Hello Everyone

I hope that you are all well and enjoying the rain, sunshine, and cloudy skies. It certainly makes it difficult to know what to wear or take with you when you step outside.

I must apologise to all who had birthdays in October for not recognising them at our last meeting. I hope you have had a great birthday and looking forward to many more.

Although the weather is fickle there were three events during October that went off very well and had everyone enjoying themselves whether it was music, gardens, lunches or mystery adventure. In November I’m sure many of you will be attending a Melbourne Cup event somewhere. Good luck picking the winner.

The Christmas Lunch has been finalised and it is at the Concord Golf Club on 8th December, 12 for 12.30pm. Payment and envelopes must be submitted at the next meeting at the latest. Please if you want to be on a table with your friends please nominate their names on your envelope so the organisers can arrange for this to happen. Also if you have any dietary requirements, please let us know. The tables are 8 - 10 people only. The cost is $90 for a three course meal. Drinks at own expense. Of course these details are on the website.

The speaker for the next meeting is Jonathon Cooper who will be speaking about “Lessons in Life from Art”. The speakers we have enjoyed at our meetings have been very interesting, showing us their personalities and passion about their subject and on a personal note I have found them very educational and interesting on various subjects that I would not necessarily go looking for.

If you are interested in singing with a group could you please let me know as there are some willing to “give it a go”. What a lovely way to find Friendship, Fellowship and Fun.

Keep safe and well and l look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.



Thursday 8th December at Concord Golf Club

Cost is $90.00 per person for 3 course lunch including tea/coffee and a drink on arrival. You can buy drinks at the bar.

  • Envelopes must be handed in at the November meeting at the latest.
  • EFT payments must be submitted before the November meeting on 10th November.
  • EFT payments to Probus Club of Breakfast Point; BSB: 062 145 Account: 1022 5641. Include your surname and initial - Xmas.
  • If you have special dietary requirements these must be written clearly on your envelope.
You can either make up a table and sit with your friends or be randomly allocated to a table.
If you wish to sit with your friends, tables of 8-10 people can be accommodated. One person needs to be the organiser for the group and your envelopes submitted together with the name of the organiser on each envelope.

Further outing details and booking information:

SPEAKER REPORT- 'Brief Encounters

literary travellers in Australia 1836-1939'

Robert Louis Stevenson

This month’s guest speaker, Susannah Fullerton Spoke about her book; Brief Encounters - Literary Travellers in Australia 1836-1939

Susannah described how she used to wonder about the plaques of famous authors that she saw on the footpath at Circular Quay. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, countless distinguished writers made the long and arduous voyage across the seas to Australia. She got to thinking what was it that they thought of Australia? and how did Australia influence their writing?

Robert Louis Stevenson
Came to Australia in 1836 with Charles Darwin on the Beagle as part of a scientific research project. They were hoping to receive mail from home on arrival in Sydney but there was no mail and they were hugely disappointed. Stevenson came to Australia 4 times from Samoa where he was living, mainly for the bookshops, clothes and to dine out. He said there was material for a dozen buccaneer stories at Circular Quay. He returned to Samoa due to ill health.

Charles Darwin
Darwin collected specimens around Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Bathurst and noted the “hideous red brick church” which was St Pats Anglican Church in Bathurst. Darwin saw 2 lion ants fighting on the Cox’s River and wondered whether differences were created by God or were due to adaptions in nature. This informed his thinking on “the Origin of the Species.” Charles Darwin sailed to Hobart, where he had an encounter with a deadly snake and eventually returned to England. Due to sea sickness he never sailed again.

Covington Syms
Was another crew member on the Beagle and worked for Charles Darwin who at the end of the expedition decided to migrate to Australia and settle in Pambula. Whenever Darwin needed information about the flora and fauna of Australia he wrote to Covington Syms who sent him specimens including barnacles.

Conrad Martins
Was also on the Beagle with Charles Darwin and was an artist whose works are now displayed in the Mitchell Library. Paintings include The Beagle and View of the Heads, Port Jackson.

