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: 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

Recent Past News - Previous 12 Months

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

President's Message: July 2019

As I am writing my message, the heater is going full blast; it must be winter! On the upside we are now past the winter solstice.  At our last meeting we had a bit of a technical situation; while setting up the council equipment we found out that the PA system wasn’t working at all.  Rod, thinking on his feet, went home and got his own system and got us back on air.  Phew!  On behalf of us all a big thank you to Rod.

Also, I would like to talk a bit about the fantastic job that Carol and Lola are doing in looking after our hospitality needs.  Our afternoon tea break is a crucial part of our monthly meetings and Carol and Lola just make it happen.  They buy the supplies, arrive early to set up in the kitchen and the meeting room and it all happens with little fuss … and they have been doing this for four years.  So, today I would like to congratulate you both on doing an excellent job and say thank you on behalf of all of us.

Also, big thumbs up for our dinner at O’Bombay.  What a fantastic night it was! Great venue (nice to have our own room in the bar area), great food and excellent company.  Thanks to Judy for organising the dinner and thank you Elsa for suggesting it.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the meeting,

Anne B

President's Message: June 2019

As I am writing my message for the newsletter, winds are blowing and heaters going, I think winter has arrived.  I hope you have all had your flu injection. If not, go and make the appointment.  Coming down with Influenza is not to be recommended (I speak from experience!).

Enough of that!  What I really would like to do is congratulate all members on a great 10th Anniversary celebration.  What a great day it was; it was lovely to see so many past members joining us.  Great to see so many of us dancing away on the everlasting music of Elvis.  Thank you Bill and team for sharing your experiences as you pioneered through the early days of our club.  Ian L, it was very special to have you join us on the day and that you were able to join your fellow office bearers and say a few words.

Thanks also to past presidents for their contributions.  Judy what a trooper you are; you were not feeling well and yet totally in charge and on top of the overall organisation.  I hope you are feeling better by now.  One person I forgot to thank on the day is Rod, who was in charge of technical support.  Rod, all went so smoothly, that you somehow went under the radar, but thanks heaps.

I would like to finish by saying let's get the next ten years on the way.  Your fellowship and your participation in the various activities make the club a meaningful part in our lives.  Let the years be filled with fun and friendship.

Anne B

President's Message: May 2019

This month will mark our 10th Anniversary and hopefully we are all getting into the mood to celebrate. Meanwhile I have been on a fact finding mission to find out a bit more about our club's inception. I found out that our very first meeting was held on the 13th of May 2009. Initial office bearers were: Bill M, President; Doug M, Vice President; Graham D, Secretary; Ian L, Treasurer; Jenny B, Membership; Yoka M, Welfare Officer; and Joan K, Newsletter Editor. Then again, I found a list on which I counted a total of 22 members; all nominating for office bearer and activity leader positions. So, quite a number of people put their hands up and got involved right from the word go.

I won’t go into too much detail here, as we will have that opportunity at our anniversary lunch. For now, all I would like to say is that clearly it was a huge effort setting up our club and on behalf of our fellow Probians I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation and thanks to all those early pioneers.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the anniversary lunch on the 20th of May; by the way we have close to 100 members and past members joining us in the celebrations.

Anne B

President's Message: April 2019

I am honoured to be elected as your President and will do my best to steer the ship.  Firstly, I would like to thank Jan C for doing a fantastic job as our President in the past year.  I do have big shoes to fill! (not to be taken literally).  Secondly, congratulations to Martin Smith being elected as Vice President, I am very much looking forward to having you on our team.  At the same time, I would like to thank Tony for nominating for the position.

This year I would love to see as many members as possible engaged in our activities.  By the way, it is very encouraging to see so many outings in the pipeline!

Please be reminded to put your name down for our 10th Anniversary Lunch on the 20th of May, which promises to be fun.  (Payment is due at our next meeting.)  Also you are reminded that membership fees of $40 is due by the next meeting 10th April.

I would like to finish by saying how much I cherish our club's culture of inclusiveness.  Let's keep up the good work and nurture our friendships.

Enjoy your Easter celebrations with lots of chocolate and hot cross buns!

Anne B

President's Message: March 2019

REMINDER: March meeting is 12.00 pm for 12.30 pm Wednesday 20th March, 2019

Our recent outing to Jazz at the Pines saw many dancing on the grass.  Pied Piper Carol got a number of us up and grooving.  Thanks Cathy for organising this fun day.  Dennis A was 'best dressed' looking ultra-cool and jazzy.

What of other activities since our last meeting? … as usual we had great friendly evenings at 'no snobs' Wine & Cheese and 'no snobs' Classical Music; 'Murder Bloody Murder' at the Pavilion surprised us with a different twist; some of us learned why it's important to be earnest at Sylvia's Play Reading and others acquired some useful tips at Cards tuition on the 26th.  I hope you tried some club activity recently – maybe golf, bowls, trivia or movies?  Happy travels to those 35 Lords and Ladies who are right now cruising on the swanky Queen Elizabeth to Tasmania.  Coming up is our 10th Anniversary Lunch; bookings open in March.

Well done Membership Officers Barbara and Gloria who organised our stand at Hornsby Seniors' Expo on 22 Feb and thanks to members and helpers who supported them.  It was a good opportunity to network and promote our club.

Membership fees are due on 1 April.  A motion will be put at the AGM to retain fees at their present rates.

Secretary Marilyn has emailed or posted documents for the AGM to you all.

I'm pleased to say we have nominations for nearly all elected positions. The only one outstanding is for a second photographer.  We really need two to cover our meetings, trips and activities.  Talk to Joan K if you'd like to find out more about this role.

The Outings Activity Leader position is also vacant.  This is not an elected position.  To find out what's involved, speak to Activities Convenor Ian P who has been covering Outings this past year.  Ian has already set much of the 2019 programme in motion.

Thank you sincerely for trusting me as your President for 2018-9.  I know that next year you’ll have a capable team with vim and vigour and a fresh slant.  Please support and encourage your Committee, Elected Officers and Activity Leaders as they, like the throng of members, are essential to the life, fun and friendship of our club.

Jan C - Signing off but still kicking!

 Copyright © 2012, Normanhurst Mixed Probus Club Inc. Club Number 9003827, Incorporation Number 9893316