Outside the Square:
What a week, so much went on that it seems a blur.
Last Wednesday 23rd Nov. saw Narooma Rotary President Michael O’Connor at the IGA Narooma selling the last of the race day tickets. It was freezing cold and he had no jacket, but says it was great to meet the locals and visitors impressed with what we were doing. Below: Donna, Michael and Carol Meindl
This was followed by an EXPO meeting to finalise the event planning.
Thursday, saw the regular Rotary meeting. By the response it seemed that the idea of eating a ‘Meals on Wheels’ meal was a great way to introduce the service. Carol Meindl gave a wonderful rundown on the service and by the noise of the conversation it seemed everyone had a good time. Some even said it was a “fun” night.
Friday had many of the Narooma Rotary members setting up the leisure centre for the Expo. What an EXPO! President Michael O’Connor said, “The response from the community was to put it mildly, amazing. It shows that vision and passion of one of our members can lead to a great outcome. Once again thank you Frank for encouraging Rotary to take up the challenge”.
“Not only did we get a great number of visitors, the exhibitors were delighted. The excellent speakers on Saturday night just added to the event."
"An interesting outcome was the positive reception to the idea of member Charmaine to promote the provision of solar lights for communities in Timor Leste, Cambodia and Vietnam." The quote of the EXPO was when Michael was explaining what Narooma Rotary were trying to achieve by selling the lights one customer said. “If you stop talking I will make a donation” He promptly got the donation.
Sunday saw Rotary Narooma working at the markets and at the EXPO. The raised $425.50 in donations to our 1000km walk.
The Narooma Rotary Renewable Energy Expo:
Above: Narooma Rotary President Michael O’Connor, MC Narooma Rotarian David McInnes, Lisa Miller from the Office of Environment and Heritage, Solar Council CEO John Grimes, Expo Coordinator Frank Eden and Lawrence McIntosh from SolarShare Canberra.
"To everyone who helped with the expo, a big thanks! It definitely proved that there is a lot of interest in renewable energy, with one installer telling me he has 50 leads to follow up!" Frank Eden, Committee Chair
Saturday saw a big crowd of over 400 people in the Leisure Centre which was just big enough for some 20 exhibitors, mostly local with some from Bega and Canberra. On Sunday there were fewer people but the Expo still had over 200.
Attendance was at the high end of expectations and in dollar terms vastly more than expected, which is not bad for a free event.
Rotary Narooma had two tables at the entrance to the Leisure Centre. At the first attendees were asked for people’s postcode which allowed the organisers to collect some attendance numbers and an idea of the demographic. A large number were from out of town, some obviously travelling (Adelaide, Wodonga and Melbourne), but many came from across south-east NSW and some from Canberra. One Canberra couple had come down especially for the Expo.
On the second table Rotary Narooma promoted solar lights organised by Charmaine White. Loads of people donated $10 or $20 quickly selling out of the stock that had been pre-purchased.
The Lions Club also sold out early.
Above: The crew at the entrance to the Expo
The highlight of the weekend was the information night. A great buffet dinner was provided by the club which definitely set a convivial mood.
John Grimes, CEO of the Solar Council was first up with a very interesting account of past and present situation. Some $45 billion has been spent in recent years providing mostly unused grid capacity. He also provided a very clear explanation of net metering and smart meters.
The MC for the night, David McInnes introduced Lawrence McIntosh from SolarShare Canberra. Lawrence also does work for UTS in Sydney and was involved in some recent work looking at virtual net metering and mini grids.
The third speaker, Lisa Miller from the Office of Environment and Heritage, spoke about ‘Demystifying Solar’, with a ton of practical advice and a free USB stick with lots of information.
Frank Eden, Committee Chair extended his appreciation by saying “Thank you all Local businesses were so generous in sponsoring this event and a special thank-you to the expo committee. Without their efforts, this event would not have happened. John, Angie, Mike, Chris, and Laurelle, thanks for your expertise and enthusiasm. One committee member is so fired up she wants to do it all again – in ten years time…”
Above: Rotarians with some solar panels Narooma Rotary work for the common good, locally and globally They are a vibrant, friendly club creating a better world by engaging the community in projects raising the quality of life locally and internationally and they raise funds for a range of humanitarian projects. They meet Thursdays at 6.00 for 6:30pm at the Whale Motor Inn 104 Wagonga Street Narooma For more information visit their website here