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The Pearl Beach GEM
The President's Report

As we approach another summer here in beautiful Pearl Beach, it is hard to believe that the catastrophic bushfires that were the focus of my autumn President’s Report were only extinguished six months or so ago. So much has happened since that the calendar seems to have become an irrelevance. COVID 19 has changed our lives in ways that we would never have anticipated, yet despite the suspension of the many activities that energise and bring together our community, we are much more fortunate than many.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Beach Hall, and we had intended to hold some appropriate activities to acknowledge this important milestone. However, the shutdown imposed in response to COVID 19 has caused us to postpone these, as well as most of our other regular events. At least the upgrade works to our Hall have commenced, notwithstanding that due to COVID 19 and some project management challenges they are proceeding less rapidly than we would prefer.

The situation is also having a serious impact on our financial situation. Up until the end of March, we were travelling quite well against our budget for 2019-20, but for the final three months we have had to cancel most of our income generating events. The cancellation of the Easter Book Fair was of particular significance, as this usually generates more than $8,000 of net income. This situation seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and we have reluctantly cancelled popular events such as the Food and Wine Fair and the Glee Club concerts. The loss of these popular events affects not just the cultural life of Pearl Beach, but our financial health as well. We are keeping the GoFundMe page running to support the Hall upgrade, so if you have not yet donated, please consider doing so. It will make a difference.

We will be recommencing General Meetings of the Association in the Hall, with limited numbers in accordance with the NSW Health COVID 19 restrictions. This means that the majority of our members will need to participate electronically, and you will have already received the instructions about how to do this. There has not been a General Meeting since March, although the Executive Committee has continued to meet monthly while complying with the COVID 19 social distancing requirements. None of us knows what the future holds in these uncertain COVID 19 times, but we feel that it is important to do what we can to emerge from the shutdown and restart as many of our traditional community activities as we can, especially public meetings of the Association members, while at the same time complying with personal safety measures.

Following on from the September GM, our Annual General Meeting is coming up on 10 October, and expect it will be subject to the same COVID limitations on attendees. As usual there will be a spill of all positions on the Executive Committee. I urge you to consider whether you might like to consider nominating to join the committee, and if so you will need to submit a form signed by two financial members of the Association by 3 October. You will be receiving a members pack in advance of the meeting, which will include the form as well as the Audited Financial Report for 2019-20.

This will be my last President’s Report, as I am not re-nominating for the position. I thank the current members of the Executive Committee for their support, and wish the best for the incoming Executive Committee.

Peter Romey


Pearl Beach Progress Association


Pearl Beach Progress Association
The Pearl Beach Progress Association is a committee of local residents that meets  on the first Saturday of the month at 5pm (except for June and January.)  Local residents and interested visitors are welcome to come along and find out about local issues and what is happening in our beautiful village.
Currently Covid 19 Restrictions Apply
For more information, please visit our website, which is updated weekly.

Information is also shared on the Association's Facebook page

Hall Bookings   - or further information please email
Pearl Beach Memorial Hall
COVID-19 Safety Plan


  • Use hand sanitiser provided on arrival.
  • Maximum of 20 people plus 2 coordinators are permitted at any time.
  • A register of names and contact numbers for everyone attending for each session must be completed.
  • Social distancing rules (1.5 metres) must be observed when waiting to sign the attendance register.
  • Social distancing rules (1.5 metres) must be observed when seated or exercising.
  • Maximum 2 people in the kitchen at any time.
  • All Hall items handled during any session must be Sanitised before leaving. (Disposable gloves and wipes are provided.) This includes tables and chairs.
  • Heater controls, light switches and door handles are to be sanitised regularly.

If you are unwell, please stay home!

To view the full version of the plan, please click here


Central Coast COVID 19 Testing Locations


Closest Testing  COVID-19 testing for low risk patients

Douglas Hanly Moir Pathology Woy Woy

Shop 7 The Pavillion 29-27 George Street, Woy Woy

Bookings essential: Phone 4343 1766

Open Monday – Friday 7.30am – 3.30pm


There are currently 2 sites for COVID-19 testing on the Central Coast for high risk patients.

