Saturday, 31 March 2012

Assistance needed after devastating floods return to Fiji

West of Viti Levu in Fiji is again being devastated by floods. Information from Fiji is this is far worse than January and probably worse than that experienced in 2009. Unfortunately more bad weather is forecast and the Government has requested no further passengers be flown into Nadi for the next couple of days.

Again Rotarians are amongst the first on the ground assisting with food parcels, clothing and Emergency Response Kits. The true need can only be assessed and assistance start once the water levels recede and access can be gained to the affected areas.

Below is a copy of the press release made this morning by Rotary NZ World Community Service (RNZWCS Limited).
We are grateful for the financial support given in January by Clubs, Rotarians, and the public to the "feed a family of four for a week for $40" appeal.  Money from this appeal is held by the Rotary NZ World Community service and is being made available immediately to assist with food and assistance. 

 At this stage there is limited information available from official sources. The extent of outside assistance required, and how this can best be directed, will start to become clearer over the coming days. AS expressed by DG Alan Eyes of District 9920: All Rotarians wish Rotarians and families in Rotary in Fiji well. To those who are on the ground assisting those in need, and those supporting with food and clothing, thank you on behalf of Rotary. You do us proud. Stay safe in what you do.


Rotary New Zealand has once again been asked for support to assist the communities particularly on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu who are feeling the effects of the second major flood in eight weeks. Spokesperson Stuart Batty says "it appears this time the Fiji people were caught unaware of the torrential rain that is still falling. The devastation is far worse due to the fact that the water table remains high from the big flood in January and heavy rains since. Working through the Disaster Management Committee (the Fiji equivalent of Civil Defence) Rotary is on the ground delivering food and emergency response kits to rescue centres and communities where the level of flooding allows access. Funds to enable Rotary to deliver food parcels has been sent to Fiji."

Last year after consultation with and financial support from the New Zealand Government, Rotary New Zealand prepositioned Emergency Response Kits in Suva and Lautoka. As with the January flood, this initiative allows Rotary to be a  first agency on the ground to deliver immediate help. Rotary is receiving support from Budget Rentals who are providing 4 wheel drive vehicles to access the flooded roads. The Vodafone Foundation is also assisting with food parcels. The first delivery of 250 food parcels and emergency response kits were being delivered as soon as access roads opened. Rotary New Zealand has reopened their public appeal for funds to respond to this disaster.

Donations would be appreciated to the Rotary New Zealand 2012 Fiji Flood Appeal via:
  • Rotary New Zealand World Community Service where there is a PayPal credit card facility, or
  •  Internet banking telegraphic transfer to Westpac Banking Corporation, Wellington, NZ account number 03 1702 0192208 02 (international donors will also require Swift Code WPACNZ2W, IBAN Code 031702) for account name RNZWCS Limited (Rotary New Zealand), and include reference Fiji Flood , and/or donor name and club
  • Cheque made payable to RNZWCS Limited posted to PO Box 20309, Christchurch 8543, New Zealand
Donations are tax deductible within NZ.  

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
skype:  superbatts
Member  :  Council for International Development
Charities Commission Reg. No. CC26860         

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

An evening showing friendship of others in Bora Bora

In 2010, Timona, a college student was supported by the Rotary Club of Bora Bora, French Polynesia, in studying linguistics in Wellington, New Zealand.  So in 2012 this grateful student organised with the help of the club an evening of fun, theatre and drama to raise funds for the club's general projects while involving the whole community.  The theme was one of love and friendship of others. This was an outstanding success with a majority of the community's youth taking part in the evening which proved that young people can be involved, want to be involved and that you do not necessarily need to be a Rotarian to support Rotary's projects.  The event greatly changed the community's perspective of Rotary and it hoped this will be the catalyst for more events of this type in the future.


Community Carnival draws the crowds

Over 1000 people attended the (free entry) Carnival held at the end of February at Farm Cove in Pakuranga.  There was something for everyone with children enjoying the farm animals, pony rides, bouncy castles, an amazing clown, face painting, candy floss golf and more.  One of the most popular events was the dog parade for the family pet.  For the mothers and fathers there were classic cars, a boat show and closest-to-the-pin golf.

