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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 64.

Next Meeting

Next meeting is a General Meeting - Tuesday, 3rd October 2023, 9:30 for 10:00am at the Black Head Surf Life Saving Club.

10-minute Speaker: Ian Campbell - 'A Family Story'

Guest Speaker: Peter Brown, Midcoast Council - 'Understanding and Preparing for Natural Disasters'

Visitors are welcome. Enquiries to Ian Campbell 0417 928791.

Previous Meetings

General Meeting - Tuesday, 5 September 2023

President Alan warmly welcomed the 44 members to the meeting.  Bill Gibbs was present and President Alan especially welcomed Bill to his first meeting since his wife, Julie, passed away.   He also expressed condolences from all present. Allan Buckingham led us in singing the National Anthem.

President Alan mentioned that at our October meeting we will be celebrating Probus month.  The speaker will be Peter Brown, his talk is about strategic planning for bush fires and floods.  Everyone is asked to invite a friend.  A special high tea is being planned.

See Club Notices tab for information about Probus Day and Transaction Fees.

Welfare Officer Marilyn Ewin reported that Gwen Dean is in hospital and Walter was hoping that she would be discharged either yesterday or today.

Marilyn also advised members who have birthdays in September: Isobel Prindable, Norman Maberly-Smith, Irene Lygoe, Ron Smith, Terry-Ann Tregear, Cherilyn Leckner, Lorraine Blacklock, Russell Smith, Margaret Giggins.  We all joined in singing “Happy Birthday” to those present.

Activities Officer Jill Keenan informed the meeting of forthcoming activities:

6-11 September - QLD Explorer Sunshine/Gold Coast.  6 Probians will be joining the tour.

10 September – Musical Afternoon at Hallidays Point Community Club.

21 September – Essential Barrington Tour organised by Forster District Combined Probus Club.

17 October – Boules and Barbeque Blackhead Reserve. Cost $5 payable at October meeting.

Gourmet Clubs & Pubs Club and Movie Group – notifications of forthcoming outings will be advised by separate email to members.


10 Minute Speakers:  Lynette and Peter Hester, and Rhonda Gibson, showed and explained beautiful slides of their recent trip to Italy. “A Taste of Italy” certainly showed Italy as a wonderful holiday destination. The photo presentation showed the highlights of the tour, such as the Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, villages and waterways in Venice and the island of Majorca.

President Alan’s caption for the month:  What puts Spring in your step?  Winner Neil Meath with the caption “Elastic Underpants”.  Sheila Capperauld read out all the entries. We enjoyed a lovely savoury morning tea.

Guest Speaker:  Bob Dent gave a very informative talk entitled “Science in the Cattle Industry”.  He gave a history of his working life starting as a Jackaroo in North Queensland.  He stressed how important research is in a thriving cattle industry.   He took several questions from the floor. See Guest Speakers tab for a more detailed summary of Bob’s talk.

Raffle/Lucky Door Prizes:  Bob drew out the winning tickets with the winners being Robyn Smith (1st and 3rd), Doreen Heaps 2nd prize.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 1st August 2023

President Alan Bates welcomed 45 members to the meeting and reminded us that at Probus we enjoy Fun, Friendship, Fellowship and Food!

Eta Rogoyska and Paul Kringas were inducted by President Alan and warmly welcomed as new members.  They both filled us in with a snapshot of their lives before coming to Hallidays Point. Both have sociology in common, Eta enjoys horse riding and volunteers at Riding for the Disabled, while Paul plays championship golf. They were married at the Tallwoods Chapel of Light last year.


Welfare Officer Marilyn Ewin announced that Bill Gibbs had telephoned her to say that his wife Julie had had a very bad fall resulting in a broken pelvis.  She has been transferred from Taree Hospital to Forster Private Hospital.  Since the meeting it has been learned that Julie has passed - our sincere condolences go to Bill for his loss. Also, Noni Putnam is in hospital – cause unknown.

