Wednesday, 28 September 2011

“It’s a load of rubbish!”

Yes “CAN do” said the Rotary Club of Whakatu, Nelson when asked to assist with the clean up of the Trafalgar Park Stadium  in partnership with Spotless Ltd after the three Rugby World Cup games hosted in Nelson. So, put together 35 Rotarians, some big plastic bags, and what do you get? A clean stadium and funds for community needs.  

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Howick Rotary's Golden Jubilee

Some of those attending
 The Rotary Club of Howick Inc celebrated its Golden Jubilee in style at the Howick Club with a black-tie function on 27 September.  The club was chartered in 1961 by the Rotary Club of Newmarket whose current president, Roger Gower, noted that the vision of the initiators 50 years ago has been successfully realised although possibly at the time, when the idea was proposed, some members may have said "Howick is a good idea ... where is it."

The evening was attended by 150 supporters that included 90 members and partners including two charter members and 35 past presidents (try to organise into a photo!) plus many guests including Mayor Len Brown.  The Mayor congratulated the club and noted that the 'Rugby World Cup is a uniting thing for this city and is proof that the city will unite as a community."

District Governor Alan read out a letter of congratulations from RI President Kalyan Banergee and presented President Kathy Kennedy (the club) with a Rotary International Certificate for 50 years of Service.

The club has two anniversary projects:  the first was a book entitled 'Giving Back' that detailed the history of the club and the second is the interpretative Stockade Hill Plane Table as a gift to the Howick Community.  The unveiling of this will be at Stockade Hill in Howick on Saturday 12 November, 11 am and all are welcome.

Awarding PHFs can be done creatively
A couple of final interesting facts:  The club has awarded 89 Paul Harris Recognitions over the years representing US$89,000 into The Rotary Foundation for service projects and had contributed $2million into the community through club projects over its first 50 years.

Pictues at:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Taveuni Ambulance has arrive and is operational

All district and their clubs contributed to this project and can take pride in the ability to work cooperatively and achieve a result that is going to be so beneficial for this Pacific Island community.  The project is not just the provision of a well appointed ambulance but also the training of medical and support personnel.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Three in One Meeting - just incredible

If you ever were wondering what a Rotary meeting was like ...

Today's meeting of the Rotary Club of St Johns, Auckland, NZ was amazing with Varayame attending following the amputation of his feet - his recovery from this is so incredible and his spirits so high, especially at the likelihood of prosthetics being fitted next week that he lifted everyone's spirits as well; this is a club/ROMAC project.  In addition they had the Fiji RWC team along for breakfast and also their guest speaker Andrew McKenzie, this year's St Johns Rotary Youth Yachting Scholar. 

Fiona shares a quip with Fijian RWC team members

What a breakfast - continental and / or cook - what choice!
The "Sergeant Session" was highly entertaining and very well thought out. 
Anyone who thought a Rotary meeting was dull got that myth thoroughly dispensed with!
Andrew McKenzie is a high achiever with commendable future plans and is the 15th
scholar and like his predecessors finished tops in the CORK Regatta in Kingston. The scholarship provides promising young sailors assistance to their first international competition.
Other activities mentioned during the meeting were:
  • An update on Varayame (mentioned above)
  • The success of the Glen Taylor Camp that many members made donations to
  • The Brian Gibbes Memorial Golf Tournamant in October to raise funds for a sporting scholarship
  • Also in October is the Trivia Night raising funds for club projects but also an incredibly popular fun event
  • Simon Jones gave an update on Deltacom and the fact that the club support programme has contributed $18,000 back to the club over the years (used for RYLA) and 150,000 to Rotary in general

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Are they worried? Wellington Seismic Event Prepardness Conference

A joint project run by the Rotary Club of Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington.

Go to for dates, programme (speakers) and to register

Gifts for Kids

The Rotary Club of Lautoka in Fiji has just donated puzzles, posters, story books and paint to the FSC Kindergarten.  President Rick Eyre said "we hope these gifts will contrinute to the educational development and well-being of the students."

