Blog Archive

Friday, 27 March 2020

MARCH 2020

Probus Walkers at Dawes Point

Our last walk until.......??

Monday, 23 March 2020

Newsletter 335                                 17 March 2020 

President’s Report:   Last month I began my report with Dorothea Mackellar writing about “flood and fire and famine” in her famous poem.  I now realise she didn’t mention “pestilence” or a shortage of loo paper!  Hopefully none of our members has been affected by the dreaded coronavirus, although I did hear that a few have been forced to change travel plans.  Let’s hope that we soon see the end of these worrying times.

No problems with last week’s walk organised by Oriel.  A happy band of 14 met at
Lang Park in York Street and after a coffee in the lovely café at St. Patrick’s Church
(thoroughly recommended) we set out to Circular Quay and on via Dawes Point and Walsh Bay to Barangaroo and Darling Harbour where the walkers lunched.  Fortified they continued to St. Martin’s Tower Garden, a hidden gem at the corner of Market and Clarence Street.

Last month’s outing to Manly Art Gallery did not begin well.  It was closed for the week!  But this early setback did not deter our members and we found other ways to enjoy what was a glorious day weatherwise.  After the obligatory coffee break, it was a walk to Shelly Beach and Cabbage Tree Bay for the more active and a wander around the Corso for others.  Everyone met up for lunch at the Ivanhoe Hotel before many took a relaxing ferry ride back to Circular Quay.

A reminder that March has a 5th Tuesday and that means a lunch.  Robin S has proposed members gather at The Laneway Café, 457 Miller St., Cammeray at 12 noon.

Well, this is my final newsletter report as your President and today at the AGM I will welcome Robin into the chair.  I’m sure she will do a fine job and preside over what promises to be an exciting year.  I must also thank our retiring committee members, Secretary Jeanette G, Treasurer Paul Os and Ex-President Patrick Wale.  I’m sure you’ll all agree they’ve done a wonderful job these last three years.

Membership Report:  Today we welcome two new members, Peggy B and Jeanette F
, which brings our total to 56 (37 women and 19 men).

Many Happy Returns of the Day for your March Birthday:  Kristina T 01, Jeanette F 06, Don B 08, Lis T 18, Fran McC 27, and Elizabeth S 30.

Note:  All our Probus meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of every month at 10:15am.  The next meeting will be held on the 21st of April 2020.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend. 

Program of Activities 

Guest Speakers:  At today’s AGM, a few of our Club Members will give short talks, and Clive  will present some poetry.  Next month, we will welcome Colin Piper, who is a percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Probus Walkers:  Tuesday April 14th, 2020.  South Head Heritage Trail, Watsons Bay. 
On arriving at Watsons Bay we will start with a coffee at the café before proceeding up to the Gap.  We continue along the South Head Heritage Trail which will take us to Hornby Light Station where great views of the harbour can be seen.  On our return we will pass by Lady Bay Beach and cross Camp Cove beach to the Watson Bay Hotel for lunch/ refreshments.  Walk classed as Medium with steps. 
MEET:  At Circular Quay Wharf 4 at 10:00am to catch the 10:17am ferry. 

Probus Outings:  Tuesday March 24th 2020.  Bygone Beautys Treasured Teapot Museum and Tearooms. 
We will car pool to the Museum, located at 20 Grose St., Leura.  We are booked in for Devonshire Tea at 10:30am, with lunch at about 1:00pm.  There will be plenty of time to cruise the displays or explore the area or both! 
Tuesday April 28th.  A trip up the Parramatta River to. . . .Parramatta!  We will stop at Cockatoo Island for morning tea, with lunch in Parramatta, and return at our leisure. 
We will leave from Circular Quay on the 9:37am ferry, so plan to meet at the wharf by 9:30am.  Check at the wharf for wharf departure number. 
Fifth Tuesday Luncheon:  March 31st at 12 Noon at The Laneway Café, 457 Miller St., Cammeray, (9460 1602).   There is a car park adjacent the café. 
A note of interest from Douglas :  All who went on the Tasmanian trip will remember the play, “The Ship That Never Was”.  There is now a book about this called “Ten Rogues”, by Peter Grose.  It is in the Chatswood Library. 

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Newsletter 334                              18 February 2020

President’s Report:

                                 Core of my heart, my country
                                  Land of the Rainbow Gold
                                  For flood and fire and famine
                                  She pays us back threefold

So wrote Dorothea Mackellar in 1904.  Well, I think we’re definitely due to be paid back threefold after months of devastating fires followed by a dramatic few days of torrential rain and dreadful floods.  Luckily no sign of famine and at least the dams are filling up once more.  I was due to attend an open-air Shakespeare performance of The Tempest at Mahratta House that weekend— naturally it was cancelled due to Wahroonga’s other ‘tempest’!