Probians who have birthdays in August are Grace Campbell, Ray Rowe, Graham Lane, Margaret Lawson, Leo (Sno) Moy.

Activities Officer Jill Keenan commented on the marvellous talent of those performing in Sunday’s Mystery play.  It was a very enjoyable evening.

* 6-11 September QLD Explorer Sunshine Coast/Gold Coast.  Jill gave full details of the tour.   Money to be paid to Club bank account by 6 August.

* 21 September Essential Barrington Tour $100.  Book with Frances Crampton, Forster Probus Activities Phone:  0418 615 337.

* 2-3 September and 18-19 November Tina Turner in Sydney.  Cost $549.

* 10 October Boules and Barbecue, Blackhead Reserve, Cost $5, pay at next meeting.

* Travelwise Trip:  1-18 February 2024 Tasmania.  Contact them if interested.

10 Minute Speaker:  Isobel Prindable gave a very interesting talk with photographs entitled “Childhood Memories following the Battle of Britain”.  The photographs certainly brought that time ‘alive’. As a child during the war, Isobel lived with her family at Deal on the south-east coast of England, just 26 miles (41kms) from Calais on the French coast, where they experienced bombing from the German war machine.   

President Alan's Caption for the month:  What did the tax inspector say to the Uber driver?  Winner Graham Lane with the caption “The more you taxi the more tax you owe”. 

Morning Tea:  We all enjoyed a lovely morning tea with Lamingtons.



Guest Speaker:  Our own Stephanie Coomber.  Thank you Stephanie for such an interesting and informative talk on your “Journey with Children in Need in India”.  Such lovely photographs of the children.  Some of the stories were heart breaking and makes us realise  how lucky and fortunate we are to live in Australia. For more detail, see the summary under Guest Speakers.

Raffle/Lucky Door:  Stephanie drew out the winning tickets with the winners being Alan Buckingham, Allison Maberly-Smith, Margaret Lane.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 4th July 2023

President Alan Bates, warmly welcomed everyone to the meeting.  He wished all who would be attending the Christmas-in-July lunch an enjoyable and happy time.

Attendance:  Members present:  47 Members absent; 5 Apologies; 6 Visitors: John and Corris Willingham, Kevin Hunter and Fay, Wendy and Warwick Pulsford.

Caption Centest:  What did the snowman say to the snow-woman?  Winner Terry-Ann Tregear with her caption “You melt my heart”.

President Alan asked all Committee members to stand and congratulated them of the work they undertake to keep the club running smoothly.

Alan then asked Alan Buckingham to lead us in singing the National Anthem, following which Probians who have birthdays in July were acknowledged: Neil Meath, Paul Kringas, Rhonda Gibson, Noni Putnam, Alison Maberly-Smith, Margaret Laing, Ian Campbell and Bev Baker.  We all joined in singing “Happy Birthday” to those present.


Welfare (Marilyn Ewin):  Nothing to report this month on teh welfare front.

Activities (Jill Keenan): See Outings and Calendar of Events tabs. Jill welcomed back Mavis Coles and Stephanie Coomber.

Book Club (Lorraine Blacklock):  The Club meets in the Library at 10.30 am on the second Tuesday of the month.  We read a new book each month. There are currently 2 vacancies.

The last book discussed was "The Deadman’s Dance" by Kim Scott, told thought the eyes of Black and White, young and old of a Western Australia community in the early 1800s, showing that first contact didn’t necessary lead to war.

Gourmet Pubs & Clubs Group (Robin Billings):  5 members enjoyed a beautiful meal at Oasis Bistro, Taree West Bowling Club on 30th June.  The next outing planned for 28th July is CANCELLED and the lunch group will now meet every second month.

Movie Group (Alan):  Monday and Tuesday preferred days.  Alan will find out the showing times for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” for next week and advise members by email.

Treasurer:  Financial report - see latest Bulletin (Bulletins tab) for details.