This event was a project of the Rotary Club of Pakuranga and did much to raise the profile of Rotary and the club thanks to a Rotary information tent.  Impressed by the success of the day and the long standing involvement in the community by the club, several people took the time to specifically talk with club members about the possibility of membership. The club was supported by Interact and Rotaract clubs and they very competently took over the icecream and drinks stations.  Mr Wayne Huang of the local Council Community Board added his praise of the day to the obvious approval received from the public and offered future support.

The club can be contacted via


Publicity for Rotary is also an important aspect of all community activities so just what occurred on this occasion? 

RC Pakuranga was the winner of the February 2012 District 9920 Public Relations Award.

Pre event:
·         Article coverage in the community newspaper and paid advertisement.
·         Radio spots were also aired.
·         Households in the area received a letter box flyer
·         All Primary Schools in the area were contacted and provided with posters advertising the event.
At the event:
·         The Day was opened by the Board officer of the local Council Community Board, Mr Wayne Huang, who was praising of the Community involvement of the day and offered future support.
·         Several Commercial providers of Cars, Disability vehicles and boats were invited at no cost. They added to the day and awareness.
·         A Rotary information tent was the centre of the activities and the Rotary image was to the fore in all activities.
·         All members wore a club polo short and cap.
·         The membership committee approached attendees directly to discuss Rotary and hand out brochures.
Post event:
·         Articles and photos to the community newspapers and Rotary publications.
·         Letters of thanks to sponsors etc.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Rotary International Youth Exchange Students take to the trees in the Adrenalin Forest

The Adrenalin Forest in Porirua, NZ multi-level aerial obstacle course is a great confidence builder and a wicked adrenalin rush, because it’s awesome fun, ultra safe and super challenging!
9940 RIYE students in the Adrenalin Forest with their national flags before taking on the challenge of the Adrenalin Forest

Nine RIYE students from  District 9940 (representing Argentina, Austria, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, USA, and New Zealand) were hosted by the Managing Director of the Adrenalin Forest Jean Caillabet last October to test their skills, balance, and determination, by daring themselves to be courageous enough to navigate confidence challenges on seven different pathways of progressive difficulty over 2.5 kilometres in length and up to 31 metres high.

The afternoon was organised by the Rotary Club of Porirua  Sundown, and afterwards the students joined the club for their dinner meeting. The Adrenalin Forest is aptly named as the students were certainly in a state of euphoria, with adrenalin surging, on having completed the challenge.  They formed an amazing bond with one another, and they will still be talking about it for a long time to come.The Porirua Sundown club are hosting a young student from Argentina, for twelve months, who is attending Bishop Viard College.

Together with the other students being hosted in District 9940, this afternoon demonstrated how RIYE enables young men and women to realize their potential and starts them on a journey towards future roles as Rotarians and community leaders.

Submitted by: Don Casagranda, District 9940

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Where arts meets  Rotary Humanity in Action in Papeete

Club members
The Rotary Club of Papeete-Tahiti celebrated its 53rd anniversary on February 18th, by organizing a  very classy charity gala party at the Intercontinental Hotel in Tahiti attended by 120 guests. The goals included the promotion of  the actions of  the Rotary Club of Papeete-Tahiti  and the enhance of the image of Rotary … goals well achieved.

The highlights of this stunning evening included an art exhibition where artists showed off their talents and skills while presenting their masterpieces plus a Polynesian jewelry fashion parade.  This was followed by a Hawaiian dance show and a great singer who kept the dance floor was very busy all night. The generosity of the guests enabled the Rotary Club of Papeete-Tahiti to fundraise more than   NZ$30,000. 

The induction  of a new  young Rotarian showed the club is getting younger and younger and more dynamic than ever under the presidency of Max Remblin.  The media covered this event resulting in a impressive full page feature in the two local newpapers. This PR  was a great way of  showing the projects run by the club, reinforcing the social network of solidarity and generosity, and encouraging people to join the Rotary family.   Hopefully some guests should join the club in the near future.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

But death cannot kill their names

“For justice and law good men must die but death cannot kill their names”

-          By Gordon Beattie, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Porirua Sundown, NZ
who was a Police Officer in Blackpool, UK for 30 years

District 9940 Rotary Club of Porirua Sundown President Elect Gordon Beattie presents his club banner to District 1190 Rotary Club of Blackpool South, UK President Jaqui Longden.
Gordon Beattie and his wife Kathryn, returned last August to their previous home in the UK, not only to see friends and family, but to share in the 40th anniversary of the murder of Superintendent Gerald Richardson, the highest-ranking police officer to be murdered in the line of duty on the streets of Great Britain. Not only was Gerry well liked - a copper’s copper- but he was also an active Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Blackpool North, alas no longer in existence. However, as you will see, his work with Rotary is not forgotten, and his legacy lives on …

