Nutcote Visit – Review

Thursday 30 May 2019

Last Thursday eighteen gum blossoms and four big bad Banksia men set sail for their ancestral home, “Nutcote”, on the shores of Sydney Harbour at Neutral Bay. It was there that May Gibbs wrote and illustrated her works, the most famous being “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”.

After the obligatory caffeine hit at “Thelma and Louise” at Neutral Bay wharf, we continued on the short walk to our destination. There our informative volunteer, John, guided us through both May’s life and delightful home situated among trees and garden sloping down to the shores of our sparkling harbour. May’s home is restored and decorated evoking the period of her early years in residence, which began in 1924 and ended in 1967.

Following on from the tour, the “Nutcote Gumnuts” provided a luncheon of assorted sandwiches and cake with cream and strawberries, served to us on the verandah of the visitors centre.

To return home we ended with a last minute dash to catch the next ferry and much to the embarrassment of tour leader “Mrs Kookaburra”, “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie “were left behind. However all ended well with all the gumnuts and banksia men returning safely to Cabarita.

The end of another happy day with our fellow Probarians.

Review of outing to HARS Museum

Saturday 18 May 2019

On a balmy autumn day in May, fourteen aviation aficionados of varying enthusiasm explored the HARS Aviation Museum at Albion Park.  The aim of this museum is restore to flying condition, aircraft that have played a significant part in Australian aviation history both in the civil and military arenas.

On arrival, our group was kitted out in high visible safety vests which come in a large range of colours of bright orange or….bright orange.


We were escorted around the extensive hangars by volunteer guides, to look over, look in, clamber into and walked through the large number of aircraft.  We learnt that the museum is staffed by 700 volunteers, aviation engineers involved with restoring old planes, retired pilots who fly the operational planes, guides who escort visitors, others who serve on the counter and cafe.  HARS could be considered a very exciting ‘Men’s and Ladies Shed”.

Highlights included:

  • Walking through the Qantas 747 jumbo ‘City of Canberra’ which holds the dual world records for the longest non-stop flight from Heathrow to Sydney Airport and the shortest flight of 11 minutes from Sydney airport to Albion Park airstrip for its final destination.
  • Climbing up the same boarding stairs used by the Beatles when they arrived at Sydney airport in 1964.  Who can recall that event?
  • Clambering up the pilot seat of the controversial F111 bomber which was known as “The Pig”.  Definitely proves that pigs can indeed fly if you throw hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars at them.
  • Looking inside an Orion anti-submarine tracker which uses MAD technology.  This does not refer to the crew but to Magnetic Anomaly Detection systems which can detect large metal objects which can change the earth’s magnetic field like a submarine. This Orion aircraft was used in the search and rescue of Tony Bullimore in the Southern Ocean. It also searched for the missing Malaysian flight MH370. Who remembers these events?
  • Bringing back fond memories of planes to our group which included a pilot, an avionic engineer and one who admitted that as a boy he assembled little model aeroplanes from plastic kits.  Another revealed that her father was a Qantas captain who flew the Super Constellation and she was keen to come to the museum to relive her memories of flying on this plane affectionately known as “The Connie”.  Connie is now the only flying Super Constellation in the world.

Our aficionados were well fuelled by coffee and home made snacks from the award-winning Cafe Connie.  Our group enjoyed a super day out; learnt so much about aviation as we mixed flight with Friendship, Fellowship and Foxtrot-Uniform-November.

Mission accomplished!

Review – Tour of the Sydney Cricket ground

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Eighteen Probus members and friends experienced a most interesting tour of the SCG today in glorious autumn weather.

The tour took 2 hours with our informative and enthusiastic guide, Gail who loves any sport.

The ground was originally part sandhills and part swamp but in 1851 the land was granted to the British Army , stationed in nearby Victoria Barracks , for use as a garden and cricket ground for the soldiers .

Since its establishment , the SCG has been used for cricket, NRL, AFL, Rugby Union, athletics , baseball and cycling and was used as the main stadium in 1938 for the British Empire Games. The giant light towers were added in the 1970s for Kerry Packer’s night cricket.

