogue and Mediation at Uppsala University and the international course on Food Systems and Sustainable and Healthy Diets at the University of Wageningen.

Ana is in Sydney to undertake an internship at the Institute for Economics & Peace at St Leonards and will return to Brisbane to continue her studies in February.

Ana is a hands-on operator and had gone into fairly wild territory to broker a peace deal with guerrilla bands and then reorganise their local economy. She has been involved in this sort of activity in other locations as well with the aim of bringing about peace and better living standards.

She is energetic, enthusiastic, industrious, independent and is aiming at bettering our World, particularly in the Colombian region. She is an outstanding example of how young people can use their energy and beliefs to forge a better society.

We wish her every success.

Quote of the week: --” The ability to influence people without irritating them is the most profitable skill you can learn” --- Napoleon Hill.

Till next week

Stay well - Allen 

President's Report - AGM - 24 January 2023 - Allen Colburt

Our Annual 2022 AGM was held on 24 January 2023, followed by our 2 monthly General Forum. I am pleased to report that Trent Zimmerman was elected unopposed as our President-elect for 2023/24, commencing 1 July 2023.

The AGM followed our normal Agenda including Secretarial Report, Financial Report and General Business.

President Allen presented his written report to the members as follows:

We have had a year where some of our activities have been influenced by circumstances beyond our control. A noticeable impact was the tremendously heavy rain and flooding that has occurred throughout NSW, the result being our cancellation of the presentation of “Books In Homes” at Stuart Town Public School. The rain also caused flooding throughout Molong, meaning that we couldn’t have our planned visit to our sister Rotary Club. We donated $1000 from Club funds as well as a further $500 donated by Club Members towards flood relief.

Another cause that was delayed was our Polio Plus collection that takes place at Milsons Point Station. We delayed this activity as we could see that workers in the city had still not returned to normal numbers as a result of new work habits influenced by Covid.

We still intend to give support to our budgeted causes and this will be dictated by appropriate funds being available. Currently our income from the Magic Show appears to be more than our expected income, which is great.

A notable achievement for our Club was the installation of the outdoor gymnasium at Clark Park, North Sydney to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in Australia. This was the result of a Grant of $47,000 from the State Government as well as an extra amount of $5000 from the Club.

We will have our official opening soon as the whole park is upgraded and is opened for use by the public.

One of our main beneficiaries, Phoenix House has received some funds that were also bolstered by a grant of $2500.

We were disappointed that the young man that we chose to attend RYLA this year was unable to attend due to work commitments. We will be credited with our money that was advanced for his attendance.

Our membership was static in that we recently received Warren Greig’s resignation from the Club but we welcomed new member, Denise Tomlinson at our Christmas Dinner in December. We are planning a drive for members and more recognition of Rotary in the Community. This drive will be underpinned by submissions from the Commerce students at Macquarie Uni which provided a fresh approach with quite a few unique ideas.

We awarded this year’s “Pride of Workmanship” Award to Anna Con proprietor of the “Laurel Leaf Bistro” for her exceptional industriousness and business achievement.

Our Website is being kept lively and is now operated alongside our Linked-in presence. In fact, Denise came to us as a direct result of her seeing our website. We have purchased a new computer and will be using this to keep good records of our Club’s activities as well as its use for guest speakers’ presentations.

Our speaker program is of a very high standard and has resulted in a very healthy number of guests who have been attracted by a particular speaker and his topic.

Finally, I most enthusiastically thank Club Members for their strong support and involvement. Not only in their own portfolio but across all topics there were no “silos” as everyone hopped into activities. In fact, we have had visitors say how much they enjoyed the great fellowship and involvement by attending members.

I received tremendous support, advice, guidance and encouragement from all members and for this I am entirely grateful and proud. I look forward to the coming year and proposed activity.

As we conclude this AGM, it is highly appropriate that we extend a very sincere thank you to the team at Piato for their wonderful hospitality throughout the past 12 months. Thank you, Michael, Steve, George, Tony and your wonderful support crew.

Presidents Press - 17 January 2023

Australia is an enormous island continent with a very small population count per square mile. Most of the population is situated in coastal cities all around the continent.

We have weather that is entirely suitable for outdoors activities which range from water sports to team sports as well camping and touring a country that has deserts, rivers, mountains (not very high by World standards) inland lakes and thousands of miles of coastline to satisfy every whim of the Australian population.

Having a very high standard of living and an average wealth well above most other countries, all Australians have an opportunity to partake in all of these activities. Which leads to the fact that Australia often competes in sporting events at the highest levels Worldwide. In fact, we are often World Champions either in team sports or individual events. Which fact constantly amazes other countries with much larger populations, but it is a reflection of the love of outdoors and the perfect weather for being involved in outdoor sports. This attitude to being involved washes over to indoor sports as well where sports such as basketball have an enormous participation rate in Australia.

Added to our desires to compete, our status as a wealthy country allows people to have the latest equipment in design and technology to keep them in the forefront of all sports.

Our achievements in sports, worldwide, for many years as mentioned above, is a proud reflection of our enjoyment and consequent success of these activities. The Sydney-Hobart race is one example of overseas competing in events in Australia as they are considered really world class thanks to our attitude and accomplishments.

Our Guest Speaker this week was Past District Governor Lindsay May and his topic was the 2022 Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Lindsay is a highly regarded veteran navigator and has sailed in this event for 48 successive years before Covid 19 scuppered the 2020 event.

The yacht he navigated was Kialoa 2 which was built in California and launched in 1964 designed to compete and win in the maxi ocean category. She successfully won most major ocean races which included the gruelling upwind Sydney-Hobart of 1971.

In recent years her design was more than matched by the newest lightweight designs that were designed more for speed than cruising. In recent years Kialoa2 was modified by upgrading the suit of sails and including a mizzen mast for more sail area. The result was that she now finishes the Sydney-Hobart in a faster time than initially.

This was an extremely interesting presentation and reflected the sailing and crew conditions by way of photos and colourful description by Lindsay.

He is setting off in Kialoa 2 in a couple of months, sailing to the UK to compete in the Fastnet Race.

What a sailor ! What a yacht!

Quote of the week : “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”---- Babe Ruth

Till next week - Stay Well


Presidents Press - 10 January 2023

Welcome everybody to the New Year 2023. This is the time of the year when individuals, Companies and voluntary organisations are prompted to reflect on the plans and results of the first 6 months of the Fiscal Year and consider if plans for the coming 6 months are still pertinent. As the old saying goes – “If you haven’t got any plans, how can you change them?”

Did your organisation meet the planned sales or service points that were planned? Did your financial budget stand up to the planned costings and receipts? Did your organisation discover a new direction or product that influenced and is still influencing your performance – for better or worse?

If performance and results have changed significantly it is advisable to immediately make changes to your next 6 months planned results to achieve an acceptable or improved outcome. 2023 looks as though it will be a year of challenge on many fronts and organisations need to be agile enough to move with any change.

Our Guest Speaker this week was Mark Anderson who is Senior Coordinator, Fund Development for the Rotary Foundation at the South pacific and Philippines Office in Sydney.

Originally Mark had planned to explain the Rotary Foundation. However as he sat through the Club’s business discussions prior to his presentation, he changed his presentation to discuss and display a Power Point presentation which focussed on a Rotary Club’s reason to exist and what is the main activity or unique circumstances needing attention in our community.

It was very enlightening to see how his own Club, Beecroft has extended their membership, profile and presence in the local Beecroft community without, necessarily, a focus on donations/income.

We had begun to plan a marketing push for members and Rotary awareness this year and Mark’s presentation showed a lot of direction to make this a successful drive. I look forward to working with our Club Members to work towards achieving our wishes.

Initial discussions and planning will be discussed at our AGM/Forum on 24th this month

So, here we all are, with a full year ahead that promises to be an interesting one and hopefully a Rotary year with positive achievements.

Quote of the week: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life : It goes on” --- Robert Frost

Till next week - Stay Well


Till next week - Stay well


Presidents Press - 06 December 2022

As Australians, we enjoy one of the highest living standards in the World, coupled with a peaceful atmosphere (not discounting the crime that goes on all over the World) that is recognised particularly by new immigrants who have fled terror and autocracy in their own land of birth. We do have homeless people and others living below the poverty line despite a generous (by World standards) welfare and health systems. This is continually being addressed by our various Governments, State and Federal.

Having travelled extensively to regional Australia as well as cities, I am also always overawed by the natural, sometimes savage, beauty of our country.

Add to that the natural friendliness that you strike everywhere and I know we are living the dream.

I often watch Aljazeera news from London which gives an excellent report from countries all over the World. I am horrified by the reports of third world absolute poverty, starvation, terrorism, repression, uprisings, crooked autocrats in a lot of South America and all of Africa. This is never reported in the lightweight newsfeed from Australian TV stations and as a society we are the poorer for the ignorance , an ignorance which is carried by the major part of our Australian population.

The good news is that Rotary worldwide has programs that have some impact at trying to improve conditions for those that are suffering some of the above horrors.

Our speaker this week is typical of the commitment by individuals who are supported by Rotary as they try to improve conditions in poor countries. Stephanie Heighes is a social Anthropologist from Switzerland. She has been working for the Humanitarian Aid and Development Cooperation since 2004 and lived from 2007 to 2017 in Flores (NTT- Indonesia). She moved to Sydney in December 2017 with her Australian husband and their 2 children. She started working for Nusa Tengarra Association(NTA) in June 2017 as the Operations Director.

The Province of Nusa Tengarra Timor includes the islands of Flores, West Timor and Sumba. It is the poorest Province in Indonesia with poor soil, very little tourist visitors and no natural assets that could be exported and its people relying on subsistence farming for existence.

North Sydney Sunrise funds the Music and Dance Festival that occurs annually and is literally an underscoring and strengthening for their traditional culture.

Schoolchildren walk for many kilometres to attend and dance in the festival and it is an uplift from the normal mundane existence of the population.

Recently a group of Rotarians , including our own Andrew Young travelled to the Province escorted by Stephanie to view the range of work being done. By range of work I mean schools being supported with items for education, water tanks being funded and built, advice on increasing farm output, building pig pens and the using the run-off from the floors of the pens to enrich the soil.

Andrew added to Stephanie’s report with his own observations and reactions until we literally ran out of time with much more to be discussed. The end result is that our Club can be proud of its support for the NTA Dance Festival, as can the Rotary Clubs generally for the fantastic input and work it does for those needing help and improvements to their existence.

Quote of the week: “ No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else” --- Charles Dickens

Till next week - Stay well


Presidents Press - 29 November 2022

We all live in a throw-away society, which is proving to be a major detriment to our environment. With 8 billion people on the Earth, society at all levels and in every country are struggling to find ways to dispose of the millions of tonnes of waste created daily. In more advanced societies, people have become accustomed to dividing their rubbish into recyclable, green and household waste with the plan being to treat each separately to lessen the requirements of landfill. Household rubbish is normally taken to a rubbish tip and buried, green waste is treated and allowed to degenerate into compost and recyclable goods such as plastic are taken to dry storage with the expectation that it will be reduced to pellets and reused to manufacture plastic products such as pallets used to stack and move goods in industry using fork lifts etc. Lately, we hear that recycled plastic is mixed with road-making material to bulk it up and perhaps make a less slippery surface.

A lot of other treatments are used to treat grey water and chemicals as well as pollution from motor vehicles and other motorised equipment.

The output of garbage is still a growing problem and in poorer and overcrowded countries it is overwhelming and results in terrible living conditions and environmental degradation.

This week’s speaker is a step forward in the treatment of plastics, currently in Sydney but with worldwide potential.

Only 1.9% of Australian automotive plastic waste is recycled. Boxhead Plastics exists to support the auto industry divert more of its plastic waste from landfill. Only 11.5% of Australian plastic waste is recycled.

