Vol 2, Issue 1. February 13, 2021
Fashion Update

Susan B can be relied on to set the pace in Bearbrass fashion. Here she is last night, in somewhat harem-style overalls bought on-line from a small private company called Two Threads, also with community market outlets. Two Threads ethically sources material  or uses recycled cloths. The funky patches are just one variant: dresses and overalls come in multi-patterns.
From top, Susan colors her hair to match her mood, in this case a ginger tinge. Ear-rings are wooden from South Melbourne market. On one wrist is her late sister’s timepiece, on the other, the red bangle was a gift (given her movie connections, we suspect a gift from Hugh Jackman or Chris Hemsworth). The red shoes are by Archer and normally cost a bomb but she got them on special. They’re half a size too small but suffering and fashionistas go together.
Kaye Kilsby  sampling Nomads' Land
Our new member Kaye Kilsby has hardly joined us before she’s making herself scarce until September. That’s because she’s jumping into her Hilux 4WD motor home and heading into SA, WA, up the west coast, across the top to Western Qld and home. All COVID permitting – but if she’s locked out of any border she’ll just gun the engine and enjoy more time in that State.
She bought the motor home when she sold her Richmond home two years ago, and went up the east coast for six months to western Qld. She’s not like homeless film star Frances McDairmid in “Nomadland” (now showing) because she’s also got a pad in Docklands. “That film showed motor home people as a sad lot, but I just love being on the road, meeting fab people and seeing fab places in the outback like Innamincka and Campbell’s Corner,” she says. “Just since lockdown ended I’ve been round Victoria, seeing the Stick Shed grain storehouse in Murtoa and the Spanner Man in Boort.” 
She cooks up stuff in her microwave and one-ring burner. “One night in Carnarvon Gorge, I even roasted tasty lamb shanks over an open fire. It was a real art to get the heat right.”
She gets on with everyone. “At Wonga Beach in North Queensland I had just chatted to a lady for ten minutes and she offered to lend me her car to get my groceries.”
She pulled in to Burke and Wills Roadhouse, 226 kms south of Normanton in north Queensland, and found the little place had a big rodeo on. “I sat in the grandstand talking with a lady whose son was riding bulls.”
She’s a motor sports and rally enthusiast and even raced her own Triumph TR6 at Calder and Sandown. She rolled it and wrote it off at Phillip Island’s track 20 years ago. “And you got out OK?” we asked. “No, I broke seven ribs. It hurt like hell.”
Thereafter she preferred co-driving and navigating in rallies – although sometimes big trees moved into the way. Ten years ago she switched to working as an official on tracks. “We’re now planning to re-stage the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon Rally in October,” she says. “But we’ll just do the Perth – Sydney leg.”
Bearbrass Hits the Headlines!

Our club got excellent spreads not just in the December issue of Docklands News but the February issue as well. The first piece was about our club plus our member Julie Cookson; the second about our eight-person team that took the New Year’s Eve Qantas flight to the Antarctic (and back). It was terrific marketing for us, getting news of our existence into all the units in all the towers of Docklands.

As a bit of history, before Bearbrass launched a year ago, we had a marketing budget from Probus headquarters. HQ could spend it on a targeted Australia Post mail drop or ads in the trio of Docklands News, CBD News and Southbank News. HQ adopted our recommendation for the newspapers, and this was how we first got the word out.

The December story was titled, “Double the Docklands Probus” and had a color picture of our happy band at a picnic at Buluk Park near the Dock Library. The story read:

Probus clubs are associations that retired and semi-retired people use to facilitate social and interest opportunities. Their popularity among Docklanders means that the suburb now has two.

Jill and Neil: Top wine pallets!

