Blog Archive

Wednesday, 8 July 2020


NEWSLETTER       JULY   2020  


Welcome to our July newsletter! It was wonderful to see so many of you at the lunch at Northbridge Golf Club. Many thanks to Evelyn for making it happen. And a big thank you to Oriel for organising the walk and get together at Tunks Park earlier in the month. I believe we are to storm the park and coffee wagon once more on July 14, Bastille Day!
With the success of the lunch, it is with great pleasure that I announce we will now be able to hold our long-delayed AGM this month, on Tuesday, July 21, starting at 11am. Doreen, the catering manager at the club, has told us they can have up to 48 people as long as all the social distancing rules are observed. No coffee break can be held, but guests are willing to stay on for lunch afterwards. We will be collecting numbers soon.
Doreen contacted me with the following list of requirements for the holding of the AGM and lunch.

        Maximum numbers would be 48.
       I am waiting for Health Order to come into effect July 1 to be published.
       My understanding is No mingling.
       No standing and talking.
       NO shared food stations, which means no tea and coffee station.
       If you think you can proceed with these restrictions let me know.
       If so, and your guests would like to stay for lunch, I will need guest
numbers please.

The holding of the AGM represents the end of my extended year as your President as I pass the chain of office and bell over to Robin Sn. It has been a full and most enjoyable year, despite the recent problems and I thank you all for your support. Below you’ll find my annual report, which was written some months ago, so please excuse any errors or omissions.
I have not made any mention of the past few months, which have been a difficult time for everyone. But let’s hope the worst of the pandemic is now over and we can soon be holding our regular monthly meetings, walks and outings once more.


Another year passes and it is my pleasure to present the annual report of what has been another exciting year for North Sydney Probus Club.
Despite losing a few members who have moved away we have increased our numbers slightly and membership now stands at 56. We’re always hoping to increase our ranks so if anyone has friends at a loose end on a Tuesday, bring them along!
I’d like to thank the committee for all the work they do and especially Secretary Jeanette Garner, Treasurer Paul Os and Ex-President Patrick W, who are retiring, having done a wonderful job over the past 3 years. But I must add that everyone on the committee has made my role as President a fairly easy one.
During the year, thanks to Douglas, we have enjoyed varied and interesting talks from our guest speakers. A couple that stood out were Annette Janic, who told us her mother’s harrowing story as a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany and her eventual escape to Australia as a refugee.  We also enjoyed broadcaster Leigh Hatcher’s stories of his life in television and enduring a crippling illness that kept him housebound for some two years. And of course, who can forget Paul Barclay’s amusing presentation on the history of the flat-earthers!
Evelyn has done a super job organising our outings that included the fascinating SPASM Museum at Gladesville Hospital, the brilliant Fairground Follies at Bowral and Sydney’s own Maritime Museum. Another memorable day was visiting Ian S’ home to inspect and listen to his wonderful collection of mechanical instruments.
Oriel has once again kept us fit with an excellent variety of walks in different parts of the city. Canada Bay, Curl Curl, Concord to Rhodes and La Perouse to Henry Head were just a few of the hugely enjoyable jaunts. And from what I can remember we were mostly blessed with the beautiful weather that Oriel organised!
A highlight of the year was the week some of our members spent in Norfolk Island. This former penal colony and home to descendants of the Bounty mutineers is steeped in history and our party loved exploring the island and enjoying the hospitality of the locals. Douglas, as tour leader, did a terrific job organising the trip.
Our Christmas lunch was another great success, especially as we were treated to some glorious music by two retired Sydney Symphony Orchestra members, Robin Brookfield and Julie Batty. Thanks must go to Robin S for organising these two talented musicians.
So my year as President comes to an end – a time I have thoroughly enjoyed. I now pass the mantle to our Vice-President Robin who has already done a sterling job twice standing in for me, for which I thank her.


PROBUS  Walk / Get together      Oriel T       

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Our social Get Together in June at Tunks Park, Northbridge proved to be very successful so we have decided to repeat the format for July.

MEET: Tunks Park at 10.30am in the parking area (there is plenty of parking)
and proceed to walk around the park and maybe traverse part of Flat Rock
Gully – we could do this a couple of times to stretch the legs, if desired.
Bring your own chair, sandwich/picnic lunch for a social chat with other
members after the walk. The mobile Coffee Van will be there.

