AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287


Meetings are held monthly at Black Head Surf Lifesaving Club, 9.45 for 10am, 1st Tuesday of the month, except January (no meeting). Current membership total is 69.

Next Meeting

Next meeting is a General Meeting - Tuesday, 6th September 2022, 9:30 for 10:00am at the Black Head Surf Life Saving Club.

The guest presentation will be by coffee extraordinaire, Michael Tartt, proprietor of the Tartt Cafe in Forster, who will talk about Coffee, the World Drink.

High Tea at the Red Dove Cafe, Taree, after the meeting, $25pp payable to club account. See Outings for full details.  

Visitors are welcome.

Previous Meetings

General Meeting - Tuesday 2nd August

A strong showing of 41 members and 1 guests (Leo 'Sno' Moy) attended the August General Meeting. President LYnette spoke to here word for the month - Kindness. We are all warmed not only by acts of kindness we receive but the kindnesses we see around us in the world - the good news stories. The message was reinforced with audio of Glen Campbell's 'Try a Little Kindness".

Allison Maberley-Smith, today's 10-minute speaker, gave an interesting history of Vegemite from its beginnings in 1923. An Aussie icon even though it had been owned by USA company Kraft between 1935 and 2017.


General Meeting - Tuesday 5th July

Theme for the Month – President Lynette spoke of “Have a Go”, as some are doing today in our musical performance and participation for the Elvis theme.

New members Russell and Robyn Smith were inducted and gave a brief background. Originally from WA then Sydney and now Diamond Beach last 7 months. 3 sons in Sydney, Melbourne & Wales. Both are into family history. Russell a Scouts leader and soccer helper when sons were young. Retired 2006 and then 16 years with the Make a Wish Foundation, on which he hopes to speak about at a future meeting.

Visitors included Paul & Eta, John & Corris Willingham and Terry-Ann as part of our performance, previous member Jo Chapman, Clare & Robert Taylor, Lorraine Bowden & carer Elisa Csoke, and Leo “Snow” Moy.

Forthcoming activities were announced by Activities Officer Jill Keenan (go to Outings for details).

Following morning tea, President Lynette on the keyboard accompanied musical items that she had prepared. Robin narrated the story of Elvis in between items displaying his rock & roll, love and gospel songs. Members who had been rehearsing were joined by Halliday Shores residents John Willingham (guitar & harmonica), Paul & Eta (several dance routines) and Terry-Ann (singer). Peter Hester & John Clucas each sang a solo. Words for “Shake, Rattle & Roll” were adapted for our local area, with David Gibson and Bob Keenan providing displays of swimming and fitness activities. All present were invited to join in some of the songs. Prizes were awarded for some who had dressed for the occasion.

The meeting was followed by Christmas in July at the Nabiac Hotel.



General Meeting - Tuesday 7th June

The early start to winter was the inspiration for President Lynette Hester’s word for the month – Chill! – with some members responding to Lynette’s call to wear a scarf to add some colour to the meeting. She mentioned that Chill also has another meaning, especially to younger people, that being to relax (chill out) and hibernate like the bees (thanks to our member and beekeeper Bob for this insight.)   

A larger than average number of members, 45 in total, witnessed the induction of new member Stephanie Coomber from Diamond Beach. In introducing herself, Stephanie indicated she had retired in December 2021, mentioned her qualifications and experience in public health, achieving a PhD in the field and working as a registered nurse for 43 years, including a period as director of nursing at Taree Base Hospital. New members Russell and Robyn Smith will be inducted next month.

The welfare report by Marilyn Ewin included mention of the recent passing of member Peggy Sheffield, with condolences to her husband Don and other family members, and announced her funeral at 2pm on 9th June at Great Lakes Memorial Gardens, Pampoolah. Also noted was returning member Jan Mooney recovering from recent hospitalisation.

The next outing was highlighted by Christine Bates, activities officer assisting, this being Christmas in July at Nabiac Hotel after the 5th July general meeting. President Lynette indicated that the next meeting would be a celebration of music legend, Elvis Presley, topical at the moment with the recent release of the movie on the Gold Coast, with members encouraged to dress for the occasion to enjoy a singalong led by a small group of renowned local singers, with an obvious focus on Elvis’s music.