A bunch of daffodils does so much good

The daffodil heralds spring around the world and nowhere more so than in Dunedin where the Rotary Club of Dunedin in District 9980 has over the years planted over 277,000 daffodils around Dunedin and Mosgiel, all blooming in September.  For the 32nd year the Rotary Club of Dunedin is raising funds for the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind and the Roxburgh Children's Health Camp.  Volunteers will pick 50,000 blooms from member Les Cleveland's property at Saddle Hill and it is hoped that their sale will bring in $10,000

Project featured in the February 2009 Rotary Down Under magazine - read on-line via archived copies at

Monday, 19 September 2011

French Polynasian Scouts at the World Jamboree in Sweden

ShelterBox helps Scouts made ‘tentless’ at World Scout Jamboree
Mark Dyer and Alan Monroe from ShelterBox USA meet scouts from French Polynesia
It may not have been the hurricane or monsoon conditions that ShelterBox are used to, but rain has left Scouts without warm, safe accommodation at the World Scout Jamboree.

After two days of almost constant downpours, a group of 14 French Polynesian Scouts found their tents destroyed and their equipment soaked at the 40,000 person event in southern Sweden. International disaster relief charity, ShelterBox, which is an official partner of The Scout Association, came to the aid of the newly homeless Scouts.

Sylvie, the Scout Leader accompanying the group said, 'It's great that ShelterBox were able to help. Our Scouts would have been sleeping in the rain otherwise.'

ShelterBox, which is attending the jamboree to promote its disaster relief work, were able to provide two of their specially designed tents to keep the Scouts dry and warm.

Lizzy Treglown, a ShelterBox Response Team volunteer at the event, said, ‘Although on a much smaller, less serious scale, the situation was remarkably similar to conditions we face in the field. A group of people were left without shelter following terrible weather conditions. We were delighted to offer a solution.’

To say thank you, the French Polynesian Scouts performed a ‘wahaka’, a traditional custom, for the ShelterBox representatives.

‘It was incredible to experience. I’ve seen the New Zealand All Blacks perform something similar but seeing it in person was completely different.’ Lizzy said.

The tents provided to the French Polynesian Scouts will be used by ShelterBox Sweden to raise awareness of the charity’s work after the jamboree.

French Polynesian Scouts thank ShelterBox representatives by performing a ‘wahaka’, a traditional Polynesian custom

Submitted by: Mike Cahill

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sea Scouts get a boost to repair rescue boat

Roger Horton , Group Leader Mount Pleasant Sea Scouts with Sea Scouts Vaughan Bamford and Campbell Wright in receipt of the cheque for $4000.00. The donation was made for support of rescue boat repairs so they can carry out their activities on Lyttelton Harbour as the Estuary is not available due to pollution following the earthquakes. The amount was made up
$1,000 from Winton Club donated through Christchurch
$2,500 from Murgon Club in Brisbane donated through
Christchurch South
$300 personal donation by Christchurch South member
$200 from Christchurch South general funds.

Submitted by:  Assistant Rotary Coordinator Ross Skinner

Some environmental projects are so easy

Friday, 16 September 2011

Rotary International's First Corporate Membership

Rotary International recently launched a new global membership category in response to demand from commercial organisations seeking to leverage the rich heritage and community reach of Rotary. Rotary has secured more than 1.2 million members globally over the last 5 years and continues to successfully adapt to changing social trends. The newly initiated Corporate Membership Program is an extension of this and is gaining significant attention and interest.

In another first, the Rotary Club of Newmarket (RCON) has secured the first formal global membership member for Rotary International under the new scheme with Bank New Zealand recently joining the club. “BNZ’s participation in the Rotary Club of Newmarket is an important statement of our commitment to not only to Newmarket, but also the wider community as it provides a fantastic channel for the bank and our staff to contribute to the excellent social projects undertaken by RCON” says Lyndon Settle, Managing Partner at Bank of New Zealand.

Further, Kim Growden, BNZ Manager - Newmarket adds "BNZ Newmarket is proud and privileged to be the first corporate members to join RCON. BNZ's commitments to the community such as Closed For Good, Save The Kiwi & Plunket align perfectly with those of RCON, and this membership now gives us a great chance to work together to create a higher achieving New Zealand".

