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Probus Club of Avoca Beach Inc.

Social Activities

Members of the Probus Club of Avoca Beach Inc. have enjoyed many social activites during recent months. Here are some of them.

2020

Wednesday 18 November      Pearl Farm Tour

Twenty one of our members went on a tour of the Pearl Farm in Broken Bay which all agreed was really interesting.  We were divided into two nearly equal groups to satisfy Covid social distancing rules.  To start with we went into a grading room where we were told a brief history of the company.  We were then shown samples of natural pearls of different sizes, shapes and hues and shown how they were graded and also their values.  We found the explanation extremely fascinating.  As an example a  AAA Grade regular shaped perfect round pearl of 7mm in diameter of beautiful yellow gold hue is worth about $100. Some of the pearl jewellery on display was worth thousands of dollars.

The second half of the tour involved going out in a boat to Broken Bay where we heard a brief but interesting history of how the first settlers arrived at the Bay.  We then arrived at the Pearl Farm lease where we were told how the pearls were seeded and the 3 different stages of how they were grown then harvested.  A couple of oysters were opened and, by chance for each group, a beautifully developed 7mm golden coloured pearl was extracted.  The boat ride was also very enjoyable despite an overcast day and the cold wind but we were given advance warning and came suitably prepared with thick jackets and wind breakers.

We finished the tour with lunch at the nearby Mooney Mooney Club before returning home.  This was a very satisfying tour for all the participants after months of inactivity since the Covid outbreak in late February this year.

Mondays 12 October and 9 November    Outdoor Gatherings

Two more successful outdoor gatherings were held at Hunter Reserve, Avoca Beach at which a boxed Malaysian meal was provided in October and at Kincumba Mountain Reserve, Kincumber at which a boxed Chinese Meal was provided in November.  The weather was good on both days and the delicious meals were obtained from local take-away restaurants. This avoided the need to cook onsite during this time of Covid safety rules. Members who attended really appreciated the opportunity to meet again in social circumstances.

Tuesday 22 September to Saturday 26 September          Self Drive trip to Canberra

Those members that attended the Self Drive trip to Canberra from the 22nd to the 26th of September had a very enjoyable time staying at the Quality Hotel Dickson. As the Hotel was attached to the Canberra Tradies Club, breakfast and dinner each day went off with no problems.   We started by visiting the Information Centre and Mount Ainslie Lookout. There were visits to Parliament House, The High Court, The National Gallery, Questacon, Telstra Tower and Cockington Green miniature village.  The trip was timed to coinside with the Floriade Flower Show.  Because of Covid the show was spread out around various suburbs. Although not as spectacular as usual the group did find several excellent displays. The weather, though cold, was bearable except for our Friday trip to Cockington Green where we had heavy rain, wind and hail but we all enjoyed the quick walk around to view the various displays including outstanding floral plantings all round the village. A side trip to Bungandore on the way home was an enjoyable spot for coffee and a walk through the Leather, Woodworking and Antique shops

Monday 7 September     Outdoor Gathering

As in July, another gathering was held at the Hunter Reserve, Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach which was attended by 34  members. Again the club provided a Fish and Chips Lunch which was obtained from the local restaurant. We were again very fortunate that the day was lovely and sunny and everyone who attended had another great time.

Monday 20th July to Thursday 23rd July           Self Drive trip to Crescent Head

The Mexican Train group of regular players decided to travel north for a four day break to Crescent Head. On Monday, eleven members (four couples and one single) drove separately the five hour journey to stay for three nights bed and breakfast in Crescent Head Resort . Facilities were excellent and the weather, although cold, provided almost continuous sunshine. On Monday and Tuesday evenings  the group had dinner in the Crescent Head Country Club.  On Wednesday they were able to use the resort barbecue facilities to cook their own.   After dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday, an evening of Mexican Train dominoes was inevitable and rounded the days off to the satisfaction of all.