Lorraine Blacklock gave members an insight into the Probus Book Club which started in 2006, just 3 years after the club was founded, with monthly meetings moving to the newly completed Hallidays Point Library in 2008. A small fee is paid by book club members for the books which are supplied through the Midcoast Council Library Service. Membership varies between 6 and 10, with 8 attending at the moment. 10 meetings are held each year, meaning 10 books are read and discussed yearly, the tally over the 16 years currently standing at 150.

Vice President Alan Bates circulated a questionnaire seeking feedback from members about options for forming other internal clubs, similar to the book club. The suggestions that received the most support were cinema and dining, which will be further considered in the near future.

The guest performance was the Antics Road Shoo, a series of skits produced by member Jack McDonald, with cast members Robin Billings, Allison and Norm Maberly-Smith, set in the gardens of Codswallop Castle.

Skit 1: Lady shows a collection of jewellery given to her by a client at a house of ill repute. Woman nearby recognises them as hers and realises her husband is the client and chases him with a newspaper as he runs off.

Skit 2: Thief stealing valuable painting from Codswallop Castle is buttonholed by the valuer who assumes it is a copy giving Lady Codswallop time to shout “thief” and allow the local police to drag him to jail.

Skit 3: Lady brings a decorated egg which is identified as a long-lost Fabergé egg belonging to Czar Nicholas II’s wife worth tens of millions of dollars. In handing it back the valuer smashes it and runs away.



General Meeting - Tuesday 3rd May 2022

The theme adopted by President Lynette Hester for our 3rd May meeting is Remembrance given the proximity of Easter and Anzac Day on the calendar this year. Easter is an important time of remembrance, as is Anzac Day, in memory of past wars and especially the loss of loved ones. She spoke of the very well attended local Anzac Day service and thanked member Marea Binskin for the beautiful wreath she made for her to lay at the dawn service as President of our Club. She summed up her theme with a quote: ‘It is hard to forget someone who gave me so much to remember,’ and introduced John Clucas to sing the hymn: ‘Let There be Peace on Earth’ in place of a minute’s silence.

Thirty-six members were welcomed to the meeting, together with five visitors – including new member Stephanie Coomber, and visitors Russell and Robyn Smith, Tina Crowther, and guest speaker John Edstein OAM assisted by Dr Bruce White.

Activities held in May were a lunch cruise on the 10th on the MV Port Adventure on the Hastings River at Port Macquarie, attended by 38 members and guests, organised by Marilyn Ewin assisting Activities Officer Jill Keenan. Attendees were treated to a wonderful 3 hours of entertainment by Cruise Director, Tom Cruise! Additionally, a BBQ and Boules contest was held at Black Head Beach Reserve on the 17th, organised by Helen Bush, with Beryl Littlewood assisting. Jill announced a forthcoming outing, Christmas in July at Nabiac Hotel on 5th July. For further information and pictures about these activities visit the Outings page.

Members Jill Keenan and John Clucas used their 10-minute speaker slot for a presentation from the Australian Red Cross’s Lifeblood program on donating blood and plasma. It was pleasing to find that at least half the members present had been, or are still, blood donors when the average is only 1 in 30 Australians. John indicated that he had completed 154 donations to date, and Jill, 54. At least one new donor was recruited.

The club’s tradition of men serving morning tea in May in honour of the ladies celebrating Mother's Day was followed again this year. To ensure quick service, a self-serve arrangement was put in place by Bob Keenan, Jack McDonald and Ian Campbell. The club had been struggling to find a volunteer to coordinate the catering at monthly meetings, but ‘newish’ member Bob Keenan put his hand up to perform this role, responding to some timely behind the scenes work by Alan Bates. Bob’s offer is greatly appreciated and he will be rewarded in the future with a place of higher glory!

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. Go to the Guest Speakers' tab for a summary of John and Bruce's presentation.

