Burwood – Chinatown – Travel, Eat and Walk Review – 11 May 2022

One of the best ways to “travel” overseas at the moment is to eat the food from different parts of the world. On 11 May, our Travel Chat group took part in the inaugural “Travel Eat and Walk”, exploring the hawker stalls and restaurants located around Chinatown in Burwood. We looked at the restaurants which specialise in cuisines from different regions of China and Asia.

We started with coffee and tea (compulsory in any Probus function) at The Rusty Rabbit. Some tried lemongrass fusion tea or green sencha tea. We received a short history about the migration of Chinese to Australia and then practised using chopsticks to eat mochi dumplings.

We then looked at restaurants in Emerald Square, the pop-up stalls down Clarendon Lane, and in the Chinatown arcade. Some people tried eating chicken feet which is considered a delicacy and rich in collagen – good for your joints and skin.

We peered at the window displaying fresh roast duck, crackling roast pork and red BBQ pork, with a quick lesson on how to prepare dishes using these items. We sampled portions of crackling roast pork and the BBQ pork – still warm and juicy. Yum, yum, yum!

We entered the Leung Tim Chopper Company – an institution which supplies an extensive array of Chinese cookware to restaurants and the public. If you are looking for a wok, bamboo steamer or a specialty knife – this is the place to come!

Lastly, we stopped for lunch at Dumpling King which makes its dumplings fresh on their premises. We ate jelly fish salads and dumplings made in a variety of ways – steamed, pan-fried with a crispy bottom, or dumpling with soup stock inside. The meal ended with a customary dessert of fresh egg tarts.

All agreed that the first Travel Eat and Walk was very enjoyable and look forward to exploring food from other parts of Sydney in future Travel Chat meetings.

Connie Fraser
Travel Chat convener

    

 

Hero of Waterloo Pub Historic Tour and Lunch – Review – Tuesday 10 May 2022 

On Tuesday 10 May 2022, thirty-three members of our club enjoyed a visit to the Hero of Waterloo pub in Millers Point, one of Sydney’s oldest pubs with a rich history from colonial times, its first license dating back to 1843. 

It looked like the weather would be against us, but despite predictions, the sun finally broke through to make our day very pleasant. 

A morning rivercat journey to Circular Quay, where some grabbed a quick coffee, was followed by an invigorating walk past the Museum of Contemporary Art, up Argyle Street to The Garrison Church, and along Lower Fort Street to the Hero of Waterloo. Some were lucky to catch a very short history lecture from Ali Barnsley, at the Argyle Cut and Argyle Steps, along the way. 

Once we all arrived at the pub, a first drink, accompanied by lively conversation, took place at the downstairs bar.

 

Once we had quenched our thirst, we embarked on the historical/ghost tour, conducted in the streets of The Rocks and in the pub’s original cellar. In colonial times there were many pubs throughout The Rocks, and three other old pubs, now residences, were pointed out to us in Windmill Street alone (all strangely were called The Whaler’s Arms, being the popular name of the times). 

Through an old door down a side street, we made our way into the historical cellar of the pub, where we saw the sandstone steps leading down from a trap door in the floor of the bar above. This led to the notorious iron gaol gates, shackles, chains and tunnel entrances which we were invited to investigate. Our guide told the story of how the tunnel reportedly once coursed from the cellar and under the road, and how young tipsy wayward seafarers would be drugged in the bar and pushed through the trapdoor into the basement cell. There they would be bundled on a wheelbarrow and taken through the tunnel by press gangs, to later wake up a sailor out to sea on board a navy or merchant ship. 

We also heard the story of how in 1849, Thomas Kirkman, landlord of the pub, reputedly bashed his wife Anne in the rooms above the bar, and pushed her down the stairs to her death. Anne Kirkman’s ghost now plays late night piano music on the old piano in the cellar, moves chairs about in the upstairs function rooms, and causes glasses to spontaneously explode in the bar.

Following our tour we made our way upstairs to the Duke Room, where our pre-ordered lunches had been prepared by the chef and were waiting for us. All agreed the food was excellent, and was accompanied by more drinks from the bar (of course), lots of noisy conversation, but no ghostly visitors.

Canterbury Racing – Review

On a very wet and soggy Friday night on 25 February 2022, 18 members braved the conditions and headed to Canterbury racecourse for a flutter, fun & friendship.

Due to the weather many events planned for the night were cancelled or moved inside.  We had a group of tables by the window so we could still see all the action of the racing.

