Letters to the editor: Oct. 11

Help the birds

I've noticed over the last several weeks of dry weather how often I’m needing to fill my bird baths, sometimes three times a day and I have around eight! Some are on the ground, some are under shrubs for shy, small birds and some are larger and in the open for big birds. Lots of thirsty visitors. 

I was thinking you might like to remind readers of how rewarding, fun and helpful it is to supply a bird bath for our feathered friends. A large, unglazed ceramic pot plant saucer makes an ideal birdbath. For the health of visiting birds it is an idea to check and change the water daily, remembering to clean the slippery build up with a scourer occasionally. 

Birds and other animals will really appreciate your efforts and it is amazing the number of species you can attract into your garden by suppling a reliable water source.  

Ann Christiansen

Mystery Bay

Looking for Max David

I am seeking information concerning Max David, previously a resident of Narooma, who worked for many years in the school and agricultural complex at Bundi, in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I am writing a history of Christian churches in PNG and want to add a few anecdotal stories that I believe Max could help me with. I would be grateful if anybody who knew Max or had any material relevant to the work which he did there could contact me at jkelly27@bigpond.net.au

John M. Kelly

Nelson Bay

Fireweed message

Your story "Mystery Aphid on the Weed Attack" on the front page and following in last week's edition of the Narooma News should be inspirational because it shows that there is still room in this young people’s digital world for old-fashioned courage and perseverance against all odds.

It illustrates the old maxim: "If at first you don't succeed, try try again” and no matter how slick and smart are the experts; the politicians and the bureaucrats closeted away in the big city, there is still room for the local guy such as Tilba landowner Ron Shape with his courage and conviction.

Time and space doesn't permit the luxury of a full exposition of the history and toxicity of the fireweed plant. But for those who want to research that, go to John Edgar's 2008 report to the Bega Valley committee headed by Noel Watson, another local hero like Ron who will never say die.

 Ron was somewhat pooh-poohed by the experts for his theory that a “local saviour” had arrived in the unlikely shape of  a little black, normally reviled aphid. Now Ron has been vindicated and like Noel and his committee of “fireweed pickers” – be they sheep or human – before him.

Like the story of Dunkirk recently seen on our movie screens, all it takes to start to drag victory out of defeat is a leader who has passion and doggedness and a never-say-never attitude and though it will take guts and attitude despite the sceptics and sometimes the ridicule of your peers, if  you can just hang in there  something will come about which raises hopes and you can rally the troops and hold the line until help or a cure is found. Good on you Ron, hang in there mate and we'll follow.

Robert Dunn, Brybet Point 

President Tiba Tilba and South Narooma Land Care Committee

Time to get help

World Mental Health Day was October 10 and I encourage everyone - whether you have a lived experience of mental illness or not - to think about mental health. As a community we need to look out for each other and that begins with talking. From my experience on dealing with mental health I know that starting a conversation can be the biggest turning point for vulnerable young people. 

Father Chris Riley

CEO and Founder of Youth Off The Streets