Inductions:  Julie and Bill Gibbs were inducted and warmly welcomed as new members.  Bill gave us a snapshot of his/their life before coming to this area – marrying Julie in 1957, with his career leading to a position in the new NSW Department of Sport in 1972, and culminating in the Deputy Director role. He retired in 1989, following which the couple moved to Tallwoods.

Morning Tea: We all enjoyed a lovely morning tea with doughnuts thanks to Catereing Officer Bob Keenan.

Musical Performance:  There were no speakers today but the choir’s “Singalong with the Seekers” was so so good. Many thanks to Lynette for all her hard work.  Narrator Kevin Hunter introduced the songs and gave us background information.  The choir sang: Georgie Girl, Morningtown Ride, I’ll Never Find Another You, Danny Boy (which held special significance for one of the singers, Terry-Ann Tregear, who assumed a lead role in singing this number in memory of her neighbour and friend, Bill Gee, who passed recently aged 92 years), I Am Australian, With My Swag All On My Shoulder, A World of Our Own, The Carnival is Over (dedicated to Judith Durham who passed in August 2022).  The audience sang the choruses with gusto.

Raffle/Lucky Door: Newest member Bill Gibbs drew the winning tickets with the winners being Margaret Lane, Wes Tiller, Judy Johnstone.



July Birthday Probians are pictured with Marilyn Ewin at right are (L to R): Ian Campbell, Allison Maberly-Smith, Neil Meath, and Rhonda Gibson. The musicians are Corris Willingham, John Willingham and Alan Munroe. The Narrator is Kevin Hunter. 11 singers, mostly from Halliday Shores, are pictured with Musical Director and Immediate Past President Lynette Hester.  

General Meeting - Tuesday, 6th June 2023

President Alan Bates welcomed 40 members and 2 visitors (guest speaker Barry Sale and former member Marilyn Wilson) to the Chapel of Light and thanked Barry Sale, Tallwoods Country Club owner, for allowing us to meet in the Chapel today at short notice while renovations are underway at the Surf Club.

All joined in singing the National Anthem to open the meeting, followed by the singing “Happy Birthday” to the June birthday Probians - Beth Norling, Judy Johnstone and John Blacklock.


Activities (Marilyn Ewin for Jill Keenan): See Outings and Calendar of Events tabs.

Boules:  Alan presented the Dolphin Trophy to the winner of 9th May competition - Graham Lane.

Treasurer:  Details in the Bulletin (Bulletins tab). EFTPOS machine introduced for first time at today's meeting.


Chapel of Light                     June birthday Probians  Dolphin Trophy     Norm Maberly-Smith - 10-min. Speaker

10 Minute Speaker:  Norm Maberly-Smith gave a very interesting and informative talk with slides prepared by Ian Campbell about the recent trip to Yarrawonga.  Beryl Littlewood and those who knew the words and actions sang and acted out “Among the Gum Trees” which they had sang at Yarrawonga. See photos - Outings tab.

We all enjoyed a lovely morning tea outside in the sunshine, arranged by Robin Billings.

Caption for the month:  What does the acronym 'pwc' stand for.  Won by Lynne Smith with her caption “please wee carefully”.

Guest Speaker:  Barry Sale - see Guest Speakers tab for details of Barry's presentation.

Raffle/Lucky Door:  Winners were Marilyn Ewin, Alan Buckingham and Ian Campbell.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 2nd May 2023

President Alan Bates opened the meeting with the singing of the National Anthem. With Mothers’ Day coming up he asked attendees to remember our mothers to whom we are all indebted for the influence they had over our lives, especially during the formative years, and in the shaping of our attitudes to life in general.

Visitors Bill and Julie Gibbs were welcomed, as were Peter and Terry-Ann Tregear, who were inducted into our club as its newest members. Alan also mentioned the real 20th anniversary of the club, 6th May, coming up at the end of the week and for which celebrations were held during the AGM in March.

