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Forthcoming Guest Speakers

4 October 2022: Mathew Ball, Senior Ecologist Midcaost Council - Koala Ecology & Conservation.

1 November 2022: Heather McLaughlin, Doing Good Better - Effective Altruism.

Past Guest Speakers

A list of the club’s recent guest speakers follows (most recent at top).

September 2022 Michael Tartt

Guest speaker, Michael Tartt, Prop. Tartt Café in Wharf Street, Forster, took us through the history of the human race’s indulgence with coffee. This commenced with Ethiopian goat herders over 1,000 years ago, who discovered the wonders of the coffee bean while eating the berries that contain the beans. The beans were traded to Persia, Egypt and Turkey, and coffee houses appeared at the end of 1500s. The first wave in the modern era commenced in 1960s when coffee consumption took off around the world, at which time, coffee was simply coffee. The second wave came in 1990s with the emergence of specialist coffee chains such as Starbucks and Gloria Jeans, who were instrumental in the further promotion of the product. We are now in the third wave in which it has been recognised that not all coffees are the same and different flavours are being developed, with ethical sourcing and sustainability playing an increasingly important role. Michael invited members to sample different coffee flavours as they departed.

August 2022 Russell Smith

Our own new member Russell Smith gave an inspiring presentation on the Hope, Strength and Joy that the Make a Wish Australia organisation provides to seriously ill children and their families. 37 years in Australia after commencement in the USA 42 years ago. 900 volunteers in 60 communities without government assistance, so fundraising vital for its survival. 10,000 wishes granted since 1985 with 800 children currently on the list. Hallidays Point is now a sub-branch of the Port Macquarie branch.

Secretary John thanked Russell and spoke of his grand niece having been a recipient in meeting members of the Australian Ballet at the Sydney Opera House as her wish, with all the family treated too.

May 2022 John Edstein OAM, assisted by Dr Bruce White 

Guest speaker, local surfing legend John Edstein OAM, ably assisted by current Surf Club President, Dr Bruce White, took the audience through nearly 100 years of history of the Black Head Surf Life Saving Club (established 1925), most of it from memory but using old photos (managed by Bruce) on occasions for further illustration purposes. John has over 70 years involvement with the club, received his first certificate, the Qualifiers Certificate, in 1953, and was awarded the OAM by Her Excellency, the Governor of NSW, Marie Bashir AC, in 2005 for services to lifesaving and the community of Greater Taree. He is also a Life Member of the club and Surf Life Saving Australia.  

The very proud history is summarised as follows:

  • Original club premises were separate male and female timber-framed buildings located on the sand dunes north of the existing footbridge over Black Head Lagoon
  • A tripod platform made from scaffolding materials was used as a shark spotting tower (drones, and to a lesser extent, helicopters, are now performing this role)
  • The surf reel was the main item of equipment used for rescue in the early days, with early models a hazard in themselves
  • There was no such thing as grants way back then and club members physically dug the foundations for the original footprint of the building on the existing site
  • The trusses in the main reception room were supplied by Machin’s Mill at Wingham, which is still operating today
  • The original surf rescue boat of timber construction, was taken illicitly on occasions by some unscrupulous individuals to go fishing
  • Women were once banned from club membership but the club now relies more on female members than ever before
  • March past teams and surf carnivals were once held at Black Head, but these have been consigned to the history books, and are now only held by the bigger clubs
  • The club is indebted to current President, Dr Bruce White, who, among other things, has become an ‘expert’ at chasing government money
  • In the early days, ‘nippers’ (now ‘juniors’) were treated as a child-minding opportunity by parents. This has now changed with families heavily involved in all club activities
  • Modern surf rescue is now performed using rescue boards, surf boards, jet skis and diesel-powered boats
  • The current clubhouse is fully solar powered with batteries and is largely self-sufficient
  • The surf clubhouse is the best place in the district to shelter from fires due to its safe location on the beach
  • The current club has 150 members and 70 juniors, but it hasn’t always been this strong
  • Club officers often get asked why don’t they patrol Diamond Beach with lifesavers. John indicated that Diamond Beach is a long, dangerous beach and that he wouldn’t surf there on his own. Bruce added that Black Head is a much safer beach due to its location between the headlands, and the club did not want to put lifesavers at unnecessary risk – it is much simpler for swimmers/surfers to go to Black Head Beach than for the club to try and provide for safe swimming at Diamond Beach