The Mother's Day Raffle was drawn at the conclusion of the meeting and the club thanks the following local businesses for providing prizes for the raffle – FoodWorks, Diamond Beach Takeaway, Hallidays Point Tavern, Celebrations Diamond Beach, X-Styles Salon, Lorellin Day Spa, Point Café, and 3-Beaches Chemist.


General Meeting - Tuesday, 5th April 2022

The fury of the Pacific Ocean in Black Head Bay had subsided when 49 members and 5 guests arrived at the surf club for the April meeting, with the view from the windows showing the bay to be at peace with itself following huge waves whipped up by strong onshore winds and heavy rainfall during the previous week causing some local beach erosion.

Our club welcomes visitors, and on this occasion, Russell and Robyn Smith, Stephanie Coomber and Matt Diloso were visiting for the first time, together with Janet Mooney, a former member returning to renew acquaintances.

President Lynette Hester’s word for the month – Refresh – was appropriate in the circumstances following the recent rains which had refreshed the Hallidays Point region and beyond. Lynette invited members to look for ways to refresh the club, to add vitality and to make it more inviting and engaging, such as by the further development of sub-groups like the Book Club.

The Tower of London was the subject of the regular 10-minute presentation, delivered eloquently by member Christine Bates, supported by husband and Vice President, Alan, managing the PowerPoint technology. Their story revolves around a friendship developed with Mick and Carmel Cassons, Mick being a ‘Beefeater’, a nickname given to the tower’s Yeoman Warders, whom they met in the Throne Room at the tower on their first trip to the UK in 1990.

After a wink and a nudge, Christine photographed Alan sitting on the throne, with Mick standing alongside. Returning after a 4-week European tour to present Mick with photos from their earlier visit, the very grateful Mick gave his visitors the experience of a lifetime – unfettered access to several rooms within the tower not normally accessible by the general public, including spaces with the headstones of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Cromwell and Katherine Howard, and a cache containing the tomb of Thomas More. The friendship was nurtured with further visits to the UK in 1993 and 2012.

The invited guest presentation following morning tea was a performance and discussion by local performing artist Timothy Ohl titled: Effecting Sound Waves to Affect the BodySee photos below and further details can be found under under the Guest Speakers tab.



General Meeting and AGM - Tuesday, 1st March 2022

28 members attended the general meeting held prior to the AGM. Acting President Lynette opened the meeting with the National Anthem, sung with gisto with the recent lifting of COVID restrictions.

Activities Officer Marilyn drew attention to the upcoming Hastings River Cruise at Port Macquarie on 10th May, a 3-hour cruise with Port Adventure Cruises, ‘Seniors and Retirees Big Day Out’ (full details under Outings tab).

To conclude the general meeting, Acting President Lynette, related that one of her and husband Peter’s online 14-year-old female students from Myanmar, Evelyn, has written a thought-provoking poem titled ‘Peace on Earth’, mentioning the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Myanmar coup d’état on the lives of young people, and of course, urging peace. Click on the link here to view the poem, - Poem_Peace_on_Earth_by_Evelynn.pdf

A thoughtful morning tea was provided by outgoing Catering Officer Gwen Dean, ably assisted by Margaret Giggins and Rhonda Gibson, and comprised pikelets (Pancake Day) and Welsh cakes (St David’s Day), with of course a choice of tea or coffee.

The real business of the day then got underway, the AGM, with Acting President Lynette thanking founding member Allan Buckingham for past services to the club as Returning Officer, formalised with a certificate of appreciation. Following presentation of annual reports from present committee members, Norm Maberly-Smith, this year’s Returning Officer, took up the microphone and conducted elections for new office bearers, the outcome of which follows:

President – Lynette Hester - - - - - - - - Vice President – Alan Bates

Secretary – John Clucas - - - - - - - - - - Minute Secretary – Christine Bates

Treasurer – Kay Clucas - - - - - - - - - - - Membership Officer – Rhonda Gibson

Immediate Past President, Ambassador, Speaker Liaison Officer and Publicity Officer – Ian Campbell

Welfare Officer – Marilyn Ewin - - - - - - Activities Officer – Jill Keenan

Bulletin Editor – Jack McDonald - - - - - Catering Officer – no nominations.