There are public toilets at the park.

We are aiming to be a little more adventurous in August and go further afield , that is, venturing onto public transport.

PHOTO COMPETITION    -    Judge   Shelagh K

This entry is the only one that actually shared with me, a real feeling of the person, the place and the situation.

Art work by an Alaskan Inuit, called Robert Mayokuk.  The soulful look on her face  
is particularly poignant and reminds me of the rigorous climate and rugged landscape 
in which they live. We visited shortly after an earthquake, the results of which left some
house gables protruding from the ground.

Clive W

Macintosh HD:Users:Robin:Downloads:IMG-3303.jpg
NB: Prizes for both photo competitions will be given at our meeting on 21st July.


IAN’S QUIZ   -  Ian S

1.            According to Noel Coward who goes out in the midday sun?

2.            What beetle was a religious symbol in ancient Egypt?

3.            Which Sydney suburb is an anagram of HORDES?

4.            Which French singer was known as “The Little Sparrow”?

5.            What is myopia commonly known as?

6.            Whose was “The face that launched a thousand ships”?

7.            What paste is used to hold glass in windows?

8.            What is the capital of Latvia?

9.            Who invented celluloid?

10.        Which Michelangelo statue is in Florence?




NEW MEMBERS    -   Louise L         

From Potter to Cougar

I was born in Ottawa to French Canadian parents.  The eldest of four, my childhood was a happy one with long summers by the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers. I was schooled in the French Catholic system until university where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Luckily, I learned English at an early age from my Scottish aunt.

I always wanted to see the world. At 18, I travelled to Mexico by bus with university students to do community development in the mountains of the state of Hidalgo where I became fluent in Spanish.   A snorkelling experience in Isla Mujeres sparked a lifelong passion for this colourful world.

I worked as a social worker and married my best uni friend with whom I share my beautiful daughter. We travelled extensively through the US and Canada in our iconic 70’s van complete with shag carpeted ceiling. We separated after 10 years but remain good friends.

While doing an applied arts certificate, I fell in love with clay. I became a potter, doing exhibitions and teaching. I opened an arts and craft boutique as a showplace for local artists. A very happy time but not very financially viable so I became a successful real estate agent until I met my present husband
Together we are exploring the world. Living in Luxembourg and now in Australia we have travelled to more than 40 countries. My passion for snorkelling has taken me from the Barrier Reef to Western Australia swimming with the whale sharks, to the lagoons of Bora Bora and the Galapagos.

Since retiring from paid work, I have renovated our home, engaged in volunteer work and attended many classes such as line dancing, Tai Chi, yoga, Ikebana. I also enjoy walking, swimming, kayaking, reading and music.

I am now the proud grandmother of a nine-year-old lovely girl. My daughter studied law and lives in Montreal with her French Canadian husband. We visit regularly in person and online.

By now you must be wondering where is the cougar?

Well I made a very gutsy decision in marrying a much younger man but it was the right one as we have had a very happy and exciting life and will be celebrating 30 years of marriage in September.  Covid 19 permitting, we will be celebrating our anniversary in Antartica at Christmas.


In my early teens, I developed a fascination with the South Pacific.  In 1967, I was able to take a cruise with Matson Lines  - 6 weeks through the islands, New Zealand, and Australia.  It was on this trip that I discovered Sydney and decided that I wanted to live here.  I returned to the States to finish my degree and look into immigrating to Australia.
 To my delight, I discovered that I was eligible to be an assisted passage migrant as long as I stayed for two years.  In June 1969, I graduated and in August I departed by freighter from Brooklyn; six weeks later I arrived in Sydney.
I had a hotel booking for one week.  With the help of a local Rotarian, I looked for work and after four days I was offered a position as trainee programmer at the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac). I worked for them for six years, until I had my first child, becoming a Senior Systems Analyst.  Within the next four days I found a share flat in Kirribilli; my first flat mates remain among my closest friends!  I have never looked back!


