Merimbula News Weekly letters to the editor, April 19

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove signs his book while Lady Cosgrove looks at Timor Leste coffee sold locally.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove signs his book while Lady Cosgrove looks at Timor Leste coffee sold locally.

Governor-General’s visit 

Last week residents of the Bega Valley district were honoured to welcome the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, and his wife, Lady Lynne Cosgrove, on a two day visit to our area. 

Whilst he was the first Governor-General to visit our district in an official capacity in the last 110 years, 54 years previously another Governor-General and his family enjoyed the beauty of our area. 

This was Lord William Philip Sidney De L’Isle whose wife passed away at Yarralumla on 16 November, 1962 after being gravely ill for some time. 

One and a half months after her passing, Lord De L’Isle, his family and some staff, motored to the village of Merimbula where they stayed for a two week holiday. 

He arrived with a police escort and two private homes in Merimbula were made available to him and his party. 

On the Sunday the Governor-General and family attended the morning service at St. Clement’s Anglican Church, Merimbula.  Lord De L’Isle held the position of Australia’s Governor-General from 1961 to 1965.

At the same time that the Governor-General was enjoying Merimbula’s beauty, another important dignitary was also holidaying in the village with his wife and family. 

This was Sir Eric Woodward who was the Governor of New South Wales between 1957 and 1965. 

Sir Eric and his wife were guests at the Black Dolphin Motel, Merimbula for several weeks. 

At this time the motel was only a little over two years old, and was ‘the’ place to stay, having been designed by the influential Australian architect, Robin Boyd.

So Merimbula can lay claim to being the much sought after holiday destination for both the Governor-General and Governor of New South Wales, as far back as January 1963.

Pat Raymond, Pambula

Bega Valley retirement

One of the main reasons my husband and I decided to retire at Tura Beach was because of the new hospital and the benefits it would bring to the area. I have recently had a knee replacement so was able to experience the pros and cons of this decision.

The position in a rural area was a positive. There is something therapeutic at seeing cows grazing nearby and not having to travel to Canberra for visits or pre-admission appointments.

The Nursing staff was amazing even though they have an allocation of one nurse to five patients to attend to. City hospitals have one nurse to four patients. It became quite clear that there is a staff shortage as I noticed a few nurses from Griffith (perhaps on placement) a nurse on a working holiday from England and even one nurse from a Perth nursing agency!!

There appeared to be confusion among the administration staff as to what their specific duties were. Once again, caused by staff shortages it would appear.

I couldn’t see the sense in not renewing Dr Phoon’s contract as it is hard enough to get specialists to come to the area.

I attended the Public Meeting at Bega with so many other concerned residents and I suspect the buck stops at the Management end of the problem. Apparently Management makes decisions from Goulburn! Unbelievable!

Hopefully the problems can be sorted out as soon as possible because we need a large, well-functioning hospital on the Far South Coast.

Helena Campbell, Tura Beach

Support for fluoride

Recently your paper published a story with an irresponsible headline that showed three local dentists and a doctor had joined forces with anti-fluoridation activists.

The story neglected to mention that professional associations representing thousands of doctors and dentists (the Australian Dental Association and the Australian Medical Association) publicly support fluoridation of water supplies.

The Australian Dental Association states:

“Community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost-effective, equitable and safe means to provide protection from tooth decay and has been successfully utilised in Australia for more than 50 years.” That advice is consistent with every peak dental, medical and scientific body in Australia.

Perhaps the local media could survey all the general practitioners and dentists in our district so readers could more accurately gauge the views of those professions rather than just presenting the views of those  aligned with anti-fluoridation lobby groups?

Doug Reckord, Kalaru


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