The tour started with inspection of several of the 10 commissioned bronze statues of famous cricketers and athletes including Richie Benaud, Stan McCabe, Fred Spofforth and Steve Waugh . We also had an impressive view of the ground itself and the demolition of the Allianz Stadium next door.

We were taken to the dressing rooms, spa room and physio rooms , the press room, the commentary and media sections and the beautiful timber bar in the Members Stand, finishing in the museum.

Having very little knowledge of cricket, I must say I learned a lot!!!



Report on the visit to Susannah Place

Thursday 28 March 2019

Susannah Place is one of Sydney’s Living Museums. On Thursday the 28th March, a group of us visited the Museum with guides Grant and Avril. We were divided into groups because of the size of the rooms. Susannah Place is actually a terrace with four houses. These houses were “lived in” between 1844 and the early 1970s. Sydney Living Museums is doing its best to preserve the historic nature of the terraces. We were able to see some of the physical restoration, which has taken place with great care to maintain the original look and feel of the rooms. The tour centred around specific rooms which each told their own story. These stories came alive when we looked at the furniture and the “mod cons” or lack of them. My group was invited to pick up the old cast iron! No need to do weight-bearing exercises when you had to use that every day!

One of the houses became a corner store with the family living behind it. This shop was run by the wife while her husband went out to work. The wife even had a window cut out between the shop and her kitchen so she could see customers when they entered. The shop would have been like a coffee shop today where people gathered for social interaction. Unfortunately the shop fell on hard times during the Depression and had to close. Today it is restored and sells items such as Sunlight Soap and string bags, which would have been in demand in most households in the early part of the 20th century. The houses represent a time capsule of Sydney spanning more than 100 years. They would not be here today if it wasn’t for the collaboration of Jack Mundey and the local residents in the 1970s who fought hard to preserve them. The tour was both enriching and vitalising. We enjoyed a delicious lunch afterwards at The Orient Hotel.  Thanks must go to Judy Mitchell for organising such an inspiring day.

Jane Cook

Rotary Corporate Golf Day – Review

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Last Tuesday our Probus Golf Club was again extended an invitation to participate in a Rotary Corporate Golf Day at the lovely Penrith Twin Pines Golf Course. The day was to raise funds for Rotary Health an organisation that supports work on a broad range of health problems especially in mental health plus support for the local Nepean Hospital. Twelve of our members accepted the invitation and joined 120 golfers on the course. Our golfers accredited themselves well with one of our teams of 4 comprising our captain Ron Hutchinson, Keith Stockwell, Steve Jurd and our president Brian Roylance taking out overall second place in the Rotary versus Probus teams event. (A great effort as our Probus members were giving the Rotary team many years start). David Forsyth and Phil Canty were also well rewarded for their drives on the par three getting inside the club’s pro. A great day was had by all followed by a healthy delicious buffet lunch. It is the clubs intention to participate in a number of charity events throughout the year. If any Probus members would like to join us for golf on any Friday afternoon please contact our current captain Ron Hutchinson.

Annual General Meeting – Friday 1 March 2019

Elected Management Committee

President – Brian Roylance Senior Vice Presidents – Kathy Beresford Junior Vice Presidents – Colin Peterson Secretary – Jan Sayers Treasurer – Keith Stockall Membership Officer – Gil Vella Outings Facilitator – Gilda McRobert Groups Co-ordinator – Connie Fraser Speaker Conveners – Victoria Mitchell, Pam Floyd Member support – Judy Mitchell

Christmas Lunch – December 2018

The first cook book’s French evening

An evening of bonhomie and French cuisine … the First Cookbook Club. Twelve Probus members gathered for a lively evening of delicious food and good conversation at the home of Jane and Gilbert Elliot on Saturday evening. The menu included Nicoise Salad, cote d’agneau, poulet francais, ratatouille, mocha Pots de Creme, tarte de pomme et chocolat mousse … all washed down with vin rouge et vin blanc. (With apologies to my high school French teacher). It was a great opportunity for members to meet people and sample a new menu.  