Bec Healy founded a Company called Boxhead Plastics in 2017 when her organisation started experimenting with polypropylene car bumper bars, handcrafting boxes from this plastic material. Before starting her Company, which is a not-for-profit organisation, Bec enrolled at Lidcombe TAFE studying Polymer Technology.

At this stage Boxhead Plastics has successfully forged a chain of relationships that turns locally recycled car bumper bars into a feedstock ready for injection moulding. They are currently manufacturing a small range of products with the aim to prove that this product has a place in eventually being used with virgin material which would reduce the cost of manufactured products and help dispose  of plastics.

A boundless future is ahead for this carefully run organisation.

Quote of the Week: “Learning never exhausts the Mind” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 22 November 2022

Well, if we weren’t going to be washed away in Sydney, we could have been blown away as gale force winds hit Sydney and environs over the last couple of days. A good test of your roof’s robustness.

However, the central regions of NSW are still suffering from flooding with more towns being affected as the water moves down the river systems towards the Murray River. Once again SES, defence forces and volunteers are stretched to the limit helping the clean-up and working ahead of the water by building walls made by sand bags. The Australian spirit shows again as volunteers put their back into this crisis, helping people they have never met before aside from the locals.

Our Club had planned a Books-in-Homes trip to Stuart Town Public School to present books to students at this very small country school. After this, we had planned to spend the night at Molong catching up with members of our “twinned” club --- Molong Rotary.

It was not to be, as floodwaters covered the complete main street and nearby areas washing large items down the streets and causing damage other than floodwater disruption. The roads in the area are also in very bad shape because of the enormous amount of rain over the past few months. So, instead of the trip away, the Club donated $1000 to be distributed by the Rotary Club in the form of vouchers that can only be spent in the town. In addition, we have offered the option to those that were going to make the trip, to donate the money that they would have spent on the trip. So another sum will shortly follow the initial $1000.

This week, our Guest Speaker was Prof. Ralph Martins who has dedicated the last 33 years to Alzheimers Disease (AD) research. He and his team have been at the forefront globally in developing non-invasive and cost-effective early diagnostics for pre-clinical AD. This is a devastating disease and, I would think< most people were related or new somebody close that has been affected by AD. In fact, 250 cases are discovered daily in Australia, and it is thought that just as many go undiagnosed.

His research has moved ahead much more quickly and effectively since Prof Martins and his team co-ordinated research that was being underway in various other research facilities around Australia, getting rid of the “silo syndrome “ and working together to get better, quicker results. There is still a long way to go, but they have worked out the conditions in the brain that cause AD, have recognised the various groups that are susceptible and even have developed medication that seems to be effective to some degree, but with more development required. This was a brilliant and unnerving presentation and raised the awareness of the massive task required, ongoing, to get a good result for prevention and cure.

Quote of the week: “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship” --- Buddha

Till next week - Stay well - Allen

Till next week

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 15 November 2022

Still the natural disasters are occurring. Right at this time the townships of Forbes, Cowra, Canowindra, Eugowra, Molong, as well as all the little villages around these towns are either under water already or have been warned to evacuate their homes and businesses.

The Wyangala Dam is overflowing with enormous torrents racing down the Lachlan River engulfing towns along the way. Many people have been cut off and towns physically divided with rescues ongoing by helicopters and SES teams. This appears to be the worst flooding since 1952, but it is still rising which means no let up for the people in these areas.

Once again, the Australian spirit is supporting desperate people with expected massive physical and financial support to follow.

It was only just before Covid that North Sydney Sunrise raised funds to help Molong with its severe drought conditions and lack of funds in the district. We formed a relationship with Molong Rotary Club and were expecting to visit them in early December. Now the town is completely flooded and cleaning up has not even started until the water recedes. So we will be staying away until sometime next year. In the meantime we will raise some funds to help the clean-up process.

This week, our Club did not meet at the Piato and our venue for this meeting was the Norths Club in Cammeray where a big breakfast was set up by Phoenix House to raise awareness and support for their cause. There were two other Rotary Clubs involved –---Crows Nest and North Sydney as well as some businessmen and dignitaries from around the district.

This was a brilliant event with polished presentations which drove home to everybody the importance of the work that Phoenix House is doing. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be an increase of physical and monetary support as a result.

Quote of the week : “ We are what we  repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle

Till next week

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 08 November 2022

Students at Macquarie University approached us some weeks ago looking to include a project based on our Rotary Club as part of the requirements of their course. They divided themselves into three separate groups as notional marketing companies and after some consultation, they submitted their plans.

The idea was that they based the work on increasing community awareness of Rotary, increase our membership and promote inclusivity.

All three included a slogan for the project, a swot analysis as well as marketing plans, publicity plans and ways to attract members.

The results were fantastic and each of the three submissions had marvellous ideas. The Club members discussed the projects, and it was decided we would put together some activity based around some of the excellent ideas, that emerged and we will aim at some actual progress using them in the first three months of 2023.

Our speaker this week was Nenita Hammer and her colleague Jess Ovidi. With their topic being The Savings Finder Service – a NSW Govt initiative.

Nenita comprehensively explained how the Service Finder tool can be used via the Services NSW website. This program helps people save as the cost of living rises by finding a number of discounts and rebates that are available specifically designed to assist seniors. This is a valuable resource for anyone in NSW to explore savings  from the more than 70 discounts and rebates that are available. Apart from working through the website, anyone can make an appointment for personal direction on the use of the tools.

There is now a NSW Services Office in North Sydney and it was acknowledged that wait times for service were almost non-existent – a sign of good service.

The Quote of the week: “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit” -- Conrad Hilton.

Till next week - Stay well


Presidents Press - 01 November 2022

Being the first Tuesday in November is the signal that Melbourne Cup Day is with us. The one day of the year that the whole country will stop at around 3pm to watch this traditional event. It signals that we are well into Spring with Spring rains, and it appears that Melbourne this year is a 50-50 chance of rain on an already soaked track. The real punters will know the names of the horses that like wet going and discussions will be rife to pick the winner.

The universally bright side to the race (public holiday in Victoria), is that restaurants and clubs throughout Australia will have some sort of occasion and it is one of the few days of the year that people really dress in their best.

Which all leads me to wish that this notable event will divert attention, at least temporarily, from problems they may be experiencing: e.g. life problems, work problems, family problems and natural disaster problems.

This week our Club had a Board meeting and Club Forum where we considered our finances and Club activities.

We are strictly adhering to our Budget as funds become available and we note that income from the Magic Show is being received from this point of time. Our expected income will allow us to give financial support to a range of good purposes, but particularly accented to youth in the community.

Importantly, we were able to consider one of three submissions from business students at Macquarie University which was prepared as a marketing exercise with aim of improving community knowledge of Rotary, attract new members for all ages and cultures and ideas to raise funds . We only had time to consider one of these submissions and it was found to be outstanding in research and ideas. We have two more separate submissions to consider.

For myself, I saw a lot of excellent ideas that we can adopt to enhance our club activities and membership. More discussion to follow.

Quote of the week: “Strive not to be a success, but rather be of value” -Albert Einstein.

Till next week - Stay Well


Presidents Press - 25 October 2022

Finally Sydney is getting a couple of days of sunshine and warmer days as Spring advances. More rain expected but hopefully not as heavy. However, inland NSW and Victorian border towns are experiencing major floods and consequent hardship. Once again, in the Australian way, voluntary help comes from all sources including neighbours of the affected homes etc.

Tracking your family past is an ongoing effort for a lot of people, including myself. Recently we drove through Tuena which is near Crookwell and asked some locals about the School of Arts Hall that my Great, Great Grandfather, Charles Colburt, helped to finance in the 1890s. It was a sort of a jackpot as the old fellow we got to talk with, remembers the hall from his boyhood and pointed out where it had been. However, he declared that someone bought it from the Shire many years ago and demolished it and the Methodist Church for the beautiful old timbers in each building. Then, a couple of weeks later a grainy photo arrived of both the Hall and the Church – how wonderful. Typically, in a small country town, he tracked the photo down from another old person who still had the photos in his possession. Now, the local Crookwell Historical Society has picked up the story and is looking for more details of my ancestor. It is turning out to be interesting and has relit my inquisitive flame.

Talking about relighting the memory bank, our guest speaker this week was Carla Moore who, apart from her many high level academic, production and acting achievements gave us a very interesting talk about Shakepeare. Carla has directed most of his plays over the years and is very conversant with the man and his achievements. There were many exquisite details, one of the most impactful to me was that Shakespeare introduced 1700 new words to the English Language. The amazing thing is that they are everyday words these days and I urge you to look up some of the details of his input to the World---an impact still influencing our times.

This was one of our better, most interesting presentations and we thank Carla for her time. We hope she will return as there were so many questions to offer, but her time was limited.

Next week we will be holding a Board Meeting and Club Forum, visitors always welcome for input.

Quote of the week :   “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts“– Shakespeare.

From “As you like it”

Till next week - Stay well


Presidents Press - 18 October 2022

And so the deluge continues with more to come. This time it is affecting areas of Victoria and Central NSW as well as the East Coast areas of the country.

Volunteers and Defence Force personnel are on the job again, as usual, but with a wide range of locations needing attention which is making things more difficult with flooding occurring in a wide area.

Once again, volunteer organisations are in the forefront giving support during and after the event – a great Australian tradition.

Sue and I spent last week in Adelaide and the famous wine-growing districts East of Adelaide. The first thing we noticed was how relaxed and laid-back the general attitude and feeling – making Sydney seem like New York in comparison. The second thing was how easy it was to drive around in both the city and regions with very easy flow of smaller traffic quantities and some good expressways around Adelaide. The third thing was the great tram service around the city which augments the train services. The waterfront of the Torrens River behind the city has been beautifully designed to include sports centres, conference centres, the main railway station and good quality hotels.

The final thing was the natural beauty of the Adelaide Hills, just glorious. The wineries, of course with the German beer available at their beerfest was very well received by myself.

This week our speaker was Mark Staples who told of his trip to Las Vegas to enter the World Poker Championship. The cost to enter was $10,000 American dollars and prizes were in the millions of dollars – worth focusing on the methods of yourself and the opposition. What a fascinating story. Apparently, poker is designated as a skill, not gambling in the USA and Mark led us through the way preparation, practice, coaching, reading books on the topic, all came into play for anyone to be successful, as luck, interestingly, would only be about 5% of the game. Studying opposition ways of playing, using some body language and a whole lot of other skills were the need for anyone to be successful even in a small way, with experience, of course, improving your skills.  What an eye opener!

Quote of the Week: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” – Confucius

Till next week - Stay well - Allen

Presidents Press - 04 October 2022

The Weather Bureau has predicted heavy rains in the very near future and to continue throughout Spring. In addition, it is expected to be a wet Christmas along the East Coast.

People living in low-lying areas or flood-prone areas are preparing for more possible problems. These unfortunate circumstances with often dire consequences bring out and emphasise the enormous number and range of volunteers and volunteer organisations that are continually involved in these tragedies, during and after the event. From the SES and volunteer fire brigades to a range of church , clubs (such as Rotary) and humanitarian fund raising aid. Even though there can be a tragic aftermath for those affected, there is always someone there to offer their help, either physically, mentally or monetarily.

This is the Australian way, to pitch in and help and it underlines the importance of our Rotary organisation to be involved in many different ways, given the diversity of our members.

This week, the guest speaker at our Club meeting was Dr Juliette Tobias-Webb who is a Chief Behavioural Scientist, a Senior MBA lecturer and one of 60 women nominated as a Superstar of STEM.

Dr Juliette has a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge University (focused on gambling behaviour) and has worked for a range of leading government and corporate organisations to design better products and services for human decision-making and behaviour change.