President Mel’s wine tasting orgy last night was the most fun any of us have ever had sitting down. Eleven wine connoisseurs – or wine drinkers at least – assembled at his Haig St tower’s function room to blindly recognise four wines ($16.99 to an extravagant $26.99) and train their pallets towards subtle but accurate discriminations. 
Mel (with Jill, pic left) made conscientious use of the room’s white-board matrix to track our judgements or lack thereof.
Bus details for Cruden Farm Monday March 1
Notice for Bearbrass travellers to Cruden Farm Monday March 1 !
From Spike,
Some members are getting to Cruden Farm by car but most are taking our bus.
Now is the time to commit. I have reservations for 16 passengers and myself on the bus to and from Cruden Farm. This will involve fun, food, fine gardens and frivolity.
If you live along the route, speak to the driver (me) and we may be able to manage a convenient drop-off on the way back.
What to bring: Any food or drink you may want additional to the free sausage sizzle on-site. Do not bring tables or chairs, they are available there. The stables offer a weather-proof setting for lunch if the sun does not play nice.
The timeline is as follows:
10:30 Gather at Buluk Park by the Dock Library, perhaps grab a coffee and chat. Load your picnic food on the bus.
11:00 Bus will depart Docklands. Don't be late, we won’t wait.
12:10 Arrive at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin
Eat, drink and be merry BUT NOT TOO MERRY
3:00pm Bus departs for home. We will leave no-one behind.
4:30pm Bus arrives in Docklands.
Your commitment to cover costs is $22 per head payable by close of business Thursday Feb. 25.
Bank Details:-
Bank of Bendigo
BSB 633000
A/C 174771725
Bearbrass Probus
Be sure to put your name and “Cruden” in the reference.
If you have not yet booked, we still have a couple of seats available. Don’t dither,email me
IMPORTANT: As well as booking and paying for the bus, you must go to trybooking and pay $20 per head for tickets to the grounds (covering Cruden’s expenses). To book tickets, click
See you there
"The wheels on the bus go round and round."
Michele: four years before the mast
They say Britannia rules the waves and our new member Michele Hutchinson is a case in point. Picture her on night watch at the helm of the 33ft yacht Zephyr south-bound from Exmouth across the Channel. It’s stormy and ahead, tankers and freighters are crowding the channel lanes. Michele’s three exhausted companions are asleep below, trusting her to monitor the radar and thread a safe course between cargo giants. She’s immune to seasickness and happily takes the long night-watches. The all-female-crew of four on the Westerly yacht, with its wooden interior, is skippered by a veteran 65yo sailor with full sea qualifications. Michele herself did a course involving a ticket as “competent crew”. 
 She says, “I had to work out what sort of a ship was coming and our courses. I loved it. There was only once when I wondered if our trusty yacht would go over from big waves. But out there in the channel it could be so peaceful with nothing but water and sky 360degrees.”
Happy Bearbrass monthly meeting Feb 10
Our second physical general meeting for 2021 was a happy occasion at the Dock, meeting up with new and old friends and brainstorming activities for the coming months. Several new members gave us potted autobiographies and many great activities were not just proposed but actively set in train. After coffee Greg J took our Clubrunner software for a spin, showing the many features evident on the webpage We hope members take the initiative and get inside the engine room of Clubrunner, with Secretary Sue offering instant help on any password/user name issues. Mel reminded that members can nominate now for committee roles for 2021.
Our speaker was our own Julia Fraser, literally an all-singing all-dancing member (except she didn't have time to talk about those aspects of her busy life). She ran through her education and then teaching roles at Fitzroy High, her moves into book writing for migrant kids and curriculum setting at national level, bringing the States in to the three cross-curricula priorities. Then she described her role as lead organiser of Melbourne's Millennium Celebrations including a party for 750,000 on the Yarra banks. Her more serious ventures included missions to China with a team to help China modernise its mental health systems, and assistance in the wake of the terrible Sichuan earthquake that took 70,000 lives and involved 200,000 landslides. Finally she gave us a glimpse of how her loyal and supportive family have backed her throughout, and her new role baby-sitting granddaughter for daughter Nat who is a mother-child psychiatrist. Any one of her dozen themes in this talk could have made a stand-alone talk. Congrats Julia on your wonderful achievements.
After the meeting we headed off to Tap831 for a fine lunch on the second floor remote from the noise and distractions of the ground floor, so we could spend quality time getting to know ourselves.
Julie R Triumphs at Trivia 
