Normanhurst Mixed Probus Club

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Presidents' Messages, 2019 - 2020

Presidents' messages are shown here for 13 months, so you can see what was happening earlier in the year, or what was 'news' at the same time last year.

President's Message: August 2020

Wasn’t it great to hold the July monthly meeting and to get together with 64 fellow members and have a good talk especially with Kristine and Ian L at their last meeting before they head north to Tea Gardens.

Once again, we will have a limit of 72 members imposed by council for the August meeting and therefore, we request that members pre-register with Anne B prior to the meeting.  There will be no visitors and again afternoon tea will not be provided. However, you are again welcome to bring your own.

Most activities have recommenced during July. Fine Dining recommences on 13th August at the Absolute Thai restaurant in Hornsby and I look forward to meeting with you at that venue.

It is still difficult to envisage the way forward with Covid-19.  The second virus outbreak in Victoria and the number of new cases and deaths is of significant concern.  The lockdown could continue well past the planned 6 weeks. The outbreaks in hotspots in the metropolitan area of Sydney appears to be growing.  Let's hope that the spread can be contained, and we do not suffer a similar fate as Victoria.  The next two weeks should provide a clearer picture.

Finally, a great story from Britain to warm our spirits.  Daisy the St Bernard dog, four years of age and weighing 55 Kilos who climbed Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in Northern England with her owner.  She called it quits on the descent because of leg pain, refused to get up and 16 volunteers from the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team came to her rescue, carried her down the mountain on a stretcher taking turns over a period of 5 hours.  Man's best friend prevails.

Martin Smith

Recent Past News - Previous 12 Months

President's Message: July 2020

All members are required to practise physical distancing (1.5 m); and please keep washing those hands!

There is a ray of sunshine at last. A gradual lifting of restrictions enables us to recommence our monthly meetings albeit with a plethora of requirements from council for setting up the hall and then cleaning up at the end of the meeting.  However, this is for the well being of our members and we fully support those requirements.

The last 3 months have not been easy but the cooperation from members in understanding the reasons for the curtailing of activities, maintaining contact with other members to ensure their overall health and well being has been exceptional.  Unfortunately, there was distressing news with the passing of Diane T and we support the comments by our Welfare Officer, Maureen N in this newsletter.

We understand that not all members are fully comfortable with the easing of restrictions and recommencement of activities and prefer to remain cautious at this stage.  We look forward to seeing you in future months once the situation improves.

It is pleasing that a number of activities have or are due to recommence.  Book Club, Craft, Fine Dining, Classical Music are some of the recommenced activities.  Enjoy the activities and hopefully in the near future other activities can recommence.

Finally at this meeting we are saying farewell to Kris and Ian L as they are relocating to Tea Gardens.  Both Kris and Ian are foundation members and they will be missed.  Bob and Rachel L will be neighbours of Ian and Kris.

Martin Smith

President's Message: June 2020

At last there appears to be some good news on the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions that may possibly lead to the resumption of some of our Probus activities.  Activity Convenor Ian P will be contacting Activity Leaders asking them to consider how they may resume activities taking into account social distancing requirements.  Let's hope that a number of activities are able to resume bringing some normality back to our lives.

Congratulations to Peter C for his ingenuity in utilising technology by arranging Zoom meetings for the Wine and Cheese activity allowing members to participate in their monthly ritual.  Any interesting gossip from discussions in the meeting rooms!

The monthly meeting is still up in the air considering that the Community Centre remains closed up to the end of June.

Marilyn L is in the process of contacting Hornsby Council to ascertain if they are considering reopening the community centres in light of the lifting of restrictions.  However, as the restrictions will still limit participants to 100 for indoor events there will still be social distancing requirements that will make holding a normal monthly meeting difficult.

The committee had some discussions relating to resuming the monthly meetings bearing in mind adhering to requirements.  We will continue to discuss this issue at our June committee meeting and by then we hope to have news from Hornsby Council on the reopening of the Community Centre.

On a far brighter note the news that Captain Tom Moore has been made an honorary Colonel and has been recommended by the British Prime Minister to receive a knighthood from the Queen is a great honour for the World War 11 veteran and the latest fundraising total is £33 million.  A remarkable 100-year-old veteran that is a great inspiration to all.

I trust that you are all keeping well, being active and maintaining contact with other Probians.

As information becomes available on resumption of activities we will communicate with you.