Luckily the sun reappeared last Tuesday enabling a number of us to gather for a delicious three-course lunch at The Little Snail in Pyrmont.  Many thanks to Oriel for organising what has become a most enjoyable regular February event.

We received a sad email from Terry N to say that his wife Leonie passed away on January 26 after a sudden illness.  The funeral and celebration of her life was held at Northern Suburbs Crematorium.  Terry wrote, “We, the family, were lucky we booked the largest chapel because it was nearly full to overflowing”.  Leonie and Terry had only been members for 18 months but he said, “On behalf of both of us, we did enjoy our brief intermittent attendance”.  We will miss them both.

Membership Report:  Our membership is now 54 (35 women and 19 men).

Many Happy Returns of the Day for Your February Birthday:  Joan H 04, Fran McL 04, Noreen B25, Brenda O 26, and John G 29.

Program of Activities 

Guest Speaker:  Today we welcome Jennifer Newman, who will talk to us about the 250th Anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage to Australia.

Probus Walkers:  Tuesday March 10, 2020.  Lang Park to the Secret Garden Darling Harbour.
This walk of approx. 3.5klms will start at Lang Park with a coffee at the Courtyard Café before continuing to Circular Quay following the path to Dawes Point.  We continue to the beautiful sandstone and landscaping of Barangaroo and into Darling Harbour which will give us access to the Secret Garden.  Flat walking with great views of the harbour.  Refreshments at one of the many restaurants advertising lunch specials.
MEET:  At Lang Park, York Street at 10:00am.
Probus Outings:  Tuesday February 25, Manly Art Gallery and Museum.
The Manly Art Gallery and Museum, on the West Esplanade in Manly, was the first metropolitan-based regional gallery in New South Wales, and holds an extensive collection of Australian Ceramics and 130 works by Antonio Dattilo Rubbo. 
Meet at the entrance to the Museum at 10:00am.  Lunch will be at one of the  local

Tuesday March 24,  Bygone Beautys Reasured Teapot Museum and Tearooms/
We will car pool to the Museum, located at 20 Grose St., Leura.  We are booked in for Devonsjire Tea at 10:30, with lunch at about 1:00pm.  There will be plenty of time to cruise the displays or explore the area or both!

Note:  All our Probus meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of every month at 10:15am.  The next meeting will be held on the 17th of March 2020.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Newsletter 333                                21 January 2020

President’s Report:  Happy New Year to you all and welcome back to our monthly Probus meetings!  I trust everyone has enjoyed their break despite the shocking bushfires that have raged up and down the coast.  I have just returned from a week of playing golf in New Zealand where I managed to escape the awful smoke that has engulfed Sydney this past couple of months.  The North Island was relatively clear although the locals were still complaining that Aussie smoke had even reached the Land of the Long White Cloud.  All of us can remember the very successful Christmas lunch were we could barely see Middle Harbour from the golf club.  Well, Auckland was nothing remotely like that!

We’ve begun the New Year with the sad news that Jo Tuor, one of our longestserving members passed away on New Year’s Day.  Four of us, representing Probus, went along to her funeral which was held at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium.  In what was a lovely celebration of her life, we were treated to a video of Jo’s speech she gave to family and friends at her 90th birthday last year and heard some interesting and amusing stories from her past.  Born in Dagenham in Essex, Jo came to Australia in the early 1950s and settled in Sydney where she worked as a manager with FAI, the insurance company.  After retiring, Jo joined North Sydney Probus where she has been a member for over 20 years.
Jo enjoyed listening to ABC radio so Daniel, one of her young grandsons, dressed as a very junior Freddie Mercury, got up to perform Queen’s song Radio Ga Ga.  It was most touching, although I think Jo was far from ‘Ga Ga’!  She will be sadly missed.

Membership Report:  Our membership is now 56 (36 women and 20 men). 

Many Happy Returns of the Day for Your January  Birthday:   Shelagh K 05, Barrie G 11, Judy McD12, and Judy I 21. 

Guest Speaker:  Today we welcome Rafaele Joudry who will talk to us about Sound Therapy. 