Given her details above, it followed that we heard a very interesting presentation in regard to how to change peoples’ minds, habits and behaviour and achieve a good result. Dr Juliette showed us a comprehensive range of detail and understanding of her profession, and it was one our most interesting presentations.

Quote of the week: “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it” – Charles Swindoll.

Till next week - Stay healthy - Allen

Presidents Press - 06 September 2022

We see inflation starting to bite throughout Australian society although not yet causing dire circumstances to the main population.

However, our Club is starting to see some effects as some organisations that we support financially are experiencing rising costs which need to be covered.

As our Club’s income is fairly static, it would appear that, in the near future, our dollars are not going to be as effective as they have been.

We held a Board Meeting and Club Forum that took up all of this week’s meeting (in fact running out of time for a couple of final topics).

The main points of discussion and thought was firstly to carefully conserve our expected income funds as we receive them. Our income source is expected to be the same as our previous averages, but consideration was given as to how we can bolster donations to our Club. Not an easy task as our Club has only limited numbers of active members which excludes us from a lot of community fund-raising. This is an ongoing task to find a source or sources of new funds.

Our main recipient of our funding, Phoenix House, in Crows Nest is conducting an “Influencers’ Breakfast” in November, which is hoped to be attended by people in the North Sydney electorate business community. The aim is to make more people aware of the outstanding work Phoenix House is doing for disadvantaged youth in the area with a result that they could supply money and/or services. It is asked of our Rotary Club and six other Rotary Clubs in the region to supply people that fit the requirements. Our discussion in this regard required a bit more thinking and information to help achieve the target.

The other main point of discussion is the evergreen one of how to attract new members. There is no “silver bullet” to get potential members to knock on our door and so we are considering how to achieve more public exposure of our community work.

Quote of the week: “Life just doesn’t hand you things. You have to get out there and make things happen, That’s the exciting part”—Emeril Lagasse

Till next week.  stay well. Allen

Presidents Press - 30 August 2022

Firstly, I must thank Past President Allan Coates for standing in for me in my absence last week. It is a comfort to have that kind of support throughout our Club.

This week our Guest Speaker was our newly elected representative in Canberra, Kylea Tink.  Kylea proved to be a drawcard as we had 10 guests attend in addition to our members. This included ADG John Zhang who is always welcome at our meetings.

Kylea gave the attendees an explanation as to her progression into offering herself as an independent candidate for the Federal seat of North Sydney. Her win was the first time an independent has won the seat for many years.

Kylea has eased herself into the requirements of a Federal Politician and the tremendous workload and time required to be active in the job. She doesn’t feel overwhelmed, and in fact, has already been involved in matters that have been debated in Parliament and been active in her input.

Her emphasis on her appointment was her natural inclination to be supporting the community of the North Sydney electorate over and above the demands by Federal Parliament. In this way she feels that being independent, she doesn’t need to bow to party politics and requirements to action anything that is not for the betterment of North Sydney electorate.

Climate change, however, is the closest to her heart and she is actively pursuing and recommending any steps that can achieve the use of natural sources of energy. She offered good reasoning behind her belief in this ongoing adoption of power sources and there is no doubt that this will be her continued direction.

There was little time for questions, but she certainly was aware of and endorsed the work being done by organisations such as Phoenix house, who were represented by Paul and Mark and Phoenix House Board Member Andrew Harvey.

In addition, she disclosed that there were grants available for application with a total of $70,000 available. John Zhang has moved this information to all Presidents in his area and details are available on Kylea’s Website.

We will investigate this to see how our Club can make use of these funds and apply for a grant.

Speaking of Grants, we have just received confirmation that we have had $2500 approved for Phoenix House, and we will match that sum giving Phoenix House $5000. These funds are to be used for equipment in their education of young people who have a reading problem and therefore difficulty placing themselves in society.

Quote of the Week: “Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get” – W.P. Kinsella

Till next week.  stay well. Allen

Presidents Press - 23 August 2022

I had the pleasure of chairing this morning’s breakfast meeting in the absence of President Allen.

Last Friday myself and four other club members visited Phoenix House one of two major beneficiaries of funds from our involvement in The World Festival of Magic.

We were given a guided tour of the facilities in Holterman Street Crows Nest and then enjoyed a wonderful lunch together with some of the organisation’s corporate partners.

Thanks to Paul, Mark and all their team for their hospitality and we were all very impressed with the great results they are achieving in the community.

I have now been advised that a live performance of the Magic Show will be held at the Wesley Conference Centre, Pitt Street on Saturday, 12 November 2022. Once again a performance will be pre-recorded and streamed for a period in December.

Our speaker Luke Keighery related to the breakfast attendees he experiences on The Aussie Comino which he undertook with 7 other walkers in March this year. This 200 kilometre pilgrimage route runs from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia.

Past President Allan

Presidents Press - 16 August  2022

One of the most widely noticed and experienced in technological advancements over the last 30 years or so, has been the stellar performance increases in the mobile telephone. This is one area of technology that the public at large have been able to experience and, in fact, have some influence on requirements (essentials?).

Far be it for me to give chronological details, but my first exposure to a mobile was a brick-sized radio unit with an antenna out of the top. I thought it was magic and allowed a lot of shortcuts in communications in business. It was limited to phone calls only and then with limited range depending on Telstra services. However, the size was a nuisance, and I couldn’t see the public-at-large taking to such an inconvenience and expense.

WOW! How wrong was I and many other “experts”!! Firstly, the phones became smaller and smaller to flip phones which fitted into your pocket nicely.

Then they turned around and became thinner and larger with, currently, computer-style memory and capacity for many, many different uses.

It seems that, to keep you buying some later models, your old phone runs out of technical support and upgrades for a number of reasons, and you have to buy a new model to keep the ability for efficient usage. The result?  your knowledge needs to keep up with the available new or more efficient and capable programs. Also, “apps” are available to greatly increase usage possibilities.

Our speaker this week was Alfonso Calero who used to be a Japanese and Spanish speaking tour-guide and taught English in Tokyo.  For the last 20 years, he has been a Professional Photographer.  He specialises in People and Places. As a travel photographer this has given him the experience and versatility to shoot in different genres such as Landscape, Street Portraits, Nature, Wildlife and Architecture. Even though he is a photographer of all types, his topic this week was “Shoot for the Stars” and he gave us six principles of this style of photography, i.e.

  • GEAR

 This was a fascinating insight into the use of phone cameras, which have advanced extraordinarily, but also usage of normal cameras. Of course, there are numerous Apps which can be used for photographing better, but also for editing. Just amazing.

Reaction was so positive that several members have requested to attend a private training session with Alfonso – great idea! 

I look forward to making better use of my phone/camera/computer etc etc.

Quote of the Week: “ Life just doesn’t hand you things. You have to get out there and make things happen, that’s the exciting part”  --  Emeril Lagasse

Till next week.  Stay well.  Allen

Presidents Press - 09 August  2022

Last week we attended the North Sydney Scouts Committee meeting to discuss the possibility of running a Northern Harbourside Walk in conjunction with the Scouts. Our initial decision was that it is a definite possibility for our two groups to put this together, but it required an initial small group, say, 20 or 30 people to walk the proposed route and check it for a number of features, but all adding up to whether it is a good proposition in practice.

We all agreed that a good time for us would be around the third weekend or later in October. We left the Scouts meeting for them to consider the Walk and if they are able to be involved.

This week’s speaker was Robert Tickner who has an impressive background in law, commerce and politics. He has been involved with volunteer organisations in a senior role and also served as Sydney Council Acting Lord Mayor. He is working with The Justice Reform Initiative, and he named his topic “Jailing is Failing”

The Justice Reform Initiative is committed to reducing Australia's harmful and costly reliance on incarceration. The patrons include more than 100 eminent Australians, including two former Governors-General, former Members of Parliament from all sides of politics, academics, respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, senior former judges, and many other community leaders.

There are multiple evidence based alternatives to incarceration that are known to make the community safer. These alternatives address the drivers of incarceration (including homelessness, unemployment, disconnection from culture, problematic drug and alcohol use, access to mental health and disability services).  The Justice Reform Initiative is keen to work with all sides of politics to build an evidence-based approach to justice policy, and to ensure there is adequate resourcing and capacity for community led services and organisations that are able to break the cycle of incarceration. 

This was really an eye-opener for people like myself who have no idea of the level of incarceration and the enormous variation of crimes, large and small, that throw all prisoners into the one basket, mainly to their detriment. This Justice Reform Initiative deserves the support of all politicians around Australia.

Quote of the Week: “The ability to influence people without irritating them is the most profitable skill you can learn” – Napoleon Hill

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 02 August  2022

We are all clearly aware of how attractive the North Sydney LGA is, with Sydney Harbour Northern foreshores as the southern boundary and the easy access to major centres such as Chatswood, North Sydney and Sydney City which makes North Sydney a great place to live, work, be educated, visit and shop.

This week our guest speaker was Eric Poulos who is North Sydney Council’s Community Worker and Social Planner. He has particular interests in social planning, cultural diversity, as well as community development and engagement. One of his current projects is to deliver a new Family and Children’s strategy for North Sydney. To be effective at this, he has really relished details that have become available in the recent ABS Census.

So he presented to us some very interesting facts that I will try to summarise.

Firstly, it showed that there were over 74,000 people living in the LGA. Which has seen a slump in growth over the past two years because of Covid restrictions and the lack of migration to Australia. In addition, many businesses closed jobs were lost that drove some people out of the area.

Building approvals between 2016 and May 2022 showed 1763 approvals of which 74 were houses. This demonstrates the amount of high density housing that exists which is 89.3% of dwellings. The North Sydney LGA has the highest concentration of children living in apartments with 50.4% of dwellings rented.

Of overall residents, 18% are couples with children, 28% couples without children, 38% lone persons, 6% one parent families. The balance are dwellings with multiple occupiers.

A high proportion are a young workforce aged 25-34 with 115,325 jobs in the North Sydney LGA.

40% of residents were born overseas with 24% speaking a language other than English at home.

There was much more detail behind all of the above and it serves Eric well to be able to perform his current task.

One of the important questions from around the room was what measures are being taken to assist the homeless and disadvantaged people in the LGA. There is a lot of work and money used in this direction, but it is an ongoing consideration.

A very interesting and thought-provoking presentation.

Quote of the week: “What counts can’t always be counted; what can be counted doesn’t always count.” – Albert Einstein

Till next week - Stay well - Allen

Presidents Press - 26 July  2022

Last week I wrote of our amazing guest speaker, Reg Chard, one of the very few soldiers remaining of the World War 2 Battle of Kokoda.

I was impressed, fascinated and saddened all at the same time to hear of his details of that part of the War. However, I was able to go and buy his recently-released biography.

At least the first half of the book detailed Reg’s background, family and life , including living through the Great Depression. I marvelled at the way families in those days “kept on living” through possibly the greatest hardships that Western Society has endured in modern times. What people went without (including footwear) to survive and the constant search for work and enduring the privations brought about by lack of money. I got the feeling, reading this book and having heard of my own parents’ experience through that time, that very often,  strength was a direct result of family togetherness.

All of the above left me wondering about how current generations would handle the same situation. I leave you to wonder.

This week our speaker was Gem Chew, a Glaucoma Australia clinical volunteer. Gem is a fifth year medical student at UNSW and is currently on clinical rotations working as an Ophthalmic Assistant. One of the interesting and important facts that she gave us was how the disease can be undetected until it reaches an advanced stage in many people. In fact, over 300,000 Australians have glaucoma, yet 50% of them are unaware of it. By about 40 about 1 in 200 have glaucoma, rising to 1 in 8 at age 80.