April 2022 Tomothy Ohl

The invited guest presentation was a performance and discussion by local performing artist Timothy Ohl titled: Effecting Sound Waves to Affect the Body.  Timothy used three perspex pyramids and a varied range of sound and other associated equipment to demonstrate the impact of sound waves on the human body. The performance commenced with Timothy seated inside the larger of the three pyramids, using his equipment to set in motion a series of sound waves and vibrations.

These sounds continued when he exited the pyramid, the sound having been absorbed into his own body resulting in a transformed state that led to an unusual dance routine. In the discussion that followed, some members of the audience acknowledged that they could feel the vibrations. Timothy indicated that he was on a path of discovery, looking into the effect of different sound frequencies on the body, with the longer-term objective of investigating the healing properties of sound and vibration.

February 2022 John Finnie

Guest speaker, John Finnie, spoke briefly of his life before Hallidays Point. He was born in Scotland, was married to his wife Lyn in the UK in 1972 (50 years ago last Saturday!), came to Australia in 1975, worked in real estate in Sydney before moving to Taree for a 'sea' change in 1989. He opened a Ray White real estate franchise at Hallidays Point, to compliment one already operating at Diamond Beach, and was involved in land sales associated with many subdivisions and developments throughout the area. He retired in 2012 to receive treatment for a melanoma which was diagnosed a year earlier, which treatment had a successful outcome. He first joined the Lions Club in Taree in 1993, so now has 29 years with this service club. He became involved with NoOW in 2013 when he took over as editor from fellow Lion, Ingrid Horsman. He finished with a look at the NoOW website that he created displayed on the screen. 

November 2021 Goldilocks Mock Trial

A mock trial of Goldilocks was held in lieu of a guest speaker before Judge David Gibson. Goldilocks was charged with breaking and entering the property of the Three Bears, and malicious damage and petty theft of the Three Bears' property! Following the presentation of the prosecution's case, and its rebuttal by the defence, which called Goldilocks as it's only witness, the jury (audience) found Goldilocks not guilty almost unanimously! The prosecution was played by Graham Lane (attorney), Norm Maberly-Smith (Papa Bear), Margaret Lane (Mumma Bear) and Peter Hester (Baby Bear). The defence was conducted by Allison Maberly-Smith (also producer and director).

October 2021 Bob & Jill Keenan

Bob Keenan, supported by his wife Jill, gave a spirited presentation about beekeeping, a hobby that has kept him entralled for several years. Bob services his hives from his home in Black Head, but travels further afield to assist others with their beekeeping hobbies. Bob revealed that there is historical evidence of beekeeping as early as 7,000BC in North China, that bees do not recognise the colour red, queen bees live for 2-4 years, drone bees live for approx. 55 days, and worker bees for approx. 45 days. Sworming bees are a good place to harvest queen bees (expertise required!), otherwise they have to be bought for $45 each. Bob demonstrated significant knowledge of his subject and a great passion for his chosen hobby, and after about fifteen minutes of presenting facts and figures, got the audience involved with Q&As. At the conclusion, members showed their appreciation in the usual manner.

June 2021 Lions Pride

A performance by the local musical group, the Lions Pride, had the members present clapping their hands and tapping their feet, some were even dancing in the aisles! Following is a list of the numbers performed.

