After fire destroyed a storage shed for the Yamba Lions Club and Rotary Club of Yamba, various community groups have come together to rebuild the popular merry-go-round and its horses.
After fire destroyed a storage shed for the Yamba Lions Club and Rotary Club of Yamba, various community groups have come together to rebuild the popular merry-go-round and its horses.

CLARENCE ROUND UP: All the latest in community news

Clarence River U3A

Late in 2019 a deliberately lit fire destroyed both the Lions Club’s shed and the Rotary Club’s shed located near the water treatment plant at the rear of the golf club at Yamba.

The Lions Club had a valuable and very popular merry-go-round enjoyed by many children. The horses, originally built by the CRU3A Men’s Shed, were scorched and hardly recognisable. In fact, it is a wonder that they survived the blaze. The little engine, known as The Yamba Roarer was completely destroyed and the small train carriages were badly damaged.

The Lions Club received a minimal amount from insurance but was successful in obtaining grants from both the State and Federal Governments. The community rallied around and they also received donations from the Yamba Golf & Country Club and Bowlo Sport and Leisure Yamba as well as a couple of the local schools and the Shell service station. An amazing gesture was made by the local Rural Fire Service to whom the Lions Club had made a donation during the bushfire season. They returned the donation.

Enter the CRU3A Men’s Shed. In collaboration with the Lions Club, the Men’s shed assessed the damage to both the merry-go-round and the train carriages. The damage was extensive and the project was ambitious. The men learned many new skills, sanding, carving and restoring the ‘burnt offerings”. That was phase 1. Phase 2 of the refurbishment was done by the Women’s Shed members who applied their skills and artistic talent to each of the horses. Each horse was given a different look and colour. They were renamed after previous presidents of the Lions Club.

After fire destroyed a storage shed for the Yamba Lions Club and Rotary Club of Yamba, various community groups have come together to rebuild the popular merry-go-round and its horses.
After fire destroyed a storage shed for the Yamba Lions Club and Rotary Club of Yamba, various community groups have come together to rebuild the popular merry-go-round and its horses.

The men spent in excess of 1000 hours in total of four to five men, five hours twice a week for three months on this project, but it was a labour of love. The painting by the Women’s Shed artists racked up many more hours. The Manning River Lions Club donated a carriage. It was repaired by the CRU3A Men’s Shed who then built a second one. The Lions Club paid The Men’s and Women’s Shed for the materials for their incredible work, showing how two volunteer organisations can work together successfully to the benefit of the local community.

This is only one example of what can be achieved. CRU3A offers many opportunities to learn and apply new skills and enjoy a variety of other activities where you can make new friends for a very small cost. If you are interested, please contact our group liaison officer Lorraine Kerr at or for The Shed at Yamba/Townsend, Brent Walsh at You will find a lot of information on our website at and our Clarence River U3A Facebook page.

—Laura K. O’Brien

Grafton Probus

Forty-two members and five guests attended Grafton Probus’ monthly meeting on Thursday. Our five-minute speaker was replaced with a competition with five members given one minute to talk about a given topic or one of their own. Some talks were serious, some humorous, but at the end the judges declared Wendy Bellamy the winner. Wendy spoke about setting up her shoe business in Grafton in the 90s.

Our guest speaker at the meeting was Michelle Hockings from Grafton and District Funerals. Michelle spoke eloquently about achieving her lifelong ambition to become a funeral director. Following her talk, Michelle fielded a great variety of questions from the members. Thirty-two members continued the fun and fellowship over lunch in the restaurant.

Michelle Hoskings giving her address to Grafton Probus.
Michelle Hoskings giving her address to Grafton Probus.

Our next meeting is the annual general meeting. All members should have received the paperwork for the meeting including a nomination form. Only those who have paid membership fees prior to the meeting will be able to stand for a position and vote.

The next mid-day lunch will be at the Blue Goose Hotel on March 2. Twenty-six members attended the February lunch at the Grafton District Services Club. Please let Ron Payne know if you are attending. There will be a games afternoon at Paula and Ron Payne’s residence on February 26. The Book Club will meet at the Library on March 10 and Choc Top Day will be on March 31 at the Saraton.

Our Facebook Page contains full particulars about activities ( Prospective members can gain more information from Paula Payne on 6642 8797 or Bill Greenlees on 6644 7302.