Gem is probably the answer to my wondering above whether younger generations can handle a crisis. She is confident, very intelligent, bubbling over with personality and committed to improving her qualifications requiring quite a few more years of study. Gem is a sample of the fantastic young people who are emerging in Australia and will certainly ensure our future as a country.

Quote of the week: “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship” – Buddha

Till next week  -  Stay well - Allen

Presidents Press - 19 July  2022

Last Tuesday (12th July), the Club had an official visit from our new District Governor – Mina Howard. This was an occasion requiring thinking of our plans and past achievements to put together a presentation for her to learn of our club’s achievements and intentions for her year as DG.

As usual, preparation is everything and Mina received the presentation from each of the Club’s Board members. I was travelling interstate and was unable to be present and be personally involved. However, an email from Mina to myself after the meeting saying that she thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and was made to feel very welcome. She complimented members on a very comprehensive presentation and was impressed with what the club was achieving.

So we move into this new fiscal year with the endorsement of our new DG and some positive activities for the good of the community including some hands-on events. In addition we will be planning more social occasions now that Covid restrictions have been lifted (I say this bravely as Covid cases intensify around Australia at this time).

This week, we had the greatest treat possible with our guest speaker being Reg Chard who is one of the few survivors of the Kokoda Trail conflict during the Second World War in New Guinea. This was a campaign fought in the worst conditions imaginable with a very well trained and prepared foe.

Reg has a vivid recall of the battles, conditions, wins and losses throughout the fighting and the personal feelings of the soldiers who were sent to the war with very little clothing or more modern, useful guns etc. It was a story of unmitigated bravery on the part of the Australian soldiers and how they adapted to the conditions and became a significant adversary to the Japanese.

In fact, their bravery in stopping the Japanese from crossing the Kokoda Trail probably prevented the Japanese army moving into Australia itself.

We were privileged to have Reg as a guest.

Quote of the Week: “ It is  to during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” – Aristotle

Till next week  -  Stay well - Allen

Presidents Press - 21 June 2022

Rotary is an International organisation with clubs situated all over the World. Members get information direct from Rotary International showing the amazing results that can be achieved by a Central Organisation that receives funding from these many Clubs, assisted by grants from many sources and individual donations. The result is an organisation with the capacity to have a real impact on the problems (health or otherwise) or problem areas that they select as being in need of solid support. The most outstanding example of this is the almost total obliteration of polio throughout the World.

When you move downwards on the organisational chart through regions and districts to grassroots Club level you get a feeling how each level is a very useful and effective force to pinpoint community requirements for Rotary support.

However, the focus needs to be maintained at Club level for ongoing effectiveness.

To this end, our Club members took part in a confidential survey which was put together by R.I.  This proved to be very effective as members of the Club were able to express their views under the cloak of confidentiality. The major result was that members were satisfied with their membership of North Sydney Sunrise.

Nothing is perfect however and there was a number of items that stood out as needing attention:

1/ a need to better involve new members in various ways.

2/ fundraising activities could do with more action.

3/Professional connections and networking is not very effective.

4/We need to seek out more community service projects – obviously considered along with the age and small number of active members .

5/There needs to be attention given to our communications and responsiveness in regards to treatment of input and ideas, pace of change and updating processes and rules.

These were the items that showed most reaction from members in regard to attention needed. There were other things that were not outstanding problems, but we need to be mindful of them and look for some improvement if possible.

The most important considerations that emerged were that members were proud of the Club, plus their experience and time given was well worthwhile, and everybody felt welcome.

So, ongoing, we have a little work to do and importantly uphold the standards that members feel live within the club and its members.

Quote of the week: “Learning never exhausts the mind” Leonardo da Vinci

Till next week - Stay well   Allen

Presidents Press - 14 June 2022

There is cause for alarm in Australia given the combination of events emerging that will impact all Australians , some much more than others. The following are some of the reasons : Interest going up, electricity and gas becoming scarce and much more expensive, inflation heading towards 10%, fuel prices for vehicles will keep increasing.

The combination of these factors are going to cause much consternation amongst the population , especially those who do not have much of a financial margin of error. The results can put tremendous pressure on household budgets and will be catastrophic for some, leading to an increase of homelessness in all areas. This is where the importance of volunteer organisations come to the fore when food and cover are supplied by such organisations like the Salvation Army.

However, the importance of Rotary to our communities is already established but usually in a less hands-on manner and therefore not as noticeable. Our continuation of support for the various recipients of our donations will always have a great effect on our society.

Having said all of the above, there still appears to be plenty of money amongst the people as we witnessed in Blackheath on the long weekend – the town was packed and all traders were flat out keeping up with the demand for their products and services. Sue and I had dinner at a new restaurant near the Blackheath Golf Club (that is, not close to town) and we were lucky that we had booked a table some days ago as all tables were taken and it is quite a large restaurant. We had one of the best meals we have ever experienced, the quality being second to none -- service was outstanding and professional. When restaurants, bistros and bars everywhere are screaming for staff, this organisation had a team of very professional staff.

Our speaker this week was Anna Gordon, the owner, producer , distributor, salesperson and any other requirements of the Northsider Magazine. Anna was accompanied by her right hand person , Belinda who is the graphic designer and handles layouts, presentations etc.

Both ladies handle the distribution.

Anna gave us the background as to how she started the magazine and how it progressed to being a well-received local Magazine with about 14,000 copies .

Northsider Magazine is the insider guide to all the best bits of Sydney's lower north shore created for locals, by locals in North Sydney. It is published quarterly and is an insider’s guide that celebrates our vibrant and iconic neighbourhoods on the Lower North Shore of Sydney.

This was a well-received presentation and the members were impressed with the progress and the potential of this publication.

Quote of the week : “ When one door closes, another opens : but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 07 June 2022

As the end of FY22 , we are getting signals that the economy is in for a bit of a rough time from the present until when? Inflation is going up probably to levels that a lot of Australians have never experienced fuelled by costlier motor fuel , dearer and scarcer food and mooted large increases in electricity prices as well as unreliable supply. On top of this, interest rates are on the increase that will cause pressure on households with a mortgage.

Our Club this week had a Board Meeting and Club Forum this week and noted a very healthy FY22 year financially and we have achieved our planned donations and support where covid was not a factor. There is a sum of money being carried over to FY23 which is the sign of good Club controls.

The Budget for FY23 was discussed and given the low expectations for the economy, we are looking at a very conservative income and expenditure program to ensure our continued support for our benefactor organisations.

As we do each year, we check with all members that they will continue on as members of our Club so that we can notify Rotary International of our numbers. This forms the base of the Annual Charge from them.

In addition to financials, we talked of possibility of District Grants and a unique STEM course at various Universities available for year 9 and 10 school students. Info for this was passed on to the North Sydney Scouts.

Importantly, contact was made with a group of students at Macquarie Uni and resulted in an inclusion in their course to investigate our Club’s Public Image and ways to increase our membership. We will be involved in an initial discussion and the students will come back with their considerations and work with us to implement their plan. What a major plus for our Club!

Our Club will be purchasing a new computer this month as a result of a government grant and we look forward to having it set-up and available to our guest speakers.

Finally, we had a lot of input from members as we attempted to shape up a proposed Harbour walk in collaboration with the North Sydney Scouts. The final decision was that members supported the concept and we will take our items to consider along to a committee meeting of the Scouts Group and see if the potential is there for both groups to commit to this proposal.

Quote of the week: “Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain” – Henry Ford

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 31 May 2022

Last weekend members of our Club attended sessions of District assembly to do with International, Community and Youth efforts of Rotary. It was specifically for incoming Board members for FY 2022/23 but was really a refresher to our members as they are all repeating their portfolio from the Current Year. In my case, attending the International session, I renewed my admiration for the Rotary volunteers who do so much good for needy people and communities away from Australia.

We are currently involved in setting our Budget for FY 22/23 which means that our attendances above will underscore our expenditure as well as the projects we will support for that year.

Our guest speaker this week was Jenny Gleeson, Manager Corporate Planning and Engagement with North Sydney Council. Jenny has worked for the Council for 18 years responsible for several portfolios over that period. Thus she was able to give a well-educated presentation of the Community Strategic Plan , its causes and the management follow-up and development.

The current Council was only recently elected and have put together a fresh and extremely comprehensive plan for the Council which included a Community Strategic Plan (currently open to the public for input on Council’s website),a Delivery Program, a format for Integrated Planning and Reporting, a Long Term Financial Plan which will be derived from the Strategic Plan as well as current standing expenses and the necessary operation plans and strategy for resource useage.

However, North Sydney area covered by the Council is unique in that it encompasses harbourfront parks etc as well as a city in itself with high rise office buildings and apartments. This means an enormous population growth on working days and very large numbers of visitors from Sydney suburbs, Interstate and over seas flocking to the harbour front on weekends. This has a major effect on thinking in regards to park maintenance , garbage collection and clean-ups catering for this population that doesn’t necessarily contribute to the Council’s funds but require managing. Add to this suburbs with family-style housing and requirements for playing fields , village-style centres and more heritage sites than most councils.

In addition , Council has to comply with mandates and requirements from Sydney City Council as well as the State Government to do with planning arrangements etc.

So the Council’s job is a complex one and an expensive one requiring the detailed planning that I mentioned above.

Altogether an eye-opening presentation from Jenny.

Quote of the week : “ Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late” – Benjamin Franklin

Till next week - Stay well - Allen

Presidents Press - 24 May 2022

News of another fatal shooting at a school in USA underlines how lucky we are in Australia to have laws to make it unlikely that this will happen here. The perpetrator was apparently a young teenager probably, sadly, missed out on important support from parents and society generally to help his attitude to others.

Our Club is doing important work supporting Phoenix House in Crows Nest and Far West Children’s Home in Manly. These are young people with completely different needs for support but, the work of Rotary is helping fund this support. Hopefully it will result in the various young people at these organisations having a more balanced look at life and society generally.

Our Guest Speaker this week was Alan Edenborough who gave a very interesting presentation on the new home for the Sydney Heritage Fleet at Berrys Bay. Alan showed us the many frustrations that the organisation endured for over 50 years trying to get a settled home for the collection, experiencing continual disappointment from an array of politicians and bureaucrats. However, they have finally found a location which should be permanent already having suitable buildings and infrastructure as well as deepwater moorings . A marina is to be built to support this voluntary organisation and the collection of artifacts, books etc to do with Sydney Harbour and its shipping since early days will finally be able to be permanently displayed. This, in conjunction with its fleet of important restored boats will make it an important and interesting tourist possibility with access by ferry which will be even more in keeping with the maritime theme. As a local, I look forward to visiting when it is all set up.

Quote of the Week : “Never rest on your laurels. Nothing wilts faster than a laurel sat upon” -- Mary Kay

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 17 May 2022

The end of the Rotary Year 21/22 is now only a few weeks away and our Club Members are considering what activities and earnings can be expected in the next Year, 22/23. Thinking of the background of increased interest, higher fuel prices and very much higher electricity prices (mooted), we will probably take a more conservative approach in regard to our earnings which will, in turn, affect the Club’s financial support usually spread around our various community organisations.

On the other hand, however, Australia seems to roll on very positively with the massive income received from exports of coal, iron ore, and agriculture. In fact, the ongoing fighting in Ukraine will see our prices received for these exports will increase, greatly supporting Australia’s GDP, thus keeping good income available to Australian individuals and businesses.

The simplistic two scenarios above hopefully illustrate how we need to be careful initially with a modest budgeted income expectation, then being able to “press the button” if our income is greatly in excess of budget. We certainly wish to keep up our support for the community, not just locally but regionally and Internationally (NTA – Flores).

Our speaker this week was Jenny Horsfield, a distinguished writer and historian based in Canberra. Her topic was about the famed geologist T.W. Edgeworth David. Below is an extract from the presentation which outlines the outstanding and varied contribution to Australia’s future.