Our Julie R- came a creditable second in Thursday night's Trivia Quiz (Feb 11), despite her lack of preparation and previous poor form. The Rotary/Bearbrass quiz was won by Rotary’s Roy G-, but our Bearbrass stalwart Tony T placed third. Julie was presented with the runner-up's trophy (left) by our organiser and IT guru Cliff Stinson. 
 A transcript of Roy’s press conference afterwards reads:
What preparation did you make for the quiz? – I opened a bottle of red.
How confident were you during the quiz that you could make first place? – Didn’t give it a thought really.
How did you feel when you found you were the winner? – Very low-order pleased.
Do you have any words of comfort or advice for your opponents? – Hey we weren’t playing with a bunch of sooks. This involved Rotary and Bearbrass elite. They know how to lose, and come back!
How did the quiz improve your understanding of world affairs? – Well I never knew that Wellington is the most southerly capital city but otherwise I have been left untouched.
When the microphone was passed to Julie R- , she said Roy was a worthy winner and luck played a role in her second placing.
Cheryl's career in aged care management
Sydney-raised Cheryl Markham is an expert on professional aged care. With her late husband Derek , they owned and ran a total of three aged-care homes over 22 years. Cheryl, who began with a post-grad diploma in aged care management, says, “Aged care is an enormous responsibility but I never say management is a burden. I tell staff, whether they’re cleaners or the boss, that it’s a privilege to perhaps be the last person on earth a resident will speak to. We always took pride in giving our residents services well beyond official requirements.”
Over a decade they also spent several years travellers to and from China, particularly Nanjing, educating academics and staff there about professional care. “Our task was setting up certificated training programs, working with senior management. Traditionally their aged care workers are under-educated and low in status.”
Their first Victorian care home was Reservoir Gardens with 29 beds, and then they built South Morang Mews, with 68 beds and eight independent living units. Their last project was Heritage Lakes nearby, with 120 beds and 43 living units.
Book Group News, February
Welcome to 2021 Bearbrass Book Group update. We are all set for an interesting year of book discussions and anticipating that many of these meetings will be held ‘face to face’, either in member’s homes or at a local café, over coffee or lunch.
The first book for this year is “The Dictionary of Lost Words” by Pip Williams. It weaves fiction with historical fact to create thought-provoking reading about the power of language while also delving into some late 19thCentury history. The story is based on the compilation of the Oxford Dictionary which was took place at the same time as the women’s suffragette movement in UK. ‘A definite’ to create great discussions and sharing of member’s interpretations and perspectives…Cate T .
Club Information
 Bearbrass Probus
Tuesdays at 10:30 AM
Community Hub at the Dock
Multipurpose Room - 1st floor
912 Collins Street
Docklands, VIC 3008
0425 857 739
The club meets on the second Tuesday of the month, 10am for 10.30am start. Speakers offer a presentation at each meeting on a variety of topics.
Venue Map
Venue Map
Jul 09, 2024
"Glass full of wine"
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Upcoming Events
Seamen’s Mission
Jun 18, 2024
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday at the movies - June
Hoyts Docklands
Jun 19, 2024
4:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Trivia at the Nixon Hotel
The Nixon Hotel
Jun 20, 2024 6:00 PM
Coffee morning
Dymocks Cafe
Jun 25, 2024
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Trivia at the Nixon Hotel
The Nixon Hotel
Jun 27, 2024 6:00 PM
Bearbass Wine Tasting Group - June Meeting
Clarendon Towers Board Room
Jun 28, 2024
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Seamen’s Mission
Jul 02, 2024
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Trivia at the Nixon Hotel
The Nixon Hotel
Jul 04, 2024 6:00 PM
Trivia at the Nixon Hotel
The Nixon Hotel
Jul 11, 2024 6:00 PM
Coffee morning
Dymocks Cafe
Jul 16, 2024
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Vicki Eddison
June 4
Sheryl Tipton
June 5
Laura Walsh
June 8
Emilie Butcher
June 17
Kerry Franklin
June 18
Maryla Juchnowski
June 24
Julie Cookson
June 27
Tony Thomas
June 27
Judy Scott
June 29
Join Date
Kerrie Matthee
June 11, 2020
4 years
Pierre Matthee
June 11, 2020
4 years
Susan Bower
June 11, 2020
4 years
Nina Gualano
June 13, 2023
1 year
Neil Bechervaise
June 29, 2021
3 years
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Vice President
Guest Speaker Officer
Welfare Officer
Website Officer
Publicity Officer
Membership Officer
Events Officer
Hospitality Officer

Hi, we're keen to expand our retiree membership to enable more activity groups to get under way. We offer you friendship, recreation, fun and stimulation. To inquire just email our friendly secretary, Ph 0419 134 206. The dues are negligible - $30 to join and $60 per year. It's the best investment you can imagine.