Coronavirus: Nelson Bay Rotary postpones two events

LIFE-SAVER: The men's health rural education van originally expected to visit Salamander Bay shopping centre has now been postponed. Picture: Supplied
LIFE-SAVER: The men's health rural education van originally expected to visit Salamander Bay shopping centre has now been postponed. Picture: Supplied

Nelson Bay Rotary Club has deferred two of its upcoming events due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and new government regulations announced at the weekend.

Nelson Bay Rotarian Chris Bartlett said that the free men's health checks and charity golf day have been postponed until a later date.

"Our club meetings are on hold as well," he said.

The free men's health checks was due to take place at the Salamander Bay shopping centre on Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, while the 29th annual running of the Nelson Bay Rotary charity golf day was expected to be held at Nelson Bay golf course on Friday, April 3.

All money raised from the golf day, which is hoped to be re-scheduled, was to benefit a research program being conducted by leading surgeon Dr Kelvin Kong, a former Nelson Bay resident who attended Shoal Bay Public and Nelson Bay High schools.

An ear, nose and throat surgeon, Dr Kong (Australia's first aboriginal ENT surgeon) is part of a research team seeking to provide more efficient indigenous ear disease diagnosis, especially in children.

"The club has already contributed $20,000 to this project with another $10,000 required to meet the club's commitment," said the club's president and golf day organiser Arja Levonpera.

"Many local indigenous children are assisting in the research. Any additional funds raised on the day will be distributed to bushfire and drought victims through Rotary projects, where all funds given go directly to the victims. As a club we have contributed over $17,000 to bushfire victims so far this year."

The Rotary charity golf days have returned in excess of $300,000 to the Port Stephens community over the past 28 years, providing some needed funds for a wide variety of community projects and groups.

There are also plans to have the education rural health check van back in Port Stephens at a later date. The purpose-built caravan with two consulting rooms has toured in excess of 100 centres in three years throughout NSW. It has a full time registered nurse who conducts health tests among rural men.

When it returns Port Stephens men will be encouraged to undertake a free, 10 minute, non-invasive group of tests, including blood pressure to check the heart isn't too stressed; blood sugar levels to make sure there's no type two diabetes; cholesterol check to see if levels are high and need attention.