“T.W Edgeworth David came to Australia from Wales as a young mining engineer in 1882. On the ship coming out he met and fell in love with Cara Mallett, an orphan from a working-class background in rural England. This was the beginning of a lifelong marriage and a remarkable partnership that saw Cara establish the first college in NSW to train women teachers. Her husband became Professor of Geology at Sydney University. The couple raised a family in Sydney while actively engaged with many aspects of the city’s cultural and political life.

David is remembered for his heroic expedition with Douglas Mawson to find the South Magnetic Pole in 1908, and later, for leading the Mining Battalion the ‘Tunnellers’ in their dangerous work on the Western Front during the First World War.

Cara’s life, though less well-known, was equally adventurous, including trips to a coral island in the Pacific and to geology camps in the Snowy Mountains. During the war she ran a convalescent home for soldiers in the Blue Mountains and was later instrumental in the founding of the Girl Guides. Her two daughters also led remarkable and inspirational lives.”

This was an extremely interesting and educational talk about a man who was such an achiever.

Quote Of the week --- “There is nothing impossible to they who will try” – Alexander the Great.

Till next week - Keep well - Allen

Presidents Press - 10 May 2022

This week we did not hold a normal sunrise meeting. Instead, we attended a dinner to raise funds for the Nusa Tenggara Association which is an organisation working to alleviate poverty in the Flores Region of Indonesia.

This was a “sold out” occasion as members from 7 different Rotary Clubs in District 9685 paid to be more aware of NSA , how it operates and what effect it has on the population to better their circumstances.

Indonesian food was served and an exhibition of traditional Indonesian dancing was done by two dancers. It was extremely interesting and entertaining.

We were then given a presentation by Stephanie Heighes who is the Operations Manager of NSA and we saw the staggering amount of work, money and advice that is being done for the people of Flores by NSA. The people live on very small acreages and work at subsistence farming however, they do join together to help at planting crops and harvesting etc where necessary.

In fact, the area experiences a lot of drought and teams from Rotary would attend an area and show them how to build a water tank. Note that they trained the locals to do the work so that it can be carried on without outside assistance. The stored water is liquid gold for crops and also the families as children often spend hours carrying water when they could be attending school.

Schools also receive input from helping build or maintain them, giving money towards buying books and training teachers in basic education.

Women participate in weaving and efforts have been made to help them get their cloth to market to possibly earn more money for their family.

Our Club received special mention for the ongoing support we give for the annual children’s dancing festival. A large number of children dance at this festival every year (apart from covid restrictions) and it is witnessed by over a thousand spectators , some of them walking very long distances to attend.

It is certainly rewarding to see the results of Rotary input into making the living experience much more comfortable and rewarding for these people.

On another note, District Governor Lindsay May notified us all of the fact that well over $100,000 (and growing) has been donated to a fund set up by Rotary to help people suffering flood damage in the Hawkesbury region. Once again, Rotary at work for the Community.

Quote of the week:  “ The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Nelson Mandela

Till next week

 Stay Well  Allen

Presidents Press - 03 May 2022

We are finally seeing sunny days occur more often and it is a delight to feel the sun again. However, at Blackheath last night there were constant showers with the rain gauge showing 40mm for the week, half of which occurred last night.

The legacy of the wet weather however , has seen the closing of walking trails throughout the Blue Mountains which is a huge disappointment to the crowds that spend their weekends and holidays enjoying the pristine valleys etc in  the Blue Mountains. The family disaster at a trail near Wentworth Falls some weeks back has triggered the closures of all trails for safety reasons.

A friend of mine has been training for a long while to participate in the “6 foot track” ultra marathon – a 45km trail run stretching from from the Explorers Tree outside Katoomba area and winds its way through the Megalong Valley across rickety bridge over the Cox’ River and ending at the Jenolan Caves .The run was cancelled this year due to the poor condition of the track impacted by heavy, consistent rainfall and also subsequently the height of the Cox’s River on Race Day. Over 850 finishers in 2021 will have to wait for 2023 to have a go at it.

A number of our incoming Board Members for FY2023 from North Sydney Sunrise attended the District 9685 Assembly last Sunday along with Rotarians from the Northern Parts Of Sydney including the Blue Mountains as well as the Central Coast. The various presentations once again underlined to me the tremendous input and great effect that Rotary has in the Community.

Shane Fitzsimmons who gained fame during the dreadful bushfires a couple of years ago, was the keynote speaker and had the audience transfixed. Without any notes he gave a speech from the heart about the attitude needed to beat adversity. Certainly a high point of the day.

Our Speaker this week was our own Emeritus Professor Don Napper who gave a well-researched and detailed story of the life of the famous colonial architect Francis Greenway. I think most of us were surprised to learn that Greenway died in poverty living in a humble shack. This after deigning some of the most significant buildings in Sydney which mostly still exist as examples of his outstanding design flair which was a reflection of the Geogian Architecture of the time. His work was cut short when Commissioner Bigge arrived in Sydney .He had instructions to overcome Governor Macquarie’s forward-leaning developments of the Colony. This led to Macquarie departing eventually and Greenway losing his Ally and stipend.

There is no meeting next week as we will be attending a fund-raising Dinner for Nusa Tenggara , one of the District’s main international funding supports.

Quote of the Week : “Insanity : doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

Till next week  Stay Well  Allen

Presidents Press - 26 April 2022

Yesterday, 25th April , was Anzac Day and it was respected by Australians all over Australia as well as those living overseas. This was the first occasion for two years that it was physically possible to hold the event due to previous Covid restrictions.  Sue and I went to the city to watch the march and realised we had missed most of it. However, there was a consolation as we watched the very impressive Scottish Pipe bands performing after the march.

There were large crowds notably including many young people from young kids upwards to 20-somethings which is a reflection of the enormous recognition our soldiers have received by all ages in all areas. There were even people who held a dawn service at the front gate of their homes – a habit developed during the Covid lockdowns.

Our outdoor gym project at Anderson Park has progressed to the point where North Sydney Council has selected a successful tenderer and have described extra landscaping they will undertake. In addition, the Council will set up a plinth to show that the gym has been facilitated by North Sydney Sunrise Rotary to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in Australia. We are now working through the wording and colouring to be put onto the plaque.

The Club held a Board Meeting today and it was noted how well financially we have moved though the year and have met all of the obligations that were set into our Budget for FY2022. There will be a small amount that will be carried over into FY2023. We also discussed the contents of the FY2023 Budget which will be completed put up for approval by the Board before the end of this Financial Year.

A Club Forum was held after the Board meeting and there was much interested discussion by all attendees in regards to upcoming commitments and possible involvement in various community occasions.

We send our sincere sympathy to Andrew Young and his family with the passing of his beloved wife Carolyn last weekend. All members attending the meeting stood and held a minute’s silence in remembrance.

Quote of the Week: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did” – Mark Twain

Until next week  - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 12 April 2022

Our Club is going through a “quiet time” in the way of hands-on activity in the Community. On reflection, however, we have achieved all of our Club Goals that are in accordance with our Budget.  This means that we have spent most of our foreseen income and then some of the extra that arrived, by surprise, from our Magic Show.

We are currently considering the purchase of a Club computer from funds that we have set aside for this purpose. This will allow us to electronically archive lots of details of Club activities, budgets, legal requirements and much more that can be referred to easily by succeeding Presidents and Board members, in other words, easy access to the Club’s history. In addition, our own computer will take away the need for using members’ computers when needing to do presentations on the screen at Piato requiring adjustments to personal systems .

This week we considered the marvellous work being done by our District 9685 and Rotary Foundation to raise funds for the people in Western Sydney who have suffered enormous personal losses in the floods. We contributed $3000 to add to a Rotary Flood Relief appeal which is already approaching funds of $100,00. There was also a RAWCS Flood Relief Grant to our district of $75,000.

All funds will be handed out in the form of $250 vouchers that can be spent at either Woolworths or Bunnings. Although there will be an enormous cost to the individuals and the Western Sydney Communiy we can be proud of the quick and effective action taken by Rotary to help fellow Australians.

We also learnt that Rotary is sending Shelterboxes, mattresses, blankets, camp lights and other suitable items to refugee camps for Ukrainians in both Ukraine and surrounding countries that have given shelter.

Members please note that our Changeover dinner is planned for the evening of the second Tuesday in July. More details as we get nearer to that time.

This week our speaker was Karen Smith from the Aboriginal Heritage Office which is a joint initiative between 6 local councils in the North Sydney, Northern Beaches areas. The vision of this organisation is to educate the population’s collective knowledge of Aboriginal Culture Heritage. This is leading to Aboriginal Heritage sites being more highly valued and the community to take a more active role in site protection and preservation.

Karen gave us a short history of the aborigine peoples before and after European arrival which was extremely interesting and showed a need that we all should be learning more about this wonderful culture and its history. The various rock paintings and carvings that have been recognised around Sydney are gradually being logged and protected as much as possible.

Next week our speaker is Zoe Baker who is going to be talking about North Sydney Council – should be very interesting.

Quote of the Week: “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can” –-- Hilary Clinton (inspired by a John Wesley quote).

Till next week. Stay Well. Allen

Presidents Press - 05 April 2022

The rain is still causing havoc along the East Coast and is currently moving down further South on the Coast. This is an area that has been seriously traumatised by bushfires a couple of years back and they are still trying to rebuild their lives. And of course, this is a reflection of the long road back for flood victims who have lost everything.

So, hopefully the Rotary flood donations can be an effective help, even though it will be in a small way when you consider the scope and cost of the disaster.

Our thoughts go out to the extremely devastating rock fall at Wentworth Falls and took the lives of a father and his son, with his wife and another child badly injured. It underlines the enormous effect that so much rain has caused throughout the region with the ground waterlogged and being softened, losing its natural structure and strength.

Tenders have closed at North Sydney Council for our Outdoor Gym project at Anderson Park and it is “all systems go” now that the money is in our bank account. We will be asked to consider the tenders and for comment, but, in the end it is the Council outdoor engineers who will advise as to the most suitable tender.

We are considering the design and content of a suitable plaque to attach to the system which will be a great way to broadcast that it is there to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia. Also it will be effective for our Club to get some recognition for this initiative.

Details of the Nusa Tenggara dinner on 9th May is being sent to all Club members and others who have previously been involved with the Club in some way. This dinner will take the place of our normal meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning 10th May. This will be a fabulous evening when we join with other Club members of our Rotary Cluster. There will be a silent auction and prizes as well as a musical group and Indonesian food. Looking forward to it.

This week, our Guest Speaker was Eileen Hayse who gave an excellent presentation on Bhutan. Eileen had a range of terrific photos to support her talk and it held everyone’s attention throughout. Eileen also had an array of Bhutanese items laid out on a table for all to see. This was a fascinating story as very little is known of this marvellous country with its gentle inhabitants. They underline their cleanliness and green credentials which is supported by all of their population with the result being a beautiful and unspoilt country. Tourists are limited to the number of beds available and so we don’t see everything “trammelled” in the name of the tourist dollar. This is somewhere that we should visit.

Next week, our speaker is Karen Smith from the Aboriginal Heritage Office which is a joint initiative between 6 local councils to protect local Aboriginal Heritage Sites. This will be extremely interesting and is already attracting guests.

Quote of the Week : “Well done is better than well said” – Benjamin Franklin

Till next week.  Stay Well  Allen

Presidents Press - 30 March 2022

Just when we thought that fine weather was returning and we caught glimpses of sunny days , the rain has returned along the East Coast of NSW. It looks like it will continue on and off until middle of next week!

Spare a thought for the residents of Lismore who thought they were about to return to their homes and businesses and attempt restoring, renewing and replacing their belongings. The flooding has returned, and they have had to retreat for a further period and hope for a good stretch of fine weather.