- Elizabeth S

I have been interested to observe amongst my friends the different ways in which they have reacted to the pandemic and lockdown.  Most have welcomed the calmer and more relaxed pattern to their daily lives.   On reflection one must wonder if perhaps we took on too much  - I count myself amongst those.

It has been beneficial to walk twice a day  -  good for health and to alleviate the feeling of isolation. Jobs which were to be done have finally been completed. My 4 boxes of loose photos have now been condensed to 2 and my albums sorted.  Suspension files now hang neatly in filing cabinet - another long overdue job completed.  Have had the pleasure on opening my wardrobes and drawers to see them looking as they always should look.  Unused or unwanted clothes and items bundled up for Opp Shops when they reopen.  The spare room is now almost empty and ready for new "stuff" (which I will try to curtail) and the garage finally welcomes me with uncluttered walls.

Despite winter, my garden has also benefited from more TLC than it normally receives at this time of the year.  My most gratifying   achievement has been the painting of certain areas of my home -  very time consuming but how rewarding!     This has been possible to the wonderful sunny weather we had been blessed with.

We are fortunate that, for the large part, our age group in this area, have perhaps not suffered as much as the younger population.  We may have in the past "done without" and realised the world has not fallen apart as a result of it.  We are perhaps also more accepting of this situation and realise we cannot change something beyond our control.  We are insulated from the job losses, inability to pay mortgages or rent, etc. which have cruelly affected the lives of others.

Yes, I have been busy.   I have also been very contented as well as being   eternally grateful to have survived it so well.



Judy I has also recommended:

The Year of Wonders   by Geraldine Brooks
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666

Geoff & Robyn P recommended further reading:

Washington Black’  -  Esi Edugyan
The Good Turn’ – Dervla McTierran
Home Fire’  -  Kamila Shamsie
The Mercy Seat’  - Elizabeth Winthrop
Not for the faint hearted
The Mirror and the Light’ Hilary Mantell

Jeanette F has also further recommended

“One hundred Miracles”  - by Wendy Holden 
-       A remarkable memoir of Zuzana Ružicková, Holocaust survivor and world-famous harpsichordist



In the 1970s I was in Buenos Aires when there was rampant inflation in Argentina and prices would change on a daily basis.   I finally got on a flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which landed at the International terminal in Sao Paulo where we all had to disembark and go through Customs etc.  To continue my flight to Rio I needed to go to the domestic terminal but could not get on the bus to the terminal without first buying a ticket in Brazilian currency which I did not have.  There appeared to be no currency exchange booths open at that time and they said I would need to go to the domestic terminal to exchange currency but I could not get there without buying a ticket.   So after having told this story to various officials they allowed me to get on the bus to go to the domestic terminal.

Once whilst on safari in South Africa we travelled into Swaziland by minibus.  There were 7 in our group plus our tour Guide/Driver.   After travelling for about an hour and half on a rough road through the bush five soldiers with rifles appeared out of the bush ahead of us and held the bus up.  Our driver told us not to speak to them even if they asked us a question he would do all the talking.  On asking the soldiers if there was a problem they spoke in English to begin with then lapsed into Zulu.  Fortunately our driver could speak Zulu so answered them in Zulu.   After about ten minutes of animated talking they waved us on.  Our driver told us they said we had gone through a checkpoint further back and had not stopped.  This of course was untrue as after leaving the border we had not seen any checkpoints.  The real reason was we all had white faces and they liked to hassle the white man.  This was in the 1980s when apartheid was still relevant. 


RECIPE Noreen B        Lemonade Scones

Lemonade adds a zingy sweetness to this non-traditional scone recipe, which uses cream instead of butter and is really quick to make. These sweet and delicious scones are best hot from the oven.

Serving Size: 12
Ingredients: · 1 cup of lemonade (not flat) · 1 cup of cream · 3 cups self-raising flour · Handful, 1/3rd cup of sultanas (optional)

Method: Preheat oven to very hot 220°C. Mix flour, cream and lemonade and a few sultanas if desired. Mixture will be soft.  Turn onto a lightly floured board. Pat down, do not roll. Use a round cookie cutter to cut scones. Brush tops with milk or a lightly beaten egg if desired. Bake for about 10 minutes or until tops are golden



 Sally Mulligan of Coral Springs, Florida, read an ad in the newspaper for one of the jobs that most Americans are not willing to do, and she decided to apply. She submitted her CV to a Florida lemon grove, but seemed over qualified for the job.
 She has a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. For a number of years, she has worked as a school teacher. 
The foreman studied her application, frowned and said, "I see you are well-educated, and have an impressive resume. However, I must ask whether you have any actual experience in picking lemons?”
 "Well, as a matter of fact, I have," she said. "I've been divorced three times, I’ve owned two Chryslers, and I voted for Trump.”
 She was able to start work immediately.

