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


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.


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.


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?


Sydney Observatory Tour – Thursday 31 May 2018

As we strolled up Argyle Street to the Observatory Hill, some of us couldn’t resist the temptation to have coffee and croissant or some pastries at ‘La Renaissance Café’.

We all enjoyed the Tour, the interesting and knowledgeable Tour Guides, the chatter and friendship as we all wandered in and through the Sydney Observatory, and then to finish the day off, a stroll to the Rooftop Bar at the ‘Glenmore Hotel’ for lunch and a well deserved glass of wine, beer or your drink of choice.

Thank you, Kath for organising this very enjoyable outing.

Review – Sydney University Guided Walk – Thursday 17 May 2018

Impressions … and a few facts, we were after all at a university.

First University in Australia – 1850

First women enrolled 1882 – graduating 1885. (Oxford denied women graduation until 1920!)

Gargoyles and grotesques. While both come from the same ugly family each has a different job to do: gargoyles take care of the roof water and grotesques fend off evil. The latter does seem contradictory but when evil sees a reflection of itself it either backs off or laughs, either way disempowering itself. Just passing on the facts.

These of course adorned the Sydney sandstone building, with obligatory clock tower, Great Hall and lead light windows, all trying to emulate ‘the gleaming spires of Oxford’.

New law school all glass and gleam.

Nicholson Museum, small but well curated, including displays incorporating Greek symbols and myths, a lot of unrequited love and heaps of jealousy, with women, it’s always women, being changed into butterflies and the like.

The Hub with its lovely roof line, think huge waves, part of Charles Perkins Centre.

Here they are researching non-communicable diseases particular to the 21st century such as Diabetes.

Baguettes for lunch, light and crispy.

The legal graffiti tunnel, started during the Vietnam War protests and when “Americans go home” meant something, had now changed into something else. Possibly our vision was somewhat dimmed by old age but most of us were perplexed. It seemed to be just a mess of colour with the emphasis on mess.

Both politically and artistically the message was lost on us. Decide for yourselves.

As always, there was more: Egyptian in the Nicholson, stained glass in the Medical Faculty, portraits, of important men in the old library, and, and …

Thank you, Judy and Rob for the learning and the lovely languid walk in the autumn sunshine.

Review by Gilda McRobert

Travel Chat – Travelling Full-time – 8 May 2018

Guest speakers Christopher Ojala and Andrew Redfern (Global Wanderers)

Twenty-one members attended this month’s Travel Chat. Guest speakers Christopher Ojala and Andrew Redfern (AKA The Global Wanderers) outlined how they are able to travel full-time with careful budgeting, house sitting and rental income from their Sydney apartment. Tips and hints for successful house sitting, as well as apps and sites to assist seat booking, budgeting, cheap flights etc were shared. The Wanderers entertained us with stories of their various house sitting experiences (e.g. what to do when a flood passes through the house you are sitting!) as well as some of the unexpected benefits, like meeting so many new friends and experiencing different parts of the world at a deeper level than just ‘passing through’.

We all went away with practical ideas to enhance our own travel experiences.

Twenty-one members attended this month’s Travel Chat

Next month the topic is “With a song in my heart” – music and travel.
Tuesday, 12 June 2:00–4:00 pm Admin Building Breakfast Point. Don’t miss it!

Review of Walk from Wentworth Falls Station to Wentworth Falls Lookout

On Tuesday May 8, twenty-four intrepid Probarians set out on a brisk, sunny morning headed for a trek along the scenic Charles Darwin Walking Trail to Wentworth Falls Lookout. It was an early start for the majority who went by train. Some like myself were quite amazed that it was pitch dark at 6:00am these days and were reacquainted with the quiet beauty of sunrise!! As we alighted the train, the people in the “quiet” carriage were showing signs of great relief, as realizing our mistake we continued on our way through to another.

As is our ritual on “Walks of Interest”, we stopped for coffee on arrival at the Wentworth Falls Village. Our competent organizer, Judy Mitchell had made a booking for us at the Blue Mist Café, directly across from the station. Some “in the know” made their way down to a German bakery and were able to fuel up on apple strudel, apricot turnovers and cream with a promise of a return visit on their way back in the afternoon.

By 11:00am we were ready to begin our walk and set out to follow in the in the footsteps of the famous naturalist, Charles Darwin who walked this track back in 1836. Walking through Wilson Park, the entrance to the trail we became aware of the freshness of the mountain air, the sense of stillness found in open forest and the beauty of the golds and reds of the Autumn leaves on the turn. Throughout our walk we could hear the sound of running water from Jamison Creek as it wound its way over boulders, dropped down in cascades, and formed little rock pools and sandy areas safe for children to paddle and families to picnic in. Sandra Jurd promises to be back with her young grandchildren.

