Sherwood Probus goes bayside

Sherwood Probus club members and friends have made a couple of trips away from Brisbane’s western suburbs in recent months – we headed for the delights of Moreton Bay.

In June we took the train and headed first to Sandgate where after refreshing ourselves with coffee and tea with cake, we boarded the bus for Redcliffe. Some of us revisited/or saw for the first time the Bee Gees Way, walked the pier, then partook of lunch at places of our choice.  The weather was perfect for this relaxed day which was enjoyed by all participants.

Our next outing was in early August when a busload of us headed for Macleay Island. Macleay Island is located 30km from Brisbane at the southern end of Moreton Bay. It is the second largest of the four Bay Islands. At 6.5km long and 4km wide at its widest point, the island is easily traversed on a day trip. On this occasion we were joined by members and friends from Mt Ommaney, Indooroopilly West and Chapel Hill Probus clubs.

The tour arrangements were all well-coordinated. The bus picked us up at Magpies AFL Club in Chelmer and took us to the ferry at Redland Bay Marina, which is where we had morning tea before boarding the ferry for the journey to the island. It was handy that we were able to use our Go Cards. It was a delightful day on the water and after landing at Macleay we were picked up by a different bus which took us on a tour of the island. According to the Macleay Island website, the Island has a diverse and interesting history, both aboriginal and european. Lunch was at the Bowls Club before we headed back to the ferry for the return journey.

It was a great day full of friendship and fellowship. Our next trip is to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in September and we hope that is as enjoyable. Thanks to Joan for organising two great days out.


Sherwood Probus celebrates its birthday

Sherwood Probus Club was established in July 2000 and celebrated its 18th birthday in 2018 with a lunch and entertainment at its meeting venue, the Magpies AFL Club in Chelmer.

President Pauline welcomed members to the lunch and expressed her hope that everyone would enjoy the occasion. A two-course lunch was provided: crumbed crab claws with crispy noodles or beef minestrone soup for entree; and oven-baked barramundi or roast chicken for the main course. This was followed by deliciously rich chocolate cakes baked by our event and tour coordinator Joan.

As is traditional at our birthday and Christmas lunches, quizmaster Paul kept us all guessing, with two quite difficult quizzes. The first quiz was all about Australia: Pat had the highest score with 12 out of 18 correct. The second quiz was a more general This and that and Sue won with 14 correct out of 18.  Everyone, including the winners, was awarded chocolate for their efforts.

Birthday lunch_2018_7Marion kept us entertained while we waited for lunch to be served by reciting two poems. These two poems, My idea of a girl and McGinty, were written by her mother and were told with great skill and verve.

We didn’t quite know what to expect when Brian, with hat on his head but no shoes on his feet, came and sat down on a chair adjacent to the tables. He was closely followed by Paul, wearing a skirt and carrying a laundry basket. Henry (aka Brian) was duly chastised by Eliza (aka Paul) about not helping with the laundry and they launched into the Hole in the bucket skit. Everyone was highly amused and joined in the chorus. Many thanks to Paul and Brian for keeping us entertained.

Joan had made a birthday cake for each table and club members sang the birthday song and toasted the club.

Winners of lucky door prizes on the day were Joan, Pauline, and Dawn. Winners of the impressive raffle baskets, donated by committee members, were Marlene and Lorraine.Birthday lunch_2018_2

President Pauline concluded the day by thanking all who had contributed to the successful celebration, including club staff for the venue and meal, committee members for the raffle baskets, and Joan for her marvellous cakes, small treats and table decorations.

Sherwood Probus looks forward to another year of fun, fellowship and friendship in 2019.


The Merry Widow

On 23 June several members and friends attended Opera Queensland’s performance of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow at QPAC. There are many images from the opera to give you a taste of the performance at Opera Queensland (

The opera tells the story of a young widow who, on the death of her husband, inherits his fortune. She travels from her homeland to Paris where she is pursued by Parisian eligible bachelors who are seeking a wealthy wife. In order to keep the money in her own country, she is expected to marry a local not a Parisian.

Hanna, the Widow, is hoping to marry her ex-lover Danilo who was her childhood sweetheart. She finds he has chosen a life of champagne and the company of the ladies of the Paris nightclub scene to cope with the loss of her love when she married.

It is here we see the beautiful clothing of the Parisian Art Deco period of the 1920s with stunning and elegant gowns and sets.

Although Hanna pursues Danilo, he is not easily persuaded by her love and doesn’t want her money. She then becomes engaged to another in an effort to make him jealous. Around them a typical farce ensues with wrongful assumptions of who is romantically involved with whom, cheating wives and jealous husbands.