Terry-Ann and Peter gave a brief introduction to themselves. They have 3 sons and moved to Halliday Shores 6 years ago. They ran a B&B together for 5 years at Eden on the south coast which received recognition in TripAdvisor’s top 20 B&Bs in Australia. Terry-Ann loves singing and drama, while Peter enjoys making cocktails at the bar at the Shores and playing tennis, where he is also on the committee.

In the Treasurer’s report, John Clucas mentioned on his wife Kay’s behalf, that the financial details were included in the bulletin and that he and Kay will be away for 4 months travelling most of Australia in their car-caravan combo. Arrangements are being made for other committee members to cover their absences. He also mentioned that the new EFTPOS machine should be available for use at the next meeting.

Welfare Officer Marilyn Ewin mentioned that there were no reports of members with welfare issues and there were only two birthdays this month – her own and new member Peter Tregear. Members wished them a happy birthday with the singing of the very familiar birthday song.


 New member Peter            10-minute speaker              Guest Speaker

Tregear with Marilyn       Allison Maberly-Smith               Brad Grant


Activities Officer Jill Keenan stated that Norm Maberly-Smith would talk about the recent Yarrawonga Tour at the next meeting, with Ian Campbell preparing the photos. She listed upcoming outings which can be found on the Activities page. Regarding the Clubs and Pubs Club, Robin Billings mentioned she would stretch out the lunch outings to every second month during winter and the next one would be on 28th July at Sporties Tuncurry. President Alan announced that the next Cinema Group movie would be ‘Love Again’ on a date to be advised by email.

Vice President John Clucas introduced our 10-minute speaker for the meeting, Allison Maberly-Smith, who spoke about the Co-eee March, co-eee being the sound of the Australian bush and holding a special place in our history. In 1915, following the commencement of World War 1, this march gathered pace between Gilgandra and Sydney, calling co-eee along the way to gather recruits for the armed forces. By the time they reached Sydney on 12th November 1915, where they were welcomed by Prime Minister Billy Hughes and 100,000 people, they had walked 320 miles and collected 277 recruits. She mentioned her grandmother’s friend Eileen, whom she remembers from her childhood, a beautiful young woman with a photo of her partner on a side table who was unfortunately lost in the war.

Before morning tea, President Alan announced the winner of the caption competition with the best answer to the question: What did the mother say after one of her children asked, ‘Why are computers so smart.’ The winning entry was Margaret Lawson with the answer, ‘Because they have all the answers just like mothers.’

After morning tea, Speaker Liaison Officer Ian Campbell introduced Brad Grant, Venue Manager for Hallidays Sports Club, who outlined the future directions of the club. A summary of his presentation can be found on the Guest Speakers page.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 4th April 2023

In his first general meeting as president, Alan Bates, after welcoming all 41 members and 6 visitors to the meeting, and calling to mind the 20th anniversary celebrations last month, stated that he looked forward to another 20 years of Probus fellowship and friendship.

A positive start for the new Probus year was the induction into the club of new member Bob Dent from Diamond Beach. Bob gave a brief outline of his background and indicated that he was looking forward to being involved in the club going forward.

Welfare Officer Marilyn Ewin asked Probians celebrating birthdays to come forward to receive a small gift.


Pictured above are (L. to R.) President Alan Bates; Bob Dent with President Alan; April birthday Probians (L. to R.): Lynette Hester, David Gibson, Gwen Dean, Beryl Littlewood and Marilyn Ewin; and Bob Keenan.

President Alan directed members to the bulletin (Bulletins tab) for the latest Treasurer’s report. He reminded members that the annual membership fee of $25 per member was now due and payable by 20th April with information in the bulletin as to how to do this.

Activities Officer Jill Keenan outlined forthcoming outings and events, including the Yarrawonga Tour at the end of April, lunch at the Sports Club on 28th April and tour of Valley Industries’ nursery and beekeeping supplies factory on 16th May, meeting at the nursery at 10:30am. The use of the Shores bus is being followed up for this outing.