During the daytimes, on Tuesday, the group explored features of Port Macquarie where the attractions were the Koala Hospital, a raised boardwalk through a rainforest, and the scenic coastline. On Wednesday they went to South West Rocks where, after  a coffee stop in historic Gladstone, the attractions were the Nautical Museum,  a picnic area beside Little Bay in company with kangaroos, Trial Bay Gaol, and the scenic coastline.

On Thursday, at breakfast, the group shared their happiness and their experiences  from the times spent together before starting the drive home. The commonly held feeling was tremendous satisfaction from the trip.

Monday 6 July   Outdoor Gathering

After many months of inactivity due to Covid restrictions the club held a gathering at the Hunter Reserve, Avoca Drive, Avoca Beach which was attended by 41 members. Separate groups were formed to satisfy the restrictions. The club provided a Fish and Chips Lunch which was obtained from the local restaurant. We were very fortunate that the day was lovely and sunny and everyone who attended had a great time rekindling our friendships   The Fish and Chips were greatly enjoyed by all attendees and many expressed relief and pleasure in at least being able to attend outdoor gatherings with the club members in order to stay in touch.

Saturday 14th March

A group of members attended the Gosford Musical Society's production of the stage musical "Mamma Mia". This production was excellent as is the norm with the Gosford Musical Society. Everyone enjoyed it immensely and continued singing their favourite Abba songs as they went home .

Friday 13th March

The Premier's Gala Concert was held in Sydney Town Hall and was enjoyed by the members who travelled down by train to attend. It was a well organised concert with some excellent performances by those involved. Afterwards some members had a look at the Seniors Expo in the Convention Centre. It was an entertaining outing with fairly good transport although the train on the return trip was fairly crowded with some having difficulty finding a seat. 

Tuesday 10th March

A lovely day was enjoyed by our members who caught the ferry to Palm Beach. This was followed by a short stroll to the Palm Beach RSL club for lunch, though some members used the complementary shuttle.  The lunch was delicious and everyone had a good time with lots of the usual noisy chatter.

Monday 2nd March

This month's barbecue was held at Wallarah Peace Park in Gorokan and was attended by a good crowd of members. It was an extremely hot day so everyone was crowded under the rotunda hoping for a breeze. The food was enjoyed with grated cheese supplied instead of tomato, and the usual supply of "birthday" cakes. Everyone appeared to enjoy the day though  no one lingered afterwards due to the heat.

Friday 14th February 

The "Premier's Gala Concert" was attended by 26 members at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour. They travelled by train and light rail which was quite good, though the train was a bit crowded on the way back and spare seats were hard to find. The concert was very enjoyable with some members visiting the Seniors Festival Expo as well. 

Tuesday 11th February

After a few false starts, the popular "Fish 'n Flicks" was held at Avoca Beach with the lunch enjoyed before the movie. The movie,  "A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood", starring Tom Hanks was enjoyed by some members though others were not as impressed.  

 Monday 3rd February

Due to the uncertain weather conditions, the first barbecue for the year scheduled to be held at Sutton Reserve was changed to a lunch. This was held at The Entrance Leagues Club with just over thirty members attending. There was the usual happy chatting and laughter whilst everyone seemed to enjoy their meals.

2019

Monday 9th December

Our final activity of the year was the Christmas lunch held in the Kookaburra room at the Avoca Beach Resort. This proved to be a very popular celebration with many members attending who enjoyed drinks before being seated for lunch. The delicious three course lunch was accompanied by the popular "Two Left Feet" who entertained with some toe tapping music and songs. Many members graced the dance floor with their moves. 

Monday 11th November

The "End of Year" Barbecue was held at the Swaddling Reserve, Toowoon Bay. This was one week later than usual due to the Melbourne Cup luncheon and thus fell on Remembrance Day. At 11.00 am, a minute's silence was observed.The barbecue was enjoyed by those who attended. 

Tuesday 5th November 

A very enjoyable function was held at Breakers Country Club, Wamberal, to mark the Melbourne Cup. This was attended by twenty-six members who all dressed up befitting the occasion. Adrian Kuiters looked so good he won the title of "Best Dressed Gentleman" which was well deserved. A three course lunch was served which included a delicious seafood entree and finished with excellent dessert, tea and coffee. A few members won on the actual race and some were lucky in the sweep run for our members. Most people did not win anything but still had a great day.