Membership fees for 2022-23, payable by 7th April, were also approved: 

$5 for those members who have paid in full for the past 2 years.

$25 for those members who have not paid in full for past 2 years.

Membership fees can be paid to the Treasurer, or by direct deposit to our bank account: BSB 932 000 Account 500082628 Reference: FEES <YOUR LAST NAME>.

In her concluding remarks, President Lynette thanked the Returning Officer, departing committee members and congratulated new members, and mentioned the need for vision as we look ahead for opportunities to grow the club with stimulating meetings and appropriate activities and outings, with a view to maintaining the enthusiasm of members and encouraging the attendance of visitors.



General Meeting - Tuesday, 1st February 2022

35 members and 2 visitors were in attendance, signing in using the QR code and wearing face masks. Visitors were returning member, Jan Mooney, and guest speaker, John Finnie. In her words of welcome to members and visitors, Acting President Lynette spoke to her word for the month, Vibrant – vibrant colours in members’ clothing; vibrant feelings that make you feel happy; the view from the surf club of the vibrant ocean this morning. Many positives flow from the word and Lynette thanked those for entering into the spirit of it.

Member Carol Wing who passed away recently, was remembered. Acting President Lynette acknowledged the positive impact she had on the local community through her work at the church, the mingles group, children’s Christmas boxes for overseas recipients, to name a sample of her work only. A memorial service is expected to be held in the near future.

10-Minute Speaker, David Gibson, spoke of the phenomenal summer at marine rescue, referring to the ‘crazy’ Christmas holidays and the problems experienced with jet skis, one clocked at 118 km/hr in the channel which has no speed limit. Wallis Lake is a popular destination for Sydneysiders with jet skis because they are banned in Sydney Harbour. During the period between Boxing Day and New Years Eve, the service had performed 17 assists resulting in the rescue of 40 people. The service, which has 105 volunteer members and operates round the clock, and of which he is Unit Commander, is to protect the public and has a new slogan – SOLOW, Saving Our Lives On Water.

Guest speaker was well-known local identity, John Finnie, who spoke about the key experiences of his life in the lead up to arriving at Hallidays Point in 1997, esp. as a real estate agent and as editor of our local newsletter, News of Our World (NoOW). See further details under the Guest Speakers tab.


General Meeting - Tuesday, 7th December 2021

This meeting, attended by 42 members and 6 guests, had a Christmas theme and featured some Christmas-specific entertainment facilitated by Acting President Lynette, who chose 'Joy' as the theme for the meeting. Two quotes relevant to the theme: 'Life doesn't have to be perfect to be filled with joy' and 'A joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together.'

Visitors included Deborah Raulf and David Norling, and a group from Halliday Shores who participated in the singing/acting - Steve & Eilene, Paul & Etta, Terry, and John. The club is grateful for their participation. Margaret Lane was the only member with a birthday in December.

Two new members were inducted into the club - Bob and Jill Keenan. Bob, assisted by Jill, was guest speaker at our October meeting and both gave a brief overview of their lives before and since moving to Hallidays Point. Both are very much involved in and passionate about beekeeping.


The Probus Plus Singers entertained the group prior to morning tea with Let it Snow, Winter Wonderland, Summer Holiday and (Aussie) Jingle Bells. Santa (Alan Bates) paid a visit during morning tea. After the tea break, they presented Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, (Aussie) Twelve Days of Christmas, Silent Night and Away in a Manger. Solo performances from Terry-Anne Tregear with When a Child is Born and John Clucas with The Holy City were well received. The performance was concluded with a hearty rendition of Feliz Navidad by both the singers and the audience. The singers, and accompanist Beth Norling, were shown appreciation by members in the usual manner.



This was followed by Christmas lunch at the Nabiac Hotel. See Outings for details.  