They have a long way to go and many expenses in restoring their lives and we hope our Rotary contribution, joined up with funds from all over, will be quickly and effectively used to help our fellow Australians.

Our Club has received the funding from the Community Building Partnership Program with which we will be facilitating the outdoor Gym at Anderson Park, North Sydney to commemorate 100 years of Rotary in Australia. North Sydney Council has received tenders for the work and we will be discussing the proposals with the Council’s Project Manager to assure the best result. This is a significant Grant of $47,000 to which our Club will add $5000 for a total contribution by us of $52,000. Quite a result for a small Club!!

This week, instead of our usual morning meeting at the Piato, we had a casual dinner at the Kirribilli club organised by our own energetic member, Jaz. This was a very successful and enjoyable evening with quite a few guests mingling with our members and their partners. Another example of the joys of Rotary from community support to great Club fellowship.

We are back at the Piato next Tuesday Morning with the Guest Speaker being Eileen Hayse talking about the history of Bhutan – very interesting. Guests welcome as usual.

Quote of the week: “Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once.” --- Lillian Dickson

Till next week. Stay Well.  Allen

Presidents Press - 22 March 2022

Finally, we have had some sunny days and the flooding will be receding allowing people to start cleaning up, recouping and restoring their lives and their possessions.

Our Club donated $3000 which included $700 personal donations from members to the RAWCS Flood Appeal which will be distributed by Rotary Clubs in the affected areas. This means that any funds will not be watered down by bureaucracy and, as well, the money will go directly to people that are recognised as sufferers. Rotary effectiveness at work.

Sue and I, along with four other members of our Club, attended the District 9685 Annual Conference at West HQ (formerly Rooty Hill RSL) last Saturday. There were several presentations, all of them excellent, all of them associated with Rotary activity somewhere in the World. We all came away with a mental affirmation of the good work in which we are involved with Rotary. I certainly was moved by the effectiveness and the devotedness of everyone in Rotary and it all served to deepen my experience and feelings towards Rotary.

Next year, the District 9685 Conference will be held at Cowra, a vibrant country town South West of Sydney. Sue and I have already made up our mind to attend and we urge everybody to do the same this time next year.

The Rotary D- Café held at Crows Nest Community Centre is about to restart on Wed 23rd March in a low key way and heralds a more-or-less return to normal for this important work. Our Member, Cathie Glinka has been involved for some time and will be giving us feedback on progress.

Next Tuesday, our normal morning meeting has been replaced with a casual dinner held at the Kirribilli Club in the evening. We are all looking forward to this being the first opportunity for some time to mingle with other members and their partners.

This week, our speaker was Paul Pokorny who gave an excellent presentation explaining what the Sea Heritage Foundation is and what is the MV Cape Don --- a museum ship moored at the Coal Loader. Contrary to the opinion I had formed when looking over the railing at the Cape Don on various occasions, there is an ongoing effort towards the restoration of this vessel. Paul told us of its amazing history servicing light houses all around the coast and subsequent use as an overall working vessel. There is a plan for it to go into dry dock next year when it will be painted which will make a tremendous change to how the vessel appears to onlookers. As usual with these projects, there is a high dependence on donations and to this end there are several voluntary organisations behind this great restoration effort.

This topic attracted 7 guests as well as Paul which shows how a topic can be a drawcard. These guests, however, were also exposed to the efforts and events in which our Club is involved, which would have surprised them the successes and involvement that we have. Guests are always welcome.

Quote of the week: “When you are doing something that is right, you just do it and take care …… someone has to do this.” ----- Alice Nkom

Presidents Press - 15 March 2022

So the rain keeps coming! Sydney is still experiencing rain most days but, thankfully, it is not as torrential as previous weeks. Many people are still cleaning up and, in some places, homes are still flooded around the Hawkesbury but water is gradually receding. It is frustrating to hear people looking to blame someone in regard to who did what and didn’t do things quick enough, when the main refurbishment and cleaning/clearing game is being carried out by many volunteers working alongside Defence and SES personnel – without complaint.

As I mentioned last week the Australian spirit is shining through the disaster as people struggle to regain normality. Rotary District 9685 have received a Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Grant of $25,000 to help those that have been inundated.

 A separate Fund Appeal has also been approved by RAWCS for District 9685 and DG Lindsay May is calling for donations to this fund. Our Club has agreed to donate all of the funds we have available after allowing for our budgeted responsibilities. All of these funds will be activated by supplying gift cards from Woolworths and Bunnings, all distributed by local Rotary Clubs meaning that distribution will be effective and fair.

We have heard from North Sydney Council that tender documents for the outdoor gym construction have been distributed to three companies. In addition, the site has been moved to the Western Side of the park as the original site had a lot of underground services that may need to be accessed.

Our speaker this week was Noel Phelan who is a volunteer at the Sydney Maritime Museum and is also a team leader for the Museum’s speakers.

As usual, Noel’s presentation was extremely interesting as he told the story of the submarine AE1 which was lost during World War 1. It wasn’t until December 2017 that the sunken submarine was found and Noel’s step-by-step account of the various efforts to find the submarine over the years since it disappeared was fascinating. His background knowledge of naval operations to reinforce the details served to give the story a very human angle as we heard of the individuals involved in both the crew and the searchers over the years. Not only that, the latest technology that enabled the discovery of the wreck shows how far we have advanced in this form of discovery.

Quote of the week: “Life is not a spectator sport. If you spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you are wasting your life.”  -- Jackie Robinson

Till next week.

Stay Well. Allen

Presidents Press - 08 March 2022

Autumn has arrived and I am wondering what happened to our usually beautiful Sydney Summer. We seemed to have experienced many days of rain throughout Summer with some days actually being quite chilly.

The worst feature however, has been the enormous amount of coastal rainfall being experienced from The Sunshine Coast in Qld, all the way South to the South Coast of NSW (the South Coast has been warned that heavy rains are still on their way).

As I write this in McMahons Point, there is an enormous storm occurring outside my window and this is a continuation of the same torrents that have been occurring throughout last night and this morning.

Flooding damage has been catastrophic and people are losing absolutely everything that they own. Lismore has experienced flooding which is 2 metres higher than ever before which has seen many homes completely submerged.

Once again, we are witnessing the Australian “mateship’ with volunteers, neighbours and Defence Forces stepping up to help rescue people and get them out of danger with no thought of any hazardous situation they may be in themselves. Still to come is the enormous cleanup operation which will leave houses and business premises as empty shells only, with all items that were on or in the property destroyed.

At our Club Meeting this morning, members agreed to donate whatever the Club finances can manage, which could be about $4000 and we would still meet our budgeted obligations. RAWCS has set up a fund that will pinpoint where funds can be used effectively and without waste and we will send our donations there.

Our speaker this week was Ian Brightwell who has been the CIO for the NSW Electoral Commission from 2005 until 2016 when he was responsible for developing all its technology and cyber security. We learnt the machinations of a State election and its processes. The increased use of computers is still happening slowly but it still has difficulties, so manual counting and scrutineering is still the main focus for results.

This was a real eye-opener when you realise the enormous number of people working at the election centres and the training that is required – a really great presentation.

We have received notice that the Magic Show will be streaming for this month, but may be extended.

Our thoughts go out to all those people who have been so badly affected by the flooding – this is a disaster that will take many years to overcome.

Quote of the week: “you will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated”  --- Maya Angelou

Till next week - Stay Well - Allen

Presidents Press - 22 February 2022

The McMahons Point Community has hosted visitors from all over as they attended the Sculptures at Sawmillers event that was opened by NSW Governor, Margaret Beazley, last Saturday. Our Rotary Club was pivotal in the initial stages by ensuring the payment of the $30,000 first prize to the organisers. In addition, several of our Club Members have volunteered for 3-hour shifts over the period of the exhibition which is open from Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th of February. I was rostered for Saturday morning but stayed the whole day to help, passing out catalogues and walking around the site offering directions and sometimes needing to keep kids off the exhibits. The very active North Sydney Scout group, which has its scout hall at the edge of the reserve had an impressive presence, selling food and coffee which should be a good funding result for the group.

I witnessed an extraordinary community event which was initiated and propelled by local identity Elsa Atkins OAM who has organised the three previous ones. People came in good numbers to experience this amazing spectacle of all kinds of sculptured imagination and relax in this beautiful harbourside reserve. The weather was good for the first three days, but the forecast is for continual rain for the rest of the week, which will be a problem.

Our Club had its first face-to-face meeting for some weeks, returning to the Piato and holding a Board Meeting and Club Forum. There was a lot of energy around the room and lots of input which underlined and supported a lot of Rotary Activity that is coming up. There was also discussion on how we may be able to work with the Scouts group and, hopefully, get some interest from their Leaders to be involved with Rotary. We also discussed some marketing ideas that included use of our website and LinkedIn, as well as some handouts that can be placed in places where the public in general can get our message. Secretary Andrew has been busy developing optional ideas for Club Members to react and comment. ADG John Zhang attended as did visitors Marilyn and Patricia which is always a delight to welcome guests.

Saying of the week: “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” – Aristotle

Till next week

Stay well.  Allen

Presidents Press - 15 February 2022

What a country this is! As I mentioned in my last President’s Press, the usually dry interior of Australia is awash with water with more to come according to forecasts. However, we know from previous times that, as sure as night follows day, there will be times of drought again and people will be looking for support due to lack of water instead of too much of it. These circumstances have been occurring long before the words “climate change” were a topic. In very many cases, the difference these days to people in trouble, is that they have built new homes/developments in fire-prone bushland, or in flood plains alongside rivers. The result is many more people requiring support due to these tragedies. Without making a political statement, we will see people wondering, in the middle of a drought, why various Governments have not built more catchment areas to save water from the wet times and in the wet times, people are wondering why dam walls haven’t been lifted to stop overflows etc.

All of the above points to the need for people to be involved in volunteer organisations to help their fellow citizens in the time of emergency and, just as importantly, after the emergency for clean-up and funds. Rotary is one organisation where funds are continually being raised to suit any major emergency. All of this as well as ongoing support for youth and other needy causes. The sad fact, at present, is that Rotary numbers are dwindling and the average age has climbed considerably, meaning that Rotary Worldwide, is going to become less effective than previous times. There are many reasons, I suspect, why younger people are not joining Rotary but our Club like many other branches of Rotary, are looking for ways to make the community aware of our work and possibly attract new, younger, members. If we find the magic ingredient, we will spread the word to other Clubs. We are a very significant part of our local community.

Our speaker this week was our own Don Napper who gave an excellent presentation in regard to the way polio is spread, its lessening presence around the World as a result of Rotary’s efforts, and the emergence of a new weaker strain that evolves from the vaccine itself – quite controllable and not threatening.

Don’s knowledge and research always astounds me, and his presentation logic keeps his audience switched onto the topic no matter how seemingly complicated or foreign. Thanks again Don, another one of your outstanding knowledge transfers.

Next week is our Club Forum and Board Meeting and we will be considering some actual dates for events that we have planned. Also, we will be meeting face-to-face again at the Piato --- something I am really looking forward to.

Saying of the week: “ Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” ---- Albert Einstein

Till next week.

Stay well.  Allen

Colin Bush Memorial Service - 05 February 2022

On Saturday the 5th February a number of Rotarians attended to memorial service for Rotarian Colin Bush.

See the attached >> Memorial Service

Presidents Press - 01 February 2022

So the Zoom meetings continue as the population at large express their caution in the face of this Omicron version of Covid. I have noticed that North Sydney and Sydney City are very sparsely populated during business hours even though this week saw schools reopening after the holidays.

Our Club activities still have a cloudy future in regards to setting positive dates for various events but our members are keen to return to face-to-face meetings and have a physical presence in the community again.