MORE JOKES      Ivan B

- Did you hear about the doctor who wrote out a prescription in the usual fashion?   The patient used it for 2 years as a railway pass.  Twice it got him into the Opera House, and once into the Member’s stand at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  It came in handy as a letter from his employer to the cashier to increase his salary.  And, as a climax, his daughter played it on the piano and won a scholarship to the Conservatorium.

-  Sign in a cake shop at Woy Woy:  Wanted: woman to cook, clean fish, dig for worms and make love.  Must have own boat and outboard motor.  Send photo of boat and motor.

-  A honeymoon couple entered the hotel dining room for breakfast, pretending not to be newly-wed.  They agreed to not call each other darling or gorgeous and display any affection.  He ordered cornflakes and bacon and eggs, and she ordered porridge and scrambled eggs.  The waiter asked “are you having a happy honeymoon sir?”  The groom asked: “How did you know?” The waiter replied: “Everyone else is having lunch”.

- A drunk had a duck under one arm.  A lady said “what are you doing with that pig?”  The drunk said that’s not a pig that’s a duck”.  The lady said “I was talking to the duck”.

- What would have happened if Khrushchev had been murdered instead of Kennedy?  Answer:  Mr Onassis would not have married Mrs Khrushchev.



1.            Only mad dogs and Englishmen
2.            Dung / Scarab
3.            Rhodes
4.            Edith Piaf
5.            Near or short-sightedness
6.            Helen of Troy
7.            Putty
8.            Riga
9.            John W. Hyatt
10.        David


On Wednesday 24th June Paul & Brenda O became Australian citizens.  This was carried out using digital technology and they having to recite their oaths online. How privileged we are to have Paul & Brenda in our club, we congratulate them and wish them a long and happy life as Aussies.


Wilma J -01    Oriel T -12     George T -13
Peter B -20   Ann G -26 


A big thank you to all who sent contributions during this time of lockdown.

I have thoroughly enjoyed compiling this Newsletter with help of the wonders of Copy & Paste  - Although apologies for some spacing issues in this issue.

However, I am looking forward to Polly taking over once again.


Wednesday, 3 June 2020


NEWSLETTER       JUNE  2020  


Another month passes and thankfully it seems that the country is in a better position in our fight against the dreaded virus. We’re certainly not out the woods yet, but at least some of the restrictions have been lifted. We can now have up to five visitors to our home and groups of 10 can gather in the open air.
With this in mind I’m glad to see Oriel has organised a walk for us in Tunks Park on Tuesday, June 9. Let’s hope the sun shines and a number of us can get together for a bit of exercise and a picnic lunch – social distancing rules applied, naturally!
And now, more changes have been made and from June 1 we can have up to 50 people in restaurants and clubs. This has prompted Evelyn to organise an ‘outing’ to Northbridge Golf Club for a lunch on June 23. Doreen, the catering manager, will ensure all the correct rules are observed.  Well done Evelyn!
Thanks to everyone for their continuing email messages which have kept us entertained over the past couple of months. Patrick has done a sterling job with his boundless supply of jokes and YouTube clips, and Shelagh’s musical contributions have been well received.
For those of you who are unaware, poor Shelagh had a bad fall at home recently, resulting in an overnight hospital visit. She’s now back at home nursing three cracked ribs. Having suffered a similar injury a few years ago I’m well aware how painful the recovery can be. She assures me she’s now comfortable enough to put time into judging the photos and stories of the weird and wacky holiday souvenirs that members entered in this month’s competition.
I hope everyone enjoys this latest newsletter which Robin has so kindly put together. Last month’s effort was a great success, and my thanks goes to Robin and all the others who made contributions.
The Sunday online link-up continues and everyone is welcome. Douglas will provide you with details on how to join us for a drink (self-provided) and a chat at 5.30pm.