Anthony Trollope
Came to Australia twice; in 1871 and 1874. On his first voyage he wrote a novel during his voyage to Australia “Lady Anna” where the heroine starts a new life by migrating to Australia. The author had agreed to write a travel book and he wrote “Australia and New Zealand” which outlined helpful information for people wanting to migrate or travel to Australia. It was an early Lonely Planet guide. Other books he wrote that were influenced by his time in Australia were Harry Heathcote of Gangoil, John Caldigate and The Fixed Period. The Fixed Period was about an imaginary island where compulsory euthanasia occurred once a person was 67 ½ years of age – which was the age of the author when he died!

Joseph Conrad
Was another author who came to Australia several times in the 1870’s but as he worked in merchant shipping he spent very little time visiting the country, other than the docks which he thought were rough places.

Rudyard Kipling
Came to Australia in the 1890s and was already famous. He found Sydney siders too frivolous as they picnicked on weekends. While in Australia for 2 weeks, he wrote the Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo. He called Australians second hand Americans but reversed his opinion when he went to the Boer War as a war correspondent. He wrote a poem Lichtenberg, about the fine young men of Australia.

Mark Twain
Came to Australia for financial reasons. He was bankrupt and did a world tour to pay off his debts. He was billed as “the funniest man in the world”. His daughter died while he was away so the tour ended tragically. After the tour he wrote Innocents Abroad.

Jack London
Came to Australia in 1908 and ended up in a private hospital on the north shore. He was famous for all male bachelor parties on Bondi Beach. He went to Tasmania hoping to dry out and witnessed a boxing match between a black American and white Englishman and the crowd reaction when the black American won the match. He wrote a sad story about a boxer - A Piece of Steak.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Came to Australia in the 1920s to talk about séances and spiritualism. His visit was controversial particularly with religious people. He wrote Wanderings of a Spiritualist which is a “terrible book”.

Agatha Christie
Came to Australia after she had published her first book. She was impressed by Australian women who could do anything. She used Australia for her stories and Australian women influenced her decision to go on archaeological digs later in life.

D.H. Lawrence
Came to Australia due to poor health (TB). He went to Perth and Wollongong. He best connected with the landscape and saw its beauty. He wrote The Boy in the Bush which is set in W.A.

HG Wells
Came to Australia for science, to speak at the 1938 Canberra Science convention. He was controversial and upset nearly everyone he met. He was here during a hot summer and there were bushfires. He wrote Travels of a Radical in Search of Hot Water. This describes what happens in a bushfire.

In summary, all the authors who visited created something about Australia. People overseas wanted to know about Australia and they had to rely on authors who had been there to tell them what they saw and experienced. They influenced public opinion about Australia.
Lyn Manitta


happy hour 1
happy hour 2
Come to Happy Hour drinks at the Country Club - third Thursday of each month at 5.30pm.



Blue Skies were shining above,…well not all the time. Black clouds hung around like drummers in the company of musicians. But no raindrops were falling on the heads of six Probians who made their way to front row seats, in the huge stand of pine trees, in the grounds of Roughly House, just North of Dural.

Wherever Jazz from the 1920s to 1950s is played in Australia you are likely to find Greg Poppleton with his megaphone crooning the tunes. His backing band included one of Australia’s great clarinet players, Paul Furniss, who was prominent in such classics as, The Saints Go Marching In, Summertime, Walking My Baby Back Home, and Sweet Georgia Brown. Classic Jazz Heaven.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines, a whole bunch of Rotarians were churning out, not, Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pie Dowdy, but large segments, of even larger apple pies, with clotted cream on the side. Driven by the thought that apples are good for you, by late afternoon I could hardly get through the smallish doors of Roughly House for a tour of this pioneer Australian home. Bronwen muttered under her breath, “I Love Yo Honey, but Your Feets Too Big”. It was nice of her to leave out the rest of the body.

I thought I heard strains of Stormy Weather as we put the empties, and still dry top-coats, into the cars. The next few days proved that prediction to be correct, as winds, rain, floods and huge seas attempted to erase our memories of All That Jazz.
Bob Phillips



Despite the cloudy skies, a very happy enthusiastic group of 40, set off for what was anticipated to be a very interesting day. We were not disappointed, following a morning tea in Fagans Park, provided by Paramount coaches, we arrived at Guestlands in Arcadia. This Airbnb is an absolute treat. The delightful couple who own it, Jenny and Peter Guest, son and daughter in law of our members, Sandy and Bob, have developed an amazing property.

