Blog Archive

Wednesday, 29 June 2022


Newsletter 358                                                             21 June 2022

President’s Report:  It is so good to be back to (almost) normal.  We need to remember that hospitalisations and deaths are still worrying in New South Wales.  Hence we still ask that if you have any symptoms, please do not attend any of our activities.

A good number of members met at the Golf Club last month to hear our excellent guest speaker and chat with friends over morning tea.  The lunch at The Little Snail was well patronised and thoroughly enjoyable.  I hear that the trip to Palm Beach was enjoyed by all, and the 5th Tuesday movie, “Operation Mincemeat”, was thrilling.

For those less able to join in our monthly walk, I want to pursue the idea of having a games morning or an opportunity to meet and chat over coffee.  If you have any suggestions, please share them with the Committee.  We would love to try new ideas.  The movie/theatre visits have proved to be popular and your ideas could be just what the club needs.  So far, having games such as Scrabble and a morning tea at Northbridge Golf Club have been suggested. Perhaps that can be trialled for July?  I will ask for expressions of interest at the meeting for the first morning tea on 12th July.

The trip to Floriade in Canberra from 29th September to 1st October has been taken up by several members.  If you are interested please let me know and I will check to see if there are seats still available.  It promises to be an excellent trip with visits to many of Canberra’s sights including the Corbett Gardens, the Arboretum, the Tulip Farm plus a choice of two of the major attractions.  The tour includes all meals, morning teas and admissions and accommodation at the Alpha Hotel, Canberra.  The cost for the 3 days is $720 per person with a $165 single supplement.

It is a shame that the trip to Lord Howe island had to be shelved for the time being.  Perhaps it can be canvassed again once the current flurry of interest has abated and there is more availability.

It was good to see our club featured in the Active Retirees magazine this month.  You will also see our posters and leaflets on notice boards across the North Sydney LGA.

Plans for celebrating our 40th Anniversary in April next year are underway.  Please mark the date of 18th April 2023 for a luncheon.  Our Anniversary booklet will also be updated to its 3rd edition.  

Membership Report: Our membership now stands at 51 (33 women and 18 men).

Many happy returns of the day for your June birthday:  Judy C 06, Robyn P 06, Ivan B 08, Judy M 10, Janice Ge 16, Ches W21, and Louise L 27.

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 19th July 2022.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend.

Guest Speakers:   Today we welcome Ian Westmorland, whose topic is “Mentoring Men”.  Next month Paul Treichel will join us, speaking on “A Day in Ostrava”.

Probus Walkers:  Tuesday 12th July.  Burwood to Cabarita Wharf.

This is an easy and pleasant walk around Canada, Exile and France Bays, passing a monument erected to the Canadian Exiles of 1840;  the plaque was unveiled by Pierre Trudeau in 1970.  In keeping with the history of this area, many streets have French names.  At Cabarita Wharf we will take the ferry to Abbotsford Rowing Club for lunch.  Approx. 5 klms.

Meet:  North Sydney Train Station (at exit barriers) at 9:00am to catch the next train to Burwood.  At Burwood we catch the 466 bus (after coffee) to the start of our walk.


Probus Outing Tuesday 28th June:  Tanglin Lodge Alpacas

We depart from the Golf Club at 9:00am on 28th June and return around 2:30pm.  Morning tea is at a park near Richmond and then we travel on for a short distance, to see the alpacas.  The visit includes a barbecue lunch and a talk.  “...we (Cheryl and Geoff) chat about the fascinating features of these unique and intelligent animals and encourage you to feel the soft fleece as an alpaca is led amongst you.”

Cost:  Bus fare $35, Entry and lunch $35:  Total $70.

There is a minimum number of 20 so please let us know asap.

Arrangements for payment need to be finalised by the end of the meeting.

Cash at the meeting on Tuesday 21st June or:


Please type “alpaca” as description.  Please advise Noreen, if you have paid by direct debit, especially if your name is not obvious eg a company account. 

The Definitions of ‘Complete’ and ‘Finished’.   (From Shelagh K)

No English dictionary has been able to adequately  explain the difference between these two words.  In a recent linguistic competition held in London and attended by, supposedly, the best in the world, Samdar Balgobin, a Guyanese man, was the clear winner with a standing ovation which lasted over5 minutes.  

The final question was: “How do you explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand? Some people say there is no difference between Complete and Finished.”

Here is Samdar Balgobin’s astute answer:  “When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE.  When you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED.  And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are


Mr. Balgobin won a trip around the world and a case of 25-year old Scotch!

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Newsletter 357                                                              17 May 2022 

President’s report:  This month was busy for our members once again. 

* Our outing to Retford Park was well patronised and truly wonderful, spoilt only by rain just as we were      about to explore the garden.  We were shown art works that we are never likely to see exhibited anywhere else.  These included works by John Olsen, Ian Fairweather, Donald Friend, and others.

* Despite the forecast for more rain, the weather stayed perfect for the walk from Central Station to Darling Harbour.  We followed the Goods Line to the Powerhouse with a coffee break at the Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building, more commonly known as the “Brown Paper Bag Building”, then to the Fish Markets, and on to Darling Harbour for lunch. 