Amongst the members who attended we had our seasoned, casual and occasional punter (who I think did the best).  We all had our methods for choosing the winner – names, colours, jockeys, mud larks or some even followed the form.

We all enjoyed the night and most commented that they were glad that they had braved the weather to come out for the night.

I think we will have to revisit this outing next Summer on a fine balmy evening. 

And yes, winners are grinners!

Christmas Lunch 2021 – Review

120 of our members enjoyed Christmas celebrations last Friday 3rd December as we gathered to enjoy our Annual Christmas Luncheon at the Strathfield Golf Club.

Many happy smiling faces as we caught up with friends and new members. The highlight of the afternoon was a “surprise” visitor – Luigi, an amazing Opera singer and talented entertainer who engaged us with many songs we could all relate to.

Thank you everyone for making this day such a happy and enjoyable time and putting the days of Covid behind us and paving the way for a wonderful festive season ahead.

Merry Christmas to everyone and may New Year bring us great joy and a bright and positive 2022.

Sculpture Exhibition  – Review

Wednesday 2 June 2021 was a perfect autumn day for the ferry ride to Circular Quay for 14 of our Probus members.
After an essential coffee break the group strolled to the north side of the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Here, a special exhibition of 18 sculptures by 14 modern Japanese sculptors were wonderfully displayed along the foreshore of the harbour. There was also an indoor display of smaller pieces.

After lots of photos, fresh air, sunshine and wandering about, sustenance was required to face the trip home. The MCA Café provided the perfect venue. Yummy food, great conversation and what a view!

Autumn Tour of Japan – Review

21 November – 9 December 2019 The recipe for success:

  • A fabulous group of fellow travellers,
  • An experienced/patient/knowledgeable guide,
  • Spectacular autumn colours,
  • Exciting food,
  • A zillion temples and shrines,
  • Friendly, courteous Japanese,
  • Trains, trams and buses always on time,
  • Clean toilets with heated seats and tinkling music available everywhere….

What more could a traveller want?!!

Arriving in the quaint city of Kanazawa after an overnight flight to Tokyo and an early morning flight to Kanazawa, we lost no time in getting stuck into sightseeing setting a pattern of walks through historic districts, visits to shrines and temples (and getting to know the differences between them) and manicured gardens resplendent in their Autumn colours- returning at night to see the red and orange trees lit up. The cameras were kept busy day after day recording all the wonderful sights.

A few of the absolute highlights of the trip for me were:

  • The ONSEN (traditional Japanese hotels with hot baths). Staying in such places reminds you that you are in a different country, with different traditions and ways of doing things. Challenging AND rewarding. We stayed in Onsen for 4 nights, with another night at a temple. In these traditional Onsen we learned how to cope with sleeping on futons on the floor and bathing in the nude in gender segregated hot baths with only a face washer sized towel. A bridge too far for some, a new addiction for others!
  • The FOOD. You know you are in a very different culture when you walk around a small supermarket and cannot recognise any of the food on offer or are presented with an eleven-course meal and need the printed menu to be able to identify what you are eating! The tastes and textures were very different to our usual fare and eating with chopsticks can be challenging but the variety and presentation of the food (always seasonal and served to please the eye as much as the palate) were outstanding. A few even developed new food addictions to treats such as Green Tea Ice Cream.
  • Using PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Hopping on and off trams, buses, trains and ferries- sometimes crowded but always on time is great fun as you get to see the surroundings and the people on their own terms. When navigating through the multi storied train stations and bus terminals you are glad to have the guide with you making sure you get to the correct train line and platform. Travelling on the Bullet Train and reaching 300km an hour was a highlight.
  • The Japanese PEOPLE are polite and courteous and always willing to assist. They are great rule followers- no-one crosses against the lights, they are all great queue formers and even when massing to cheer the Emperor the crowd automatically lined up against the barriers in lines. The streets are impeccably clean with no graffiti and no rubbish (or even rubbish bins). Local food outlets are responsible to take back their packaging. No one eats or drinks in the street- eating is for home or inside the numerous small eateries. You become very aware of the separation between the outside world of the street and the inside world of the home. This is very obvious when visiting the numerous temples and shrines, staying in Onsen with Tatami matted rooms and the need to be constantly taking off one’s shoes to move into inside spaces only to have to put them back on to re-enter the outside world again. If you love cleanliness, adherence to tradition and order then Japan is the place for you!
  • One outstanding feature of Japanese culture is attention to DETAIL and a commitment to quality. The museums we visited were not huge and did not contain room after room brimming with artefacts. Instead beautifully designed spaces surrounded by manicured gardens to be glimpsed through the picture windows contained a few high-quality artefacts displayed with care and technically perfect lighting. You could appreciate each item without feeling overwhelmed or ‘museumed out’.
  • The VARIETY of places visited kept us interested and busy – while there were many temples, shrines, castles and gardens as one would expect of a tour of Japan in Autumn, there were also sand dunes, lakes, seaside, reconstructed villages, rope bridges, chair lift and gondolas, a gorge river cruise, traditional houses, a cemetery …and the very moving Peace Park at Hiroshima. There were also free evenings and afternoons to rest or to explore independently- or grab yet another hot bath….
  • Our FELLOW TRAVELLERS- what a great group we had on this tour! Getting to know each other, supporting each other, always being on time, and willingness to ‘give it a go’-the description of perfect touring companions.