Photography Group – Review

20 November 2018

The Photography Group enjoys capturing moments in time. Just bring a camera or even a mobile phone. Not essential to bring a tripod or specialised lenses or any fancy equipment. A recent trip to nearby Rockwood Cemetery (the largest necropolis in the Southern Hemisphere) provided plentiful opportunities for capturing the lasting memorial for its residents. We visited the area around St Michael of The Archangel Chapel. This chapel is a stunning example of Gothic Revival-style architecture, built in 1890 and is situated in the older and quieter part of the cemetery.

We were able to take photos of any sight which captured our interest. Headstones standing straight or sloping with age; historic funerary motifs carved in sandstone or marble, the graves of catholic priests with identical headstones and family vaults decorated with statues and flowers. One handy tip is to take a reference photograph of a sign. This is useful when you are looking through hundreds/thousands of holiday pictures to remind you of where you took the shot.

After the photo shoot, we regathered for coffee at the Breakfast Point Country club. At the next meeting, we will review our Rookwood photos and discuss ideas on how to take even better photos. So if you have an interest in photography and wish to take better “moments in time”, then come along to the meeting on the third Tuesday of each month. Another fun way to learn with others – friendship, fellowship and fun through photography.


Review – Melbourne Cup 2018

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Melbourne Cup 2018 was a great day shared with a selection of Probus friends. We descended on Massey Park Golf Club for wonderful food (prawns, smoked salmon, slow cooked lamb, baked ham and roast vegetables, Greek salad, and a selection of yum desserts). There were prizes and sweeps organised for us and a complementary drink. All for $55! The live entertainment was fabulous and we sang along loudly and mainly in tune. All in all… GREAT!

Review – Bundeena Art Trail

Sunday 4 November 2018

Bundeena via train and ferry for a day out. We gave our Opal Cards a work out! Great day with top mates. We visited many art studios and chatted to the artists about their work. A cheap and yummy lunch was enjoyed by all overlooking a wonderful water view. Thank you Judith Hall, Convener.

Cookbook Club Review

Sunday 3 November 2018

The Long Lunch

Who likes a long lunch? The members of Cookbook Club do. We enjoyed a long, long lunch recently held in pleasant spring weather. In spite of our hosts living in a one bedroom apartment, the al fresco BBQ lunch was spread over two tables in their small courtyard. With the Australian BBQ theme, our hosts decorated the tables with Sydney Opera House napkins. The lunch stretched from 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm, evident of the great time we had with the many tasty dishes and long, long conversations. Later, we were able to share recipes for some of the courses – Cypriot quinoa salad, mango sago pudding with coconut ice cream – yum, yum, yum. Our next get together is planned for February with a romantic Valentine day theme. Perhaps, even dancing! If you are interested in joining the Cookbook Club, drop an email to Jane Elliott who is the Group co-ordinator. For more information on how the Cookbook Club will operate in the new year, go to the CookBook Club link. Then you too can share in some long meals and meet interesting people. And by the way, the food is not too bad.

Review – Mahratta House and Gardens

Tuesday 16 October 2018

October saw a number of interested Probians enjoying an Open Day tour of this 1940s house. The design was heavily influenced by 1930s Art Deco trends including many curves and architectural detail. The staircase was elliptical and sweeping! The extensive garden grounds included a grass tennis court and a bee 🐝 hive colony. We all enjoyed the tour, scones and liquid refreshments.