* Several of our members attended the very popular American in Paris showing at the Theatre Royal.  This      has been hailed as a Tour de Force for its stunning choreography and our members report that it was a     great experience. 

One of the tours that your committee is trying to organise is starting to take shape.  With so many people wanting to use travel vouchers from cancelled tours during COVID shutdowns, it is proving to be a lot more difficult than we anticipated.  However, you will have received information regarding a trip to Lord Howe island from 5th to 11th November 2023.  We need to act quickly or even that accommodation will be snapped up.  I realise that this is more than 18 months away, and difficult for many to commit to, and that a non-refundable deposit of $500 is a lot, but it would be good to have at least 10 people interested. 

I have received a suggestion that the Club provide more activities that our less mobile members can enjoy.  If you have any suggestions, please share them with the Committee.  We would love to try new ideas.  The movie/theatre visits have proved to be popular and your ideas could be just as viable. 

COVID is still with us.  Deaths are averaging more than 13 each day, and hospitalisations and number of cases are still high as I write.  We continue to ask members to only attend activities if you are vaccinated and boosted and if you have no symptoms. 

Remember that membership subscriptions are now due for the Northbridge Golf Club. 

Membership report:  Our membership stands at 51 (33women and 18 men). 

Many happy returns of the day for your May birthday:  Maureen T 01, Jackie M 05, and Kevin D 16. 

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 June 2022.  the committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend. 

 Guest Speakers:  Today we welcome Jenny Horsfield, who will talk to us about a “Canbera War-time Bookstore”.  Next month, Ian Westmoreland will join us, and his topic is “Mentoring Men”. 
Probus Walkers:  Tuesday 14th June.  Lunch at The Little Snail, 90 Murray St., Pyrmont. 
There will be a luncheon on our normal walking day, as we were unable to go in February it was decided we should go in the middle of the year.  Walkers and non-walkers welcome. 
CUISINE: French, three courses, 5/6 choices per each course.  COST: $43.00 (includes $1.00 tip).  Steak $3 extra.  Alcohol and any additional side dishes are extra. 
TIME:  12 Noon.  If you would like to attend please list your name today or advise Oriel (9438 3893)  by Wednesday 8th June. 
TRANSPORT:  Light rail from Central alight at Pyrmont Bay stop.  Park Street bus stop (between Pitt/George Streets, near Woolworths) bus 389 to Star Casino and short walk back to restaurant.  Ferry from Circular Quay alight at Pyrmont Bay ferry wharf or walk from city down Market Street and over Pyrmont Bridge. 

Events:  Movie Tuesday 31st May:  I have selected a movie called “Operation Mincemeat” starring Colin Firth and Penelope Wilton.  This is based on a true war story, set in 1943.  Beforehand we could meet at Siborg Café, opposite the car park in Parraween Road.  Session time to be announced nearer the date.  (Jeanette French, 9929 4623) 

Probus Outing: Tuesday 24th May: Pittwater Basin ferry cruise and lunch at Palm Beach RSL 
We leave Northbridge Golf club at 9am in time for our Palm Beach ferry at 11.45. Our day includes a scenic drive along the Northern Beaches, morning tea and a 45 minute cruise of the Pittwater Basin western foreshore. Lunch is about 12pm at Palm Beach RSL and we will leave about 1.30. 
Lunch choices at the RSL are; * Roast of the day with seasonal vegetables  * Chicken Schnitzel with chips and salad * Tempura Fish with chips and salad.  
The full day event costs $50.00. This includes $25 for transport and morning tea, and $25 for lunch and the cruise. No need to decide on your meal beforehand as the waitress will take your order at the table. If you want tea, coffee and dessert it is extra and available at the counter 
If you don't want the ferry cruise, which has an enclosed lower deck or an upper outdoor deck for the hearty ones, it costs $25 for transport and $15 for the lunch, i.e. $40. You could wait in the bus or stroll along the foreshore. 
Arrangements for payment $50 (or $40), which we would like to finalise by the end of the meeting.  
Cash at the meeting on Tuesday 17th May in an envelope with your name or  Direct Debit: Probus Bank account BSB 032099 account number xxxxxx (account number obscurred for website)  
Please type "Palm Beach" as description.  
Please advise Noreen, if you have paid by direct debit, especially if your name is not  obvious e.g. a company account. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

 Newsletter 356                                                                        19 April 2022 

President’s Report:  I hope you had a Happy Easter and have been enjoying good weather lately. 

I would like to welcome our newest team members.  Maureen T is our new  Treasurer and will be collecting membership subscriptions at the meeting.  Susan M joins us as our new Vice President and I look forward to working with her this year. 

COVID unfortunately remains with us, with deaths averaging about 10 each day, and hospitalisations and number of cases still rising.  We continue to ask members to only attend activities if you are vaccinated and boosted and if you have no symptoms. 