President of RCON, Roger Gower, highlights the wider benefit for corporate members. “Rotary is the perfect vehicle for providing opportunities for young executives to develop their leadership, presentation and organisational capabilities in a non-threatening environment. Further it provides excellent networking opportunities across business and community leaders” Roger comments.

The Corporate Membership Program is one in a series of initiatives being implemented by the Rotary Club of Newmarket as it manages its ongoing growth and expansion of community projects and member services.

Press Release from the Rotary Club of New market Inc, Auckland, NZ

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Trade Me - well worth while

The Rotary Club of Newmarket, Auckland uses a Trade Me account to raise funds by listing unneeded/donated items from members.  In the sort time they have been doing this they have painlessly raised $3,000 !

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Walk on the Wild Side!

Last year a number of Rotarians and  clubs took part in this unique Cure Kids event either by assisting with the on-th-day organisation or by entering a team.  If you would like to support Cure Kids by taking part in their Walk on the Wild Side - a day out walking the wild west caost of Auckland, then go to or

Dictionaries are treasured

Dictionaries for Schools
A recent distribution of dictionaries was well-received at Rongomai School in Otara. Dave Houghton and Val Gyde attended a morning assembly at the school on 1 September where Principal Tina Voordouw provided a warm welcome to the Rotary Visitors. After explaining the purpose of the visit the class nominated to receive dictionaries on this occasion eagerly lined up to receive their books. After the presentation, the school kapa haka group sang some waiata.

According to Tina and other teachers at the school, these colourful pictorial dictionaries are hugely popular with the students and very helpful in expanding vocabulary and understanding of terms.  They are often a great way of encouraging literacy within families as students are encouraged to take the dictionaries home to show parents and siblings.

Photos: Dave Houghton, Vocational Director, distributing dictionaries to students.

Submitted by:  Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cromwell club commences project to refurbish room in Oncology Ward

 The long stay rooms need upgrading, and to their credit Otago Boys High School pupils have taken the lead in doing up one room. The Rotary Club of Cromwell Inc is following suit.

The first project event, a home hosting dinner was a great success. Their goal is to raise $7500. The refurbishment will include a new patient controlled bed, a large flat screen TV, a fridge and a PlayStation that will double as a DVD player.

There are several rooms in need of refurbishment in Ward 8C. Other clubs might like to follow the Cromwell lead. Please feel free to email Cromwell Rotarian Will Hope if you want to know more (contact details via )

Source:  District 9980 Newsletter, September 2011
Ward 8C takes care of cancer patients who may require long stays some of whom are neutrapenic patients who because of their low immunes systems are unable to leave their rooms. A good bed, a good TV and other facilities are something that really helps. As one person with close links to their club said, ‘Spending such a long time in the room and not being able to escape leaves you with little options to entertain yourself, the cancer drugs affect your attention span so reading be-comes difficult, and hours of lying in bed with no energy makes the little things around you become important as the room becomes your home’

Thursday, 8 September 2011

An Amazing Response to the Christchurch Earthquakes by Rotary

Since the earthquakes, Rotarians in Christchurch have been hard at work, mostly under the radar, assisting community organisations, communities, families and individuals in need.  The support from Rotarians and clubs in New Zealand and around the world has been staggering as has what has been achieved from that support!  The Blog at you will find current reports from the two main Rotary entities managing the identification and implementation/support of recovery projects and the funding of these plus some other news of interest.

·         Earthquake Response Support Project
·         Christchurch Earthquake Charitable Trust

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Future leaders seminar is proving popular in strengthening districts

Rotary Insititutes are informational meetings held for past, present and incoming officers of Rotary International, their guests and any others invited by the Convenor (RI Director Stuart Heal).  The next Zone Institute is being held in Brisbane Friday 25 to Sunday 27 November and is preceeded by training days for District Governors, Governor Elects, Governor Nominees, District Trainers and ...

Take a room full of enthusiastic Rotarians, add a mixture of shared ideas and inspirational addresses, sprinkle liberally with a desire to make a difference in Rotary, and you have the perfect recipe for the 2011 Future Leaders Seminar - an exciting innovation thanks to the vision and foresight of Rotary International Director Stuart Heal and the  immediate past, current and incoming District Governors of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region.