Martin Smith

President's Message: May 2020

Easter has come and gone and what a strange feeling staying at home, no family get together and no Easter egg hunt with the grandchildren but still managed to consume some Easter eggs.

Now we face a totally different Anzac Day, no dawn services, no march and no pubs and clubs being open and therefore no two up.  Hornsby Council have advised that all community centres will be closed until the 30th June and obviously no monthly meetings in May or June.  Let's hope that restrictions start to ease and some of our activities can recommence.

A reminder that the annual membership fees of $40 per member are due and payable.

What an inspiration Captain Tom Moore, the British WW2 veteran is, just shy of his 100th birthday and wanting to thank NHS workers in Britain by completing 100 laps of his garden and hoping to raise £1,000 .  Can you believe that he has at last count raised £27 million pounds.  Now that is some feat.

I trust that you are all keeping well, staying active and communicating with fellow probians wherever possible.

Finally a huge thank you to Robert L our treasurer who managed to process all of the refunds for the Bright Tour, plus Fine dining and Tobruk tour, within 48 hours of receiving the online authority from Westpac.  The Theatre and Wine Cheese refunds followed over the next 24 hours.  Great effort Robert !!

Martin Smith

President's Message: April 2020

There is no doubt that the events relating to the impact of Coronavirus that have occurred since our March general meeting is beyond comprehension and it is very difficult to anticipate what will come next but total state shutdowns now appears imminent and what that means over the next few months who knows.

The unaustralian behavior of some of our citizens relating to supermarket goods is appalling but yet we are now seeing true Australian character with the number of good Samaritans providing assistance and friendship to the elderly particularly where they are struggling to obtain basic necessities.  In these difficult times it is obvious that consideration and understanding will be required by all.

I wish to thank all of the management committee for their input and support in the decision-making process we came to last Wednesday in determining the suspension of activities and general meeting up to the end of April.  Certainly, for Robert L, Peter S and Dina W it was a most interesting baptism of fire for their first committee meeting.

I would like to express my appreciation for those members who have been in contact with me since the announcement sent out last week and the support and kind words for what was a difficult but necessary decision that undoubtably has been confirmed by recent announcements by Governments and Health officials.

Whilst we contemplate how we are going to keep ourselves occupied without going to the Cinema, Club, Restaurants, gym, we at least have Easter to take our minds of the current situation where we can indulge in chocolate Easter eggs, hot cross buns and spend time with family, grandchildren and friends provided we are cognisant of social distancing.

I would also like to thank Ross D for producing the April newsletter that required ingenuity in compiling interesting pieces of information and photos in lieu of the normal content from Activity Leaders. wish all members a happy and safe Easter and hope that in the near future we are in receipt of some good news that will give an indication of when some our activities can resume.

Martin Smith

Special President's Message: March 2020


The NMPC Management Committee met today to discuss the current situation with coronavirus including information provided over the past week and in particularly the latest information released by the Prime Minister earlier today.

As a Probus Club our member Probians are obviously in the highest risk category relating to the impact of this virus and are aware of protocols recommended by Health officials, Federal and State Governments particularly the need to practice good 'social distancing' ( i.e. need to maintain space of 1.5 metres ) and in relation to non-essential gatherings that there are to be no internal gatherings of 100 or more persons.

The Health and Safety our members and families has to be the highest priority for us.  Whilst our monthly general meetings do not necessarily attract the 100 number we are generally within the range of 90-100 members and therefore the difference is negligible.

In view of the measures introduced by the various officials/governments and to ensure that the health and wellbeing of all our members remain our highest priority we are in agreement that the April General meeting and all activities scheduled up to and including 30th April are to be cancelled.

As there are a number of activities involving a payment of monies, full refunds are to be reimbursed to members.  In relation to the Theatre activity scheduled for 15th April the matter of the refund reimbursement will be discussed with Cathy A.

In addition, the Bright Tour scheduled to commence on 3rd May is also cancelled.  A full refund of monies paid will be reimbursed to all members that were to attend.  The logistics of the method of payment will be clarified by the Tour Activity Convener and Club Treasurer.

As to future monthly meetings and activities all are to be held in abeyance and the committee will reconvene and report to members around the 18th April and any recommendations/decisions will be based upon current information released by the appropriate authorities.

We regret that we have had to make this decision but all management committee members are in total agreement and only the health and wellbeing of our members is our only priority.

