November 2015

 Our guest speaker for the November meeting is our very own President, Peter Amos, speaking on the subject “Australian Age of Dinosaurs”.  Peter has a passionate interest and involvement in fossil hunting around Australia, which started back in 1975 when he bought some fossils in South Australia for his wife. Later in 1987, an opalised skeleton of a small pliosaur (an extinct marine reptile) was discovered in the Cretaceous rocks of Cooper Pedy, SA and Peter and his wife participated in the saving of this specimen. Then there  was visiting a Museum of fossils in central NSW in 1993. In the current year they have participated in preparing specimens, having now joined the “Age of Dinosaurs Foundation”.

                                                                          October 2015

    Our speaker was Peter Watson, who gave a terrific talk about  his first hand experiences as a rear gunner with the RAF Bomber Command in WW2. His title was “Lady Luck” and indeed he was blessed with many escapes in the face of harm’s way, and still is around to tell us of his experiences and emotions.  He brought with him the French Legion of Honour, awarded this  year for his participation in freeing France from German occupation.

                                                                          September 2015

Our guest speaker for the September meeting is Paul Wait, who is the holder of a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and comes to us highly recommended by the Probus Clubs of Mosman and Middle Harbour.  His subject is ‘the Great Siege of Malta’.  Although Malta was subject to heavy bombing by Hitler in WW2, we are taking a break from the two Great wars of the 20th century to learn about the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. How many of us have heard of it? (Pax Lambert has!). Who was involved in it? Why was it so important?  The famous French philosopher and historian, Francois Voltaire said that ‘nothing is better known than the siege of Malta’. Well, Balgowlah Probus members are to be entertained and educated in this regard at our coming meeting.

                                                                         August 2015

Our guest speaker for August was was Peter Headley, who gave us a terrific presentation on the battle of Villers Bretonneaux in WW1. Not only was Peter most knowledgeable and an entertaining speaker,  his many photographs of the battle scenes (copies of original photographs taken at the time) suggests the huge amount of work and research he had put into his preparation. He indicated that he is happy to visit us again, and I will certainly be following him up for next year.


                                                                             July 2015

 Our speaker was  Hugh Lander, who gave an informative and entertaining presentation of the 50th Anniversary of the Sydney Heritage Fleet.

We can be very proud of the achievements of volunteers that have worked hard to restore ferrys of earlier times for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
                                                                               May 2015

 Our speaker was Melissa Serna, who spoke on the subject “Macular Degeneration”. The number of questions asked of her was a good indication of the level of interest aroused, and her PowerPoint presentation gave us a clear understanding of this very important subject.  Several informative pamphlets were given to each attendee to widen awareness of Australia’s leading cause of blindness.

A useful web site is the Mascular Degenation Foundation at:


                                                                             April 2015

 Our speaker was Jane Mundy, an Author dwelling in our midst at Balgowlah, who spoke about her recent publication “In my Father’s House”. This described in a light-hearted style, the life of a fictitious Sydney family with a leaning towards hoarding, and the impact of the dissention caused by conscription in the time of the Vietnam War. It was an entertaining presentation, and members showed their appreciation by a number buying autographed copies of her book.


                                                                             March 2015

Our guest speaker was James Feary, Site Manager, North Head Waste Water Treatment Plant at Manly, supported by Kelly Munro, their Community Relations Advisor.  James gave a very interesting description of the NHWWTP, its past, present and any future plans.  The Plant is the second largest of the 30 waste water treatment plants in greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra.  It serves some 1.2 million populations in an area of 452 square meters, from Seven Hills, Blacktown and north to Ku-ring-gai and Collaroy.  The plant discharged untreated effluent at the cliff face until mid 1980s when primary treatment was commissioned and then discharged some 3 kms offshore with the construction of the ocean outfall tunnel in early 1990s. More recently, they completed a $150 million improvement, including improving the plant’s reliability, water recycling and odour control.  There will be an Open Day at the plant, probably in May, which those of us interested can participate.  They will let us know the exact date and details when available.


                                                                   February 2015

Our guest speaker for the February meeting was Derek McIntosh, a Balgowlah Probus Club member, who presented a talk on the subject “Australia’s Champion trees”.  In his own words: - ‘Big trees are not only the forest giants! Hidden away in parks,gardens and on farming properties is a wonderful array of Champion trees. I will explain my early interest in trees, how the national Tree Register was started and highlights some of our wonderful trees, natives and aliens.

Ever wondered where the biggest Ironbark, Oak, Norfolk Island pine is?

This was an unusual subject for our members and lived up to it's promises to be a most interesting and informative talk.

The National Register of Big Trees (developed and maintained by Derek) can be accessed at:

                                                                        January 2015

Our speaker in January was Dudley Tunks, a life member of Balgowlah Probus Club, on the subject of “Flying Boats”. The address was fascinating, drawing upon knowledge gained in his long career with Qantas. Those attending were glued to their seats, and their interest was demonstrated by the many questions asked at the conclusion. A great talk Dudley, and most appreciated.



2015 Speakers