  • Our GUIDE Hide. What a treasure he was- ever patient, always in control of the timetable and the itinerary, knowledgeable about the places and people. Having such a great guide makes such a trip luxurious for me – you don’t have to worry about a thing as felt confident that Hide had it all under control.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and I hope it will be the first of many Probus trips to overseas destinations in the future- where will we go next???? By Christine Hingerty

Probus Club of Cabarita and Breakfast Point 5th Anniversary Celebration – review

Friday 6 September dawned a beautiful sunny day – just perfect for our Club’s 5th Anniversary celebrations. By 9:00 am the Community Hall was abuzz as Kathy Beresford was arranging decorations around the room – blue and yellow Probus balloons and anniversary banners – whilst the usual chairs were setup.

In the kitchen meanwhile our fabulous ‘Morning Tea’ ladies and gentlemen were busy filling urns and setting tables. At home Gilda McRobert was adding the final touches to the celebratory cake she handmade.

By 9.30 am the hall was filling and our Guest Speaker Jim Haynes OAM arrived wearing a jacket not to be missed! He was quickly followed by Silvana Martignago, CEO Probus South Pacific.

And so our celebrations began – the Anniversary Certificate was presented by Silvana to Brian Roylance, President and then Dorothy Faulder, President, 2016 cut the cake on behalf of all Past Presidents.  Jim Haynes then regaled us with laughter as he spoke of Áustralia’s most unbelievable stories. Morning tea followed with the celebratory cake and some little tarts. Not a crumb was left by the time the hall emptied and people went on their way.  And as the photos demonstrate, a good time was had by all! Group photo of foundation members.

Review – ’30 Something’ at the Hayes Theatre

On Sunday 6 October a group of Probus thespians attended a fabulous show, “30 Something  – A 2019 show where you’ll party like it’s 1939”, at Hayes Theatre starring the wonderfully talented Phil Scott on piano and Catherine Alcom providing wonderful vocals. While the songs belted out were of the era, the lyrics had a comical nod to present day issues and characters. All climaxing with a boisterous welcome to the new year, 1940. Then on to Caffe Roma in Potts Point, a quintessential Italian restaurant where we gathered in the palm covered courtyard on one large table that required some to perform gymnastic feats to launch themselves into the seats.

That accomplished, we enjoyed a wonderful meal of pizza, salad and pasta varieties that was very pleasing to all tastes. Mirth and merriment flowed freely. Although lacking the champagne corks flying and the high jinks of New Year’s Eve parties no doubt we all celebrated in our younger years, it was certainly a grand night. 

Christmas in July 2019 Review

Fun day, beautiful surroundings in an amazing building. 78 members and guests enjoyed lunch at the Grand Dining Room, International College of Management, Manly. The room was abuzz with lots of chatter, fun and friendship.  And what would Christmas be without Mr and Mrs Santa Claus.

Neil Price was the lucky recipient of the lucky door prize.. accepting the prize from Mrs Santa! And of course, Phil Canty expressed his Christmas wishes by whispering in Santa’s ear!

“Best Christmas in July ever”…Lis Parrague.