Martin Smith
Club President
18 March 2020

President's Message: March 2020

This will be my final message for the newsletter as my term will come to an end in March.  I shall keep it short and sweet, as I am currently working on my president's report, which is to be presented at the AGM on the 11th of March.  I will be reflecting on the past year in greater detail in my report.  For now, all I would like to say is that I have very much enjoyed my presidency; I didn't think I would, but I did.  I found it very rewarding.

As you would have seen from the documents sent out for the AGM, we received nominations for all elected positions.  However, we are still looking for a second photographer.  Anyone interested please let us know.  By the way, thanks to all those nominating for office bearer's positions.

To all our members I would like to say keep up the good work, make sure to be involved and stay connected.

Anne B

President's Message: February 2020

I must be nearing the end of my term, because I am running low on inspiration for my newsletter contribution.  Talking about inspiration though, there was plenty of it when I was watching the "Australian of the Year" announcements.  Listening to the inspiring stories of the nominees, it really made me proud to be Australian.  I hope you celebrated Australia Day in style.

A group of us ended up going on a Jazz harbour cruise and had a fabulous time.  The atmosphere on the harbour was great and it was a lovely opportunity to connect with a variety of people; one lady in particular had a very interesting story to tell;  she fled Afghanistan 40 years ago (after finishing her medical studies).  She came to Australia, didn’t speak English, learned the language, retrained and is now happily working as a doctor ... now that is Australia for you.  So, Happy Australia Day to you all.

Another very Australian thing we did earlier this month is visiting our National Broadcaster. A group of 23 visited the ABC studios at Ultimo, a very interesting tour, even though the ABC studios seemed to be in holiday mode still.  David A. - thank you for organising this tour.

Now to an important matter at hand:  Those nominating for Probus positions, please note that the deadline for nominations will be our February meeting.  So please make sure to fill in your forms and hand them to Marilyn L.  Looking forward to seeing most of you on Wednesday the 12th of February.

Anne B

President's Message: January 2020

I can’t believe another year has come and gone. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas celebrations without too much stress and are now well and truly focussing on your New Year's resolutions.  I do have a few, but I won’t tell you.  Thanks again to Judy for organising our Christmas luncheon to perfection and Ian for doing such an excellent job as Master of Ceremonies.  We look back on a wonderful event. Anyway, we are now gearing up to our January meeting; and I would like to take this opportunity to talk about something that is bothering me somewhat with regards to attendance during our monthly speaker's talk.  I understand that some members can't stay for the talk because of other pressing commitments.  However, it has been brought to my attention that at our last meeting quite a few people left during the talk.  I understand that not all speakers and/or topics can be to everybody's liking, but please try to be a little considerate and think about the effort that David L, our speaker convenor, puts in as well as time and effort put in by the speaker.  I hope that common courtesy may prevail at future meetings.

Sad News – Jacqueline M

It is with sadness that I report the passing of Jaqueline M on Christmas Eve.  Jacqueline had been ill for some years and was in a nursing home.  Jaqueline and her husband Robert were former NMPC members from 2013 to 2017 (Robert passed away some years ago).  I personally have not known Jacqueline, but some long time members may remember her.  Our sympathy and best wishes go to the family.  There will be a service at St Stephens Church, Normanhurst at 10am on Monday 6th January.

Last but not least, I am wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I am looking forward to another year with lots of fun, friendship and fellowship.

Anne B

President's Message: December 2019

Another month has gone and hopefully you were able to enjoy some of the activities.  I heard through the grapevine that the Norman Lindsay outing was a great success, so big "thank you" to David A.  Also, a great night out was the theatre show at Castle Hill Players - thanks Cathy. And it goes without saying that the 'Wine and Cheese' was most enjoyable as per usual.

Thanks Peter and Suzanne for the excellent choice of French wines and Carmel and Gordon for hosting the night.

Not long to go to Christmas now; whilst looking for some inspiration I came upon a little Christmas poem by Catherine Pulsifer which I would like to share with you.

Don’t let Christmas be a time to be stressed
Don’t Let Christmas be a time to overspend
Don’t let Christmas be a time of no rest
Don’t let Christmas be a time to ignore good friends.
Let Christmas be a joyous time
Let Christmas be a relaxing and happy holiday
Let Christmas be sharing of your dimes
Let Christmas be love in many ways.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to seeing you at the meeting on the 11th followed by our Christmas Lunch on the 18th of December. Best wishes for the season.

