Sixty-six members and 11 visitors attended Tollgates Probus Batemans Bay's November meeting. They had hardly got seated when club president Claudia Dixon announced the first item on the agenda: the ceremonial cutting of the large and attractive cake custom baked to commemorate the club's 21st birthday.
Two ex-presidents, Marg Goodwin and Brian Cant performed the ceremony before the cake was spirited away for carving into bite-sized slices for consumption at morning tea.
President Dixon then inducted and welcomed Barbara and Jeff Jones, as the club's two newest members. Barbara and Jeff were sponsored by Carl Ellis and Vicki Robinson.
Guest speaker for the morning was bushranger researcher Peter Smith who spoke about our “local bushrangers”, the Clarke Gang from Braidwood.
John and Thomas Clarke with their uncle Pat Connell were the most troublesome and murderous bushrangers in Australia's history. They committed at least 71 robberies and murdered or were suspected of murdering eight people.
The “Bushranger's Tree” at Nelligen is believed to be where they were chained after their capture. They were tried, found guilty and hanged together, John at 21 and Thomas at 27 years old.
Peter has just had his book, The Clarke Gang, published.