Monday 4th November 

The Concert at Sydney Town Hall was named "The Proms Experience" and featured the NSW Police Band, Jacqueline Dark, Belinda Parsons and Bernard Walz. It was attended by fifteen members who thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Wednesday 16th October

Dinner at the Preview Restaurant was enjoyed by nearly forty members who made their way to the Ourimbah campus of TAFE. The dinner consisted of three courses with the menu, planning, cooking and service provided by the hospitality students. This was quite a pleasant night though some members thought the food was not as good as last year. 

Monday 14th October 

A group of 38 of our members enjoyed the movie "Downton Abbey" at the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre. The movie continued in the style of the much missed television show, with all our favourite characters. After the movie, we attended the Avoca Fish and Chip shop for lunch to complete our "Fish 'n Flicks" outing. A most enjoyable event.

Monday 30th September 

The October barbecue was held a week early due to the long weekend on the 7th October. However, due the forecast of rain, a "wet weather lunch" was held at Erina Leagues Club. Quite a few members attended to enjoy a variety of meals including some popular specials. 

Wednesday 25th September

 Although 34 members had booked to attend High Tea at Diggers @ The Entrance, only 30 attended. It was quite a pleasant experience with a good selection of different foods such as sandwiches, mini quiches, pikelets, scones, cakes and strawberries. This was accompanied by tea and coffee.  

Thursday 19th September

The Heritage Rail Motor trip was an excellent day with 48 members attending. The full coach transported the members to Paterson in the Hunter Valley where they boarded the train for a trip along the Upper River Valley to Stroud. Many were surprised at the quite fast speed of 80 km/h. Lunch was  enjoyed at the Dungog RSL Club although it was a little rushed. Some of our members assisted in serving this meal as there was only one staff member doing so. After lunch there was a tour of Paterson Rail Motor Depot then return by the coach which had followed the train. Most members thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Monday 2nd September

Our first barbecue for the season was held at the Ettalong Memorial Park which is a lovely spot beside the water. It was supported by 44 members who enjoyed the sausages, salads and birthday cakes. However, eventhough it was quite a sunny day, it was also very windy which was not pleasant. Most of those present left early to escape the conditions.

Wednesday 28th August

The Trivia and spit roast day held at the Anglican Church Hall .in Killarney Vale was another very successful day. Three teams from Toowoon Bay Probus Club joined the four teams from Avoca to battle it out! There were five different and very interesting sections to the competition with most people learning something new. The lunch from the Spit Roast group was excellent with roast meats and vegetables followed by pavlova and cheesecake. The winning team, the "Octects" which was a misspelling of Octets, was awarded a number of prizes.

Monday 5th August

Twenty-eight members attended the Winter lunch for August at Breakers Country Club in Wamberal. This was a lovely venue overlooking the water. There was a nice bistro menu with $15 specials that were enjoyed by many, along with the company as usual. This is the last of our Winter lunches as we will be returning to the barbecues in September.

Monday 22nd July

 The "Christmas in July" celebrations proved to be very popular with 60 members attending, with quite a few dressed in appropriate red outfits. This was held at Ettalong Diggers and was titled "Memories of Bandstand" featuring the wonderful voices of Lucky Starr and Roland Storm. These two were very entertaining with many jokes and light hearted banter interspersed with some great songs from the 1950s and 60s, to which many members sang along. The band accompanying them was also very good. Our members were given a glass of orange juice or champagne on arrival which was followed by a delicious two course Christmas lunch. 

Monday 1st July

The July "Winter lunch" was held at Snowy's Kitchen in the Bateau Bay Hotel. This was a very nice venue which served delicious food for the Specials price of $15. The members who attended were seated at one long table and enjoyed each others company as usual.

Thursday 20th June

Lunch at Bistro du Monde was a delicious two course meal which was accompanied by a glass of wine. About thirty members attended this authentic French Restaurant and some tried practising their school learnt French. It was another very successful outing with everyone enjoying the good food and company.