In the final scene Hanna reveals that she will lose her fortune if she remarries. Without money as a barrier to marrying her, Danilo can now admit his love; it is only then that he’s told that the reason Hanna will lose all her money on remarriage is because it will become her husband’s. Despite this they can now live happily ever after.

David Hobson was excellent in the role of Danilo and, apart from the height discrepancy with his co-star Natalie Christie Peluso who played Hanna, they were an excellent pairing. They were ably supported by the rest of the cast.

The Merry Widow was only in Brisbane for a short season and we were all pleased that we were able to attend.

Angel Flight – helping people from rural and remote areas to access medical treatment

Sherwood Probus Club’s Guest speaker for June was Barry Collis, OAM – an Earth Angel for Angel Flight. Angel Flight is not to be confused with Care Flight or the Flying Doctors. They do not carry medical equipment or offer medical services. According to the Angel Flight website Angel Flight Australia is a charity which coordinates non-emergency flights to assist country people to access specialist medical treatment that would otherwise be unavailable to them because of vast distance and high travel costs.

M2650 John with pilot Neil Richardson
Pilot and passengers – Image courtesy of Angel Flight website

Their role is to transport people to major centres so they can access medical treatment. Barry explained that Angel Flight was started by Bill Bristow, a former pilot, based on a scheme he saw in the USA.

Anyone requiring assistance from Angel Flight has to complete an application form, which is authorised by a registered health officer or social worker. It can take up to a week to coordinate air and land transport. We heard many examples of people who had been helped, including one passenger who had made 32 trips from Chinchilla to Brisbane for dialysis treatment. The longest flight arrangement involved 4 planes to transport a passenger between Coolangatta and Hobart.

Australia-wide Angel Flight has 3362 pilots who supply and maintain their own aircraft, and 4607 Earth Angels, who meet incoming flights and take passengers either to hospitals or their accommodation. Pilots who offer services on behalf of Angel Flight only receive reimbursement for petrol – this consumes approximately 80% of their funds. Everyone is a volunteer. The service receives no government funding and relies on donations and some fundraising by supporters. It does not pay for advertising itself – costs of any advertising are donated.

Barry’s presentation included photos of the many types of planes used by volunteer pilots. These included Cessna 18L and Cirrus SR22.

Club member Brian thanked Barry for his talk which highlighted the wonderful service that Angel Flight offers to the Australian community and presented him with our Certificate of Appreciation and gift.

Scrabble at Sherwood Probus

Research results suggest that playing Scrabble has many health benefits. Scrabble helps to lower the risk of mental illness by keeping brains stimulated and engaged. It enables players to connect with family and friends. It is also suggested that playing this long-established and well-loved board game helps to reduce blood pressure, while improving the immune system and memory. It appears that Scrabble players access different parts of the brain that help them to identify patterns in a random selection of letters.

While I’m not sure about the reduction in blood pressure as competition heats up among players, perhaps evidence of the health benefits of playing Scrabble, is demonstrated by Barbara, a long-standing Sherwood Probus Scrabble group who recently celebrated her 90th birthday. The group meets twice a month at Croll Memorial Precinct at Corinda. Do come long and keep your brain ticking over with new challenges. New and occasional players are always welcome.  Phone 3278 2409 for more information.  We look forward to seeing you.

Barbara Stuart 90 birthday

There’s more to bees than honey

Sherwood Probus Club’s guest speaker for May was Trevor Weatherhead, AM. After 16 years working in the Forestry Department and 5 years in the Bee Section of the Department of Primary Industries, Trevor and his wife started their own beekeeping business in 1988. This business focussed on queen bee raising and honey production. Trevor maintained his involvement with industry groups receiving many industry awards over the following 24 years, as well as Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia.

Many interesting facts emerged from Trevor’s illustrated talk. There are over 24,000 beekeepers Australia-wide, with around 650,000 hives. The numbers in Queensland are 4,500 and 120,000 respectively. Most honey comes from trees and average annual Australian production is 20,000 tons worth $100 million.  Around 40% of this production is exported. As well as honey, bees produce other goods such as pollen, beeswax, royal jelly, and propolis which has anti-bacterial properties.  In response to a question Trevor described the anti-bacterial properties of honey, especially Manuka. He considered some varieties of Australian Manuka honey to be superior to New Zealand varieties.