Grafton Senior Citizens

Grafton Senior Citizens recently held February general meeting, including trading table, attendance 61, apologies, 13.

Birthday wishes to those celebrating, and best wishes to anyone unwell, including Bobbie Robinson.

Five new members were welcomed: Sue Goldhagen, Kim Hull, Rex and Lorraine Grayson, Michelle Sales. Planned guest speaker didn’t

Condolences: family of Geoff Power, Marj Priddin, Jean Wilson, Roy Turner, recently passed.

Correspondence in: Westlawn Finance statement; thanks from members for sympathy or get well cards; treasurer’s report read.

Correspondence out: welcome letters to new members.

General Business: access on race days, wear badges at all times; new seniors travel cards can be applied for at Service NSW; members encouraged to stand for committee, to fill all positions.

Trips: February 26, 2021, Emmaville. Still a few spare seats. March 26, Peach Farm, Iluka, Yamba, on sale, more needed. Queensland eight day tour from August 14, still has a couple of spare seats.

COVID-19: all activities, including bus trips, must follow rules, including sign in, physical distance, hygiene. Carry masks at all times in case of need to wear.

Funeral insurance: Consider carefully, after recent case payout about a third of amount paid in.

Meeting competition winners: E. Milen; V. Collins; A. Douglas; K. Whiteman; H. Swift; B. Donohoe; R. Foley.
Annual fees: Now due, still $10. New members: over 50s welcome.

Publicity: in all local newspapers. Supply of Northern Rivers and NSW Seniors papers being investigated.

Next meeting: to be held Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 10am, includes AGM, at Racecourse. Inquiries, publicity officer, Sandra, 6642 7720. If unanswered, leave message.

Grafton VIEW Club

Meet Jeanette Calvi from Grafton VIEW Club! Jeanette has been a VIEW member for 38 years, so we are sharing how her life with VIEW began!

Jeanette Calvi has been a Grafton VIEW Club member for 38 years, and is encouraging others to join for 2021.
Jeanette Calvi has been a Grafton VIEW Club member for 38 years, and is encouraging others to join for 2021.

“All that time ago, I moved from Sydney to Grafton, just after returning from London, with my husband and family. We purchased a pharmacy in Grafton, which was the reason for moving. I thought that I would be lonely after leaving all my friends and family in Sydney,” she said.

“However, one day a lovely lady introduced herself, and invited me to join the Grafton VIEW Club. I had vaguely heard of this organisation, and asked what it involved and what did I have to do.

“She explained what VIEW stood for, and said that all you have to do is enjoy yourself with a tasty meal, listen to a motivated guest speaker and, at the same time, help disadvantaged people.

“What could I say! One couldn’t disagree with that, so I went along, and here I am .... an active member for over 38 years.

“I was welcomed into Grafton’s open arms. What a tree change!”

You are warmly invited to join the first meeting for 2021. The meeting will be held at the Grafton District Services Club, Mary St on Tuesday, February 23, commencing at 10.30am. For catering purposes, please phone Vorna at 6642 4719 no later than the Friday before the meeting.

Lions Club Yamba

Yamba Lions Club held their Youth of the Year Club Final Saturday February 20 at Bowlo Sports & Leisure Yamba and according to the judges, Michelle Gillies, Dianne Want and Marilyn Stevens, it was very difficult to choose a winner or winners as scores were so close.

The four students who took part in the Speech Contest were all from Maclean High School. They were: Zali Bourke (captain), Paris Brailsford (vice-captain), Sophie Strange (vice-captain) and Kori Eaton (vice-captain).

These students took part in Interviews during the day which accounted for up to 70 points of their score. They were awarded points for Leadership, Sporting & Cultural, Citizenship & Community, Academic, General Knowledge and Personality. At the evening function, they were each given two impromptu questions and following dinner, they presented their Own Choice Speech where they received scores out of 30.

Those who were in attendance were treated with amazing speeches by these students and their parents and school must be very proud of each and every one of them. They were all winners!

It was my pleasure as chairperson, to announce the public speaking winner and overall winner as Kori Eaton. Kori will now represent Yamba Lions Club when he goes onto the regional finals which will be held at Woolgoolga March 13. Our club will support Kori in the next level and we wish him every success.

—Joy Lauder