Probus Walkers:  Tuesday 11th February 2020.  Lunch at The Little Snail, 90 Murray Street, Pyrmont. 
There will be a luncheon on our normal walking day.  Walkers and non-walkers are welcome. 
TRANSPORT:  Park Street bus stop (between Pitt and George Sts., near Woolworths) bus 389 to Maritime Museum (runs every 10 minutes).  Alight from bus at last bus stop (Maritime Museum) and walk up to Murray Street and then LEFT over the pedestrian crossing to The Little Snail. 
TIME:  12 Noon.  CUISINE:  French, three courses, 5/6 choices each course.  COST: $43.00 (includes $1.00 tip). 
Steak $3 extra.  Alcohol and any additional side dishes are extra.  If you would like to attend, please list your name today or advise Oriel (9438 3893) by Wednesday 5th February. 

Probus Outings: 
Tuesday 28th January 2020.  To Thirroul Beach front.  Morning tea at Mt. Keira.  Lunch at “The Pavilion”.  Hopefully we will have a little time to explore or indeed have a dip!  There is a saltwater pool for toes, or more!  Costs:  Bus $25, morning tea and lunch at own expense.  Bus leaves at 9:00am. 
Tuesday 25th February 2020.  Gosford with “Baby Alligator” experience!  Lunch venue TBA.  Costs:  Bus $25, Entry $25.  Bus leaves at 9:00am. 
If you will require change, please bring a $5 note!  

Note:  All our Probus meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of every month at 10:15am.  The next meeting will be held on the 18th of February 2020. The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Newsletter 332                    19 November 2019 

President’s Report:  First of all I would like to welcome home our band of happy travellers from their successful week on Norfolk Island.  From all accounts the trip was a great success and accommodation and hospitality far more enjoyable than that endured by the original guests over 200 years ago!  Clive will give us a full report at today’s meeting and for that I thank him.
 I must also thank Paul B most sincerely for stepping in as our speaker last month when the lady who was expected to give a talk on Norfolk Island failed to arrive.  Paul’s presentation on the flat earth believers was most informative and highly amusing.

The Christmas lunch on December 10 will soon be upon us.  Those of you who missed registering last month can record your names at the table where you can check the list of people who will be coming.  Our Treasurer Paul Odgers is happy to receive your $45 if you have not already paid.  The lunch will be a buffet like last year and entertainment will be provided by Robyn Brookfield and Julie Batty, two very talented musicians who used to play in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

At last month’s committee meeting it was noted that many of our more recent inductees have not received a membership card from Probus South Pacific Limited.  I have chased this up and now have in my possession 16 cards which I will endeavour to hand out today. 

Membership Report:  Our membership stands at 55 (35 women and 20 men). 

Many Happy Returns of the Day for your November Birthday:  Clive W 09, Robin S 14, Marie A 15, Mary Ann I 21, and Evelyn K 26. 

Guest Speaker:  Today we welcome Colin Piper, who will tell us about his time as a percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. 
Note:  All our Probus meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of every month at 10:15am.  The next meeting will be held on 21st January 2020.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend. 

Program of Activities:

Probus Walkers: Tuesday 3rd December 2019.  Cremorne to Mosman Bay. 
Our traditional “Kent Memorial Walk” will commence by ferry from Circular Quay to Cremorne, where a coffee can be enjoyed at the wharf before proceeding to Cremorne 
Point to see the views.  We continue along the scenic harbourside path enjoying the gardens and glimpses of the harbour to Mosman Bay.  At Mosman we catch a bus to Spit Junction for lunch at The Mosman Hotel.  Non-walkers are welcome to join us at the hotel around 12 noon. 

MEET:  At Circular Quay 9:20am Wharf 4, to catch the 9:30am ferry. 

Probus Outings:  Tuesday 26th November.  We are off to Blackheath to see the Rhododendrons.  Bus will depart at 9:00am.  Cost: $25.  Please bring a $5 note if requiring change.  Also bring a bottle of water to ensure you remain hydrated while walking around.  No outing in December due to Christmas lunch on December 10th. 

Tuesday 28th January is our next outing.  Due to increasing heat of the season and our aging population (you may take me as an example) and against tradition, I am not planning a train journey!  Details to be confirmed, but we will bus to a waterside location. 

I wish everyone an enjoyable Christmas and a wonderful 2020.  Hope to see you all at the Christmas dinner—it is looking like a good entertainment package.  

Tuesday 10th December:  Christmas Lunch at the Northbridge Golf Club, l2 noon. 