General Meeting - Tuesday, 2nd November 2021

Acting President Lynette welcomed forty four members and three guests to this meeting on Melbourne Cup Day, and thanked members for supporting the black and white theme adopted for the meeting. Her quote for the day was: Opportunities are like surprises: if you wait too long you miss them.

Acting President Lynette grasped the opportunity to call long-time member Robin Billings to the stage, something that we have been trying to do since September. For her eleven years on the Management Committee, five as Activities/Outings Officer and six as Speaker Liaison Officer, Robin was awarded a Life Membership, acknowledging her outstanding service to the club. Following Acting President Lynette's presentation outlining Robin's achievements, and Robin's acceptance speech, members showed their appreciation by acclamation.


The meeting formalities were followed by an amusing short play by visitors Peter, Paul and Eta from Halliday Shores, entitled: A Trip to the Doctor, All My Gallstones. The poor doctor was confused by the male's presence in his surgery, and after a perplexing and circuitous conversation, it was finally discovered that the appointment was actually for the man's wife, who was still in the waiting room, and that he was trying to find the restrooms! Narrated by Peter Hester, produced by Lynettte Hester.


After the break for refreshments, the mock trial of Goldilocks proceeded before Judge David Gibson. See write-up under Guest Speakers.


When the meeting and mock trial was over, members were free to 'do their own thing' for lunch on this big day in the country's sporting calendar, the Melbourne Cup. 

General Meeting - Tuesday, 12th October 2021

Thirty six members attended this meeting, held at the Kranky Goat Restaurant, Tallwoods Village, at 10:00am, plus one visitor, Deborah Raulfs, and two guests (speakers). Members were given tickets for the lucky door prizes to be draw later. Many attendees took advantage of Acting President Lynette's suggestion to wear the vibrant colours of Spring. Kranky Goat staff served morning tea at the tables as the meeting progressed.

Acting President Lynette mentioned an Albert Einstein quote as a theme for the meeting - learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow. Following routine meeting matters, Membership Officer Rhonda Gibson introduced a new member, Ruth Watson, who was welcomed into the fold by Acting President Lynette after a long waiting period caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Ruth indicated she was a member of a Probus Club in Sydney previously and enjoyed playing golf.

In place of the designated 10-minute speaker (Chistine Bates was unable to attend), Acting President Lynette asked members to workshop some ideas about what they would like going forward. Many ideas were put forward at the end of the 15-minute session, some new and some tried and tested, such as day trips including boat and ferry trips, picnics, lunches, extended tours involving up to two weeks, joint use of seniors/shores bus, car trial, movies with lunch, etc.  

The guest speaker, Bob Keenan, spoke on the subject 'Beekeeping in Spring'. Bob was accompanied by his wife, Jill. Bob and Jill donated three raffle prizes, with Jill drawing out the winning numbers. Follow the Guest Speakers tab for further information.

Darren and Greg from the Kranky Goat also donated a bottle of sparkling wine and a bottle of rose as a thank you for supporting the business following the lockdown. Activities Officer Marilyn Ewin acknowledged the Kranky Goat's donation and drew the winning numbers from the barrel. 

See Outings tab for information about the lunch that followed the meeting.


General Meetings July, August and September 2021

July, August and September General Meetings were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

General Meeting - Tuesday, 1st June 2021

Thirty nine members attended this meeting, which opened with the Club Ambassador, Ian Campbell, explaining the unfortunate events which occurred last week that resulted in President Jack McDonald resigning from the Presidency. Ian advised that Vice President Lynette Hester would be chairing the meetings henceforth and welcomed her to the microphone.

Vice President Lynette then spoke on the subject of family, noting the recent passing of two members, Tony Knight ad Kim Green (see Bulletin 2021-06 for short obituary), and outlined that families grieve together, celebrate together, support each other, invoke loyalty and eat together, with these concepts applying not only to the families of those members who had passed, but also to the HP Probus family, which suffered a significant blow with the incidents last week.

Chairperson Lynette then welcomed a new member in Jillian Wood, a retired science teacher and university lecturer who recently retired to Hallidays Point.