Further details of the above outings are included in the bulletin, the main alteration being that the lunch at Bonnie Hills Garden Centre on 18th April has been cancelled. Jill also thanked Robin Billings for arranging the Gourmet Clubs & Pubs Club outing to Wingham Hotel on Friday, 31st arch, which was attended and enjoyed by 10 members.

Beekeeper and member Bob Keenan spoke about the Varroa mite disease (VMD) in bees in his 10-minute slot before morning tea. Called the Varroa Destructor, this is a very serious threat to the beekeeping industry.

The mite was found in the port of Newcastle in June 2022, having been first identified in Asia 60 years ago. Maps showing the affected areas are coloured red for infected, purple for monitoring and blue for clear. Areas around Newcastle and Coffs Harbour are infected. Thousands if beehives have been destroyed in the infected areas, causing significant losses to beekeepers. Dept. of Primary Industries reimburse beekeepers $500 per hive.

A summary of the guest speaker’s presentation can be found at the Guest Speakers tab.

Annual General Meeting & 20th Anniversary - Tuesday, 7th March 2023


Seventy members and invited guests were welcomed to the 7th March Probus meeting at the Black Head surf club by President Lynette Hester, following which she introduced and led the Probus Plus Singers in an artistic interpretation of ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’ from the musical Oklahoma, the group following along with gusto creating a positive vibe at the start of the meeting. The National Anthem ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was also given a heart-felt treatment.


President Lynette Hester (standing at left) leads the Probus Plus Singers (L to R) Rhonda Gibson, Bev Baker, Wendy Pulsford, John Willingham (background), Wendy Pulsford, Terry-Ann Tregear, John Clucas, Peter Hester, Warwick Pulsford, Graham Lane for their version of 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning'. Photo at right: President Lynette delivers her annual report.

Following the National Anthem, President Lynette introduced the large number of visitors, including local VIPs, club associates and former members. The list included Elizabeth and Paul Tollis (Rotary Club of Taree-on-Manning), Gail and Robert Henley (Forster Shores Combined Probus Club), Lyn and John Finnie (former Editor, News of Our World), Ross Drinkwater (former club auditor) and Noel McManus (Lions Club VIP and former member). It was announced that VIP guest, Mayor Claire Pontin, would be arriving later in the morning.

Former members present included Irene and Henning Sonne, Margaret Waldock, Karen Derwent, James Baker, Trish Wootton, and Wendy and Warwick Pulsford. Several existing members added their voices to the Probus Plus Singers, and these were complemented by Terry-Ann Tregear, who was accompanied by her husband Peter, and John Willingham on guitar. Other visitors included Marguerita and Matthew Dilosa, and prospective member Bob Dent.  An apology was received from Christine Bates.

Annual General Meeting

The business of the Annual General Meeting was conducted in shortform prior to the commencement of the program to mark the twentieth anniversary. Reports from committee members for 2022-23 had been forwarded to members by email several days before the meeting. The reports can be found by selecting the Annual Reports tab.

Vice President Alan Bates thanked the outgoing President Lynette Hester and her committee for a successful year. President Lynette then delivered her annual report in which she thanked each committee member for their contribution to the club during the past year. Her full report can be found at the Annual Reports tab. Similarly for the Treasurer’s Report and Audit Report on the club’s finances. Ken Maloney was again appointed Auditor for the coming year.

The New Committee

Returning Officer Norm Maberly-Smith declared all positions vacant and announced that the following positions had been filled, for which there had been only one nominee per vacancy: President: Alan Bates; Vice President - John Clucas; Secretary - Moira Power; Minute Taker - Christine Bates; Treasurer - Kay Clucas; Welfare Officer - Marilyn Ewin; Activities Officer - Jill Keenan; Catering Officer - Bob Keenan; Membership Officer - Rhonda Gibson; Publicity Officer - Ian Campbell; Speaker Liaison Officer - Ian Campbell; Bulletin Editor - Stephanie Coomber (see photo below).