Photos of recent outings:
Maritime Museum October 2019 and Norfolk Island Trip

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Newsletter 331                                15 October 2019

President’s Report: 
It’s good to be back with you all after my month’s holiday in England.  First of all a huge thank you to Robin Solomon, our Vice President, who stepped in to chair last month’s meeting.  Not only did she do a wonderful job but she also managed to secure two talented musicians for the entertainment at this year’s Christmas lunch.

Which brings me very neatly to December 10th, the date of our exciting Christmas celebration.  We need to finalise numbers soon, so could you please put your name down on the sheet on the table, plus any guest you plan to bring.  The lunch  will be in the form of a buffet here at the club like last year, which proved very popular.  I will let you know the cost once it has been finalised.

While I was in England I was lucky enough to be in Cambridge when the university town staged their ‘Open Cambridge’ weekend.  I secured tickets to a private viewing of the treasures held in Queens College library, had a guided tour of landmarks connected with the Spies of Cambridge, and attended a presentation at Fenners Cricket Ground detailing all the contributions Cambridge has made to the world of sport.  While we were waiting, who should arrive but our Probus friends, Douglas and Mary Ann .  A happy coincidence indeed!

Today we welcome Sue Brian as our speaker.  Sue will speak about Norfolk Island which will be of particular interest to members about to take off for a week’s holiday on the island.  Norfolk has a rich history so even for those of us not going, it is sure to be a fascinating talk.

Membership Report:  Our membership stands at 55 (35 women and 20 men).

Many Happy Returns of the Day for Your October Birthday:  Terry N 06, George B 10, Eleanor Sh26, and Joan B 29.

Guest Speakers:  As noted in the President’s report, above, Sue Brian will talk to us today about Norfolk Island.  Next month, Kevin Fitzpatrick joins us and his subject is Antarctica.

Note:  All our Probus meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of every month at 10:15am.  The next meeting will be held on 19th November.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend.

Probus Walkers:
 Tuesday 12th November.    Bronte to Bondi Beach.
This walk is an annual event for our walkers which is very enjoyable.  Although the Sculptures-by-the-Sea exhibits will be over, the upside is there will be fewer people along the pathway.  The path
has a gradient classed as medium with many steps.  Lunch/refreshments will be at The Icebergs Club (photo ID required).
MEET:  At the Liverpool Street bus stop (just around the corner from the Museum Station, Elizabeth St.,) at 9:30am to catch the next 333 bus to Bondi Junction Interchange Stand E where we take the 379 bus to Bronte.

Probus Outings:
 Tuesday 22nd October.  Maritime Museum.  The Australian National
Museum is a federally operated maritime museum at 2 Murray St., Darling Harbour, Sydney.  Meet at the Museum at 10:15am.  We will have a tour conducted by volunteers, and the cost is $16 (a 20% discount).  A list of transport options is available on the Museum website, and will also be available at today’s meeting.  The tour starts at 10:30am.  We will have lunch at the café on site as there is much to explore.

Tuesday 26th November.  Rhododendron Garden, Blackheath.  We will travel by bus.  The rhododendrons should be in glorious full bloom!  Bus departs at 9:00am.  Lunch TBA.  This is our last outing of 2019.

Recommended Books (suggestions from Clive W)

The Almost Nearly Perfect People, by Michael Booth.  The author, an English writer married to a Dane and now living in Denmark, examines the foibles of the Nordic countries, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.  He uses his own observations as well as interviews with local journalists, academics and even politicians.  It is both an analytical and sometimes humorous overview of similarities and differences.  It appears they all have the capacity for a copious alcohol consumption.

East West Street by Philippe Sands.  The author is an English barrister and Professor of Law who has been involved in several high profile international cases.  This is a true story about two Polish lawyers from what is now Lviv, both taught by the same professor, and who both escaped Poland at the time of the Nazi invasion.  One fled to England and became a professor of law at Cambridge and the other fled to the USA becoming a law professor at Duke University.  Both contributed significantly to the Nuremberg trials, one being responsible for the introduction of crimes against humanity and the other crimes of genocide.  Neither was part of the legal lexicon until that time.  The author finds his own family heritage also has derivations in Lviv.  A fascinating read. 
 Photos from Ivan’s trip.  A larger, clearer and captioned version may be viewed at the table at the back of the meeting room.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Newsletter 330                            17 September 2019

President’s Report:   As I am away in the UK at present I thought this month I would give you a little background to the origins of the Probus movement.  When I began my research I was intrigued to learn that the first ‘Probus’ club was set up in 1965 by Rotary members in the Hertfordshire town of Welwyn Garden City.  It is a place very familiar to me as I grew up only six miles away and for some time worked as a reporter on the Welwyn Times.  I may well be visiting friends there while you read this newsletter.