Pam Floyd

Kangaroo Island Adventure – Review

Saturday 22 June to Saturday 29 June 2019 We arrived at Adelaide Airport. All went well as some folk came earlier than others. We were picked up by a chartered bus and drove through McLarenvale grape vine country to Victor Harbour. VH is delightful! It reminds me of Manly. The pines were planted on purpose so the ships knew where good wood could be found for repairs. Then off to Cape Jervis along a scenic ocean drive to catch a ferry to Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. Our motel/hotel is right across from the ocean and a penguin rookery. There are impressive views across to the mainland Australia. We headed off to Rob’s farm for a sheep shearing show. His grandson was ‘helper’ for the show. Good stuff. Genuine people. Next stop was Willoughby Lighthouse (1860s) which is still operating. The shipping lane between the mainland and Kangaroo Island is not easily navigated and very busy. A guide gave us a huge insight into the history of the lighthouse and those who worked to keep it going. We climbed to the top and the view was magnificent. Next stop was Dudley Winemakers for a wine tasting. Always good stuff. We drove back along the dirt road for a late lunch and then a wander around a sculpture/nature walk in Penneshaw.We left Penneshaw and visited Pennington Beach which is beautiful and at the point on the southern side of KI where there is only 9 km across to the north side. Plans are in place to fence across it to maintain a feral cat free zone for all the eastern part of the island. First stop was the honey farm with the special Ligurian bees from Italy (1860s). We then went to Emu Farm Tea tree oil distillery, then a Lavender Farm. We ate lavender scones with Lavender jelly and cream. Then off to the a gin distillery too. Tasting was fab. Only KI botanicals added.

Came in to Kingscote, which is the largest town. It’s claim to fame is the oldest human planted tree in SA (mulberry tree). It is fenced off and ‘special’. We spent the day in Kingscote. Breakfast was enjoyed looking at the Backstairs Passage (sea) and seals sailing in the water. Later on some of us walked around the sea shore. More seals, more bird life and small abandoned penguin rookeries. Later on we hit the shops (all 2 of them) and arrived at the arranged cafe for our pre-booked lobster lunches. Wonderful! After lunch we caught up with 4 members of the KI Probus Club. Pat Cass (President/ Vice President/ Committee member – 2010-2019), Jeanine Ellison, Ria Kendall (President 2018), Erica Barrett (President 2019). There are 30 members of their club mainly Kingscote folk. They are desperate to get off island speakers. They meet every 3rd Monday of the month and would welcome visitors to attend and join up for lunch. They were delightful women and gave us each a small jar of KI honey.

We then headed south and west. Seal Bay was magnificent. It is a conservation park for sea lions. Up close and personal. Seal Bay also sported a bird sanctuary run by David and Lisa Erwin (Steve’s cousin). The love of native animals must run in the family…crikey! We saw magpies, owls, falcons and black parrots. We petted a few. Some also did a reptile show with tiger snakes, lizards and baby crocodile. Then off to Vivonne Bay to watch 3 humpback whales frolicking just 50 metres from shore. Amazing! Next stop a wildlife sanctuary with kangaroo, wallaby and koala in a grove of trees. All just doing their thing. No cages and no shows. We drove to our wildlife resort.

Flinders Chase National Park was the next target. We headed for the ‘Remarkables’ which are a granite outcrop right on the Southern Ocean. Very impressive. Then Weir’s Cove with old stone warehouses at the top of a former horse drawn winch. Every 3 months a steam ship would bring supplies. Bad luck if the sea was too rough. Wait 6 months for supplies. This was to service the Lighthouse which is now fully electric at Cape du Couedic. Next stop was visiting the New Zealand fur seal breeding area at Admirals Arch. Amazingly windy! Later we travelled to the Flinders Chase National Park Visitors Centre for a lunch break and the start for the Platypus Walk. Some folk headed off. Some didn’t. Back at our accommodation we played Canasta and dice. Great day!

We drove north through the National Park until we reached the north coast of the island again. Snelling Bay Beach is very scenic. White beaches and very isolated with the odd holiday unit let. There was a huge fig tree of interest, in the past it was used as the location for intimate gourmet dinners. What a hoot. The business went bust. Next stop was Morton Bay Beach. It had a rocky headland and caves to wind through to the beach on the other side. Unfortunately high tide prevented most of us from getting through. Some got wet! We lunched at Parndana at THE Pub. Great fish and chips. Then off to American River. We stopped to chat to locals about the building of an historic ship/boat, the ‘Independence’. The Mercure was our last night on Kangaroo Island.

Last day on Kangaroo Island was rainy and the seas were rough (2 metre swell). Our crossing back to Australia (as they call it. Unlike the Tasmanians which call it the mainland) was fun for some but sickening for others. We were picked up on the other side by Russell our driver and came back to the airport via Glenelg. Some played cards to waste time and arrived back into Sydney at 5:00 pm. Happy times were had by all and everyone was looking forward to our own beds. Many thanks to Jane Elliot for being THE best tour organiser! Karin Canty