L to R: President Lynette delivers her annual report while Secretary John Clucas takes notes; (middle photo) Secretary John deivers the Treasurer's Report on behalf of his wife Kay; and (right photo) new President Alan Bates delivers his acceptance speech.

New President Alan Bates was inducted into his new role by outgoing President Lynette, and in his acceptance speech, thanked the committee for work done in the past year, and in particular, Past President Lynette, who had completed almost two years in the role.


The new committee: L to R: Lynette Hester, Alan Bates, John Clucas, Moira Power, Kay Clucas, Marilyn Ewin, Jill Keenan, Rhonda Gibson, Ian Campbell, Bob Keenan, Stephanie Coomber.

Thanks to Sheila Capperauld for assistance with the photography.

Go to 20th Anniversary tab for a continuation of this report, including a full write-up and photos of the celebration program.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 7th February 2023


The fun experienced at the Yarrawonga Linga Longa Tour and Valley Industries’ work with employees with disabilities were on display at the Hallidays Point Probus Club meeting held at the surf club on the 7th February to the enjoyment of 44 members.

President Lynette Hester, after opening the meeting with the National Anthem, mentioned her word for the month – ‘Others’. “I am very aware of how our Probus family members serve others in a wide variety of ways – including service groups, charities and volunteer organisations, and on a personal level to those around them. Thank you to all who serve ... Let's also encourage others to join us this year in our fun, friendship and fellowship,” President Lynette said.

Long term Member John Blacklock, following a rousing introduction by Vice President Alan Bates, took attendees through a slide presentation in his 10-minute speaker slot of the recent Yarrawonga tour attended by 9 members. The area surrounding the Murray River was ravaged by floodwaters although the weather itself was fine during the tour. The pictures showed many local attractions including massive murals on public buildings, and in particular, one inside the Uniting Church and one commemorating women in the army in WW11.

The guest speaker was Heidi Fede, Corporate Communications Manager, Valley Industries, spoke to her subject ‘My Life is Fantastic’. Select Guest Speakers tab for details.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 6th December 2022




The Christmas spirit was present from the opening of the meeting with an enthusiastic singing of the National Anthem by all 44 members and 6 guests present to the accompaniment of member Beth Norling on the keyboard.

President Lynette mentioned her chosen word for the month – Family. ‘We associate Christmas with family, with giving, with love. Today our Probus family sings together, laughs together, eats together and enjoys each other’s company,’ Lynette stated in her opening remarks. She mentioned some quotable quotes, the most poignant being, ‘Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten’, words by David Ogden Stiers.

Six visitors were asked to introduce themselves – Terry-Anne, Eta, Jo, Angela, David and John, most of whom were participants in the Probus Plus Singers who took part in the Christmas singalong later in the meeting. Members welcomed their guests with acclamation.

The meeting was the last for well-known couple and long-term Probus members, husband and wife team, Jack and Maureen McDonald, who are moving from Failford to a more manageable-sized property at Kanwal near Wyong in the new year. Probus Ambassador Ian Campbell paid tribute to Jack’s work on the committee during his 11 years with the club, primarily in the role of bulletin editor, and to Maureen for supporting him.

Fellow committee members John and Kay Clucas announced the recent achievement of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Activities Officer Jill Keenan reported on the recent Yarrawonga trip in which 9 members took part. A lot of fun was had by all, with the team winning first prize in the trivia competition and Mary Marshall being named as winner of the ‘sharp-as-a-tack’ award. Congratulations Mary and thanks to Jill for organising the tour!