Activities coming up in the near future were mentioned - Treasurer Allison Maberly-Smith calling for volunteers for a mock trial for the Three Bears to be held in August, and Christine Bates on behalf of Activities Officer Marilyn, reminding members of the Billabong Zoo trip. The bus, which is booked out, will depart from Halliday Shores at 8:30am on 15th June. Meeting time at the zoo is 10:00am.

The 10-minute speaker was Foundation Member, Allan Buckingham, who resurrected a speech he gave to Rotary 40 years ago, 'Have Homeland, Will Travel', a piece intended to encourage members to travel within Australia before going overseas, a message as pertinent today as it was back then.   

Guest presentation was by the 'Lions Pride', a 4-piece band formed by Hallidays Point Lions Club members, performed 1960s and 1970s music. See Guest Speakers for further report.

12 members attended the Hallidays Point Tavern for lunch after the meeting.



General Meeting - Tuesday, 4th May 2021

Forty one members attended this meeting at which President Jack was pleased to announce the appointments of two members to cover the vacant position of Secretary - Christine Bates as Minute Secretary and John Clucas as Secretary. President Jack also reported that he laid a wreath on behalf of members, prepared by member Marea Binskin, at the recent Anzac Day ceremony at the new Anzac Memorial at the Rock Pool.

Activities Officer, Marilyn Ewin, advised that the Billabong Zoo visit will take place on Tuesday, 15th June. Helen Bush advised that BBQ and Boules will be held at Black Head Reserve on Tuesday, 25th May. See the Outings page below for further details.

Vice President Lynette Hester then introduced the 'Objects of Travel' segment, during which five members presented artefacts collected from their overseas travels, except Tony Knight who sung the African version of the English nursery rhyme, 'Who Killed Cock Robin' and presented some memories of his trip to China, the highlight of which was a visit to the terracotta warriors site. This was followed by the artefact presentations - Mary Marshall (ivory artefacts from Kowloon, Hong Kong, purchased in 1960), Alan Bates (Mexican hat from Tijuana), Paul Vanderstelt (zebra rock sample from a mine near Lake Argyle) and Peter Hester (bottle of water from the Dead Sea collected 34 years ago).

President Jack then invited those present to enjoy the first morning tea in over 12 months and explained how to participate to ensure COVID restrictions were met.

Following morning tea, President Jack introduced the guest speaker, Ted Bickford OAM, who spoke about graffiti control in the region. Go to Guest Speakers tab for further information.


General Meeting - Tuesday, 6th April 2021 

This meeting was well-attended with President Jack McDonald in the chair for the first time following his election at the AGM last month.

Activities Officer, Marilyn Ewin, confirmed that the Wallis Lake cruise will be going ahead on 29th April and to contact her regarding attendance and payment. 

Vice President, Lynette Hester, in introducing the 10-minute speaker, advised that she has established a theme for this year's short presentations, this being Travel with a Purpose. 

The first in the series, Rhonda Gibson, presented a very interesting overview of her journey in August 2019 following the Way of St James in north-west Spain, a 6-day walking pilgrimage which commenced at Sarria, traversing 117 kms, and finishing at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of St James the Apostle are said to lie in rest.   

The guest speaker was Geoff Anderson, who provided an overview of two Australian Submarines of WW1 - the AE1 and the AE2. Go to Guest Speakers tab for further information



General Meeting - Tuesday, 2nd March 2021

53 members attended the general meeting, with President Pat Marshall presiding, and the AGM which followed.

Membership Officer, Sheila Capperauld, reported that during the past 12 months, membership had dropped to 83 members, down from 97 at the same time last year.

Activities Officer, Marilyn Ewin, announced that she has arranged a cruise on Wallis Lake on the vessel, the Free Spirit, for 29th April 2021, at a cost of $50 per person, which includes lunch on the boat. She indicated she would only take names today and that all names and payments are to be made at the next meeting. 

Speaker Liaison Officer, Robin Billings, announced that the guest speaker for the next meeting would be Geoff Anderson. See details under Next Meeting above.