I see the massive amounts of rain and flooding occurring in the usually dry country areas of Australia and reflect on the massive drought support for farmers and regional communities where we had involvement only about two years ago. Living and working in the Australian bush is not for the faint-hearted and I wonder how some of the recent flood of people apparently moving to regional areas to escape the traumas of city life will handle these facts of the bush.

This week we had Stuart Warren from the 1st North Sydney Scouts Group give a presentation on the activities and success of this Scouts movement locally.

What an eye-opening success this is and what a surprise from those amongst us that thought the Scouts movement was dying out given young peoples’ perceived love of the digital world.

This local group has 127 active members from Joeys (5-8years old), to Venturers (14-17 years old) with possible emergence of Rovers (18-25years old) shortly. The catalyst, of course, is the fact that many young people in this district live in apartments and their parents are seeing the necessity of their children being involved in constructive outdoor activity. Scouts hits the spot for boys and girls. The range of activities that occur is instigated and overseen by Stuart and his range of Leaders who re usually parents of one of the children involved. When the number of children reaches around 160, Stuart believes that another group will have to started and this looks like a possibility given the interest currently in this group. Scouts can now be involved in sailing and flying as well as the usual bush skills for their personal development.

We will be investigating how our Rotary Club can have some joint community involvement with the scouts to increase our footprint and effectiveness. Stuart has offered the Scouts’ barbq unit as well as their tent for possible use.

This week’s presentation is at the other end of the spectrum when compared with out presentation last week where Phoenix House is working at helping young people who have troubles in their life i.e. reacting to existing problematic situations whereas the Scouts is totally a proactive drive and should set young people with a very positive attitude on their life.

Both very admirable causes needing support.

Saying of the week: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”  -- Benjamin Franklin

This is very apt in regard to the Scouting movement.

Till next week.

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 25 January 2022

I am writing this the day after Australia Day and I am reflecting on the importance of such a celebration to underline the multi-cultural success that Australia has become since 1788. Our society is a very colourful and interesting one with a rich mix of various societies from around the World. We note the inclusion from people from various backgrounds who are involved in all industries, sport, and agricultural activities. New arrivals quickly recognise the opportunities in this great country and thrive on the possibilities.

In the background there are many people who, for various reasons are in need of help, either personally, medically, financially or business-wise. Australia has an enormous welfare/support system, but it still requires the necessary input of volunteers and volunteer organisations. That is where Rotary shines with a large number of Clubs scattered throughout Australia giving localised and very effective support for recognised local causes.

This week we had a presentation by Paul Gabrielides from Phoenix House accompanied by his colleague Mark Lee. Phoenix House is one of our two main causes for support this year and it was an eye-opener to hear the amount of support required in the Lower North Shore area – an area where, one would have thought, was mainly free of the traumas that we mentally associate with lower socio-economic areas. So, this was a rude awakening for some of us and I was personally amazed at the expansionist plans that Phoenix House has to offer greater service – especially in the crucial area of education and work experience with younger people.

Our involvement with Phoenix House has been further enhanced by our own Member, Andrew Harvey, being a Board Member of the organisation.

Paul’s presentation has really underlined our need to support this cause and ensure effectiveness in their efforts.

We are back to Zoom meetings on our next meeting –1st February, as our members discussed and recognised a lot of caution amongst us in regard to possible exposure to Omicron.

Saying of the Week: “We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us “

Till next week

Stay Well


Presidents Press - 18 January 2022

Well, here we are again needing to have meetings by Zoom to avoid possible contact and infection to members. Zoom is becoming more accepted and possibly more effective for users. One thing that I am noticing is that we are getting more visitors than we may have done in face-to-face meetings.

Ken is continually lining up excellent and interesting speakers as he has done this week with DG Lindsay May who has given us a brilliant presentation on the recent Sydney to Hobart Race. What an exciting/testing adventure it is every year and Lindsay has just done his 48th Sydney to Hobart over a range of yachts. It certainly is not a trip for the faint-hearted or those, like myself, who get seasick. This year, the yacht Lindsay was on Kiaola 2 built in 1963 and a previous winner of the event, had to turn back due to gear failure. This is not uncommon apparently as the enormous seas and winds which are experienced most years will search out  and find a fault in any yacht , big or small , new or old.

Lindsay’s presentation attracted 8 visitors who were obviously interested in the great topic and I wonder if they would have all attended if it had involved being present at Piato in McMahons Point at 7:00am? I am not meaning anything detrimental about Lindsay’s topic, but it seems that Zoom does have a separate result than normal.

Previous Zoom meetings prior to Christmas also attracted a good number of guests with interesting topics such as nuclear power and Streetside medics.

So I feel that whereas members would prefer face-to-face meetings , Zoom is giving Rotary good exposure to people interested in a particular topic , but then being absorbed in the work of Rotary which I think is not generally projected to the public at large very well.

Planning in the current Covid environment is challenging and social occasions, community fund raising such as Polio Plus or a stand at a shopping centre are hard to make effectively these days. However, we have plans for Polio plus at Milsons Point Station for early February ,Sculptures at Sawmillers 19th to 27th Feb, Clean up Australia on 6th March, a visit to Molong sometime , a visit to Cockatoo island mooted for February (to be firmed up), a picnic get together sometime soon(to be firmed up), a visit to Far West Childrens’ Home in Manly and a visit to Stuart Town school later in the year.

All of the above events are of interest for all members to be involved in some or all of them but it is difficult, at this time to nail a date for each them. However, at our next meeting we will discuss and firm up on some of them.

Despite the social uncertainty surrounding Covid, our Rotary members are still supportive of the Club, its efforts and fellowship. A positive stance will see us emerge even stronger.

Saying of the Week: “If you have brains in your head and you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose”

Till next week.

Stay Well  - Allen

Presidents Press - 11 January 2022

This week our Club members attended our first meeting for 2022 by Zoom. Unfortunately, Covid is still disrupting our lives except in a more variable way than it was in 2021. By that I mean that last year we understood lock-down parameters and whether we were able to go out or not, but protection from Covid was focused on not having face-to-face contact with others. This year, so far, the population was initially allowed to go back to close to what was normal pre-Covid. Infections boomed and some restrictions were reintroduced with not much effect. The population, however, has become very wary and voluntarily have reduced their exposure to others resulting in very few people In the streets or shopping centres throughout the areas that I frequent, either through caution , or being in isolation due to close contact with someone who is infected. Many people are still on holidays as well , but Covid is in regions as well as cities. Hopefully it will hit a peak and we can start mingling in a more normal way.

At present, the only Rotary project that has been affected is the indefinite deferral of RYLA which is very disappointing.

On a positive note , this week we received a sum of money from a Federal Govt grant which will allow us to purchase a new computer for Club use – a very useful tool for recording, implementing Zoom sessions and email contacting to members and others.

Over the next few meetings (possibly by Zoom) we will investigate which items that were planned for the year will need to be re arranged of not. The near future is very indefinite, a situation that is very unusual and will require positive thinking when implementing any changes to ensure we keep up our levels of enthusiasm for Rotary effort.

Saying of the Week: “ Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it” --- Charles Swindoll

Till next week.

Stay Well.


Presidents Press - 15 December 2021

The final week of our Rotary year was a busy one with a number of events occurring to send us all to Christmas with a number of Club achievements with more to come in 2022.

Firstly, on Monday evening 13th, I attended a Christmas gathering hosted by our Club Member and Federal politician, Trent Zimmerman. Although not a Rotary occasion , it was obviously peopled by quite a few fellow Rotarians and it was good to mix with other members of the community who have been involved in all sorts of activity to the betterment of our local area.

On Tuesday morning we had our Club AGM and Forum at Piato, working through a comprehensive agenda that involved all members and included the election of Club Officers for 2022/2023 Rotary Year. As it turned out, all existing officers held the same position for that year with an extra task of looking after our LinkedIn site taken over by Andrew Harvey. I thank all the Club Officers for their enthusiasm and loyalty which has led to the Club “punching above its weight” not just for this year, but previously.

Tuesday evening saw our Annual Christmas Dinner held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. This was an outstanding occasion at a beautiful venue. The food was excellent and plentiful, and the staff were very attentive, giving us great service despite other events taking place in other areas of the club. What a perfect celebration to end a year that presented all sorts of difficulties that we overcame with great aplomb. There was a large number of guests to add to the members and partners which is an indication of the friends we have attracted over the years. A special thanks to Andrew Young for organising the venue and all details, a great success.

Included in our evening’s procedures, was a very significant event in our Club’s calendar and that was the presentation of the Pride of Workmanship award. This was presented by Secretary Andrew Young to Helen Baxter who is the proprietor of the Blues Point Bookstore locate in the village. Helen has been operating the bookstore for over 25 years and referred to it as being a “labour of love” which meant that the time over those years was not noticed as she absorbed herself in the excellent standard that she has set herself. The result is a bookshop that is the pride of our community and an icon in the district. Thank you Helen for giving the community marvellous reading/gift choices which make us the envy of other areas in surrounding districts.

Then, on Wednesday morning, at 10am, some of the members met at Anderson Park at the request of Felicity Wilson who is one of our Club members as well as the State member for North Sydney. The occasion was to inspect the proposed site and familiarise Felicity and Club Members with the major project that we will be funding, courtesy of a Community Grant, to have an outdoor gym erected at the park for the benefit of community health and fitness. To this end we were accompanied by Alicja Botorowicz from North Sydney Council. Alicja is the Project Manager for this installation (in fact for all outdoor installations for the Council) and she explained the siting of the Gym and how she would go about getting quotes etc and completing the installation, at which time we would supply the funds for work successfully done as tendered. Felicity was extremely interested and had a range of questions that were satisfied both by our members and Alicja.

We can be very proud of what we have achieved this year and with the Magic Show shaping up to be at least as successful as previously , we can press on with our budgeted activities in the New Year.

Saying of the Week: Wishing a Very Merry Christmas to all” – Sue and Allen Colburt.

Till next year

Stay Safe and well over the New Year.


Presidents Press - 07 December 2021

Next Tuesday , 14th December will be our final meeting for the year and will be the Club’s AGM and Club Forum. That same evening, we will be holding our Christmas Dinner at Kirribilli Yacht Squadron. Don’t forget to RSVP Secretary Andrew Young to book a spot. It will be a great night at a beautiful venue.

A reminder that Sculptures at Sawmillers will take place from 19th to 27th February and we need to get volunteers to hand out details of the site and to give the Rotary Club a presence at the event. Once again notify Secretary Andrew that you are willing to do one or more three-hour shifts and suitable times over the period and he will add you or your partner/friends to the list which will be handed over to the organisers to meld into their list of volunteers and times available.

In regards to the Outdoor Gym at Anderson Park, our operational team of Cathie Glinka , Iain Clark and myself have initiated our necessary movements towards starting progress on this 100 Years of Rotary in Australia commemoration project. North Sydney Council will have a Project Manager to handle the task and we will be working with this person get our Trust deed finished to assure payment and efficient progress of the job.

Our speaker this week was Peter Bullard, a retired Royal Navy officer and specialist in nuclear subs and their ongoing evolution. He worked on the development of nuclear propulsion and the concept studies for the Astute class nuclear subs that will be one of the two options for Australia under the recent AUKUS Agreement. Peter’s outstanding knowledge of the project was resulted in a very interesting presentation that was ,of course, extremely topical. Lot’s of questions from around the attendees showed the enormous interest and understanding of his presentation. It also attracted 6 guests in person and two on zoom indicating the interest in this situation.

We had nominated Ms Denise Ward for a North Sydney Community Award for 2021. Denise works tirelessly at the Crows Nest Centre supporting senior citizens from around the area and, as a result of the recognition of her effort, our nomination was successful! Denise will receive her award from Trent Zimmerman sat Norths Club o 16th December. Congratulations Denise !!