It was wonderful to be able to attend regular Probus activities this month.  The rain is gone and our calendar is full. Our outing to the Powerhouse Museum was interesting and informative.  The fifth Tuesday movie “Belfast” was  well attended and a particularly good movie.  There will be further news on movie-going at today’s meeting.  Stay tuned. The weather stayed perfect for the walk to the Sir Joseph Banks Park.  Thank you for leading that Ivan. 

Please remember that your newsletter is only as good as the contributions received.  We would love to receive snippets of information, news, trivia, cartoons and jokes.  We welcome anything short and of general interest to our members.  We do not accept commercial advertisements.  Photos of walks, outings, theatre or tours, with a short description, are especially appreciated. 

Membership subscriptions are due by the April meeting: $40 if paid by the April meeting, $50 if paid at a later date. 

Reminder re: paying for tours, activities or annual subscriptions.  By Direct Deposit to The Probus Club of North Sydney.  BSB 032 099, Account number xxxxxx .  Please ensure you identify yourself and the event when paying and email the convenor to say you have paid.  Cheques are to be made out to The Probus Club of North Sydney.  Thank you!  That will make it much easier to keep track of payments. 


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 May, 2022.  The committee meetings are conducted in the Northbridge Golf Club at 9:15am on the same day.  Members are welcome to attend. 


Membership report:  Our membership stands at 50 (32 women and 18 men). 

Many happy returns of the day for your April Birthday:  Bob M 05, Gillian W 09, and Geoff P 29. 

Travel: (From Douglas)  I have started to enquire about a trip to Lord Howe Island, but it is heavily booked.  A tentative time would be around October, next year. 

Probus Walkers:  Tuesday 10th May.  Central to Pyrmont via The Goods Line Walk.  We begin our walk at Central through the tunnel emerging onto a street with old train tracks—this is the start of The Goods Line Walk and continue to the Powerhouse Museum.  We traverse a few streets to Wentworth Park and then through the Fish Markets and take the pathway to Jones Bay waterfront and follow it to Pirrama Park and continue on to Pyrmont Bridge Hotel for lunch or an eatery at Darling Harbour.  Walk classed as easy.  Approx. 5 kms. 
MEET:  At 10:00am, Central Station at the Country Platform barriers. 

April 12th Probus Walk to Sir Joseph Banks Park in Botany.  Despite an extremely pessimistic weather forecast which obviously put off our regular walkers, Peter and Noreen Byrne joined me on this most enjoyable walk.  It was the site of Sydney’s first zoo and the pleasure gardens were a popular draw card in the l9th and early 20th century.  They were upgraded as a Bicentenary project and the beautiful lake features plenty of birdlife.   
After making friends with a family of topiary elephants, we retired to the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel for a delicious lunch.  (Ivan Blake) 

Events: Movie Tuesday the 31st May.  The movie to be seen on this date will be announced later, but in the meantime there is a little unscheduled movie outing taking place on Wednesday the 20th of April which I have been told we must not miss!  It is called “The Duke” and is now showing at the Orpheum Theatre, Military Road.  Any Probus member is welcome to join in.  The movie starts at 2:20pm, but for those who would like to meet beforehand for coffee, please come to the “Siborg” café—located opposite the Council carpark at the back of the Orpheum—at 1:30pm.  We will all meet at the theatre at 2:10pm to sort out tickets. 
If you are interested in attending some unscheduled movie outings like this, I would like your name and email to form a sub-group of interested “Movie Goers”.  I can then notify you as to lunch and movie session times.  There will be a sign up form available at the April meeting. 
Theatre visit.  For those of you who have booked for the “American in Paris” outing on 11th May, I now have the tickets, which can be collected at the April meeting. 
Probus Outing for April:  Retford Park Bowral 

Tuesday, 12 April 2022


A Day at the Powerhouse Museum 

We had a very interesting day at the Powerhouse Museum. The exhibition began with paintings of the Garden Palace built at the Domain in 1879, showcasing industrial and applied arts.  This Palace burnt down in 1882 and it was eventually decided to have a permanent exhibition in the powerhouse building at Ultimo.  

We began exploring the new display called 'Eucalyptusdom' which focused on the role wood has played in the early days of Sydney right up to today. A sledge made of spotted gum that went with Sir Douglas Mawson to Antarctica and part of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth's famous marked tree, made from White Mountain Ash, were some early examples.  

Moving on we sat down to watch the famous working clock, and afterwards we were fortunate to be given a talk about the steam engine Locomotive No 1 which hauled the first passenger train in NSW. The NSW Arts minister, Mr Don Harwin, has confirmed that the Government has officially abandoned plans to relocate this steam engine and the Boulton and Watt steam engine, together with the Catalina flying boat, to the new Parramatta Powerhouse. 

The micro cars were very popular, built after WW2 by production factories no longer building tanks and guns. Featured were the electric car and a favourite, the Gogomobile dart. 

There were several other new displays such as the Clay Dynasty ceramics which showed the transformation of ceramics since 1960.   

Unfortunately many didn’t have time to visit the Display by HSC students: Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles and Design but some vowed to come back at a later date and spend more time there.. 
We finished at 'Experimentation', exercising before lunch.