Vice President Jack McDonald introduced the 10-minute speaker, IPP Ian Campbell, who spoke about Australia’s third worst plane crash (excluding USAAF crashes during WW11), the Vickers Viscount 720 crash at Port Hedland on 31st December 1968 that resulted in the loss of 26 lives, at which both he and Grace were present and involved.

Photos taken during Committee members' reports and of March birthday Probians


Annual General Meeting - Tuesday, 2nd March 2021

The AGM followed immediately after the General Meeting.

Following presentation of the President's and Committee Members' annual reports, standing orders were suspended and the floor handed over to Returning Officer and Club Foundation Member, Allan Buckingham, to conduct the election of new committee members.

In his introductory comments, Allan mentioned that Probus was originally created in the United Kingdom in response to a need for a social grouping for men, especially those retiring from Rotary Clubs. It was intended as purely a social gathering, without the onus of fundraising. The first club in Australia was a men's club at Hunters Hill in Sydney, floated in 1963. Clubs for women soon followed, and after several years, combined clubs (women and men) became the norm.

The first President elected for our club was Eileen McMullen (dec'd) in 2003. The club was sponsored by The Rotary Club of Taree-on-Manning, and at the first meeting, they presented two gifts to our club - the collar that would contain the namebadges of the Presidents and the call-to-order bell. The incoming President, Jack McDonald, will be the club's eighteenth President.

Allan complimented the outgoing committee, led by President Pat Marshall, for keeping the club going during the difficult circumstances caused by the COVID-19 restrictions, with the continuation of committee meetings, bulletins, phone calls and Staying Connected emails from Probus South Pacific.

Allan then declared all positions vacant and conducted the election process. Details of the new committee members elected can be found by going to the Committee tab. Immediate Past President, Pat Marshall, then inducted the newly elected President, Jack McDonald, by exchanging the chain of office and President's badge.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 2nd February 2021

Feature presentation - poetry reading by those members who submitted entries for the 2020 poetry competition, with prizes awarded Vice-President Jack McDonald.

The following members read their poems - Norm Maberly-Smith, Tony Knight, Robin Billings, Sue Niven, Christine Bates and Marilyn Wilson. Anna Hamers' (deceased) contribution was read by Allison Maberly-Smith. Most were written around the coronavirus theme, but Marilyn penned a moving piece about the joy that a dahlia can bring amidst all the gloom. Jack, the sole arbiter of the competition, awarded prizes to Marilyn and Christine.  

The guest speaker was member Ron Smith who spoke about what it means to be a volunteer firefighter, the local brigade and the 2019-20 fire season. Go to Guest Speakers tab for further information.

Photos show guest speaker Ron Smith, and key members involved in the poetry competition.


General Meeting - Tuesday, 1st December 2020

The meeting got underway at 10:00am, with President Pat presiding and welcoming members to the first meeting since the COVID restrictions were introduced in March. Pat invited member John Clucas to sing the National Anthem, which he did with his usual decorum. Following some brief meeting formalities, Secretary Norm Maberley-Smith deliverd his 10-minute address entitled 'The Man I Wish I Had Met', an incredible story about his father who was killed in action in WW11 before Norm was born. The address included a story of his Aunt who survived a ship wreck in the South Pacific Ocean during WW11 and eventually made it back to Australia to tell her story.  

There was no morning tea due to COVID restrictions. 

A short break was followed by the debate: 'That Men Gossip More Than Women'. The affirmative side comprised President Pat, Treasurer Allison Maberly-Smith and Lynette Hester. The negative case was delivered by Past Presidents Peter Hester, Tony Knight and Alan Bates. Immediate Past President Ian Campbell chaired the event, with Walter Bolin and Gwen Dean adjudicating. After the presentation of arguments, some highly improbable(!), and summing up by Lynette and Alan, the affirmative side was announced the winner, to the loud applause of members.

Past President Alan Bates thanked the committee for keeping up contact with members during the period of the coronavirus restrictions. President Pat brought the meeting to a conclusion at 11:30am, following which most adjourned to the Tavern for Christmas Lunch.