Gosford Hospital

75 Holden Street Gosford

Bookings essential: Phone 4320 5055 Phones unattended 12.30-1.30pm daily

Open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Weekends 10am – 4pm 


Erina Respiratory Clinic

331 Terrigal Drive Erina (located at the EV Church)

Bookings essential: Phone 4302 5252/ 0435 813 865 or book online

Open Monday – Saturday 9.30 – 5.00


You should be tested if you have one or more of the following symptoms:


Night sweats/chills


Sore/scratchy throat

Or the unexplained onset of one or more of the following symptoms:

Loss of smell                                          Runny nose

                   Loss of taste                                          Muscle pain or joint pain

Loss of appetite                                    Diarrhoea

Fatigue                                                   Vomiting
Safety Advisory Group
Neighbour Alert

Resident names on the Neighbour Alert system were updated by Street Contacts in Oct/Nov 2019 increasing the total residents in the system from 395 to 493. In mid-September the Street Contacts will commence their neighbour visits to again update the resident list for their street. 

We encourage people to have their “Bush Fire Survival Plan” in place and to download the Fires Near Me app to their mobile phones and setup a Watch Zone notwithstanding the Neighbour Alert messages that we send which are based on specific local information from the PB RFS.

The RFS “Bush Fire Danger Period” starts 1st September and all residents should be mindful of the general clean-up and care required around their house. The RFS “Get Ready Weekend” is scheduled 19-20 September however due to Covid-19 restrictions, the promotion this year will be through the media and online.   

Funds Raised for the RFS – 8th & 15th January 2020 - $15,000 from the Raffle & BBQ

Highly successful events raised $15,000 inclusive of direct donations to the RFS of $4,988; many thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors and the Pearl Beach residents and of course to the many holiday makers here at the time.

The Pearl Beach RFS has compiled a list of recommended equipment and plant acquisitions items to Kariong District Area Fire Control Centre; decision is pending right now.    

Given the ‘Fires Appeal’ raised $50M, the RFS is not currently seeking additional donations.

Pearl Beach Community Fire Unit (CFU)

The RFS advised that CFU training has ceased till further notice, to minimise the risk to CFU members as some volunteers are in the “at risk" age group – clarification sought from the district manager

The RFS will revisit essential nature of this training closer to fire season.

Hazard Reduction Program for Pearl Beach Area

RFS contacted NSW Parkes & Wildlife Services who advised there are no plans for a hazard reduction in our area this year.

Pearl Beach Lifeguard for 2020/1 

Council is reviewing all expenditure areas and decision still pending. 


AED/Defibrillator and First Aid CPR Training and Accreditation due in Oct and Nov Respectively

Richard Stewart, co-ordinator of AED and First Aid for the local Pearl Beach volunteers, has been in contact with the Surf Life Saving NSW Academy and due to their Covid-19 restriction plus our own Hall restrictions, these courses are now on hold until further notice.

- Paul Toohey

Bush Fire Preparation and Bush Fire Behaviour Information
Please follow the link to access these documents which are a collaboration of information and edited by Greg McPhee.  Access to these documents will be also on the PBPA Website soon.
Bush Fire Preparation
Bush Fire Behaviour Information
Community Events

Pearl Beach Events Sub-committee Covid 19 update

The mission statement for the Pearl Beach “Events” Sub-committee states - To support the social network & common interest groups within the Assoc. & local community, and to facilitate events which provide a source of revenue for the Association.  However there always needs to be a balance between the need to foster the community and raise funds 

“Coronavirus changing our community and social enjoyment”

It is disappointing that we have had to cancel/postpone future scheduled events:

The current Government regulations relating to the Covid 19 Pandemic plus social distancing requirements regarding group singing and the possible spread of the virus the Pearl Beach Singers have had to postpone their annual Glee Club concerts scheduled for 21st and 22nd August.