Tuesday 11th June

A group of our members travelled by train to Sydney to visit The Reserve Bank of Australia Museum and Parliament House. Two staff members guided our group of 28 around the Reserve bank which was very interesting. This was followed by lunch at the Cafe in Parliament House which unfortunately almost ran out of food. The free guided tour of Parliament House was conducted by Adam Crouch who is the Member for Terrigal and is also the Government Whip. Another very interesting tour allowing insights into the workings of the Government and their staff. There was plenty to think about and discuss on the train ride home.

Monday 3rd June

The first of the Winter Lunches was held at the Empire Bay Tavern with 40 of our members attending. There was quite an extensive Bistro menu with the majority of members choosing from the $15 specials board. The food was very good and qiute filling, though some people managed to fit in a delicious dessert as well. After a cloudy start, the weather turned out to be quite good as well. This was a successful outing with everyone enjoying themselves. 

Thursday 16th May

Twenty-eight of our members attended "A Day at the Races" at Wyong race course. As it was a Probus cluster event, we were seated on the second level with the other Probus clubs. We were still able to go to the top floor for a better view if we wished. There were some winners and some losers but everyone had a great day. The food was very nice with a buffet main course and served desserts. It was perfect weather and the track and surrounds were very green. This is due to the small lake situated within the circuit.

Monday 6th May

This barbecue was the last one until the weather warms up again later in the year. It was held at Wallarah Peace Park in Gorokan which is a lovely spot about 45 minutes drive away. It was a "burger day" and was attended by 54 of our members. The burgers were delicious as usual and everyone enjoyed the day which was enhanced by the lovely weather.

Tuesday 30th April

A group of our members enjoyed an interesting day at Allison Homestead in Wyong. There were displays of memorabilia, photos, machinery and equipment relating to the early settlers in Wyong, though a few people found some were quite familiar! The viewing was followed by a delicious lunch of roast chicken and vegetables, with pavlova for dessert. This was all prepared and served by volunteers. This was accompanied by some pleasant background music.

Wednesday 3rd April

This was the day of the Port Hacking lunch cruise. Nearly 40 members accompanied by 12 guests and visitors, caught the coach for the trip to Cronulla. There they boarded the T.S.M.V. Gunnamatta which is part of the Cronulla Ferries fleet for the scenic and peaceful cruise which explores the Port Hacking waterway and shows some luxurious waterfront properties. The lunch provided was excellent. On the drive back, the coach driver performed an interesting tour of Sydney before heading north and being caught in a traffic jam. Overall, however, it was an excellent day.

Monday 1st April

This barbecue was held at Kincumba Mountain Reserve which is a lovely park surrounded by bush. The weather was a bit uncertain so quite a few members did not attend. However, the rain held off while we ate our sausages and cake which were delicious as usual. When it did rain we crowded into the shelter and almost all of us stayed dry. It was probably fortunate that the usual numbers did not attend as there was no more room undercover. As usual, everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

Friday 22nd March

The lunch at Higher Grounds Cafe was attended by 39 members. The venue is in a lovely setting overlooking lawns, garden and natural bush. The food which was served by friendly and helpful staff, was casual and mostly quite good. Of course there was the usual chatting and laughing which is the norm on our outings.

Monday 4th March

Instead of our usual barbecue this month, we enjoyed fish and chips purchased from the Avoca Beach fish and chip shop. This change in the menu was a nice change and was much less work for our hard working barbecue couple, Pauline and Bob. It was a lovely day and 54 of our members attended. However, there were some problems with parking due to the final day of the Vissla Central Coast Pro Surfing Competition also   being held at the southern end of Avoca Beach. We still enjoyed ourselves.

Monday 11th February

The "Lunar New Year Banquet" was enjoyed by 37 of our members to celebrate the Asian New Year at Harry's Chinese Restaurant, Ettalong Bowling Club. After the entrees were served individually, the main course was served as a banquet with four or five dishes on each table, accompanied by fried rice. This was followed by individual desserts consisting of pavlova, fruit salad and icecream. There was plenty of food to sustain our members. Both the quality of the food and the service were excellent.