Anne B

President's Message: November 2019

Earlier this week we had our management committee meeting and had a bit of a discussion around succession planning.  It is early days yet, as the AGM only takes place in March, but I think, one cannot be too early or too prepared!  It appears that we have quite a few vacancies coming up.  I will list them here, so that all of you can start thinking about putting your hand up for one of these roles:  Vice President, Treasurer, Membership Officer and Speakers Convenor.  So please start thinking and feel free to talk to any of the committee members If you want to know a bit more of what is involved.

Now on another matter, I would like to shine some light on our Welfare Officer, Maureen N. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes, which we are not always privy to.  Maureen cares about our wellbeing and in her role is very professional and discreet.  On behalf of all of us I just want to commend Maureen on doing such an excellent job.  Thanks heaps and keep up the good work! … and thank you Vince for sharing Maureen with us.

Looking forward to seeing most of you at the November meeting.

Anne B

President's Message: October 2019

In my September message I wished "Bon Voyage" to those going to Kangaroo Island. Well they had a fantastic time.  I have spoken to quite a few of those that travelled and they were all raving about the trip.  In organising this trip Ross was able to tap into the local knowledge of someone in Victor Harbor and established a great connection.  I would like to take this opportunity to commend Ross on the excellent job done in organising this tour, on time and under budget.  We may consider tapping into this talent in the future!

Meanwhile, we have received a suggestion in the suggestion box, asking us to see whether it would be possible to move the lectern somewhat to give people on the left-hand side of the hall a better view.  Happy to consider and we will experiment with its location at the next meeting to find out what works best.

Also, Rod had been busy doing some homework on figuring out how to operate the new PA system.  Fingers crossed he will get it to work.  Well, if Rod (with all his expertise) can’t get it to work, no one else will.  That is my humble opinion.  Rod, thanks again for looking after setting up the equipment.

We would be up the creek without you.

Looking forward to seeing most of you at the October meeting.

Anne B

President's Message: September 2019

Wednesday afternoon, after a busy morning (Probus committee meeting) followed by lunch (with the Probus movie group) and some spare time before my next non-Probus activity (Yoga class), it is now time to get stuck into the President's message.

Not really that much to report, but I would like to bring a few things to your attention.  Ian P has offered to give us a run down on how our activity booking system works, at our September meeting.  Ian will take us through the 'step by step' approach for members to follow when booking in for the various activities, at the same time also explaining why it is important to follow the process.

Another thing that was discussed at the committee meeting this morning is the importance of members reading the newsletter.  Reading the newsletter is the best way to find out what activities are happening, but also to find out whether you are scheduled on the General Meeting Roster.  So please do check whether your name appears on the duty roster list for the next couple of months.

Lastly, I would like to say "bon voyage" to those members who will be off to Kangaroo Island on the 12th of September; enjoy your travels and have some 'Fun' (one of Probus' three "F's").  Looking forward to hearing all about your travels when you get back. Thank you Ross M for organising this tour.


Anne B

President's Message: August 2019

Sunday afternoon, blue sky and quite mild, what a glorious day.  Probably not the kind of day our farmers would like to see with the current drought, but I am enjoying it all the same.

Today, I would like to talk a bit about our 'Suggestion Box'.  Not sure that all of you are aware that we do have such a thing.  The box usually sits on one of the tables near the entrance to the hall and when I collect it at the end of the meeting, it is usually empty.  Perhaps this means that our members are happy and content with the way we run our club.  However, I would like to encourage our members to come forward with any suggestions they might have;  any ideas on how we run our meetings;  the format of the newsletter;  guest speakers (speakers, topics covered, length of talks);  outings, activities, etc. etc.  By the way, positive feedback is always welcome!  For those who find it easier to send an email rather than writing a note and depositing it in the suggestion box, we are also be happy to receive your ideas and feedback using our email ... Normanhurst Probus Contact Page.

Just for noting: The last suggestion received was a couple of years ago; this was a suggestion from Kate W, who made us aware of a collapsible coffee cups, which we could bring to the meetings.  By the way I think this was an excellent suggestion, anything to reduce the use of disposable cups.

One more thing I would like to talk about is our slide show, which is usually projected during the early part of our meetings.  A fair bit of work goes into collating all the pictures and putting it all together in a slide show; thank you Caroline!  However, many of us are busy booking into activities at the same time, i.e. you may miss out on seeing the pictures, so I would like to point out that you can also see the photos on our web site.  Click on Gallery or google 'Normanhurst Mixed Probus' and go to 'Gallery'.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the meeting.


Anne B

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