Since 2007 the Pearl Beach Progress Association have hosted an annual Food and Wine Fare, which is a community fundraising activity that has continually attracted large crowds who have enjoyed tasting and purchasing from a select range of boutique wines and gourmet foods.    Due to the current  situation we have had to cancel the 2020 event, scheduled for Saturday 26th September which is extremely disappointing as favourite exhibitors return every year to showcase  and sell their products. 
The exhibitors have indicated that they look forward to returning next year when we are able to resume hosting events in the Pearl Beach Memorial Hall once again.  The Events Sub-committee have also been putting together a few ideas for outdoor events later in the year. 

The Art & Craft Group are planing to hold their “Art Trail” on Saturday 3 October.

The annual Book Fair, scheduled for 3rd October has also been postponed and event organiser, Alsion Phillips is hoping to hold the event later in the year.  The Book Fair is the biggest yearly Pearl Beach event fundraising activity. 

We are hopeful that we will be able to hold the annual Community Christmas Carols scheduled for 23rd December as an outdoor event, and the Community Christmas dinner scheduled for 12th December also.

If you have any suggestions for outdoor events please let us know and watch out for future announcements!

Lynne Lillico

Check the website -     
Glee Club

Due to the current Government regulations relating to the Covid 19 Pandemic the Pearl Beach Singers have been unable to meet since early March.  As advised above the Annual Glee Club concerts have been cancelled.

We are hoping the tradition of the Glee Club Concert can be resumed in 2021.  In the meantime, organising members of the choir had a meeting recently to discuss the possibility of using Zoom to meet and sing.  However, after a small trial, it was quickly realised that we don't have the technical expertise or equipment capability. So Unfortunately for now we are recommending that members of the choir practice at home.  We look forward to better singing options in 2021. 

Pauline Toohey


Photo. 2019 Concert
Pearl Beach Buddies Community

Pearl Beach is an aging community and although many residents have partners and neighbours who support them when support is needed, this may not always be the case.

Late last year, local resident Louise Rowling proposed the formation of a “Buddies Group,”

A steering committee was formed, great ideas planned, and then…. along came Covid-19

and the Hall where we met was temporarily closed.


We have now resumed meeting every second Monday from 4pm – 5.30pm but are currently restricted to 20 people plus coordinators.

Our plans for guest speakers on a range of topics which would appeal to many residents have been deferred, as well as some of the activities we had commenced.


What do we currently do?

We have recently started with gentle strength and balance exercises while seated, some lead by Di Swalwell (a long time local who is also an Occupational therapist) and last week by Ian Provost who runs chair yoga in the Hall on Thursdays from 11.30-12.30

Sometimes we discuss issues which concern people, play some fun games, and we always enjoy a chat over a cup of tea or coffee.

We aim to be a friendly, non-judgemental group, accepting of anyone who attends, whether you are a long time local, new resident hoping to meet people, a resident who lives alone, has physical disabilities or dementia. We are always open to suggestions

We can be contacted by email:    Phone: 0499 790 279

The phone is switched off at night so please remember if you have a medical emergency to call 000.


What else do we do?

Recently we have: 

  • accompanied people to important doctors’ appointments when they have been concerned about understanding results and treatment. 
  • Taken people to and from hospital
  • Helped organise dietary instructions prior to a medical procedure
  • Made phone checks on members who live alone.

Like everyone else, we are looking forward to when Hall attendance restrictions ease and we can follow through with our many ideas.  

The Art and Craft Group
During Covid 19 the Art Group have been mainly working individually but have kept in touch using Instagram #pearlbeachartists and FaceTime.  It is a wonderful tool to use and some artists have sold art works during this time.  During July a number of artists went plein air painting to different sites, the Arboretum being one location.  There will be a lot of wonderful art on display on Saturday 3, October Artist Trail.