The club’s annual Christmas songfest and singalong followed a sumptuous morning tea provided by Jill’s other half, Bob, with the musical program put together and directed by President Lynette. Assisting several club members on the ‘stage’ were visitors from Halliday Shores - Terry-Anne, Eta, Jo, Angela, and John, together forming the Probus Plus Singers. The keyboard accompaniment for the group was very capably provided by our very own Beth Norling.

The show got underway with a spirited interpretation of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, followed by ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’. The group then embarked on the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, with Eta providing a humorous narration between verses. Two solo performances were well received – John Clucas with ‘O Holy Night’ and Terry-Anne Tregear with the ‘Angel Carol’.

The segment was brought to a close with the singing of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, followed by grace-before-meals to the tune of ‘Edelweiss’. The giving of gifts by Santa (Vice-President Alan Bates) was the last item on the agenda before President Lynette closed the meeting.

Members and visitors then travelled to the Coopernook Hotel for their annual Christmas lunch, consisting of a very-well prepared and presented two-meat alternative-drop roast dinner and traditional Christmas desserts. An enjoyable time was had by all, with departing attendees extending Christmas wishes to each other. See Outings for pictures.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 1st November 2022



Our November general meeting always falls on Melbourne Cup Day, both being held on 1st Tuesday. For several years we endeavoured to have a guest speaker with an equestrian topic, but persons with the know-how to speak on this subject were generally tied up on the day with cup-related activities.

President Lynette Hester’s opening remarks at the meeting had however an equine flavour, drawing attendees’ attention to the inspirational story of Michelle Payne, as told in the film, ‘Ride Like a Girl’. Michelle is the only female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup (in 1915) and (to quote Lynette) ‘she had to battle prejudice and injury to meet her goal against what often seemed impossible odds. The inspiration lies largely in the perseverance involved in meeting her goal. We are therefore adopting ‘Perseverance’ as the word of the month. ‘Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose’ Josh Ship’. Another quote mentioned by Lynette, was ‘Perseverance is not a long race, it is many short races one after the other (Walter Elliot)’.   

Several ladies were photographed with their fascinators, and Activities Officer Jill Keenan won the costume of the day award for her jockey outfit. Morning tea followed Alan Bates’ clever Christmas quiz in the 10-minute speaker slot, and Catering Office Bob ‘the Bee-man’ Keenan put on another wonderful selection of goodies for morning tea.

Following morning tea, guest speaker Heather McLaughlin spoke on the subject of effective altruism; i.e. doing good better. She gave some useful advice to members about making the most of the limited funds most people have available for giving away to others. See Guest Speakers tab for details of her presentation.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 4th October 2022


The annual celebration of Probus Day was the focus for President Lynette Hester’s word for the month of October – Celebrate – and 46 members and 6 guests were ushered to their seats to the strains of the 1980 song ‘Celebration’ by American band Kool & the Gang. On this day club members acknowledge the positive influence Probus has had on their social lives and showcase the club as a promotion to potential new members.

Probus Day was highlighted by a guest presentation on conserving our koalas (more below) and this was accompanied by a specially prepared cake in the form of a koala that was on full display at the start of the meeting. In her opening remarks, President Lynette thanked local artisan, Sylvia Donoghue, who was present, for making and decorating the cake, and to those members who dressed in Probus colours – blue and gold – for the occasion.

Celebrating birthdays in October and present at the meeting were – John Clucas, Marg Lock, Marea Binskin, Mary Marshall, Peter Hester and Guy Struthers. Activities Officer Jill Keenan confirmed forthcoming events – 18th October, the next BBQ & Boules at Black Head Reserve; 6th November, 6-day Yarrawonga Tour departs; and 6th December, Christmas lunch at Coopernook Hotel, $20pp, more details to follow.

The induction of new member, Leo ‘Sno’ Moy, was undertaken by President Lynette, who presented ‘Sno’ with his membership pack, together with a warm welcome to the club. In his response, ‘Sno’ mentioned that he was born at Nabiac in 1939, and his claim to fame is that he was postmaster at the Hallidays Point Post Office, and operated it together with his late wife, Olga, for 52 years in premises on Black Head Beach now known as Waves.