Canberra 2-Day Trip-Review

Monday 15 & Tuesday 16 October 2018 Australian War Memorial

The purpose of the trip to Canberra was to visit the War Memorial as it is the Centenary of Armistice (the end of the 1st World War.) Our party consisted of 20 Probus members and we departed by Coach at 9:00 am and headed to Canberra stopping in Goulburn at Trappers Bakery for morning Tea. We arrived at the War Memorial and the surrounding grounds were a sea of red poppies and two bronze statues; Lieutenant General Sir John Monash, and Simpson and his donkey carrying a wounded soldier. The War memorial was truly amazing and we joined a 90 minutes guided tour at 1:30 pm. The displays, dioramas and simulated war situations left us speechless. The suffering of the troops and civilians was overpowering. Clearly we did not have enough time to take it all in and could have return the next day. We stayed for the Last Post Ceremony and it was a very moving experience. Dr Brendon Nelson (Director of the War Memorial) and overseas dignitaries from Germany and Malaysia were present and laid wreaths to honour the fallen. We then head to our motel and at 7:00 pm left for dinner at the Hellenic Club at Woden. We had a great meal with plenty of laughter and new friendships were made.

New Parliament House tour

The next morning we were off to New Parliament house for a guided tour at 10:00 am. Another great experience and again more time was needed. At morning tea we decided to push back our lunch and attend the House of Representatives, which was to start at 12:00 noon. We saw firsthand democracy in actions with much theatre and entertainment.

Wine Tasting & Lunch at Lerida Estate

Lunch was at Lerida Winery (Lake George) and was fantastic. Lunch was held in the barrel room that had such a great feel with wine maturing in barrels stacked from floor to ceiling on both sides. We left around 3:30 pm and arrived back at Breakfast point around 6:45 pm The success of the trip was made possible by our tour provider Paramount Tours.

Ron Hutchinson, Tour Organiser, 10/11/2018

Kayaking Group – Woronora River Outing

The Kayaking Group enjoyed a special outing on the Woronora River today. Perfect weather, clear and calm waters and great company combined with just the right amount of exercise to make for a memorable day. Please enjoy these photos taken by one of the team. Kayak2woronora river

Rotary Corporate Golf Day

Thursday 11 October 2018 golfers

Last Thursday 11 October Peter Lean extended an invitation to our Probus Golf Club members to participate in a Rotary Corporate Golf Day at the lovely Camden Lakeside Golf Course. The day was to raise  funds for Rotary Health, an organisation that supports work on a broad range of health problems especially in mental health. Ten of our members accepted the invitation and joined 120 golfers on the course. Our golfers accredited themselves well with one of our teams of 4 comprising Geoff Barnsley, Keith Stockwell, David Forsythe and Peter Woodhouse taking out fifth place overall of the 30 teams entered. Peter Woodhouse won nearest the pin. ( that is Peter in the front row with the big trophy and even larger grin) Steve Jurd, our club captain, won the birdie hole although we understand he made a donation to secure the 10 metre rope that allowed him to move closer to the pin! Brian Roylance, not to be outdone, was runner-up in the spider scramble (more like bowls than golf) A great day was had by all and we understand from Peter a very successful one. Peter also kindly supplied and drove the bus to the course and returning us all safely. Thankyou Peter. Mike Ward – Probus. lgcc__course_image_5

Review – Cookbook Club

12 August 2018

“Friendship, Fellowship, Fun and Food”

Do you remember prawn cocktails, beef wellington and cocktails onions with cheese on a toothpick stuck on an orange half? Our Cookbook Club did and was able to relive eating these classic dishes from the 70’s in our recent lunch gathering. The sights and music of the 70’s was also relived by a disco decorated table and 70’s music. We laughed at the photos of ourselves when the guys had more hair with sidelevers and girls wore cheese cloth dress. We shared our wedding photos and were surprised how young we looked, even though we thought we were so grownup back then. Other Cookbook meals earlier in the year were themed on “Illuminating Italian Food” and Donna Hayes recipes. Our next meeting will see us enjoying an al fresco lunch around a BBQ. Our Cookbook Club exceeds the Probus philosophy of “Friendship, Fellowship and Fun” because we add Food as well. Regardless of the food genre, we all agreed that we are eating better tasting food today than from the 70’s. Anything has to be better than cocktails onions on a toothpick!