Although a relatively short distance and graded as easy, this trek had its little challenges with uneven, rocky surfaces, protruding tree roots, (familiar to B.P residents) ascending and descending stairs and boardwalks which sloped either 90 degrees left or right and which must be related the Leaning Tower of Pisa! We were not daunted. With the aid of trekking poles, camaraderie and good conversations on route we were rewarded at the lookout with magnificent views over The Jamison Valley with the addition of black plumes of rising smoke coming from back burning.

Lunch at the picnic area was very welcome not to mention a well-earned seat. Our return journey to the station took us along picturesque Falls Road. For some the lure of that bakery and more strudel spurred them on at great speed. Elisabeth, Angela and John broke into a jog as they approached the village centre, only to find the strudel had run out… Grant, so wisely opted for a substantial tiramisu ice-cream and sat eating it with glee as the calorie conscious sat watching him with envy.

Margaret Vella deserves a bravery award for her tenacity in completing the trek with her sore knee and skill in managing the two trekking poles. The trip home was much quieter! Some members were seen to be having nanna naps.

Our appreciation and thanks once again to Judy and Rob Mitchell for their outstanding organisation of such an enjoyable day.

Carmel McDonald

Review – Coogee to Maroubra walk

Friday 27 April 2018

This walk was postponed from the 13 April because of the extremely hot weather that day. We could not have asked for better walking weather than we had on Friday. It was a little breezy which added to the atmosphere as we walked, “stomped” along the coastal track. Our guides, Judy and Rob Mitchell provided us with lots of interesting information.

Eighteen of us caught the ferry from Cabarita to Circular Quay. We then boarded a bus which took us all the way to Coogee. I discovered that it is a good idea to wear one’s Probus Outings Badge because each time I got on the bus I was greeted with a “Hello Jane” from the driver! At Coogee we stopped for coffee and it was standing outside the pub that Rob told me he grew up in Maroubra. We were literally coming into his old “stomping” ground. I could not help but say that when I think of Maroubra, I think of Little Patti and her song, “Stompin” at Maroubra’.

At this point Rob drew our attention to the Bali Memorial which stands on the cliff on the northern end of Coogee Beach. The walk gathered pace and some of the group decided to take the “low road” to clamber along the rocky shores of Lurline Bay. The rest of us were content to take the “high road” whilst taking in the spectacular views of the coastline. We were just able to see Wedding Cake Island as it was being battered by foaming waves.

Walking south into the wind we were rewarded with magnificent views of Maroubra Beach and our destination for lunch, the pub. We enjoyed a delicious lunch but the fun had not ended when Rob decided he would have an affogato for dessert. This started a trend and a few more were ordered….

We climbed back on the bus at 1:58 pm and trundled back into the city. Thank you to Judy and Rob for organising yet another enjoyable Probus Outing. As they say in the classics, we all came home “tired but happy”. I daresay some of us even had a little SCAN (Senior Citizens Afternoon Nap)

Review by Jane Cook

Annual General Meeting – Friday 2 March 2018

Elected committee members

President – Karin Canty
Senior Vice-President – Brian Roylance
Junior Vice-President – Kathy Beresford
Secretary – Pam Floyd
Treasurer – Keith Stockall
Membership Officer – Gil Vella
Interest Group Coordinator – Denise Norman
Outings Facilitator – Gilda McRobert
Speaker Coordinator – Victoria Mitchell
Member Support – Judy Mitchell

At the Hawkesbury Races – Tuesday 27/03/2018

Kayaking Club – Summer 2018

Photo gallery click any image to view at larger size.

Walkers’ Christmas Party in Cabarita Park, Saturday 9/12/2017

On Saturday evening about 30 members gathered in the park to celebrate a successful year of walks and outings.

We were lucky to have Patricio and Elisabeth go early to secure the shelter for us and clean it … thank you very much.

It was a beautiful evening and there was plenty of lively chatter and fellowship.

Thanks everyone for participating in the walks this year … the more the merrier.


Probus Christmas party 2017 at Concord Golf Club

Photos by Steve Taylor Club photographer.

Walk of interest – La Perouse Headland, Thursday 23/11/2017

Review by Gilda McRobert

Sunny sojourn with ‘citing sightings by the seaside.

And speaking of sibilants, one of the best exponents of the sound, slithered across the path, though silently; an identity crisis? It was black, it was brown, it was definitely grey. Ah, animals in the Aussie wild, we B.P. urbanites know them.

We also know our shags. They, appropriately, were on a rock. The cormorants were a bit trickier but they of course led us into the ethical considerations around cormorants, fishing and tourism. No such issues for birds at La Perouse, nor for us.

Here the water was blue, the beach was inviting and the sand was in our shoes!

We walkers of interest though, cope with whatever nature throws up at us. There we were; no concrete pathways, no yellow lines to indicate change of level, just the bush, the birds, the glorious coastline, the wonderful water.