Stay well and let’s hope by July we will have a better idea about future meetings.
I’ve included some more brainteasers, but beware, they’re tougher than last month! Once again, you’ll find the answers at the end of the newsletter.


PROBUS  Walk / Get together:      Oriel T     

Tuesday   June 9  2020               Tunks  Park,  Northbridge

With the easing of isolation rules the Probus Committee has decided it would be great to start our walking activities on a relaxed informal basis to enable walkers and non-walkers to meet up for a social chat.  To avoid the necessity of travelling on public transport it was decided participants could drive to a local park, maybe bring their own chair and sandwich/lunch.
Those wishing to walk can traverse the park a couple of times, keeping the required metre and half separation, and returning to a central point to chat and have their picnic lunch with other members.  Those members who will not be walking may like to arrive a little later.
If there are more than ten we can split into two groups.

Meet Tunks Park at 10.30am in the parking area (there is plenty of parking) and proceed to walk around the park and maybe traversing part of Flat Rock Gully – we could do this a couple of times to stretch the legs, if desired.
There is a mobile Coffee Van and the ‘Barista’ informed me he was there every day except if it was raining in which case we would not be there either. 
There are public toilets at the park.
Tunks Park can be accessed from Vale Street or Lower Cliff Ave which both run off Strathallen Ave Northbridge, on either side of the bridge.

OUTING DAY:  – Evelyn K    A La Carte Lunch

Tuesday 23rd June           Northbridge Golf Club        at     Midday

At our Jitsi meeting on Sunday we discussed starting 'outings' again.  The thoughts expressed suggested it should not be too far distant and car transport would be the way to go!   Sooo, I am arranging lunch at the Northbridge Golf Club.  I think that fits the bill!
Doreen will ensure seating accords with regulations.
I will need numbers intending to come.  If you could let me know your intentions by say 16th June at the latest please.
For those not driving, if you would like me to arrange a lift, please let me know.  Will do my best to ensure anyone and everyone is accommodated.
Will look for something more adventurous for July provided virus matters stay under control.

Evelyn -      Mob:  0411 331 023            Email:



Some members have suggested this new idea becomes a permanent feature of our activities, either on a monthly or quarterly basis.

The suggested topic for the next competition in July is “Guess Who Is the Baby?”  So please start rummaging around in your store cupboard for family photos taken in the first half of the 20th Century!

As mentioned in a recent email, the closing date for our present competition on “The most memorable, or interesting Holiday Souvenir” has been extended to 30 June, with a plea from Judge Shelagh to limit the MAXIMUM number of words in your description to 50.

Shelagh has suggested we put the best entries on show, when we meet again, as was similarly done with members’ art and craft items a few AGMs ago.”



1.   Crack the Code – the name of a popular Sydney location is hidden in the following coded message

2.    What are next two numbers in the following sequence?
1     10  3  9  5  8  7  7  9  6  ?  ?
3.   Which of these words is the odd man out?
                  HOUSE    FLOWER    SHED    FENCE

4.   Unscramble the letters to find something that might save your life

5.   If you count from 1 to 100, how many 7s will you pass?

6.     Two men stand together back to back. They each walk forwards 4 metres, turn left and walk 3 metres. How far are they from one another?



NEW MEMBERS:         Shake Jackie M


Jackie M is an Armenian Australian born in Beirut Lebanon.
Jackie attended primary school in Beirut, and at the age of eleven, received a scholarship to continue her secondary education at the Melkonian Educational Institute (MEI) in Nicosia, Cyprus, a boarding school for Armenian students from nearly 40 countries. Limited finances resulted in staying on campus during the school holiday periods, which meant lengthy absences from family and home, challenging times for an eleven year old girl. Lebanon’s civil war in 1958 caused complications with the scholarship and the family could not afford the fees to continue Jackie’s tuition at the MEI.