Honey display_2
Honey tasting and product display
Club member Beth tasting the honey







Trevor explained that 65% of Australian crops require honey bees for pollination. Total crop value is worth $8.35 to $19.97 billion. These crops range from watermelons, pumpkins, sunflowers, onions, kiwi fruit, to canola and almonds.  In Victoria almond growers pay $100 per hive to ensure their trees are pollinated. Trevor pointed out that, despite the large number of crops dependent upon honey bees, biosecurity has been overlooked. Forest fires and asian bees are two main problems faced by beekeepers.

Most members took advantage of the extensive honey tasting and display of different products during morning tea.

Glenda de Baar moved a vote of thanks, on behalf of members, and presented Trevor with a Certificate of Appreciation and gift.


Sherwood Probus learn about Hyperbaric Medicine

Hyperbaric Medicine is used to treat a range of medical problems: wounds from diabetic ulcers to promote their healing; bone damage due to radiation; flesh eating bacteria; thermal burns; crush injuries; decompression injuries (bends); and osteomyelitis. Karren Simpson, a registered nurse with 15 years experience in hyperbaric medicine, who works as the Liaison Officer for the Wesley Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine (HM) was Sherwood Probus Club’s guest speaker at its April 2018 meeting.

At the start of her presentation, Karren illustrated the development of HM up to the installation of the Hyperbaric Chamber in the Wesley Hospital in 1998. HM was initially used to treat Caisson Disease or bends, first noticed in workers digging deep foundations for bridge caissons.

pressure-gauge-3109005_960_720Tissues go hard and can’t receive oxygen in diabetic and radiation injuries. Treatment involves pressuring patients (equivalent 14-18 metre depth) and giving them pure oxygen.  Under pressure, blood plasma takes in more oxygen making it available to the wounds.

Although the slides demonstrating a variety of wounds before treatment were somewhat confronting, we were then shown the same wounds after they had been treated and the results were most reassuring.

Guest speaker re Hyperbaric med_ed

Treatment at Wesley Hospital is covered by Medicare, but members were advised to check their entitlements with private health insurance providers.

Margaret Stevens thanked Karren for her fascinating and instructive talk and presented her with a Certificate of Appreciation and gift.



Bouncing back – a motivational story

Stephen Dale was the guest speaker at Sherwood Probus Club’s April meeting. His talk was entitled Bouncing Back Champion.

In 1989 at age 21, Stephen fell 30 feet down a cliff onto rocks. This resulted in severe head and spinal injuries, multiple heart attacks, torn internal organs and he suffered a stroke while in a coma. His family was told that, if he survived, Stephen would live a life of pain and dependency.

How had it come to this for someone who was a nice boy? He was bullied at school had turned to drugs and alcohol and extremely risky behaviour. At the age of 20 his life hit rock bottom.

After his accident Stephen spent a year in 4 different hospitals, had multiple operations, experienced unbearable pain. He lost over 45kg in weight as well as many cognitive skills. At this point, Stephen realised that there was one ability remaining in life: the ability to make a choice. He could either give up or fight to build a new life.

He designed ways to recover, which he did over a period of 10 years. He is now teaching people how to transform their lives and build a new future. He does this through his Resilience and Mental Health Workshops, which are presented in many organisations such as schools, sporting clubs and Government institutions. He relates his story in his book Bouncing back when you hit rock bottom. 

Gil Bambrick thanked Stephen on behalf of the Club for sharing his story and presented him with our Certificate of Appreciation and gift.


Sherwood Probus on a magic carpet ride

On 14 March 23 Sherwood Probus members and friends were lucky enough to attend the musical Aladdin at QPAC.

The ancient story of Aladdin has been given the Disney treatment to offer us this very entertaining show with the most colourful scenery seen in a musical. The costumes were something to behold and it would appear no expense was spared using thousands of Swarovski crystals to create sparkling Arabian outfits. The following photos, taken at the show’s launch in 2017, probably don’t do them full justice.

As the ancient story goes Aladdin finds a lamp and releases the Genie who grants him three wishes. Garett Jacobs who plays the Genie was the stand out of the show. His singing and dancing numbers were many and executed with such energy. Besides Aladdin and the Princess there were several other character parts which combined to help relate the tale and many of these added comedy to the story.

Of course there was also magic and we saw Aladdin and the Princess ride on the magic carpet which appeared to float above the city. This is where they sang the signature tune from the show ‘A Whole New World’.

A truly spectacular show and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

The Theatre Group’s next major events are The Merry Widow and Beautiful: The Carol King story in June and August respectively. If you enjoy theatre amid pleasant company, why not enquire about joining our Club.