The Club was called the Campus Club after the name of a park in the town centre, somewhere I spent many a lunchbreak!  I notice the club is still known as that although it operates under the Probus banner.  The idea was to provide a club for retired and semi-retired business and professional men—often ex-commuters to London—and even today it still operates as a ‘men only’ club!  A second similar club in Caterham, Surrey began in 1966, introducing the name ‘Probus’ for Professional Business.  This too is still a ‘men only’ club, meeting once a month for lunch followed by a speaker.
Probus arrived in the Southern Hemisphere after a New Zealand Rotarian, Gordon Roatz, visited his wife’s family in Scotland.  One of the cousins went to a Probus club and it transpired that Rotary had sponsored it.  Gordon felt the concept was worth introducing to the growing number of retired residents in his hometown not far north of Wellington.  The Probus Club of Kapiti Coast began in 1974 with 12 members and it is recorded at the first meeting that the ladies served morning tea!  The success soon spread to Australia when Hunters Hill opened a club in 1976.  Seven years later The Probus Club of North Sydney became the first mixed Probus club in Australia—quite a claim to fame!  Across the world Probus is now in 23 countries with over 4000 clubs and almost half a million members. 

Membership Report:  Our membership stands at 56 (36 women and 20 men).  News was received a few days ago that long term member Geoff C passed away recently.  Geoff had been inactive for quite some time, but his son Ross wrote that his father had very much enjoyed his time spent in our Club.

Many Happy Returns of the Day for your September Birthday:  Paul O 01, Gary P 13, Douglas I 17, Margaret R 20, Patrick W 20, Polly G 29.

Guest Speaker:  Today we welcome Robin Brookfield, who will discuss (and demonstrate!) the world of music.  Next month Sue Brian will talk to us about Norfolk Island.

Note:  All our Probus meetings are generally held on the third Tuesday of every month at 10:15am.  The next meeting will be held on 15th October.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15 on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend.

Probus Walkers Tuesday 8th October:  Stoney Range Botanic Reserve + Bada Muru Walk to Curl Curl Beach.
On this walk we will visit the Stoney Ridge Botanic Reserve where many of the species have their botanical identification tags.  From here we will continue along Harbor Road and take the Bada
Muru Walk following Greendale Creek to John Fisher Park and ending at Curl Curl Beach and a bus to Manly.
Refreshment/lunch at Manly or en route at Harbord Diggers Club.
MEET: 9:15am at Stand D in Carrington Street, Wynyard to catch the 180 bus at 9:34am to Dee Why.

Probus Outings: 
Tuesday 24th September:  Fairground Follies, Bowral.
Fairground Follies offers a fascinating space, filled with an Antique Mechanical Music Museum.  This warehouse space displays a replica of a traditional fairground.  It houses some pieces which are now unique.  Bowral is a long trip, so departure by bus is at 8 am.  Costs:  Bus $30, Entry $33.  Morning tea on arrival, and the tour commences at 10:15am.  Lunch TBA.

Tuesday 22nd October. Maritime Museum.  The Australian National Maritime Museum is a federally operated maritime museum at 2 Murray St. in Darling Harbour, Sydney.  Meet at the Museum at 10:30am.  We will have a tour conducted by volunteers.   Entry fee is $16 (a 20% discount), and a list of transport options is available on the Museum website, or from Evelyn.

Extra Tuesday Lunch 1st October:  A table has been booked at the Watergrill Restaurant in the Sydney Rowers Club, 613 Great North Road, Abbotsford for 12 midday.  The car park holds 101 spaces but it is highly recommended we take the ferry from Wharf 5 in Circular Quay at 11:07am to arrive at Abbotsford Wharf at 11:44am.  The wharf is only a 50 metre stroll to the club.  Note that identification is required at the club if you are not a member.

Recent Books of Interest 
Educated, by Tara Westover.  In this memoir, Westover details her childhood as the daughter of Mormon fundamentalists in rural Idaho.  She grew up without doctors or an awareness of world history or formal schooling.  But with the encouragement of one of her brothers, she got into University and now holds a doctorate from Cambridge.  Educated was No. 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers for several weeks.
A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles.  This novel is a fun, clever and surprisingly upbeat look at Russian history through the eyes of one man.  At the beginning of the book, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is sentenced to spend his life under house arrest  in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel.  It’s 1922, and the Bolsheviks have just taken power of the newly formed Soviet Union.  The book follows the Count for the next thirty years as he makes the most of his life despite its limitations.