Saying of the Week : “If you want to see the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain” --- Dolly Parton.

Till next week.

Stay well.


Presidents Press - 30 November 2021

Face-to-face meetings are back with a vengeance!! This week we filled our meeting room at the Piato with a good number of members plus 5 visitors, one guest speaker and one visitor on Zoom. Included in the guests numbers were DG Lindsay May and Tania and it was great to welcome them along. Importantly, Tania, gave us all a good rundown on the District Conference to be held on Friday evening 18th and Saturday 19th at West HQ – previously known as Rooty Hill RSL Club. Special Early Bird prices if you book before end December!

I must say that it is refreshing to be able to mingle and chat with members again which sets the informal tone of the meeting that follows.

Our guest speaker was Stephanie Heighes from the Nusa Tenggara Association.

This was an enlightening presentation which exposed the members to the extremely effective work that the NTA does in poorer areas of Indonesia. In addition, we realised that there were quite a number of Rotary Clubs contributing to their cause, which was disrupted somewhat because of the Covid episode. I think everyone was impressed with the commitment made by NTA and the results being achieved.

There was a call for volunteers to help pack 250 hampers at the Crows Nest Club (reply to Iain Clark) and volunteers for their presence at Sculptures at Sawmillers (19th to 27th Feb). At Sawmillers, as well as handing out advice and maps of the sculpture sites, our members will be handing out leaflets to attract interest for potential members, and obviously donations. We need wives, partners, friends etc to make up good numbers for the three-hour shifts over the number of days. Contact secretary Andrew Young and give email and phone details.

We have received a letter from Premier Dominic Perrotet congratulating us on receiving our grant from the Community Building Partnership Program. We are about to take the initial steps toward implementing the whole project and have formed a small team (Iain Clark, Cathie Glinka and myself) to ensure complete compliance and smooth progress.

Don’t forget our great Christmas Party on the evening of 14th December at the beautiful Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. RSVP to Secretary Andrew Young.

A busy few months coming up and we are gathering our strengths to get things done efficiently.

Saying of the Week: “Having more money doesn’t make you happier. I have 50 million dollars, but I was just as happy when I had 48 million” Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Till next week.

Stay Well.


Presidents Press - 23 November 2021

Our Club did not hold our normal morning meeting this week and instead, some of our members attended a Cluster (8 Clubs from our area) Meeting at Killara Golf Club organised by Chatswood/Roseville Club. The Dining Room was filled to available capacity with 117 Rotarians and Guests attending which meant there was quite a buzz in the room all evening.

The aim was to raise funds for Rotary Health by means of raffle and silent auction. In fact, it was very successful in this endeavour, raising over $7600 from the raffle and auctions as well as some sizeable donations.

Some excellent speakers gave us some first- hand truths on the causes and effects of the terrible Covid crisis that has beset the World over almost two years and counting. It was interesting to hear the facts away from media hype.

Youth Director, Allan Coates has approved an outstanding applicant for us to sponsor to attend RYLA in January and has forwarded her details to Liz North, the RYLA chair for 2021-2022 .

Her name is Maya Valentin and she is a 22 year-old graduate with an Applied Finance and Law Degree. She is currently working as a senior paralegal with a Law firm in North Sydney. The details of Community work done by our Club and Rotary in general have greatly impressed her and heightened her enthusiasm to be involved with RYLA.

Finally, I wish to promote our club’s Christmas Dinner at the beautiful Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli details are below :

North Sydney Sunrise Rotary Club invites you to join us for our CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION on Tuesday 14 December 2021 at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Kirribilli 

7.00pm for 7.30 pm 

Price $65 pp - cash bar - no BYO

Dress: Neat and Casual 

Please RSVP to Andrew Young - by 10 December 2021

If you have any special dietary requirements please advise Andrew.

Come along and celebrate for Christmas and forget a year that had us in lockdown.

Saying of the Week: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Helen Keller.

Till next Week.

Stay Well.


Presidents Press - 16 November 2021

Great News!!! We can announce that we have been successful in our application for a Community Building Partnership 2021 grant for our project for an outdoor gym at Anderson Park North Sydney. That means we will have $47,000 to include with our own funds to create our Club’s Commemoration of “100 years of Rotary in Australia”. This will have both impact and make a significant presence of both our Rotary Club and the long history of Australian Rotary. This project had been approved by North Sydney Council and had undertaken all community consultations and design approvals so , it was “shovel ready” when we approached Council for such a high profile project for our cause. Our price and design were submitted and accepted by the Council which allowed us to go ahead with our application.

The equipment is made in Australia and will be installed by the manufacturer complying with strict safety rules. It will be approximately 12 weeks before delivery and therefore start of the installation.

We have started things moving on RYLA and Allan Coated has identified two very promising applicants who will be interviewed next week.

Pride of Workmanship has also seen some activity and I will announce our recipient next week.

This week’s speaker was Noel Phelan who presented an excellent history on the Captain Cook Graving Dock at Garden Island. This was the second biggest engineering project in Australia after the Snowy Mountains Scheme and was testament to Australia’s capabilities in the years around he second World War. Begun in 1938 and completed just after the war in 1945, the dock is still in current use capable of taking very large ships.

As usual, Noel’s maritime knowledge, both historical and current is amazingly widespread and accurate and it was a very interesting presentation I could have asked him questions all morning but time was our constraint.

So, post COVID, our Club is springing back into action with our Christmas Party to be held on 14th December at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli adding to our activity. Looking Forward to getting together.

Saying of the Week : “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” – Mahatma Gandhi

Till next week.

Stay Well.  Allen

Presidents Press - 09 November 2021

Finally, we have returned to face-to-face meetings at Piato and it felt good to see members finally “mixing it”.

This was the occasion that we could present well deserved Paul Harris Fellowships to Ken Preshaw, Allan Coates and Cathie Glinka – an honour that was delayed by the Covid Lockdown. Congratulations to all three of you , you have been fantastic supporters and are always involved and interested in Club activities.

In addition, I had the pleasure of inducting our newest member Christine Edwards who will certainly be a person who will immerse herself in the Club’s activities. Welcome Christine.

This was also the occasion that Past President Cathie presented me with the President’s regalia which underscores the responsibilities that a President accepts. I am certainly proud and pleased to be holding the Presidential Office and can feel the pace picking up now that we are out of lockdown and proceeding with our goals and plans.

On that note I have received a list of outdoor projects that North Sydney Council has listed and we can consider these in regards to future funding projects that we can undertake for the good of the community. One item in particular is the current requirements of the local Scouts Group whose membership is growing very healthily and would be a good area for us to expose Rotary in the community.

On another note, it was only 2 years ago that Australia was suffering one of its most severe droughts in history. This was followed by dreadful bushfires and then floods in some areas – all of the above causing much damage and huge personal losses to people in the affected areas. We managed to secure some funding to alleviate drought conditions in Molong in collaboration with our “twinned” Molong Rotary Club.

Now we see floods occurring throughout the inner areas of Australia , even the Todd River in Alice Springs flooding. The waters have already gone down and it means more water in the ground surface and better conditions for agriculture.

Australia is a country of climate extremes and it is amazing how tough people in regional areas are, but just as importantly, how supportive the rest of the population is in a crisis.

Our speaker this week was Ian Westmoreland who was accompanied by his colleague, Simon Jarvis. Their organisation called Mentoring Men is unique in that it offers support to men who have problems , maybe work related , financial , family etc. Mentoring Men addresses the need to possibly have someone from outside their normal circle of family and associates to lend an ear and maybe lessen the impact of the problem/s.

Based on the fact that men are not inclined to discuss things that worry them , the organisation has identified an area that has been badly wanting and their organisation is experiencing a positive take up of the service on offer.

This was an eye-opening presentation as it showed the requirement in the community for support that is possibly reducing the incidents of men undergoing worse consequences because of their situation.

Saying of the Week: “ It always seems impossible until it’s done “  ---Nelson Mandella.

Till next week.

Stay Well.


Presidents Press - 02 November 2021

Finally the Wheels of Life are starting to turn towards a gradual return to normal and more restrictions have been eased by NSW Government as of 1st November , our Rotary Club is able to dust off some of the budgeted activity that was planned and have some effect in the Community.

The Magic Show is now showing some positive cash flow for us and this week , Treasurer Don was able to send the full budgeted amounts of support to Far West Childrens’ Home and Rotary Health Foundation with the approval of the Board at last week’s Board Meeting. So far , things are looking good for our projected cash flow and we will more than likely meet all of the FY22 budgeted obligations.

Allan Coates has received notification that there are several worthy young people to interview for inclusion in RYLA – we can support two young people.

Andrew Harvey is becoming involved with Phoenix House which is another organisation to receive a benefit from out interest. We can see that we will be able to meet our projected target here very soon.

I have spoken to North Sydney Council in regard to further Community Support in the way of tangible improvements to parks etc and we hope to receive a list of projects that they are considering. We are hoping to benefit from some Government Community Grants to achieve this objective.

It feels like we have awoken from a sleep as I feel energy returning to the Club’s activities.

Added to that, we will be returning to physical meetings at Piato next week , 9th November. A good feeling.

This week our excellent Speaker was one of our own – Don Napper who opened our eyes as to the causes and effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and the corresponding chemical reactions that are/will affect climate change. It all served to underline my complete ignorance as to how much quicker the atmosphere has changed since the Industrial Revolution compared to the times before. This was a singularly competent presentation with Don being able to show the facts in a way that the layman could comprehend.

This was another outstanding display of the many facets of Don’s comprehensive knowledge of (it seems) all things.

Many Thanks Don.

Looking forward to next week’s meeting at Piato.

Saying of the Week : “whoever is happy , will make others happy too” – Anne Frank.

Stay Well.


Presidents Press - 19 October 2021

Now that we Sydneysiders are able to travel within Greater Sydney with relaxation of various rules , I would like to quote some wise words from DG Lindsay May ------

“As more restrictions are eased with 80% of NSW adults double jabbed, Australia’s top health official says, “suppression measures - such as mask-wearing and distancing - will need to stay because of the Delta variant’s highly infectious nature”, SMH 18/10/21.”

In other words , we still need to practise caution. This virus has not gone away and can still cause illness , sometimes serious because of underlying conditions we may have.

I have spoken to Steve at Piato Restaurant , our meeting venue , and he says it is OK for us to return starting from our meeting of 2nd November (hey , that’s Melbourne Cup Day !!!).

However , we are restricted to 12 people at this point of time. Although , word is that ruling may be relaxed even further after 1st December. So , from 2nd November , please RSVP to Ken if you wish to attend the meetings.

I drove from Blackheath to McMahons Point this week and traffic is starting to get as ugly as pre-covid again. The joys of living in Sydney , no wonder so many people are considering moving to regional NSW , but hang on !, prices have gone through the roof in the bush – have a look at price for a nice house in Mudgee. It does have wineries all around, though.

This week we had an extremely interesting presentation from our guest speaker , Ian Burnet. He spoke of the adventurer/Author Joseph Conrad who lived in the latter part of the 19th Century.

The first part of his working life was spent on the great sailing trading ships that sailed the seas of the World. In his case he spent a lot of time in/around Indonesia and neighbouring countries. During that time he wrote several fiction novels based on the life he was living and observing. When steam powered vessels came of age , Conrad retired from sailing and settled in Southern England and became a full time author.

One of his best known novels was “Lord Jim” which was a best seller and was also made into a movie starring Peter O’Toole.

Ian himself has led an interesting life and is an author in his own right. Consequently he fielded a lot of questions in regard to his own background.

Another one of our outstanding speakers, all arranged by Ken Preshaw. Onya Ken.

Saying of the week : “ The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing” -Walt Disney

Stay Well


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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