I'm a Believer, the Monkees; I Started a Joke, the Bee Gees; Try a Little Kindness, Glen Campbell; Maybe Tomorrow, Reg. Bromwich (band leader); Tequila Sunrise, the Eagles; Runaway, Del Shannon; Teach Your Children, Crosby Stills Nash & Young; Honey Don't, the Beatles; Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Johnny Cash.

May 2021 Ted Bickford OAM

The guest speaker at the May general meeting was local 'graffiti buster', Ted Bickford OAM, who gave an interesting presentation about the control of graffiti in our region. He has achieved great success within the Midcoast Council region over the past 26 years, working with school children, corrective services and juvenile justice personnel. Ted's work has resulted in the region being one of the cleanest, with garffiti attacks being hit generally within 24 hours. Under his guidance, school children, generally Year 7 students, take ownership of the graffiti problem and responsibility for its removal.  His programs rely heavily on community support. One of the keys to his success is that he treats the kids as responsible human beings, an approach that is appreciated by the young participants.

Apr 2021 Geoff Anderson

The guest speaker on our ANZAC Day commemoration was Geoff Anderson, who provided the historical and interesting facts surrounding two Australian Submarines of WW1 - the AE1, which sunk off Rabaul on its first mission following its commissioning in August 1914 with the loss of all its crew; and AE2, which was lost in the Sea of Marmara on 29th April 1915 during the time of the Gallipoli Landings. The AE2 is know as the Silent ANZAC, for its stealth in traversing the mine infested waters of the Dardanelles to eventaully reach the Sea of Marmara, where she was later attacked and sunk by a Turkish gunboat. Most of the crew were rescued and detained a POWs. 

Feb 2021 Ron Smith

Member Ron Smith spoke about being a volunteer firefighter. Ron is the Captain of the local Diamond Beach Rural Fire Brigade. He covered the work involved in volunteer firefighting, the training requirements, his 65 years of involvement in the service, and what needs to be done to protect the home from fires. He concluded by showing graphic pictures and videos from the 2019-20 bush fires in our local area.

Dec 2020

The debate was held in lieu of the guest speaker. Go to Meetings tab to see a write-up of the debate.

Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov 2020

Meetings cancelled due coronavirus.

Mar 2020

No guest speaker due AGM.

Feb 2020 Frances Breen

MS Frances Breen, a retired Court Registrar, gave an overview of legal documentation relating to seniors, such as wills, powers of attorney, enduring guardian, etc, and an insight into what goes on behind the scene of Gown and Wig.

Dec 2019

Christmas meeting – no guest speaker.

Nov 2019

Meeting cancelled due bushfires.

Oct 2019 Carole and Brian Lynch

Carole and Brian Lynch, well-known locals, gave us an insight into their lives as Coffee Planters and life in New Guinea.

Sep 2019 Wendy Birrell

Wendy Birrell from NSW Roads and Maritime, provided an update on driving skills and safety issuers for older road users.

Aug 2019 Kathryn Stephens

Kathryn Stephens and her Guide Dog Nessie gave us an overview of the role of Assistance Dogs and the work of Guide Dogs of Australia.

Jul 2019

No guest speaker due to choir performance.

Jun 2019 Megan Griffith

Megan Griffith from J.R. Richards Waste Management, gave us an update on how to handle our waste to avoid landfill and produce recyclable waste more effectively.

May 2019 Chris Jones

Chris Jones, Manager Libraries Midcoast Council, updated us on the variety of new services and the many community activities which our local libraries now have in place, with particular emphasis on how the library service has kept pace with evolving technology affecting literature, and the future directions of the service.

Apr 2019

Taree RSL members discussed the various memorials dedicated to those who served in the Australian Defence Forces in the many conflicts since Federation.

Mar 2019

No guest speaker due to AGM.

Feb 2019 David Gibson

Probian David Gibson, Unit Commander, Forster-Tuncurry Marine Rescue, gave us an insight into the valuable Marine Rescue Service and the work of its volunteers.