Yeates book available at Back to Woopi weekend

By admin on February 18th, 2015

18 February 2015

Those coming to the popular Back to Woopi Weekend, happening on 7-8 March, will have the opportunity to buy a copy of the special anniversary edition of Neil Yeates’ iconic local history, “Woolgoolga: History of a Village”.  All 370 copies of the 2013 edition had sold out, but Woolgoolga Rotary is doing a new print run in time for the event, and the book will be available for $30 at both the 7 March dinner at Woolgoolga C.ex Bowling Club (note this venue change), and the breakfast BBQ at Woolgoolga Surf Club.  Out of towners can avoid the cost of postage & packing for the hefty volume – nearly 50% of the book cost.

This 2013 edition is more than simply a reprint of the third edition (which sold out in 1996 and was then as rare as hens’ teeth as families hung on to their treasured copies). It has 20 new pages, including 4 full-colour plates; 304 pages in all. The book is full of historical photographs, most of which can be seen nowhere else (even on the Woolgoolga Heritage Walk panels, which are also reproduced in the book). The new 20-page section presents the recent findings on four significant topics, along with photos and maps.

100% of the profits from sales of the new edition are being allocated by Rotary to valued community projects.  For more information, please contact David Fayle: 6654 7700 or

The late Neil Yeates wrote “Woolgoolga: the History of a Village” for residents, both longstanding and recent, as well as for students and visitors interested in learning about the history and culture of the place they are in.

The importance of this book should not be underestimated. It was a colossal achievement, and few can fully appreciate the meticulous research that went into it.

The new edition was launched to commemorate the opening of the Woolgoolga Heritage Walk, and to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the gazettal of Woolgoolga as a village, and the 25th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Woolgoolga

Media contact for this article:  David Fayle   0401 022 951

Critical questions for our local future

By admin on December 1st, 2014


We live in very special part of the world, and it is easy to be complacent.  But is it sustainable for our future generations?  Are we doing enough for vital parts of our fragile coastal environment?  Can we manage our steadily ageing population and workforce?  Are we building a workforce matched to local needs and backed by proper training and education, and providing opportunities for employment and building local skills?

These critical questions for the sustainability of our local community into the future emerged from Woolgoolga Rotary’s “Dr Who?” evening, where three prominent doctors turned their minds to the key issues.  In each case, the need for the political will to make the hard, long-term planning decisions was highlighted.

Two of the speakers, Drs. Sue Kehrer and John Kramer, highlighted the difficulty of building local capacity in the health sector, including recruiting and retaining people with the expertise that we need.  Dr Kramer pointed to our ageing workforce, with reduced capacity to service the demands of an ageing population.  But problems need solutions, and both speakers have a great track record of trying to build these skills here (in pathology and general practice respectively).

Dr Steve Smith (National Marine Science Centre) focused on sustaining our coastal environment, and particularly our fragile estuaries, in the face of the relentless invasion of discarded plastics. He pointed out that plastics never biodegrade, but disintegrate into ever smaller fragments, that themselves generate huge environmental problems.  “Think globally and act locally” was his challenge.

Forecasts for the current decade indicate an increase of over 15% in the retirement-age population of Woolgoolga, putting pressure on the health care workforce, which itself is aging and under-resourced.  Dr Kramer is investing in the future by building a new surgery complex. Sullivan Nicolaides is building a new laboratory in Coffs Harbour with much-expanded testing capability.

Dr Kehrer pointed out that, while many saw only disadvantages in working away from large urban centres, there were in fact opportunities for regional careers spanning a more diverse, challenging and satisfying set of activities.

Population growth pressure in coastal areas continues to threaten our estuaries, and Dr Smith highlighted the problems of creekside vegetation clearing, urbanisation and agriculture in catchment areas, and pollutants and sediment run-off. We need healthy estuaries to filter pollutants and protect our seas, and to protect our coasts from storms; 70% of commercially and recreationally important fish species need estuaries during their life-cycle to survive.

Dr Kramer also mentioned other local issues, including unemployment, threats to the ‘small town vibe’, school capacity, vandalism, the drug culture, and small business viability.

The event was open to the public, and was the initiative of Rotary President Patty Delaney, who welcomed an audience of nearly 40. They came up with searching questions for the panel.  The buzz in the room from conversations spanning topics far and wide continued long afterwards as groups left, their horizons expanded and complacency challenged.

Local youth to benefit from helicopter golf ball drop

By admin on November 19th, 2014


Last Sunday’s helicopter golf ball drop was a resounding success, raising over $4,000 for Woolgoolga Rotary’s programs for our local young people.

Almost 1,000 golf balls were dropped from the helicopter towards the target with great precision.  The closest five numbered balls won fantastic prizes.

First was Helena Aldridge, who is looking forward to taking five friends on the houseboat of the Clarence for a weekend, courtesy of G2Y Houseboats.  When Helena bought the ticket at her Coffs Harbour Quilting and Needlework group, she had said “Don’t bother selling any others; I’ll win.”  And she did – but, amazingly, it was not the first time:  years ago, she had said the same thing when buying tickets to win a Pro Hart painting, which she did!

Second closest was Gillian Sward, who won a night’s accommodation at Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort, plus two flights with Precision Helicopters over Coffs Harbour.  Gill was delighted, and added that it was bit ironic that she won the flights, having a fear of heights!