Monday 4th February.

Our first monthly barbecue for the year was very successful being held at Picnic Point at The Entrance. It was a beautiful day weatherwise and the park was a very scenic spot. It is located beside the water where there were many water birds present, including black swans and pelicans. As usual the sausages were cooked to perfection followed by various cheese cakes. There were quite a lot of members there who enjoyed the day.

2018

Monday 3rd December

Our final activity for the year was our Christmas Lunch held at Avoca Beach Hotel and Resort. This was a very popular event attended by over 70 of our members. There was the usual chatting and laughter showing everyone was having a good time whilst enjoying the excellent three course Christmas dinner. We were entertained by "Two Left Feet", a very popular duo, singing old favourite songs from the fifties and sixties. Naturally, many members showed their skills on the dance floor.

Monday 12th November

Our monthly barbecue was again moved to a week later than usual due to the Melbourne Cup festivities in the first week of the month. The weather was perfect this time which was a nice change. It was held at Swadling Reserve, Toowoon Bay, which is a lovely area overlooking the beach which could be seen through the trees. We had quite a large gathering of members who enjoyed the steak and salad sandwiches, followed by apple pie, Xmas cake and pudding. As this was our last barbecue for the year, we celebrated birthdays in November and December.

Tuesday 6th November

The Melbourne Cup festivities were enjoyed by 28 of our members at Breakers Country Club in Wamberal. This venue proved to be very enjoyable with a delicious three course lunch. The entertainer was quite good, though hard to hear due to the incessant chatter of those present. Although not many of us won on the actual race, we were very proud of the "Best Dressed" female and male being our own Jan Heindrichs and Stephen Homann. Overall, everyone had a great day.

Sunday 21st to Friday 26th October 

This four day holiday tour to Belligen and the Coffs Coast was enjoyed by 29 of our members. The weather was beautiful which enabled those attending to make the most of the tours and outings. These included waterfalls, jacaranda trees, lookouts, whales watching, and the Slim Dusty Centre. The accommodation was very good and the food was tasty. Sadly however, Maureen McParland became ill and passed away in Coffs Harbour Hospital.

Wednesday 17th October

A group of our members enjoyed dinner at the Preview Restaurant at the TAFE Ourimbah. This was prepared and served by the students who did a great job.

Monday 8th October

The monthly barbecue was set a week later than the usual first Monday of the month due to the long weekend. Again the weather proved to be unsettled so we met for lunch at Erina Leagues Club. This was a quite popular event with 41 members attending. Again there was a lot of laughter and chatting as everyone enjoyed each others' company and the food.

Wednesday 26th September

Twenty-six of our members enjoyed HIGH TEA FOR TWO at Diggers @The Entrance. Everyone was very chatty and had a great time while enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.  

Tuesday 11th September

Almost twenty of our members attended the Morning Melodies at Laycock Theatre in North Gosford which featured Guiseppin Lumicisi performing the songs of "The Carpenters". She had a fantastic voice and her performance was really great. Following the concert, lunch was enjoyed at the Grange Hotel Bistro.

Monday 3rd September

Our monthly barbecue was again the victim of poor weather so we met at the Empire Bay Hotel for a very nice lunch. The weather did not dampen our spirits, as we had lots of fun and laughter whilst enjoying each others' company. Although it was not a successful picnic, it was another enjoyable lunch.

Thursday 16th August

The Wattle Day lunch at The Bay Cafe at Toowoon Bay was enjoyed immensely by those who attended. Some members wore "green and gold" showing their commitment to the theme. The food was absolutely delicious with no complaints from anybody. We have been there before and will most likely go there again.

Monday 6th August

The August barbecue was held at Hunter Reserve, Avoca Beach. The weather was a little unsettled with some light showers which did not dampen the spirits of the 39 members who attended. Luckily, we all managed to fit under the cover and enjoyed our sausages.   