At seventeen years of age, Jackie worked as a teacher’s aide at her previous primary school, while studying in the evenings, pursuing her dream job of becoming a kindergarten teacher.
A year later, Jackie met Vic, a press photographer and they married. Within a few years their two daughters were born. Jackie and Vic witnessed the civil unrest of 1975 and impending war in Beirut. The ravages of war and lack of safety, freedom and lost opportunities, particularly for their children’s wellbeing, education, and future, resulted in the couple’s decision to migrate to a safe country and build a new life.
Jackie, Vic and their two daughters travelled to Cyprus and the administrative work to migrate commenced. During these few months, the girls were enrolled in the local school. The family had a choice of migrating to the USA, Canada or Australia. Australia was a priority as both Jackie and Vic had family in Sydney. Within three months, favourable news arrived from the Australian embassy, and the extended family boarded a flight to Sydney in December 1976.
The adjustment to a new life and culture was seamless and embraced by all. Within a few months, the family was overjoyed with the news of another child on the way. Jackie and Vic’s son was born in Perth.
To this day, Jackie counts her blessings and reflects on how fortunate and privileged she feels for adopting Australia as their new home. New beginnings are never without new challenges. Jackie juggled motherhood, employment and further education and volunteered as an Armenian language teacher at the Armenian school on Saturdays. Her first job in Sydney was at Tuta Laboratories in Lane Cove, then at John Sands the Greeting Card Company. Later Jackie enjoyed working at Analytica Laboratory, in cancer diagnostics. Jackie has retained her passion for pedagogy and has worked with children in different capacities for over two decades, the last ten years at the SHORE Preparatory School in Northbridge.
Jackie’s family and friends are of paramount importance to her. She cherishes her four grandchildren and continuously marvels at the wonders and joy they bestow. As she watches them grow and blossom, Jackie says she learns new things every day from her grandchildren.

– Brenda & Paul O

This is our son’s dog Billy who fortunately lives 15 minutes walk away.  Since the lockdown we’ve taken to giving him his weekday walks, and so getting our exercise too.  We walk through bush to reach the oval where he can race around showing off his athleticism and agility, which always puts a smile on our faces. It’s given us both a sense of well being and purpose which has been wonderful.  We may be amongst the few who will miss the lockdown!

-      Robin S

I was thrilled to discover I was able to include Paul & Brenda’s lovely photo with Billy into this Newsletter.
The lockdown has forced me to learn new technology skills such as the above, Jitsi link up with several Probus members and the ability to send group emails !!



Judy I recommends:
The Fatal Lights:  by Tom Mead
- Two Strange Tragedies of the Sea: The Dunbar (1857) and the Ly-Ee-Moon (1886)
Breaking the News - by Tom Mead
- The events, which changed life in Australia, through the eyes of a man who worked at the front line of journalism and politics.

Geoff & Robin P recommend:
Where the Crawdads Sing’ – Delia Owens
Olive Again’ – Elizabeth Strout
The Weekend’  - Charlotte Wood
The Wife and the Widow’  - Christian White
Bruny’  -  Heather Rose

Jeanette F recommends:
Passionate Spirit” – Cate Haste
  The life of Alma Mahler (1879-1964) - artist, intellect, author & socialite
“The Anarchy” - William Dalrymple - a graphic retelling of the East India    Company's “relentless rise” from provincial trading company to the pre-eminent military and political power in all of India.



My very first plane trip was with three friends flying from London to Palma, Majorca for a holiday.  It was at nighttime and we were not seated together. I sat next to Terry Thomas, the Comedian/Actor/Entertainer who regaled me with various stories for the whole flight whilst drinking brandy from a hip flask and he told me he had flown in planes held together with string! 
Another time at London airport I was seated at a coffee bar and Wilfrid Hyde White who achieved international recognition in his later years for his role as Colonel Pickering in the 1964 film version of the musical My Fair Lady sat next to me and we had a very pleasant conversation.

Whilst on holiday in Fiji in the late 1960s with a couple of friends our hotel packed us a picnic basket and we hired a boat to take us to some remote uninhabited island for the day to explore and go swimming.  We had arranged for the boat to pick us up again around 4 o’clock but he failed to do so.  Fortunately at around 7.30pm a cruise liner anchored off the island and they came ashore for a barbecue.  After telling the Captain of our dilemma he offered to take us back to Suva but said we should not have paid the boat owner up front for the return trip.  So a lesson for young naïve travellers!