Review – Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walk

Thursday 2 August 2018

Twenty-five Probus members walked about 11 km (the route somehow was longer and with more stairs!? than advertised) along the shores of our beautiful harbour today in perfect conditions . We started our walk at just after 10:00 am and had an early lunch at Clifton Gardens and, as the kiosk there was closed, some of our coffee addicts were able to source some caffeine a little further along the track and this sustained them for the second half of the walk. We arrived at Balmoral at around 12:30 pm and as a reward for our effort, some indulged in some coffee and cake and icecream by the beach and then took the bus back to Taronga Zoo Wharf allowing us to admire some of the magnificent Mosman mansions. Thank you to everyone who walked today … it was lovely to see some new faces and get to know you. Judy

Outing NSW Rail Museum

Sunday 8 July 2018

A small party of trainspotters visited the NSW Rail Museum at Thirlmere on Sunday 8 July. The visit was planned to coincide with the day that the museum ran a steam train. We arrived in time for the obligatory coffee break with complimentary biscuits before we had a guided tour by volunteer Allan. Allan explained the mechanics of how a steam train operates and various exhibits such as the Garrett (6040), which was the largest locomotive which operated in Australia.

Allan demonstrated the use of the air brakes to make train rides “less exciting” which is an euphuism for “safer”. When he released the air in all the brake cylinders, the loud noise caused us all to cover our ears. Some of our party climbed into the cabin of the steam locomotive 3016 and enjoyed the warmest spot (in the Southern Highland) by being in front of an open coal firebox.

We entertained ourselves with tales of train travel from various parts of the world during the 45-minute ride from Thirlmere station to Buxton. Our group was able to be fit within an eight seater cabin on board the carriage. The old wooden carriage allowed one to open the window so you could experience the thrill of sticking your head out the window and reliving the delights of soot in the eyes and dirty smoke in the lungs. We retraced our youth by walking through old red rattler carriages and viewing a train turntable in front of the newly constructed roundhouse. Our visit ended with the other obligatory Probus event of a cosy lunch which took place at the Common Ground Bakery inside the historic 1849 Razorback Inn. The train spotters were watered, fed and satisfied. The consensus was a great day was had by all.

Crazy Whist – Review

Wow, what a great turn up we had for out Crazy Whist on Sunday 17 June at the BPCC. Eleven and a half tables and 42 players. Fortunately the club closed the partition wall, as there was raucous laughter all through the afternoon, which raised the noise level somewhat. We played 24 hands in all with a break for afternoon tea halfway through. Thank you to all who attended for making the afternoon such a success. Next one is on Sunday 21 October 2018 from 3:00 pm till 6:00 pm. Shirley Zions

Review – Solstice Yule Celebration Lunch

Thursday 21 June 2018

34 members attended the Winter solstice lunch at ‘The Fairmont Resort’ in Leura. Our designated room with views over Megalong Valley was abuzz with chatter during lunch and some members burst into Irish singing! Prior to our feast, some members popped over the road to the Leura Golf Club within Fairmont Resort to visit the Bald Archies – ‘the prize that laughs at art’s lighter side’. And laugh we did. What an exhibition, some very funny comic art (some needing to be hung more discretely) and much discussion about which one we were choosing for the prize winner in the people’s choice category. Thank you Gilda for organising a great event.

Travel Trip Review – Broken Hill

18–26 June 2018

There was a 6:00 am start to book in any luggage. Strathfield Station was cold but not unbearable. By 6:30 am we were on our way via the Blue Mountains, Orange and through to the west. The train trip was long but being able to buy food and walk around kept everyone in a reasonable mood. (Some escaped Sydney by plane.) The weather was crisp and cool and not unbearably cold, as expected. Luckily the motel accommodation was opposite ‘The Junction Hotel’ which had great supplies for all tastes…food too!

We enjoyed mining stories and sites, art galleries, Royal Flying Doctor Service visit, a ghost town, opal fields and dug outs, cruising on the Darling River, historic streets and amazing natural beauty. Yes it was dry. Yes it was vast. Yes it was home of many kangaroos, emus, wild pigs, goats and sheep. Did we have a good time? YES, YES, YES.