The November Art & Craft Fair, because of COVID 19 restrictions will not take place in the Hall, but plans are underway to have another Artist Trail/Night Market.  More details to follow.

Art Group Enquiries Malcolm 0414 525 216 Cecile 0412141721

CRAFT GROUP:   The 'Knitters' have met, a couple of times during the past months, in my home, however because of restrictions on using the Pearl Beach Memorial Hall meetings are at the present time on hold.  I have received a number of knitted squares to make into 'wraps' and would be grateful for any more.
Bev Lapacek (0439623818)
Art Trail- Pearl Beach Artisans
Plan a leisurely Long Weekend Saturday in Pearl Beach. 

Remember to collect an Art Trail  brochure at the Hall with  directions to over 15 wonderfully talented local artisans in their studios.

Saturday 3, October  
Enquiries Malcolm 0414 525 216 Cecile 0412141721
The Crommelin Arboretum 

This is the new fresh, modern logo for the Arboretum, developed by a local volunteer graphic artist Colin George.  We also had two other young volunteers, Pip Jacobs and Whitney Edwards, who developed our new website.

While we have been very happy having a page on the Pearl Beach Progress Association website we thought it a great opportunity to develop a site we could manage ourselves.  We do want to thank Vic Clark for all his assistance over the last few years in working on the PBPA website.

During the past six months we have had many, many visitors as people can have a very pleasant time walking through the Arboretum in a COVID safe way.  If you have not taken advantage of this special, serene spot come for a stroll.  It does lift the spirits.  

We have also continued our working bees in all but one month, with a strict maximum of 20 volunteers.  Even so, a lot has been accomplished especially the removal of the shade cloth covering on the propagation shed and with the help of David Kay, a builder who works locally, we are nearly finished the complete refurbishment of the propagation shed and extended into a hardening off area.  We are looking forward to recommencing propagation of native plants, especially endangered species in a purpose built facility.

During a storm in late February one of our bridges was undermined and collapsed.  The Council was very prompt in making the repair.  There is a small amount of money allocated by Council for bridge repair work this financial year.  We are working with them to determine what that will entail.

Unfortunately large events like the opera and the jazz could not happen this year and are still in doubt for next year.  Even our annual anniversary community barbecue was cancelled as we can only have 20 people at any one time in the Arboretum.  We did have a small celebration at the morning tea after our August working bee.  Thankfully we have had several enquiries about weddings as people are concerned about gathering in enclosed spaces.  This makes the Arboretum a good option.

The High Tea which we offered for the Auction of Promises is due to be held very soon and we are looking forward to it.  Could become an ongoing offering!

Annual membership is $20 and details are on the website.  The AGM will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday 19 September in the PBPA hall.  If you are interested in coming please register by email to as we have a limit of 20 people in the hall.

Victoria Crawford
Pearl Beach Arboretum


Koala Project

The koala project has continued, albeit slowly.  Since the horrific bushfires koalas and their plight have become of national interest.  This has meant that quite a few individuals and agencies are taking an interest. The Arboretum was looking at relocating two koalas to hopefully have them thrive and perhaps open the way for others to be relocated so a viable colony could establish itself.  There is considerable interest from the Central Coast Council as well as National Parks and Wildlife and interested parties from Sydney University.  The Council will manage a Koala Survey for the Central Coast from mid-September using Song Meters.  We had been looking at how we could manage a survey so this is a great step forward. 

Ann Parson, our Vice-president, has developed very important relationships with the Council, NPWS, the Greater Sydney Biosecurity Officer, Mid Coast Council and organisers of the NSW Koala Strategy.  These will keep us informed about what is happening at a state level as well as how we can participate at the local level.  One step we have taken is to put, with Council approval, fauna monitoring cameras in various locations within the Arboretum and its adjoining Council lands.  These have shown many sightings of foxes particularly at the end of Amethyst Ave. Cats have also ben sighted and at least one dog off lead.  The Council has also provided brochures to be placed in all letterboxes in Pearl Beach and Patonga advising about pets and protecting wildlife.  Dogs and cats are the main predators for many native animals.  If we wish to have koalas relocated here we need to show that the community supports their reintroduction by managing our pets.