This will be held on Thursday 24 November at a venue immediately adjacent to the Institute venue.  Nominated by their districts, these future Rotary leaders (at all levels of Rotary) will get a focussed, unique insight into the international world of Rotary while addressing key topics through faciliated discussion with like-minded peers. 

Future Leader's Seminar Convenor, PDG Cathy Roth noted that by nominating suitable Rotarians to attend, districts were ensuring they had strong, knowledgable and capable leaders now and into the future.

The vast majority of districts throughout New Zealand and Australia have enthusiastically supported this initiative and the numbers attending  the Future Leaders Seminar are now well over 100 and growing. 

The October issue of Rotary Down Under magazine will have an article on this topic - Institute opened to future leaders (page 19)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Computers to Samoa

The Rotary Club of Kaitikati carried out a successful project providing computers to nine schools in Samoa.  Kaitikati Rotarians journeyed to Samoa where they received an enthusiastic welcome.   They returned with wonderfully written letters of thanks from the children.  Some of the letters were described by Katikati Rotarians as “worthy of being framed” for the warmth of the gratitude expressed by the children.
The Rotary club of Apia (Samoa) also provided support for the project which benefited as many as 6,500 pupils in Samoan schools.

From 'Rotary Rocks' - a District 9930 club bulletin extract

Experience Bangkok before and / or Phuket after Rotary Convention in Bangkok

Enjoy the land of a thousand smiles - let's make it a thousand Kiwi smiles! - and the city of temples, canals and floating flower markets; also the city that is a busy modern metropolis. Come ... 'Sawatdee krap" (g'day/welcome)

Special pre and Post Rotary International Convention Tours are available:
  • Experience Bangkok before the convention 3-11 May 2012, and / or
  • Indulge with a tropical getaway in Phuket after the convention 5-15 May 2012
For full details go here: 

Hamilton Rotary Clubs Celebrate Opening of Hydrotherapy Pool

The Hamilton East Rotary Club recently hosted a meeting of all Hamilton Clubs to celebrate the opening of the hydrotherapy pool (pictured) at Hamilton’s “Waterworld” on July 22nd 2011. Rotary was a major driver and fundraiser behind the development of the hydrotherapy pool, with Hamilton City Council the major financial contributor. The programme originated in1983 when John Thorne the then President of the Hamilton East Rotary Club promoted the project. Initially the club raised $75,000 which was not enough to build the pool, but was used to provide better facilities at “Waterworld”.

In 2006 all of the Rotary clubs within Hamilton picked up the project, under Ron Hancock, Rotary Area 1 Governor, who joined the Hydrotherapy Pool Trust and set up the Rotary Hydrotherapy Pool committee. The latest total contribution to the pool from Rotary was $84,200, with most of this money raised through the Rotary Club of Waikato Sunrise who arranged for many volunteers to serve at the stalls at the Hamilton V8 racing events.

Rotarians open homes to rugby visitors for the Rugby World Cup

With the first games of the Rugby World Cup kicking off on Friday 9 September, New Zealand Rotarians will be welcoming their first international guests in a unique home hosting programme for rugby loving Rotarians.

The project is the brain child of a couple of hardworking Rotarians from 9940, Allan Brown from RC Hutt City and Howard Tong RC Port Nicholson. (See

“We were looking for ways to bring Rotarians together, to support the Rugby World Cup campaign in New Zealand and, of course, to make a few dollars for charity – in this case the Polio Plus campaign, says Howard.

Under the home hosting scheme, visitors pay $150 a night and $100 of that goes to the Polio Plus campaign with the host keeping the rest to cover their costs.

Rotarians in nine centres around New Zealand where games are being played will host international Rotarians for a total of 131 visitor nights.  30% of the visitors are coming from Australia, 20% from England, and 17% from South Africa. A third of the total visitor nights are made up of Rotarians visiting other Rotarians within New Zealand, plus there’s a few from various other countries.

Monday, 5 September 2011

DG visits Buculevu Secondary School project

The following is an extract from the journal of Claire Eyes following the District Governor visit by DG Alan and Claire to Fiji in August.  At the time this segment was written they were being hosted and guided by Geoff Amos of the Rotary Club of Taveuni Island.

Extract begins:

From left:  Geoff Amos, Claire Eyes and ?

The ferry crosses to the larger island in around 1 hour, then there’s a 2hr bus ride to SavuSavu.
Next we head up the winding bumpy dirt track to the “Buculevu Secondary School” perched up on a hill overlooking the sea and surrounded by palm trees and gorgeous bright coloured foliage. Here we view local village men learning on the job building skills overseen by Geoffrey and Keith Covert the Chief Builder he has taught. The Buculevu Secondary School 40 bed Girls Dormitory will enable students from the final 2 years of schooling to have more space and privacy.  Currently 140 female boarding students are housed in 2 small accommodation houses.

We view the Dormitory which is nearing completion.  Alex contributed some time and energy painting the wall of the laundry area yesterday. Many local island volunteers are also giving their time.  The rooms are spacious, housing 4/room in bunk beds, a cupboard each, shared desk area, shelving and the beds are high enough off the floor to enable each girl to have her own personal linen box. The rooms are light and have insect netting outside the louvered windows. 

There are 3 showers and toilets in the complex and a large outdoor laundry area all nicely tiled.  The mattresses are ready to be placed on the beds and the complex is due to be finished by the end of August.  This was an amazing project costing F$100,000  ($75,000NZ)  and supported by the Knox Rotary Club of Melbourne and the Rotary club of Newmarket amongst others.  Geoffrey is keen to have fundraising to provide computers in this school to bring students up to the level of the main island.

Submitted by:  Claire Eyes.

Update on the Christchurch Earthquake Rotary response activities

Just released is an update outlining the many recovery activities of the Rotary response to the Christchurch Earthquake;  To read this in full click on: 

Also in that update is information about how you can purchase a special Rotary stamp and support the Rotary response at the same time ... a collectors edition maybe !?

Praise for website

The more we do with the Rotary website [ ]the more impressed we are with it. It’s an amazing tool, and we’re getting increasing “buy-in” from Clubs and the District. Thanks for all you and the team do to make this possible.

John Barton, District 9980 webmaster

Friday, 2 September 2011

Rotary Down Under magazine - September 2011

People throughout New Zealand, the Pacific and Australia are talking about Rotary Down Under as the magazine fulfils its growing role as a forum for ideas and debate about issues that challenge the status quo.  If you like a robust debate, have a look at the Mail Box section!  

The September cover story is about Rotarian Professor Ralph Martins who is breaking new ground in the search for the answer to Alzheimer’s disease.

September is New Generation’s Month so this issue features some Rotaract activities.  It is noted that District 9910’s initiative to provide every participant to their 2011 Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp a copy of the current Rotary Down Under magazine was well received by the participants who now have a better understanding of the scope of Rotary’s contribution to and influence in communities throughout our region.  This is an easy way to foster long-term support of Rotary by the participants of our various New Generation programmes.

Articles featuring New Zealand and the SW Pacific in
September 2011 Rotary Down Under magazine include:
What will be your legacy? (RDU page 5)
Back on the road (9)
Raewyn’s wheely good idea (20)
Off the Ricther (25)
Hunter clubs in Papua New Guinea (26)
Golfing Holiday becomes International Service Project (28)
Beam of Hope (30)
It’s all downhill from here (35)
Wandering minstrels (36-38)                   
Paul Harris Fellows (40-41)   
Caller to Higher Service (41)                      

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Cleaning up for RWC

Last weekend saw us cleaning up the Manurewa township in preparation for the RWC. It could be described as organized as some 180 odd helpers armed with buckets spades, paint brushes, water, ladders and numerous other forms of cleaning equipment took to their allocated area and began an all out assault on years of dirt and grime. The problem with windows is they have two sides - and we were only doing the outside!! The highlight for me was the man and his wife from the fruit shop appearing with 2 boxes of bananas and 2 boxes of apples as a thank you. 

Fom President Ray, Rotary Club of Alfristin, Auckland, District 9920