Third closest to the pin was John Finlay who scored a weekend at Big 4 Emerald Beach Holiday Park in a deluxe spa villa.  John had played in the Ambrose earlier in the day.  Fourth prize winner Rex Buckley won a family pass to Dolphin Marine Magic, Coffs Harbour, while 5th prize, a Precision helicopter flight over Coffs Harbour, went to Jane Wiebenga.

The Ambrose tournament winners also won prizes generously donated by sponsors.  The overall winner was Rod Mackenzie and team.  Runner up was Glenda Kennedy and team, who were also nearest the pin on the 4th and 7th holes. . Nearest to pin at the 9th hole was Col Cafferky and team.  Further prizes were won in a raffle run on the day.

Rotary is very grateful to the Woolgoolga Returned Services Golf Club, Safety Beach and to the sponsors, including those providing all the Ambrose and raffle prizes:  Woodsey’s Bicycle Shop, Woolgoolga Health Club, C.ex, Woolgoolga Jewellers, Woolworths, Park Avenue, Big W, Park Beach Plaza, United Service Station, Woolgoolga, Terry Perfrement, Woolgoolga Returned Services Golf Club, Safety Beach, Allan Casey, Fishermans’ Co-Operative, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga Post Office, nab Woolgoolga, Amcal Pharmacy, Woopi Doo, Woolgoolga Quality Meat Mart, NRMA, Emerald Beach Pizza and Pasta, Rustic Mezedes, Buds Nursery. (Apologies to last 3 omitted from Advertiser article.).

Forecast- fine with a chance of golf balls

By admin on September 9th, 2014

On Sunday 26 October at 2pm, 1,000 golf balls will be dropped from a helicopter at Woolgoolga Returned Services Golf Club, Safety Beach. Nearest the pin wins a weekend for 6 on a houseboat on the Clarence (worth $700); there are five wonderful prizes in total.  ALL TICKETS $5.  Your number will be attached to a golf ball.  GOLF BALL DROP TICKETS available at Woolgoolga Returned Services Golf Club Safety Beach; at Woolgoolga Newsagency; or at Woolgoolga Post Office; or phone 0410 039 805 or 6654 7700.

You can also win wonderful prizes playing in the golf Ambrose tournament on the day.

Golf-ball-drop proceeds go to fund Woolgoolga Rotary Club’s Youth programs – youth driver awareness (RYDA), “Getting Out There Day” to prepare for life after school, training & development scholarships, sponsorships for summer-schools or science & engineering programs, public speaking and debating competitions, Model UN Assembly teams; school speech day awards… and in 2015 a new initiative, the Science and Engineering Challenge!


Major sponsors of the golf ball drop:
FIRST PRIZE: G2Y – Grafton to Yamba Houseboats – a weekend on the houseboat for 6 people + $100 worth of petrol
SECOND PRIZE: Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort (1 night’s accommodation for 2 adults in a superior resort room) plus Precision Helicopters – 2 flights over Coffs Harbour
THIRD PRIZE: 2 nights at Big4 Emerald Beach Holiday Park in a delux spa villa
FOURTH PRIZE: one family pass to Dolphin Marine Magic
FIFTH PRIZE: one Precision helicopter ride over Coffs Harbour

Sponsors of Ambrose prizes:
Woodsey’s, Woolgoolga Bicycle Shop (free service)
Woolgoolga Health Club (3 free monthly memberships)
C.ex clubs (2 dinner vouchers – Woolgoolga or Coffs)
Woolgoolga Jewellers (gift voucher)
Woolworths, Park Avenue (gift voucher)
Big W, Park Beach Plaza (esky)
United Service Station, Woolgoolga (2 fuel vouchers)
Terry Perfrement, Woolgoolga Returned Services Golf Club, Safety Beach (12 golf balls)
Allan Casey (hand-crafted glass dish)
Fishermans’ Co-Operative, Coffs Harbour (2 gift vouchers)


Plants Thrive – and so do Children because of Woolgoolga Rotary

By admin on September 9th, 2014

This month the local beneficiaries of the monthly Rotary Auction are the Corindi/Red Rock Surf Club Woolgoolga .The Auction, scheduled for Saturday 6 September will also be complemented by a fabulous plant sale to celebrate Spring and to support an International project.

The Social Development Centre Nepal is a small Orphange that cares for children aged from 3 – 17 years of age and it has been supported by the Rotary Club on several occasions over the past 4 years.

The Orphanage provides a home for 10 boys and 5 girls ages 3 to 17. The most recent children to join the family are 2 brothers aged on arrival of 3 and 7. They had been abandoned by their mother in their village and had been begging for food for 8 months prior to coming to the Orphanage
A recent report received from the International Director of the Orphange, Sue Pitrole stated that ‘the boys had settled in very well and were excelling at school’.

Echah Wright, a Woolgoolga Rotary Club member was travelling in Nepal in 2009 and visited the Orphanage and met the local Director and the children.
Echah felt confident that the staff and the Board were managing the Orphanage well and was comfortable that the home had been established to genuinely care for the children, all of whom are ‘at risk’.
Every dollar that is donated to the home – goes to the home.
The goal of the Orphanage is to ensure children are growing up as well educated, happy, healthy Nepali citizens.

As Spring arrives and as plants thrive it is good to reflect on the good fortune that we have here in Australia and how we might help others less fortunate. Supporting the Rotary Plant sale (Beach Street – behind the CWA Hall from 9am) on Saturday 6 September is one way to do this.

——–Media Release   2 September 2014

Plants Thrive – and so do Children because of Woolgoolga Rotary

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Media Contact Patty Delaney – 66 542185-