Mobile Phone Reception
Pearl Beach’s Mobile Phone Reception Reliability brought into Question
Many residents have voiced their concern as to the reliability of their mobile phone service. 
This is a concern to PBSAG who operate the Neighbour Alert mobile phone messaging system in that text messages are not delivered to the whole of the Pearl Beach community. Furthermore, in emergency evacuation situations, the Police, RFS, SES send text alerts to all mobile phones registered on the local mobile phone tower.
 --Paul Toohey PBSAG
Click Here if You Have Mobile Phone Reception Difficulties
Tennis and Bowls

Tennis and Bowling groups are now meeting as usual.
Pearl Beach Plodders
PEARL BEACH PLODDERS:  Plodders has been in recess since the Covid-19 Pandemic worsened, however, 26  Plodders, and friends, are heading for Soldiers Point, Port Stephens for a 4 night stay early October.  Accommodation at the Thou Walla Sunset Retreat has been booked and we are looking forward to sharing Happy Hours, dinners and gentle walks/plods being mindful of social distancing.    Our once a month walks have been postponed and will hopefully resume in February. 2021.  Anyone interested in joining the email notification list can contact me by phone on 0439623818.  
Bev Lapacek
Pearl Beach Bushcare
We meet at 9 to 11am on the first Saturday of the month at a site advised on the noticeboard at the main intersection and by email to those folk who have provided their addresses.
We have about 10 members and have met for the past 3 months under COVID 19 rules ie tool spraying, social distancing, paper cups for morning tea, no signing on etc. Saturday 5th of September and October the 3rd are the next dates.  Sadly we have just lost Ben and Madeleine but we have new folk joining.  
Without plants from Council under COVID we have focussed on weeding and site cleanup. Our past years’ plantings on Paul Landa Reserve, Middle Creek Bridge area and North Coral have benefitted greatly from the wet weather. We look forward to you joining us. Tea, coffee and biscuits and a good chat are still on at 11 o’clock.
Stephen Parsons
Darts in the Hall
Thursday night darts In the community hall resumed at the start of July. A new starting time of 6.30 has been introduced for the winter months. Attendance has been strong (within the limits of course) and the quality of the “arrows” a bit like the curate’s egg! International problems, however, have been well and truly solved, particularly during the Pearl Beach version of “round the world” played at the girls’ board! The new google assistant that’s been installed in the hall has also come in handy to do the maths - thanks Gary!
Majong will commence September 9 at 1.30 pm in the Hall. Newcomers are welcomed and tuition is happily provided.  
Volunteers Needed

To maintain The Pearl Beach albums showcasing  the visual history of community activities & events

The concept of producing photo albums to retain a visual history of local activities and events was conceived by Yvonne Stanger and members of the “Craft” group in 1992.

Yvonne managed the albums until Carol Long took on the task, giving up when she moved away from Pearl Beach.  For the last couple of years Elaine Pearce has been creating colourful and interesting pages, however due to family commitments she has had to relinquish her involvement.

We are looking for a volunteer to take on this interesting and creative exercise.  The albums, trims and decorations are available from “Close to my Heart” who are  craft suppliers and costs are covered by the Pearl Beach Progress Association - events  expenditure.  The albums are a wonderful visual history and of enormous interest to locals and visitors when we have them on show.  Please contact Lynne if you are interested.