As the name of the outing implies, you enter through impressive gates to a Tuscan style village, surrounded by a wonderful garden. The clever concept of beautifully decorated suites, a Trattoria, faux florist shop, cabana style area, with pizza oven, etc is all set around narrow cobbled streets cleverly resembling something you would discover in Italy. It is a property, very tastefully designed with so much thought and vision evident everywhere you look. Added bonus was a garage with several beautiful sports cars, from MG’s to Aston Martins another passion of the couple. The garden is extensive and very cleverly designed with a very large and waterfall feature, surrounded by wonderful plantings of water iris, etc.

An Italian lunch at a nearby restaurant Entrata, in Glenhaven, proved to be excellent, great service and food. A fitting finish to a very successful outing. Despite the showery weather we managed to avoid having umbrellas up all day!
Pam Hely

gardens 1
gardens 3
gardens 2
Guestlands was designed and built by owners Jenny and Peter Guest.


Where were we going? Thirty-nine adventurers hopped on the bus ready for anything. Suggestions were made - 50 minutes from Sydney says Bob. He eventually told us it was Windsor. First stop was Ebenezer where we were treated to scones, jam and cream. Yum! It is the oldest church in Australia because the first one was gutted by fire in the city and the second one torn down and replaced. Seven families lobbied the NSW Government to get a parcel of land in this area. They succeeded and settled here.

Next stop was an orchard where we could buy fresh fruit and veg and at a reasonable price. Hence the directive from Bob to bring a shopping basket. We all bought up big. One traveller bought a whole cauliflower, and his wife made him some soup with it. The place was called Sciberras at Freemans Reach.

We then drove into Windsor to visit St Mathews Anglican Church. This masterpiece was designed by Sir Francis Greenaway, the colonial architect. It has beautiful stained glass windows. The site was selected by Governor Macquarie near the river. It took twelve years to build. Samuel Marsden conducted the first service in 1822. Predating the church is the burial grounds with some notable citizens buried there such as William Cox. There is a two storey brick stable at the end of the building.

mystery pub
From here we did a 2km walk into Windsor past some lovely historic buildings. One was Former Hawkesbury Hospital, convict barracks and morgue now an art gallery erected in 1820. Mrs. Copes cottage is a cute building with overhanging portico. It was built in 1840 by Maria Copes a Windsor property owner and businesswoman who was a widow. She owned 600 acres of land in Windsor. Loder House is a lovely colonnaded Georgian building built in 1834 for George Loder. He was a farmer and storekeeper.

We ended our walk at where else a pub! It is Macquarie Arms Hotel which had great ambience and food. It is the oldest building in Australia and can’t be renovated only maintained. We were taken on a tour. There used to be accommodation, but people kept seeing ghosts. A four year old child was burnt to death in a fire here and 2 staff working in the basement died from inhaling chemicals.

After lunch we had a visit to the local museum which was interesting. Then Bob had a treat for us – dessert. We could each buy an ice-cream with two scoops. We were like little kids getting a treat for the first time.

What a great day thank you to Bob and Bronwen for organising it. There was a lot of organisation and thought went into it. Thank you to Concord Probus who swelled the numbers as it would have been cancelled otherwise. Good lesson – get in quick for outings don’t leave it until the last minute.
Roz Miller
mystery 2


The guest speaker for the November meeting will be Jonathan Cooper. Jonathan worked as an educator at the Art Gallery of NSW for more than 30 years, including head of education programs. He is now a freelance writer, lecturer and website manager. His website is doctordada.

His topic will be: Lessons For Life From Art

Being involved in Art, as a practitioner and/or an appreciator, can help make our everyday lives more rewarding. For example, we can learn to trust our own reactions, see beyond labels, relinquish control occasionally and give experiences the time they deserve. This interactive lecture will help you to see Art in a new light and hopefully give you more confidence to practise it yourself, even if you consider yourself, "not artistic".

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