Wednesday 11th July

Yulefest lunch was a lively affair held at Diggers club at The Entrance. The Xmas lunch was very nice and consisted of ham and pork, with vegetables, followed by Xmas pudding. The entertainment was provided by "Brassick" who were excellent with their performance of many songs, including some Xmas ones. Overall, this was a great outing.

Monday 2nd July

The July barbecue was held at the Foreshore Reserve at Canton Beach. Eventhough it was a cold day, it didn't rain and over thirty members attended. They enjoyed the delicious hamburgers and the good company. This is a very nice venue with a covered area beside the water. 

Wednesday 13th June  

The Trivia and Spit Roast Day was held at the Anglican Church Hall in Killarney Vale and attended by fifty-eight members from Avoca Beach and Toowoon Bay clubs. There was much frivolity as everyone tried to answer all the questions correctly. The competition was won by the "Toowoon Bay Headspace" followed closely by the "Sharpies". The day was enhanced by a delicious lunch supplied by Barry's Spit Roast.

Monday 4th June

The barbecue was not held at Kincumba Mountain Reserve due to the inclement weather. Instead, thirty of our members met at Kincumber Hotel for a very nice lunch. There was the usual chatting and laughter that we always involve ourselves in when we get together. It was a very pleasant outing.

Monday 14th May.

We shared our coach trip to Warragamba Dam and the Lindt Chocolate Factory with members of the Toowoon Bay Probus Club, making up 52 members altogether. This was another successful outing showing the scope of the dam system. Lunch was enjoyed at the Spillway Bistro at the Warragamba Workers Club and most members bought chocolate at the Lindt Factory. 

Monday 7th May

Our monthly barbecue was held at the Wallarah Peace Park in Gorokan which was a bit further afield than usual but proved to be a very nice park on the water's edge. This was attended by 43 of our members who enjoyed the seating area in the shade with a nice view of the water. The weather was again beautiful and the lunch was enjoyed by all. A neighbouring Art Gallery and Gift shop also proved to be quite popular.

Wednesday 2nd May  

Lunch at the Skillion Restaurant at Breakers Country Club was enjoyed by 32 of our members. The food from the "Blackboard " Specials was delicious and the view of the Terrigal lagoon was very nice. It was noticed that the skillion was quite spectacular from this angle. 

Thursday 12th a April

"A Day at the Races" was held at the Wyong Racecourse and was attended by a number of members who dressed to suit the occasion. There was some very nice headwear, mostly on the ladies. It was a beautiful day weather wise and the track was very green and quite scenic. The horses performed well and a few members won some money. Of course, there were losers as well! However, it was a very enjoyable day with a nice three course lunch. 

Monday 9th April

Our April barbecue was held at the Ettalong War Memorial Park on The Esplanade at Ettalong. This is a lovely spot on the water's edge. The weather was perfect and the day was enjoyed by about fifty members. Instead of our usual sausages, we enjoyed beef rissoles on our burgers, with accompanying lettuce, tomato, onions and sauces. This was followed by cheesecake.

Monday 12th March

The "Fish n Flicks" outing was very enjoyable with quite a few of our members enjoying  the feel-good movie "Finding Your Feet' starring Imelda Staunton and Celia Imrie.. We then walked over to Avoca Beach Seafood for a satisfying lunch of fish and chips.

Monday, 5th March

Instead of having the barbecue at Picnic Point, Tuggerah Parade, The Entrance, twenty-three of our members enjoyed a very nice lunch at The Entrance Hotel instead. This was due to the forecast of rain.   

Wednesday 28th February

Lunch at the Botanic Gardens in East Gosford was attended by twenty-three of our members. This was another successful lunch outing with the delicious food enjoyed by those present. This was followed by a tour of the Japanese gardens and the Gallery exhibition.

Thursday 15th February

Many of our members had a lot of fun and laughter participating in the Barefoot Bowling even, or perhaps especially, those who had never bowled before. This was followed by dinner at the ABBRC.

Monday, 5th February

Another successful barbecue was held at the Bruce Burgh Park at Bateau Bay and was enjoyed by those members in attendance. It was a "picture perfect" day which was very much appreciated by all. As the first of our social gatherings for this year, it hopefully promises more of the same.