We did more than 10 kilometres. Barley sugars were shared, the talk flowed. Comments made, especially while walking through the cemetery of the infectious dead. How could we not think what we did, when there, across the entire grave was a huge stone slab, about half a metre thick?

I say it every time, these walks are fantastic: $2.50 accessible places, glorious locations, convenient coffee shops. And the weather always seems to oblige.

Thank you Judy for organising a wonderful day.

P.S. What if La Perouse had arrived first?

Photo gallery below click any image to view at larger size. Hover over image to read caption.

Walk of Interest to The Garrison Church, The Observatory and S H Ervin Gallery at the National Trust

Twenty-four Probus members spent a pleasant day walking from Circular Quay to Observatory Hill. First stop was a coffee break in The Rocks where the group split into three and went to the café of choice so as not to overload one establishment.

A short walk from there lead us into The Garrison Church and then on to The Observatory for a super view of the surrounding areas of old Sydney and some informative displays.

After lunching and enjoying the fellowship of our members in The National Trust Café we visited The Salon des Refuses in the SH Ervin Gallery and were impressed and also surprised at the portrait paintings on display. We were able to vote for the one we liked the most, so will have to remember to find out the results as we may win a prize too.

After a successful few hours of culture, we headed down several flights of stairs and onto Barangaroo Wharf and home.

Thank you everyone for participating … it’s a great way to enjoy Probus.

The Bike Club Clinic

Elite athletes are seen here contemplating their next venture from Breakfast Point.

From left to right are Paula, Shirley, Chris, Trish, Graham, Phil and Mick.

Mick is seen here giving expert adjustments to Shirley’s bike with Chris admiring his technical skills.

Walk of Interest to the Inner West

Good weather, good friends and a well planned outing. The essential ingredients for an excellent Walk of Interest.

Christmas in July 2017 – The Carrington Hotel Katoomba

It didn’t snow, but it was chilly enough to add some Yuletide atmosphere to our Christmas in July at the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba. Thankyou to all who attended and a special thanks to our Outings organisers for all the excellent work done in the background to make it a memorable event.

Kayaking to Cockatoo Island

Our intrepid Kayaking crew paddled to Cockatoo Island for a cuppa recently. Here are a few photos taken on the day. Looks like fun!

Review – Garden Island Naval Heritage Centre

Wednesday 17 May 2017Outings conveners Peter and Marion Lean.

On an absolutely delightful mild sunny day 36 Probians gathered at Cabarita wharf for an outing to Garden Island in Sydney.

Garden Island is Australia’s main naval base with a major dry dock, major ship berthing facilities, and maintenance and repair facilities.

Located on the north east corner is the Naval heritage centre, located in a beautifully refurbished old building, and which contains many important artefacts (uniforms, equipment, boats (of the smaller variety) medals, equipment and armaments, all clearly and beautifully presented.

Although there are a lot of steps involved there is a magnificent lookout on top of the island, with 360 degree views of the Eastern suburbs, the city, the bridge and opera house, and north towards the zoo. Also located on the northern section is the site of the first fleet’s garden (hence “Garden” island) with the inscription 1788 scratched into the rock nearby. Apparently this was Sydney’s first example of graffiti.

We had a very pleasant lunch together, with truly the worlds best view – Sydney Harbour.

Our outing was superbly organised by Peter and Marion (he even had the morning ferry diverted to a closer jetty in circular quay so we had less walking to do.)

Highly recommended for a great day out with amazing scenery on the worlds best harbour.

Words and pictures by Steve “squizzy” Taylor, club photographer.

Review – Walk from Taronga to Balmoral

The week started with a not too encouraging weather forecast for our walk but changed in our favour as Thursday drew closer and so, nineteen Probians set off from Cabarita on the rivercat with Alison joining us at Abbotsford.

We arrived at Circular Quay in time for a comfort stop and coffee before we caught the ferry to Taronga Zoo and then commenced the walk along the picturesque track that hugs the shores of our beautiful harbour.

We walked past Athol Hall, today a function centre and cafe, on through the beautiful avenue of Angophoras with their stunning trunks and buttress roots towards HMAS Sydney Mast at Bradley’s Head and the various plaques dedicated to and telling us the stories of naval vessels that had served in both world wars. Here there were several cheeky kookaburras on sentry duty and they were very happy to pose for photographs. There were some wildflowers on display en route as well.

We then headed to Clifton Gardens at Chowder Bay where we found tables and enjoyed a picnic lunch, gathering strength for the next stage of our walk, up a challenging flight of stone steps towards Georges Heights from where the north and south heads of the harbour are clearly visible. From that point on, the walk reverted to a pleasant stroll towards Balmoral where we rewarded ourselves with coffee and icecream and caught the bus back to Taronga Wharf and then home.

This has to be one of the most beautiful walks in the world … stunning views of our harbour and city.