THE PROBUS CLUB OF NORTH SYDNEY
NEWSLETTER JULY 2020
PRESIDENT’S PIECE – Ivan B
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
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.
PRESIDENT’S ANNUAL REPORT – 2019-20
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.
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.
HOW I ENDED UP IN AUSTRALIA – Lis T
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!
WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING DURING LOCKDOWN
- 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.
FURTHER READING RECOMMODATIONS:
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
MORE OF ORIEL’S TRAVEL ADVENTURES
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
JOKEMASTER OF THE MONTH - Patrick W
“LEMON PICKERS NEEDED IN FLORIDA – ONLY U.S. CITIZENS OR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS NEED APPLY”
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.
ANSWERS TO IAN’S QUIZ
1. Only mad dogs and Englishmen
2. Dung / Scarab
4. Edith Piaf
5. Near or short-sightedness
6. Helen of Troy
9. John W. Hyatt
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.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY FOR YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY
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.