Lorna Oliff

Vale Lorna Oliff. On July 27th long time Pearl Beach Resident Lorna passed away peacefully at the age of 93.  Lorna is survived by her daughters Denise and Marianne and her sons Geoffrey and Stephen, her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Lorna was born on 25th May, 1927 in Sydney and in 1942 graduated from Hornsby Girls High School, proceeded to Business College and upon graduation made her career as a legal secretary.  Lorna is well known and recognized for her beautiful landscape artwork featuring Pearl Beach and other parts of Australia, as well as her exquisite and prolific quilt work.  Lorna was a valued member of the Pearl Beach Craft Group, she 'plodded' with the Pearl Beach Plodders and loved her afternoons at Mah Jong. Lorna was a caring, kind and generous soul who brought to the world love, compassion, warmth and understanding.  She will live on in the hearts and memories of all those who knew her.    Bev Lapacek

Shirley Keers 

2 August 1935 - 1 August 2020  (following a short illness)

Shirley and Ron Keers came to Pearl Beach in the mid 80’s when they bought a house in Diamond Rd then built the corner house in Emerald followed by the house Ron designed at 30 Diamond.  They quickly immersed themselves into village life. .  

Shirley was a stylish person, always well groomed and loved being involved in local community events and activities.  One year a fundraising dinner was organised in the hall, the theme was Indian and catering for 100 locals.  Shirley, quickly offered to make the NAAN bread not realising that she would have to make over 100 individual pieces!

She was also a member of the craft group who hand made 100 red fabric Poppies for the 2015 Gallipoli Anniversary Exhibition in the hall.  Other than a love for her two sons and three grandaughters she had a great love of dogs, and over  her life was Mum to seven of them.  More recently she would be seen walking Harley around the village.  Lynne Lillico

Pam Baker  
30 May 1938 - 14 July 2020

Pam and John Baker came to Pearl Beach in the late 90s and resided in Diamond Road.  Pam along with John were keen members of the Pearl Beach Tennis Club.  Pam was known as an excellent doubles player and had also been a junior champion at White City.  

Pam was a diminutive person with a large, warm, friendly and generous personality. When in Pearl Beach, Pam regularly walked at 7 am collecting the paper to enjoy and during summer a dip in the sea.   Many weekends and holidays were spent with their sons, Scott and Murray and In later years, with their grandsons.  Pam and John were wonderful, fun, supportive friends and neighbours. Pam will be sadly missed and our condolences to John and family.    Philippa Dale and Margaret Westcott

Richard Jack Sims  
17 July 1930 - 12 August 2020

Dick and Jeanette came to Pearl Beach in 2014 residing in Diamond Road.  It didn't take long for Dick and Jeanette to become treasured members of the community.  With Boyo at his side, Dick would spend his mornings reading the paper and engaging with friends telling anyone who would care to listen wonderful stories about his life as a pilot and many other adventures.  He was always interested to hear about you and and your family.  Dick will be missed and our condolences to Jeanette and family.
Dick's celebration of his life was held on Friday 21 August and if you care you can click on the link below to read Dick's Story by Jeanette.
Read Dick's Story
Other Items of Interest

STAY INFORMED about all DA’s lodged near your home in Pearl Beach
Go to You simply enter your address and it will give you information on all submitted DA’s within 2kms . Better still register your email and it will send you alerts when a DA is submitted that is within 2km of your property


If you are interested in joining a small friendly group of women who love cryptic crosswords one afternoon a week,
please contact Alicia Rachow:  4342 2906

Experienced or learners most welcome.


Snap Send Solve is a platform that enables authorities and their customers to identify and solve local issues for the benefit of communities everywhere. Simply Snap a photo of the problem, Send a report in 30-seconds using the assistive app and the issue is sent directly to the appropriate authority. Then come back to find that the authority has attended to your report and the problem is Solved!
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The Pearl Beach GEM is published by the Pearl Beach Progress Association Inc.
9 Diamond Rd Pearl Beach
Editor: Margaret Westcott - Photographic Editing: Duncan Bridel
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Pearl Beach GEM · 9 Diamond Road · Pearl Beach, NSW 2256 · Australia

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