I had a rather cute biro, which had a clear liquid in the body of it with Beefeaters that looked as if they were marching to the pen point when writing and then would march back again when the pen was lifted up.  Whilst at the airport in Dakar, Senegal an African official saw this biro and wanted it but I was determined to keep it.  He became quite aggressive which attracted the attention of two other officials who came over and sorted the problem.  I was very happy to fly out of Dakar later that day with my biro!


RECIPE: – Fran McC


250g.    CREAM  CHEESE
60gms   BUTTER




”A Definition of Chutzpah!” 
A little old lady sold pretzels on a street corner in New York for a dollar each.  Each day a young man would leave his office building at lunch time and as he passed the pretzel stand he would leave $1.00, but never take a pretzel.
This little kindness went on for some three years. The two of them never spoke. One day as the young man passed the old lady's stand and left his dollar as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him for the first time. Without blinking an eye she said: "They're $1.25 now.”

and from Douglas Irvin

Clive W came across this poem, which was written in 1869 and reprinted during the Spanish flu pandemic in 1919

- Very apt for the world’s present pandemic

By  Kathleen O’Mara:

And the people stayed home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
More deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and
The earth also began to heal

And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.



On Tuesday 12th May 2020 the World Health Organization designated International Nurses Day in remembrance of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birthday and in recognition of the contribution nurses are making to world health.

Florence Nightingale’s contribution to Sydney was significant.  In 1868 Lucy Osburn, an English born nurse who had trained at the School of Nursing founded by Florence Nightingale, arrived with five other nursing sisters to take over our growing settlement’s Infirmary and Dispensary known then as the Rum Hospital, which was to become Sydney Hospital, laying the foundations of modern nursing in Australia.

In the 60’s as a very naïve young girl I ascended, with 30 other equally naïve girls, the steps of the Nightingale Wing in Sydney Hospital to commence my nursing training. We were, suitably or so we thought, dressed in hats & gloves, as was the fashion of the day.  However, we were soon given heavy-duty cotton dresses, which were to be covered with stiffly starched white aprons. We were also given starched caps, black stockings and shoes.

My general nursing training was hospital based and lasted for four years.  We were expected to live in the hospital grounds. Curfews were frequently broken and marriage was forbidden. This rule was also broken. I remember without fondness the night duties when it was difficult to stay awake and after your shift had ended you were expected to go to a lecture – the countless dishing up of revolting food, which had been delivered to the wards in large heated metal containers on wheels. Giving injections, with barbed needles before the days of disposable needles and syringes. The constant sterilizing of equipment was a never-ending task.  And dare I mention the cleaning of the pan rooms.  Our wards were inspected daily by the on duty Matron to make sure everything was spick and span, the patients were sitting up in bed expecting to look well, no matter their illness, with their bed linen folded down neatly exactly the same as their neighbour’s. 

However, my days at Sydney Hospital also brought many fond memories. Above all, the camaraderie with my fellow nurses is still with me to this day for which I am very grateful.  My nursing days ended when I chose family life.

I felt it was necessary to write about this in this Newsletter in a small effort to give thanks to our current health workers who are under such pressure in this present world health crisis.

There is a wonderful museum of the history and artifacts of Sydney Hospital in the beautiful Nightingale Wing in Macquarie Street, which is open every Tuesday from 10am – 3pm.

However, you too will need to climb the same steps to the museum!



1.   TUNKS PARK CAMMERAY (In the code, the alphabet has been reversed eg Z=A, Y=B)

2.   11, 5 (The alternative numbers are increased by two or decreased by one)

3.  FLOWER – It’s not made by man

3.   PARACHUTE 5. 20 6. 10 metres (Remember your Pythagoras! The men  have created two right-angled triangles with 3,4,5 sides)



Wishing Shelagh a speedy recovery.  We look forward to her judgements in our present photo competition and to seeing her back in good health at our Probus meetings when life returns to “normal”.


Judy C - 06    Sally J - 06    Robyn P -06  
Ivan B - 08    Judy M - 10    Janice G - 16   
Ches W- 21    Louise L - 27  


A big thank you to all who sent contributions this month.

We welcome more contributions

Please send them to:    Robin S on: