Saturday, 29 December 2012

Rotary Club of Raitea Tahaa an example

The Rotary Club of Raiatea – Tahaa in French Polynesia (Rotary District 9920) celebrated its 8th anniversary in December 2012.  The club has 21 active members and two honorary members with the most recent inducted in December 2012.

They were the second Rotary Club of Polynesia with the first being the Rotary Club of Papeete in 1959. The club grows from year to year in both membership and service which is not just encouraging, but demonstrates its commitment to the community with their actions [projects] widely recognized. The secret of this success is the certain friendship uniting all members.

At the international level, since the club is part of Rotary International, they support global major projects, such as:
  • The eradication of poliomyelitis in the world – now eradicated 99% thanks to Rotary,
  • the access to drinking water in third world countries, the fight against illiteracy, etc.

The club also sponsors a young Filipino supporting costs from the high school study. Jared Orelland has just finished his upper studies and next will be attending college.

This success is extra motivation for the club.

Locally many projects have been accomplished: linguistic and cultural trips of high school students; material assistance to needy people, financial aid for young athletes and Christmas Child.

Last year 600 children from the town of Taputapuatea were able to attend a magic show. What’s more encouraging is to see these little ones laugh and dream. This led the club to extend this action and this year all children receiving schooling in the municipality of Tumaraa will be able to attend a big clown show in December next.

The club has committed to finance the acquisition last year of a small sailboat, fitted out to enable sailing for disabled or people with limited mobility. The sailing school of the Raiatea Yacht Club is the only one accommodating a handicapped children, and where they are welcomed.
DG Ron at the cheque presentation

To support this project the club presented the Yacht Club a cheque for a million francs [NZD13,500 approx] to realize this project. In acknowledging the sponsors who also supported this project, club President Patrick Leininger commented that “sometimes just a little boost, a helping hand, a moral presence, material help in a difficult time, to avoid many conflicts and promote peace.”

Monday, 24 December 2012

George Maybee chartered an expedition to hook the elusive bonefish on Kiritimati. But he’d soon take on a tougher task: providing the islanders with clean drinking water.

as told to Anne Ford

Source by permission:  The Rotarian, December 2012, pp.50-53

I got into fly-fishing in high school in California, USA. A good friend taught me how to tie flies and build fly rods, and we’d catch steelhead trout in the Russian River. Since then, I’ve gone as often as I can. With this sport, you’re not out relaxing on a dock; you’re hunting. You’re trying to fool the fish by imitating how their food moves in the water. It’s a physical and mental game, and it gets you out into some amazing places.
In 2004, my wife, Sharon, and I flew to Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, as it’s known, which is the world’s largest coral atoll. This is one of the few places where you can fly- fish in saltwater. We took a chartered turboprop plane out of Honolulu, a five-hour trip.

The island, which is part of the Republic of Kiribati, has coral flats that are about 2 feet under water. You take a boat way out into the Pacific Ocean and stand on a flat, and then you wait for the bonefish to come in from the deep water. They’re called “gray ghosts” because they blend in with their surroundings. Many times, you won’t see the fish; you’ll just see a shadow. This is a very strong fish – it can take 45 minutes to land one.

On Christmas Island, there are no minerals in the soil, no natural resources, so there aren’t many things the people can manufacture. The country’s only industry is copra, which is dried coconut meat. The government also licenses fishing rights to other nations. As much as a quarter of the country’s income comes from foreign aid, but most of that goes to the capital, Tarawa, which is 2,000 miles from Kiritimati. It was astonishing to see how little the islanders have.

Our fishing guide’s name was Biita Kairaoi. He was a joy to talk to. He was learning English from all the fishermen he met. My wife asked him, “How many children do you have?” He said, “Oh, I’ve got a lot. Would you like to meet them?” We went to his home, and those children – well, they just wanted to be close to you. He had six children then.  And they were very, very poor. When we left Kiritimati, we hugged Biita, his wife, and his children, and my wife said, “Biita, it’s like I’m leaving my family. If you ever need anything, please give us a call.” There were only five phones on the entire island.

We got on the plane, and we looked at each other. “What are we going to do?” Sharon said. “I don’t know,” I said, “but we have to do something.”

We consider ourselves “retired to Rotary.” We’re members of the Rotary Club of Commerce City, Colo., and we log about 40 to 50 hours of volunteer work every week. But at that moment, we had never done an international service project.

After we returned home from Christmas Island, we got a call, and it was Biita. He said, “George, my church has never had an Easter candle. Could you get me a candle?” I said, “Sure, no problem.” I picked one out, and we sent it off. When we went back the following January, we got a tap on our door, and it was the church’s priest. “A committee would like to meet with you,” he said. We thought we would see five or six people, but there were about 500, from four churches. “For months we prayed for a candle, and no candle arrived,” one of the oldest men said. “Many gave up, but we continued to pray, and then, from above, it was a miracle. You are our miracle.” And we were hooked.

We spent the next week talking to people in the government and going to the hospital and schools, getting an idea of their needs and what Rotarians might be able to do. We asked the nurses and doctors, “What could you use?” They said, “Maybe some aspirin and some Band-Aids.” I said, “No, what do you need?” The nurses actually took a step back. They didn’t know what to ask for. Finally, a doctor said, “Do you suppose you could get us some beds?” We said, “Oh, yeah.” They said, “Really?” Then we found out that the maternity area had no birthing tables. The operating room had no anesthesia.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

ShelterBox NZ team members respond to Cyclone Evan in Samoa

A New Zealand ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) consisting of Bulls-based Lyndon Tamblyn and Walter van der Kley from Ashburton, who are both experienced SRTs, went to Apia on December 16 to assess the need of people affected by recent Cyclone Evan which ripped through Samoa.

Winds of up to 165 kilometres per hour lashed down, and waves of water exploded over river banks washing homes away, flinging cars into trees, cutting out power across the country and leaving the capital city Apia in ruins. The scene of destruction also included flattened homes, uprooted trees and flooded streets.

Once on the ground in Apia, the pair assessed the needs of cyclone victims and established how many people had lost their homes. Local Rotarians helped the team with information and transport.

ShelterBoxes are prepositioned in Auckland and ready for a rapid response to Pacific Island nations. Additional ShelterBoxes are located in Melbourne, with some already in Fiji, left over from flood relief earlier in 2012.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. Since 2000 over 124,323 ShelterBoxes have been deployed worldwide.

NZ SRT, Owen Smith recently towed a ShelterBox in the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge to raise money for at least six ShelterBoxes.

Each ShelterBox costs NZ$1,500 and will support an extended family for up to six months.
Donations can be made through the Telecom Foundation “Givealittle” website where 100% of every donation is given to the charity.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Can we do it?

"Yes we can!”

Never were the immortal words of Bob the Builder more appropriate as Past President Pat Taylor challenged members of the Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki in Auckland, New Zealand to assist the Salvation Army with food parcels for the less fortunate over Christmas.
Three years ago the club collected 253 cans for the Salvation Army, so Pat set the club a challenging goal of collecting 300 cans by Christmas.

“The Salvation Army does a wonderful job in helping those less fortunate and  the extra demands at Christmas really place a strain on their stock of  emergency food items” explained Pat.

Over a period of ten weeks Pat coerced, threatened, begged and used a variety of devious means to extract as many cans as possible from Rotary members, visitors and friends of Rotary, resulting in a final tally of 641 cans.

Manager of the Salvation Army and fellow Rotarian Karl McInnes on receiving the cans said “ This is a truly magnificent achievement and will help put smiles on the faces of some of the most needy in our community. Once again Rotary has made a difference”.

When Santa doesn't come

What started off as the results of a particularly good Sheriff’s fine session last Christmas, has now become a planned activity for the Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki in Auckland, New Zealand. "This is one of those rewarding cases where both our major fundraiser and the recipients of the proceeds come from the same local catchment", said President Mike Jaggs.
Santa’s Sack: Rotarian Karl McInnes and President Mike Jaggs with the goodies for Santa’s sack

The club has been partnering with the Local Council Board for some years, project managing the development of a pathway system in the relatively new Rongomai Park. It's a low socio economic demographic surrounding this park, and many families will be missing out on Christmas this year. The park provides a safe place for kids to play. Now at least fifty kids will have something this Christmas to play with.

The club has also worked closely for many years with the Salvation Army who have been engaged to identify the families most at need in the Rongomai catchment.

Concurrently the club is also targeting another group of kids who face a bleak Christmas.
It's an unfortunate fact that Kidz First Children’s Hospital will have many children filling their wards this Christmas whose families also can't afford Christmas. Middlemore Foundation Executive Director Pam Tregonning and her team expect an influx of kids through the Emergency Department in the Christmas holidays, as well as those who will be staying in hospital for longer periods.  Thanks to the club’s generosity, some kids at least will receive a surprise visit from Santa they didn’t expect.  Mike added, "We've boosted Santa's sack with another fifty $10 gifts for some of these kids.” 

Christmas Kidz First: Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki President Mike Jaggs and Middlemore Foundation Executive Director Pam Tregonning with Santa’s sack gifts
This is a great example of many organisations working together to create a better community, and giving those less fortunate amongst us a reason to smile.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Rotarian Dick Breukink performs life-saving action

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of unexpected death in the world, and it can happen to anyone anytime.  It is an abrupt disruption of the heart’s function, which causes a lack of blood flow to vital organs.  

Many of these people have no warning signs and showed no prior symptoms. The sad fact is that fewer than 5% survive unless they receive immediate treatment. The only definitive treatment for SCA is cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation. Time to defibrillation is key, with the chance of survival dropping 10% for each minute defibrillation is delayed. Having easily accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) has the potential to save thousands of lives. 

This is what Rotarian Dick Breukink of the Waikato Sunrise club in New Zealand found out in July.

Dick is General Manager of Novotel and Ibis Tainui Hamilton.  He attended the Rotary District 9930 Conference in Hamilton in May 2012, when he met AED Distributor Carl McIntyre, who discussed the need for AEDs in public places. Having had his own life saved with an AED, Carl and his company CGM Medical now work to ensure that public access defibrillation programs are rolled out across NZ to help increase survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.

In a heart-felt move, Dick went to his Board of Directors armed with a quote for an AED for each of his hotels. His request was quickly approved. Dick said, “You don’t buy these devices with the intention of ever having to use them; you hope that they are merely a preventative measure”.

However less than three weeks after he’d taken delivery of his units, Dick had to use one of his new AEDs.  A driver had pulled up to the hotel in a panic because his father was having a heart attack in the back of his car. The driver quickly called for an ambulance and needed to confirm the address of the hotel so that the ambulance could respond.  Dick happened to be walking through the foyer with a member of staff and saw the commotion. By this time the man’s heart had stopped beating during a sudden cardiac arrest. Instinctively, Dick called for someone to fetch the AED, and he put his training into practise, assisted by his hotel Chief Engineer Keith Atkinson.

The AED was turned on and the electrodes attached to the man’s bare chest. The AED quickly analysed the man’s heart rhythm and prompted, “SHOCK ADVISED” as the ambulance arrived. The Paramedic quickly delivered the shock and started to perform CPR. The AED even aided his CPR, prompting the paramedic to “PUSH HARDER”. Dick said, “It was an amazing feeling to see the unit perform as expected, and it was a great outcome as the man was breathing when the Paramedics loaded him in to the ambulance, although we were both quite shaken after what we had just done”. 

For more information about the ZOLL AED Plus, the only Full-Rescue AED available today, please contact Carl McIntyre on +64 21 928 000 or email 

Rhythm Interactive "Thank you Rotary"

Rotary initiated a project with Rhythm Interactive  that had an immensely positive impact upon the lives of those children and teachers that participated in the Therapeutic Education Project in Christcurch following the earthquakes.  These sessions were not just hugely popular but identified students with a musical talent and as many students could not afford music lessons these session were a special opportunity for them.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Good PR and partnerships a winner

The Rotary Club of St Johns recently won the monthly PR award in District 9920 and this has a number of interesting lessons for all clubs around community partnerships, PR, membership and more.  Go to

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Cyclone devastates Samoa - a way to help

Emergency Response Kits prepositioned in Apia are being distributed to those most affected and back up supplies are being shipped from Fiji.

Cyclone Evan will hit Tonga and Fiji in the coming days and reportedly is intensifying.

We have prepositioned ERKs in Fiji and Rotarians and their supporters are on standby.

Rotary is working with Disaster Management Agencies in all three countries and we anticipate that as well as ERKs, food, water and clothing will be needed.

RNZWCS will advance funds to enable these supplies to be purchased and distributed immediately.

We are therefore asking clubs to support us and have launched an immediate appeal. We are also working with the New Zealand Government through MFAT and the NGO Disaster Relief Forum NDRF.

Please refer to our website for alternate ways to donate or

send cheques to PO Box 20309, Christchurch 8543 or through internet banking 03 1702 0192208 01

We appreciate many clubs will have suspended meetings for the Christmas/New Year break, but feel confident they will be checking emails.

Best wishes

PDG Stuart J Batty JP
RNZWCS Limited (Rotary New Zealand)
PO Box 20309
Christchurch 8543
New Zealand
Ph/Fax 64 3 3599218
cellphone 027 2695615
Charities Commission Reg. No. CC26860

Monday, 10 December 2012

Building a brighter future through MIT Awards

Auckland Mayor Len Brown with recipient Benetta Faualo and her niece

The 2012 MIT Awards gave a scholarship of $1500 to two aspiring nurses, Benetta Faualo and Lucy Scott) and a secondary school teacher Lydia Zhu to assist them with their continuing studies.
The MIT Awards are organised annually by the Rotary Club of Papatoetoe West on behalf of the Chenery Memorial Trust. The Awardees have returned to education to create a better future  for themselves.  The Awards were presented by Auckland's Mayor, Len Brown at a ceremony held at the Papatoetoe Cosmopolitan Club and was supported by Rotarians from a number of surrounding clubs.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Rotary or holiday pictures ... do not miss the good ones

Do you have a mobile phone? Have you ever used your phone camera? Are you like me ... have played around with it and taken a few pictures but then not known what to do with them? I was caught short the other day at a Rotary event without my camera and took a really great picture that I really wanted to use, so was forced to take the time to find out how to email it to myself where I could download and put it to good use.

This monumental learning curve took me 3 minutes! Why was I so worried about learning this technology I have always with me!
And I was able to add text - a few words to remind me of a couple of points so when I went to write something to go with the picture I had some facts. The other thing that worried me was the picture would be too small in quality / size but need not have worred as it was 1.2MB so the camera setting was OK ... you might need to see if yours needs adjusting to maximum (always do maximum).
OK, you might have to get your email set up on the phone but surely a friend or the local phone retailer can help. The point is, there is no excuse for your club's project not to have good publicity and especially some good, close-up action pictures.
And if you add to the email copy line   you are most likely to also get your masterpiece onto the Rotary success stories blog at as well (add your name in the text box so we know who to credit).

Still, no matter how much mobile phone technology has advanced over recent years, do not be fooled ... even a low-end camera will do a better job especially in low light situations (where a mobile camera is at its worst) so camera first, mobile phone is way better than no picture!

Rotary Club Punches Above Its Weight With Funding Support!

Over the past eighteen months, the Rotary Club of Bishopdale/Burnside in Christchurch, New Zealand with a membership of 34, has financially supported local charities in their city with a total in excess of $84,000 from their fundraising initiatives.

One of Bishopdale/Burnside Rotary’s preferred charities is the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust (CCHT) which was set up five years ago to provide much needed medical services to people in the community who can’t wait for medical services in the public hospital, but can’t afford medical insurance to have the procedures performed in private hospitals.

The hospital is not government funded, so it is financed totally by donations, grants and support from the wider community. Numerous doctors, nurses, other health professionals and public spirited people volunteer their time and expertise weekly to help make the Canterbury Charity Hospital a success.

Many people in the community also help with the day-to-day running of the hospital. Together they all make a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of the Canterbury community as a whole.
Governor-General of NZ Sir Gerry Mateparae congratulating Canterbury Charity Hospital Manager Carl Shaw at the official opening.
Dr Phil Bagshaw receiving the van from Bishopdale/Burnside Rotary Charity Trust Chair Alistair Coleman

General Surgeon Philip Bagshaw recognised the need for a charity hospital when he realised that no government would be able to meet all the healthcare needs in Canterbury.

The East Wing of the Charity Hospital was opened in 2007 to provide day surgery facilities and medical clinics, but due to the changing needs of the Canterbury community following the 2010-2011 earthquakes, a new two storey and larger West Wing was added to provide additional theatre (endoscopy) space, a dental unit, more consulting rooms and educational/research facilities.

Many Rotary clubs support medical treatment for people in the islands around the Pacific, but since the devastating earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011, the old saying “charity begins at home” has become extremely poignant in Christchurch.

This is one of the reasons that the Bishopdale/Burnside Rotary Club purchased a van, medical equipment, storage shed and donated car park ground preparation funding to the level of $50,000 to date.

In recognition of the superb service that Phil Bagshaw and his team are providing in the region, the new West Wing was officially opened recently by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a special function to mark the occasion.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

It's Christmas and Rotary helps bring smiles to many

What a great time Santa’s little helpers had last Saturday!

The Manurewa Christmas Parade was the best we have had in ages, with 50 participating groups and floats.  The Rotary Club of Alfriston had 5 floats entered.

Thousands packed the streets to watch the annual parade.

The parade was led by Sir John Walker as the Grand Marshal, with an onslaught of clowns handing out balloons.  Smiling children’s faces were the one thing that stood out on the day.

Ray Parkes handled the competing interest of Rotarians, participating groups, dignitaries, and road marshals.  Ray coolly sorted it out getting the parade organised and moving.

Janet Igrisan and her crew battled with umpteen elf costumes, and other pieces of paraphernalia.

Santa’s car was mislaid for a bit, but none of this was evident during the parade itself.

Thanks also to all the club members for a fantastic effort in making this a happy and memorable occasion.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

East Tamaki Primary Cycle Track Gets Rolling

Work started on Saturday 1 December 2012  on the construction of the East Tamaki Primary School Cycle track. This is the first of the Owen Glenn Family Trust Projects in Otara-East Tamaki area, which Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki Inc are associated with.

A team of  members began our part in the project by installing all the Safety Fencing around the Cycle track construction site and marking out the perimeters of the Track.  The Team included Carey Brown (Contractor) and Peter McGlashan, Director: Sports and Wellbeing, Glenn Family Foundation with the Club Team (wearing the club's new Hi Vis Jackets).

(Picture above) Monday 3 December saw members of the Club, the Principal of the School Sarah Mirams, Peter McGlashan and other members of the Owen Glenn Foundation were present at a Sod Turning ceremony officiated by Waikare Komene from the local Maori Community, who offered a Karakia to bless the site and the work that is to follow.
The target for completion is Monday 10th December. with the Official opening Tuesday 11th December. The next major part of the project for the Club is assembling all the bicycles ready for Official opening.

Watch ROMAC on TV

The TV series ‘Unsung Heroes’ which ROMAC was involved with will commence airing on TV1 at 7.30pm, Wednesdays from 17th December 2012.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tooting for Tucker for Christmas

UPCOMING: Christmas is coming.

For some it’s a very happy time of year. For others it can be a time of desperation and despair. You can help to make sure that every family in Porirua has enough food to make Christmas a happy occasion.

On Tuesday 4th, Wednesday 5th, Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th December Big Red and Yellow Fire Engines will be cruising the streets of Whitby between 5.30 and 7.30, tooting for tucker.

This initiative will be taking place simultaneously throughout the area but the fire engines cruising through Whitby will be from the Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade and will be followed by cars and trailers, driven by Plimmerton Rotarians.

(Photo) Snr Firefighter Johnny Johnson, Rotarian Wendy Betteridge, Station Officer Tony Satorius and Snr Station Officer Dave Anderson of the Plimmerton Volunteer Fire Brigade prepare to Toot for Tucker
Photo by Derek Paterson

They will be knocking on doors and seeking items of non-perishable food for the Salvation Army Food Bank in Porirua. If you haven’t got any food items to give, then you can donate cash and they will buy food with your donation.

Please be ready to donate. When you go shopping in the next couple of weeks, slip a few extra items into your basket, items that will help to stock the shelves at the Food Bank.
Things like tins and cans of meat and fish, baked beans, cereals, pastas, jars of jams and spreads, plastic pots of fruit – anything that won’t perish.
No fresh food please.

We look forward to seeing you. And if you want to come and help us to collect, then ring Mike Scott on 2336556 and let him know.

Police Recruits get some unusual training

Seven Police Recruits had some unusual crowd control practice and training experience on 17 November.
Recruits Buck Raines and Benjamin Luders endeavour to keep Roger Robati, aged 5 from Cannons Creek School, under crowd control with Recruit Michelle Brough in the background
Photo by Elizabeth Taylor

Forty-five children from Decile 1 schools in Porirua East were picked up by coach to attend the annual Christmas Party which is put on by The Plimmerton Rotary Club at The Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua.

On arrival the children were greeted by the seven recruits and two instructors from Kelly Sports who provided some high activity games on the lawn. It was wonderful to see the Police Recruits totally involved with the children. They all participated in the games with equal enthusiasm and disregard for the rules.

Recruits Buck Raines and Benjamin Luders endeavour to keep Roger Robati, aged 5 from Cannons Creek School, under crowd control with Recruit Michelle Brough in the background
Photo by Elizabeth Taylor.

After burning up heaps of energy, the children were entertained by Harry the Clown, who had the children, the recruits and the adults laughing and shouting back on demand.
Wholesome food was produced, BBQ sausages, hot chips, drinks, ice cream and jellies. This food was quickly devoured and everyone had a new burst of energy to welcome Father Christmas, who arrived in all his glory with a present for every child. Presents were soon opened to shrieks of delight.

Father Christmas throws the lollies while
Plimmerton President Bob Austin and Recruit Manu Heketa look on
Photo by Elizabeth Taylor
Father Christmas delighted everyone by conducting a lolly scramble which concluded the party. The coach arrived to return the children safely to their homes.

The Plimmerton Rotary Club sincerely thanks not only the teachers who selected the children to attend but also the Police Recruits and the Kelly Sports Instructors who gave up their time to make a real contribution to the success of this great day for very special kids.

More photos on

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Trees For Survival – Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki Inc. and Mission Heights Junior College

At Mission Heights Junior College, there are fewer textbooks, no computer labs, no rubbish bins, Classrooms are well lit with harvesting lights. The walls are mostly made of glass, and children wear smartcards around their necks. It sounds like science fiction and you know what, it pretty much is” according to PC World magazine when it visited this school just after it opened in 2009.

The Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki Inc, who include this school among the schools and colleges in its immediate area that it incorporates in its programmes, spent this Monday night at the Junior College, meeting some of the pupils and staff, and following up on progress of the “Trees For Survival” unit the Club sponsors.

Pupils are encouraged to work collaboratively together. They use Sun Microsystems Ultra Thin Client computers mounted  on the back of large screen monitors, and the student Smartcard system installed gives teach student access to any workstation in the College.

Each student at Mission Heights Junior College and the adjacent Primary School owns a Smart Card worn on a lanyard around their neck.

This card is used to access the Sun computers and is printed with the child’s photo, acts not only as an ID tag but also a unique access point to the computers. The card is not only for identification, but also data storage which allows the child to have an instant refresh that allows each child to move freely from computer to computer without needing to remember to save their work. All they have to do is plug the card in, and they are instantly back to where they were. No more carting lots of books around.

The main purpose of the clubs visit however, was to see our “Trees For Survival” unit and hear what the children looking after the unit thought about the project.

Over the last two years, they have grown a variety of vegetables which are used by the school in other projects and by other school groups as part of a wider appreciation about our ecology and sustainability.

Prior to visiting the unit, we were treated to a Power Point presentation  showing the project which enabled us to see what the progress of the unit has been over the last 2 years and see a video of the children in action last year on Tree Planting day. It was clear that planting day was a great day for the children participating as not only did they get a day out of school, they also got to see the status of the year before's planting effort and how much the trees had grown in 12 months.

It was pointed out that the children participating not only grew and planted trees to stabilise land and re-establish native Bush, but they had also established vegetable and fruit gardens at the school to learn more about where our food comes from. This has lead to other groups within the school, Science and Food Technology classes, wanting to participate in this garden project and expand the produce grown for consumption and study at the school to a wider group.

Mike Jaggs article in Presidents “Mike’s Mention” weekly report:

Any concerns we may have still had on the effectiveness of our sponsored “Trees For Survival” growing unit at Mission Heights Junior High School were well and truly laid to rest following tonight's visit. Whilst we may justifiably harbour some concerns over the TFS organisations ongoing communication, it was extremely satisfying to see how the teachers and children of the school have not only embraced this project, but have in just a two years completed 2 plantings and won awards for their schools “Enviro Club”

The five year 8 students, Connor, Shene, Amanda, Friyan and Harleen, provided us with a great presentation of their schools efforts and future goals. It was also great to taste their 'appetisers' baked using fresh vegetables from their own school garden. I for one was very impressed with how the school and students have integrated the “Trees For Survival” project into their curriculum and then extended it to the school garden which works as a teaching aid and provides fresh vegetables and herbs for their Food Technology classes. So impressed, I shall be recommending to some trusts that they invest in the schools latest project to build a new and larger self sustaining garden facility.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Library to Go – New Mobile Libraries

In a New Zealand first, Christchurch City Libraries will introduce two additions to their line-up of libraries – Mobile Library, a pair of specially-equipped vans that will provide a portable social, recreational and learning space from Monday 3 December.

The vans – each fully kitted-out to deliver familiar library services such as books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and free Wi-Fi – will help fill the gap left in library services after the earthquakes lead to the closure of Bishopdale, Central, Linwood, South and Sumner Libraries. A trailer able to transport additional furniture and equipment will be also available for special events and programmes.

Operating on a weekly schedule that sees them visiting a range of hand-picked locations across the city, Mobile Library will be launched in the New Brighton Christmas Parade on Saturday 1 December and will be in service from Monday 3 December.

Rotary New Zealand sought and received funding for this project after identifying a need in post-quake Christchurch for the more flexible library services the vans provide. One van is funded by Rotary International, and the other through a partnership with Rotary and the Cotton On Foundation.

With the existing Mobile Library bus marking its final day of service on Sunday 25 November, Libraries and Information Unit Manager Carolyn Robertson says the donation is a timely and welcome addition to the library fleet.

“Since the earthquakes, the existing Mobile Library bus has been unable to reach certain parts of Christchurch because of its size. One of the advantages of the new, smaller mobile library vans is their ability to visit these places.

“We’re looking at solutions for getting our closed libraries back on-line, but the introduction of Mobile Library will definitely take some of the sting out of their loss. These vans aren’t a stop-gap measure – they’re attractive, they’re novel, they’re stacked with features and we’re intending for them to have a long life. They’ll be new favourites for a lot of people.”

Mayor Bob Parker says Mobile Library is a huge step towards reducing isolation in certain communities.

“Libraries frequently take on a role as the heart of the community, and to have even one closed is a tangible loss. Mobile Library will work as a band-aid of sorts, increasing participation and delivering a world of knowledge. Christchurch is hugely grateful to Rotary and Cotton On for this incredible gift.”

For a schedule of the mobile vans’ stops, please visit

Media Advisory

Media are invited to attend the launch of the Library Mobile on Saturday 1 December, and to explore the vans and interview key figures from Christchurch City Council, Rotary New Zealand and Cotton On Foundation.
From 11.30am
Saturday 1 December
Outside New Brighton Library

Adopt-a-Family project supports families with children in palliative care

The Rotary Club of Ellerslie Sunrise Inc, Auckland, have for some years supported the Guardian Angels Trust and more recently the Adopt-a-Family project.

The project supports families of children who transition to palliative and / or end-of-life care, a time of extreme stress for these families.  The project works with club members contributing on a regular basis  non-perishable items, whether food or household consumables (eg. dishwashing liquid) and these are collected at the club and delivered periodically.

The impact and appreciation of the recipient families is huge as shown by the following quotes:

From club member and organiser Win Wilson to members: “Last week I delivered the first lot of groceries and met our new family.   Mum is bringing up 3 children on her own - 2 boys aged 11 and 14 and a girl aged 17.   Ben who is 11 years old has a terminal illness.   A delightful family who all support each other and share in the care of Ben demonstrating much love.    I received an email this morning from the Mum which I want to share with you all. 

It goes like this :

"Thank you very much for the grocery items.   Please pass on my appreciation to the Ellerslie Rotary Club for the very generous donations.   It is very heart warming and inspiring to know that there is such kindness and generosity in our community.”

In addition the club presented the Trust with a cheque for $1500 from the Club on Friday to support the work that the Guardian Angels Trust perform.    This money will be used to purchase Pak ‘n Save vouchers which will be distributed by Jess to needy families.
Anyone or organisation wanting to undertake a similar project can contact Jess Jamieson, Senior Social Work Practitioner, Paediatric Palliative Care Team, Starship Children’s Hospital, 021 946 299  or Win Wilson, Rotary Club of Ellerslie Sunrise, 09 521 4838 or 021483655.

Note that it is possible to offer other extra practical forms of support.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Big DIK push for Samoan Literacy

A container of knowledge has arrived in Apia and been well reported in the Samoan Observer. This Donation in Kind (DIK) follows a request from Debra Gibbs of the RC Apia.

District Literacy Champion- Mary Ann France has coordinated the supply of books and educational supplies over many months. Together with Louise Main from Auckland Libraries, Angela Jowitt (senior librarian of the University of the South Pacific), and several Rotary clubs across Auckland, 500 cartons of Books & stationery and school furniture and carpet tiles were sourced.

The highlight was 80 cartons containing 2000 Rotary Dictionaries funded by Rotary NZ World Community Service Ltd, the Howard Thomas Trust and Rotary Clubs of Newmarket, Remuera, Somerville Howick & Papatoetoe West. Some $18,000 in value.

The Polynesian Shipping Line very generously arranged to ship this container at no charge to Apia.
District 9920 World & Community Team put many hours into collecting, sorting & packing cartons and the container. We are also grateful to Ian Jenner for again donating his warehouse space.
This will help populate the Rotary Libraries in Samoan schools and enhance schooling.

Rotary GSE exchange helps keep Alaskan Eskimo babies warm

During the recent Alaskan GSE team visit the needs of certain Eskimo communities were discussed with Rotary host Penny Leyland and others.

This led to RC Otahuhu taking the lead and mobilising their knitting ladies. Over 100 knitted baby bonnets have been produced in a wide range of styles and colours. 4 other clubs are keen to join in the action.

They are on their way to help in the northern winter. This was a great example of the practical benefits arising from a vocationally oriented GSE team. The team also gave and learnt a lot in the area of maternal & child health during their visit.

Big “A” Community award to Rotarian Quilters

Rotarian Mary Ann France leads a Quilt- Stitch group of 13 volunteers who work with the Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility 6 times per month. They help the women develop practical skills and with this art form assist in the rehabilitation of prisoners.
The group recently won the big “A” Prison art Community Award. Judges described this as “an excellent grassroots initiative”, calling quilting a “perfect activity for community engagement” They were awarded their prize Bernina sewing machine in Wellington by Dr Pita Sharples.
Each year, approximately 50 women take part in the programme. The skills taught include sewing, measuring, designing and embellishing their quilts. Learning to use a sewing machine is an option. The prisoners start small, learning to use a needle and thread before progressing to cushions, wall hangings and making quilts for sick babies at Middlemore Hospital. In the process, the volunteers foster self-esteem, numeracy and literacy among the women, and model acceptable social behaviour.

Two Rotary Clubs initially supplied money for materials and instruments, and now people from all over New Zealand, including members of the Quilters Guild, donate fabric, thread and quilt blocks.

Rotary Associates Program - one club's approach to appealing to youth

During early 2011 as President Elect of the Rotary Club of Papanui I decided to introduce the club to a full visioning exercise to give us a clear picture of who we were and where we wanted to go as a club and a clear mandate for my year and beyond.

From this exercise it was concluded that we were an aging club and in much need of younger blood to revitalise us and take us in the direction that we identified as an essential for survival of our club.

The problem appeared that we had no direct appeal or access to youth, and youth in general were motivated to causes not clubs.

At this time Lane Perry an Ambassadorial Scholar was attached to both the University of Canterbury and our Rotary club so we sat down together and conceived a program that we felt would meet both the needs and expectations of young people and provide our club with the results that we were seeking.

We named our project the "ROTARY ASSOCIATES PROGRAM"

The resource pool from which to draw our proposed candidates from was to be the "Emerging Leaders Program" at the University and the test target was to be the Papanui greater community.

It had been clearly demonstrated after the Christchurch earthquakes that there was a desire to contribute to the community by young people and the example of this was the well documented performance of the UC Volunteer Student Army.

Our concept was as follows:

    1)    our pilot program initially would select only four students from the University Emerging Leaders Program
    2)    They would commit to the program for the University year
    3)    they would attend a full Rotary meeting as our guests at least once every term - minimum
    4)    During the year they each would contribute a minimum of 20+ hours of community work under the direction and banner             of our club
    5)    During the year each candidate would have a fire-side meeting (an informal meal) at the home of a senior Rotarian to             discuss the principals of Rotary, our community, and their views on the development and effectiveness of the program
    6)    At the end of the period each candidate would address our full Rotary meeting and give a full presentation of their involvement and experiences during their association with Rotary at work

In return we supported the candidates when ever possible and this included

    1)    Discussions and general mentoring
    2)    We sent two of our candidates to "The Aspiring Leaders Forum" which is held annually in Wellington
    3)    We nominated two students to represent us at RYLA in January 2013
    4)    each candidate was formally presented at a full Rotary Meeting with a certificate jointly signed by the current University  Coordinator and myself to recognise their contribution and achievement

We had a lot of fun working with the students over the year and the results and benefits of this association far exceeded our initial expectations for this program. Together we worked as a team on projects such as - Packing Emergency Boxes, Maintenance and gardening for a widow of a Rotarian, Fund raising projects, Christmas Gift Wrapping at Northlands, Business directory survey, Beautification program trees for Christchurch, and two of our students developed, coordinated and produced a "Big Day Out" family day and picnic for disadvantaged families which was a great success

From this experience we have identified the strengths of our program and areas which we felt could be improved. Using the original four candidates as coordinators and mentors for next year we intend to expand and take this concept to the next level prior to presenting it to the wider Rotary Community as a successful working scheme that they can individually adopt and benefit from as we have

I am confident that at sometime in the future all our candidates will become active and very productive Rotarians and New Zealand's future Leaders

Tony Taylor
Rotary Club of Papanui
Director Youth & Community

Young Totara Award

Young Totara Award
by the Rotary Club of Papanui, Christchurch, NZ

It is many years since the club has presented this award and it was therefore, with much pleasure that Arie Geerlofs (our President Elect) introduced Ollie Norman and outlined his fight to overcome serious medical problems to achieve good things in the community.

Ollie is now working in a part-time capacity as his health permits and in addition to this is dedicated to assisting his mother operate a soup kitchen and drop-in area for the disadvantaged folk of Christchurch.

He has established a good rapport with a number of young people using the soup kitchen and is committed to helping the less fortunate.

Well done Ollie! You certainly deserve this award.

ADG Richard Green congratulated Ollie and presented him with his Young Totara on behalf of the Rotary Club of Papanui

ShelterBox NZ gets a Royal visitor

ShelterBox NZ's display at the Christchurch Cup and Show Week

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Flood Relief Response at Narata in Fiji

Narata Village community in the Province of Nadroga experienced the devastating and unprecedented floods that spread across much of Viti Levu (the main island in Fiji) the week before Easter 2012. Much of the village was under 1.5 metres of flowing water. The resultant all covering layer of sticky, slippery, smelly mud was everywhere, so the villagers cleaned up and waited for food support. They were very happy to see Rotarians from all four Suva clubs arrive in a fleet of 4WD vehicles bearing Rotary Emergency Response Kits and food ration packs.
Warwick and Cate Pleass with village children.  Note the use of the 'Peace" (finger) sign
In addition, the village water supply pipe running two kms into the hills to the source was cut by landslides, and over 50 metres of pipes lost. Of course, cleaning out the stinking mud from homes and belongings is impossible without water, so they were desperate for help. On hearing of their plight, the Rotarians present arranged with a local company to sponsor the cost of the materials needed. The village provided the labour to replace those pipes. Within a couple of weeks the work was completed, which enabled the villagers to resume their normal lives, with their income mostly from growing tropical vegetables.
The Rotarian response team included from the Rotary Clubs of:
· Suva North then President Lewis Sahai, and then President Elect Griffon Emose
· Suva Assistant Governor Malini Raghwan, and then President Kalpesh Solanki,
· Suva Peninsula Sunset then District Peace Chair Elect Rita Taphorn, and Past President Joshila Lal
· Suva East PDG Warwick Pleass and Rotarian Reanu Ramani
- By PDG Warwick Pleass