In his 10-minute allocation, Secretary John Clucas outlined why he likes to sing, which all started with his family’s involvement in church choirs. He stated that singing brings him a lot of enjoyment, especially harmonizing. An invitation from a neighbour at Gosford many years ago saw the start of his barber shop quartet days, with a group that became known as ‘4 on the Floor’, eventually competing in competitions throughout Australia and New Zealand, and even as far away as Honolulu.

Morning tea was proclaimed with the official cutting of the koala cake by President Lynette, accompanied by its maker, Sylvia, followed by the guest presentation.

Guest speaker Mathew Bell, Senior Ecologist for MidCoast Council spoke on the protection of koalas in our region. See Guest Speakers tab for details of his presentation.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 6th September 2022


Spring was the inspiration for President Lynette Hester’s word for the month – Fragrance. Forty-two members and four guests listened attentively as President Lynette explained that the word fragrance brings many things to mind, such as celebrating spring together, the flowers, music captivating the senses, and she thanked those who came out in florals and other spring attire, adding colour to our meeting.

Five members celebrating birthdays in September were present - Isobel Prindable, Cherilyn Leckner, Lorraine Blacklock, Russell Smith and Margaret Giggins (see picture).

Activities Officer Jill Keenan reported on a number of activities on offer between September and Christmas. 

  • 15 members have registered for the High Tea at the Red Dove Café following today's meeting.
  • Cinema & Café Club*, Alan Bates will advise next movie when information is available.
  • 11th September at 2pm, ‘Music of the Night’ at the Manning Entertainment Centre. Concession tickets $63.50. No group booking arranged.
  • 29th September, Clubs & Pubs Club* next outing at Forster Bowling Club, Eastern Tiger Rest., 12noon.
  • 18th October will be the next BBQ & Boules at Black Head Reserve. Current champion ‘Bouler’ is Russell Smith. Helen Bush will organise the sporting event, with Jill and Bob Keenan doing the catering.
  • 6th November, 6-day Yarrawonga Tour is looking good with 9 registrations so far; bookings for this trip are still open.
  • 6th December, Christmas lunch at Coopernook Hotel, $20pp, details to follow.

President Lynette thanked those members for supporting club activities, especially the 2 new sub-clubs (*).

Vice President Alan Bates introduced the 10-minute speaker, Past President Peter Hester. Peter introduced his topic, ‘To Zoom or Not to Zoom’, with a musical video clip ‘Zoom, Zoom, Zoom’, courtesy of carmaker, Mazda. Gotta love technology! He indicated how he uses Hey Google to quickly retrieve information. We now use technology for all sorts of things, paying bills, paying at the checkout, etc., which are available on phone or watch. A medallion that hangs on a lanyard around the neck is now used by cruise lines to give access to everything onboard a cruise ship. He found Zoom meetings very useful, such as for online school lessons for students in Myanmar.

Following a sumptuous morning tea, Speaker Liaison Officer Ian Campbell introduced the guest speaker, Michael Tartt, Prop. Tartt Café in Wharf Street, Forster, who took us through the history of the human race’s indulgence with coffee. See Guest Speakers for summary write-up of this presentation. Michael invited members to sample different coffee flavours as they departed. Ian thanked Michael for his address and presented him with a certificate of appreciation and a small gift.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 2nd August 2022


A strong showing of 41 members and 1 guest (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 Maberly-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.

New member Russell Smith spoke about the Make A Wish Australia organisation which provides Hope, Strength and Joy to seriously ill children and their families. Secretary John Clucas revealed that his grand niece had been a recipient of such kindness in meeting members of the Australian Ballet at the Sydney Opera House as her wish, together with all her family. See Guest Speakers tab for further information about Russell's presentation.

General Meeting - Tuesday, 5th July 2022



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 2022



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.