Author Archives: CliveM

Storytellers – Jacqueline Dwyer – About her book Flanders in Australia: A Personal History of Wool and War.

The Storytellers for 2018 began with a presentation by Jacqueline Dwyer – member and mother of Dominic Dwyer, who spoke about her book Flanders in Australia: A Personal History of Wool and War.

Author Jacqueline Dwyer in fine form

There were more than 60 members and friends in attendance to listen to Jacqueline being interviewed by her son Dominic. It was especially pleasing to see Francoise Gilroy present with her daughters and her brother Xavier Droulers, the son of Jean Droulers, who was also a wool buyer, Xavier worked in New Zealand and in France. His wife is French. A large contingent of Parmentier family joined in the fun too. Quite the French connection!

Jacques-Jacqueline’s father

Jacqueline told a fascinating story about her father Jacques and the background to the wool buyers and Wool Exchange in Australia, accompanied by many family photographs. An early edition of the book Flanders in Australia was released in 1998. based on Jacques’s diaries and letters to his brothers and sisters back in Australia written whilst he was serving as a French soldier in the trenches during WW1, all surprisingly in English. The trigger for writing the first edition was a school essay being undertaken by son James on WW1 using material from the diaries and letters which prompted Jacqueline to realise what treasures they were and how they needed to be preserved. Strangely enough the material had been secreted away and Jacqueline never sighted them until her father had passed away. Jacqueline returned to university to further her research encouraged greatly by dear George Franki and soon had enough material to do a thesis. Jacqueline considers the new edition of Flanders in Australia as far more detailed and thoughtful. Continue reading

Storytellers – Dolphin Adventures

Our ‘storyteller’ for the evening was Olivia de Bergerac. Olivia who has been a BBC member for 10 years shared some of her life adventures with dolphins, and told us a little about her books and her TV documentaries.

Olivia de Bergerac was born in France and grew up on the French Riviera (Antibes). The ocean has always played a part in her life with a Cousteau Diver as a big brother. With a PhD in Literature and Psychology and a Master in Business Administration (MBA), she is a Neuroscientist, a Life Coach and was instrumental in developing a sustainable Harbour Management plan for the return of dolphins to Sydney Harbour. Olivia has worked as a Management Consultant and as a Business Coach. She has worked with leading organisations on Total Quality Management, Team Building and Stress Management Programs. Her main clients included: The Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the CPA group, Macquarie Bank and Bonds to name a few. Tres impressive!!
And there’s more … Olivia is often invited to participate to conferences around the world. In the past, she has been invited to conferences in France, Germany, Egypt and Japan….and of course the highlight for her (and us) was to present at the BBC Storytellers!!!

Olivia spoke about her passion for dolphins and the studies she has conducted. She also interspersed her talk with some video footage. The first was of Bob Carr, then NSW Premier, announcing to the World on how Sydney Harbour would be cleaned up in the lead up to the 2000 Olympics. Olivia was very instrumental in talking to the powerbrokers in the State to agree to a “Dolphins in Our Harbour Conference” opened by Bob Carr with 70 participants: politicians, scientists and businesses seeking a strategic vision for an ecologically sustainable harbour management scheme. A wonderful initiative and of course it worked with the BBC members being significant beneficiaries. Continue reading

Storytellers – The Camino pilgrimage trail by Ron, Phillipe and David

BBC Members Ron Crause, Philippe Xavier and David Sumner gave a well prepared and enjoyable talk on the CAMINO. The Camino pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Spain is the most famous and popular trail walked or cycled in the world. There are many starting points to this trail from Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc. There are also many reasons why pilgrims undertake the very beautiful, arduous and long journey. In many ways it is also a culinary cultural experience.

Ron started by providing lots of background on the historical aspects of the walk and how it became so popular. He also explained the many ways to take part, on foot or bicycle, and the different stages and planning involved. Philippe (his first Storytellers evening) and David then spoke about their experiences and walked us through some wonderful photographs of ‘life on the trail’.

Ron, Philippe and David gave a fun, fast paced talk and between themselves covered most things a prospective pilgrim (like Denise) would want to know; the Camino Passport, Certificate of Welcome, the Markings, choosing the right route, food on the Camino, accommodation options and traps, preparation, and the importance of caring for your feet!

20 Camino de Santiago Facts

  1. Camino de Santiago means Way of St James and refers to the routes leading to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia.
  2. Santiago de Compostela means St James of the field of stars.
  3. There are many Camino de Santiago routes, starting in France, Portugal and Spain.
  4. Pilgrims used to start their ‘Camino’ from their own homes.
  5. Continue reading

Storytellers – 16th May commencing at 7:30 pm

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

The Camino pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Spain is the most famous and popular trail walked or cycled in the world.
There are many starting points to this trail from Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy,etc.

There are also many reasons why pilgrims undertake the very beautiful, arduous and long journey. In many ways it is also a culinary cultural experience.

As BBC members Ron Crause, Philippe Xavier and David Sumner have all done parts of the trail either on foot or on bicycle they would like to impart their knowledge and experience concerning this very valuable experience of a lifetime.

They will cover areas such as the different trails on the Camino, Fitness preparation, Camino packing guide and their personal experiences and observations on the Camino. There will be a Q&A session as well.

So strap on your boots, put on your hat, grab your walking poles and join us in this adventure.

Buen Camino!

Storytellers – Coach Charm and Marty Filipowski

We welcomed Coach Charm to talk about some of the travels and challenges that swimming has brought her. Charm needed little introduction, a former BBC Club Captain, former Storyteller, famed for her initiative ‘the Charm’s 500’ which has attracted a growing following and most recently appointed joint BBC Club Member of the Year!

Balmoral training

Charm was joined by Marty Filipowski who earlier this year became the 100th swimmer to successfully swim the Cook Strait. Marty and Charm have teamed up previously for Marty’s other swims namely the English Channel, Catalina and Manhattan. We were also joined by Marty’s partner Sonny who provided an insight into being involved in such endurance swims without actually participating.

Storytellers Sonny, Marty and Charm

Before we gave the floor to Charm, Marty and Sonny we began with a little bit of audience participation as we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to regular attendee Alan Gill, who had recently turned 80. Mention was also made of Hilarie Lindsay, sister of Dallas, and daughter of Arthur Dyson, one of the original Smugglers, the founders of the BBC. Hilarie who turned 95 on the day of our meeting for once was an apology. Certainly a rare occurrence indeed for Hilarie to miss a Storytellers meeting! Continue reading