On 23 August 1971, during the busy summer holiday period in the top Lancashire seaside resort of Blackpool, a South London car dealer, “Fat” Freddie Sewell and four gang members raided a jewellers in The Strand, near to the North Pier. During this supposedly “simple job,” whilst the gang scooped up trays of jewellery, the shop manager was able to get to the rear of the shop and press the panic alarm. The gang panicked and fled to a waiting getaway car leaving a trail of rings and bracelets. As they fled, PC Carl Walker driving a patrol car to the alarm, saw them get into the car and chased them for almost a mile into a residential area where he trapped them in a cul-de-sac. Sewell was driving the getaway car and rammed the police car before driving away again and then abandoning the car. PC Walker still followed and chased them on foot before Sewell turned a gun on PC Walker and fired two shots. They both missed and PC Walker continued to chase him until a further shot hit him in the leg and he fell to the ground.

PC Ian Hampson then took up the chase and he was shot at close range in the chest by gang member, John Spry, the bullet narrowly missing his heart.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

RDU, You and the Butterfly!

From the excellent District 9940 Newsletter comes this positive feedback about Rotary Down Under:
The circle of life
"Rotary Down Under has undergone something of a metamorphosis in recent

For someone like me who regards any sort of magazine as a surface on which to place my coffee cup while surfing the Internet, the change is both revolution and revelation.

For me, the on-line version of RDU magazine transformed this publication from a caterpillar into a glorious butterfly. The layout is clear, navigation around the magazine is easy, the index lets me view all pages and choose what I want to read with a single click. I can even download video clips.

The content is relevant, well balanced, concise and even interactive. I like it. I think you will too. Try it here

[RDU is also streaming onto smartphones and tablets

This is a smart job. Good thinking. Great delivery. Well done RDU!"

- by Terry Dowdeswell, District 9940 Newsletter Editor

Give until it hurts - what a composting toilet and raising funds had in common

...well, since you asked - strenuous effort and fun!

Rotarians line up for the compost toilet. PDG Warwick (far right) said "I am unable to disclose the name of the inconsiderate Rotarian inside taking so long, but I can say that the magazine she was reading was Rotary Down Under! Clearly a great read. The Rotarians gave money to The Foundation but additionally their generous contributions in this 'facility' were put to great use on the nearby organic farm."

On January 15 this year, two Rotary Clubs battled it out at Fiji's challenge course. The event was organised by PDG Warwick Pleass to raise funds for The Rotary Foundation. Warwick said: "Typically islands clubs are net recipients of Foundation programs, but increasingly islands clubs are donating more each year to our Foundation. My own club frequently rates in the top giving clubs per capita in our District."

The two clubs that battled it out were Suva East and Suva Peninsula Sunset, not just to raise funds, but to build the already strong relationship between these clubs.  It is intended that this will become an annual event involving all four Suva clubs, so hopefully Suva and Suva North will also compete next year. 

March RDU Magazine now available

Read full magazine on-line at
or stream to your smartphone and / or iPad via

Articles and photos in RDU March 2012 featuring New Zealand and the SW Pacific include:

(RDU page 5)  A simpler, more powerful Foundation with Future Vision
(7) Zoning out!
(8) Cash is king with spuds from the plains
(8) Making hay
(9) Brisbane Institute magic
(11) With thanks from Christchurch
(19) Rough ride raises funds for research
(20) Your magazine, your resource
(21) Spread the word
(21) Getting published
(22) Some [PR] tips
(23) NZ RDU Promotions Committee
(23) RDU [Board of Directors] Group Representatives
(25) The honour roll plus Honourable mentions
(36) Now easy on the mobile
(37) Convention breakfast
(39) New Year Honours
(39) Order of St John Honours
(40) Called to Higher Service
(41) Paul Harris recognition

More articles and photos with captions are wanted for Rotary Down Under and Rotarian Life & Leisure magazines (that are also published on-line at , plus this Rotary success stories blog - please email them to

Hard copy magazine or on-line (what about both?)

Promoting our core values is the essence of effective public image that every club agrees is important for the health of their club and therefore Rotary in general.   Our projects reflect this and telling our stories of Rotary in action is the only way we are going to interest people to join us whether this is as members of our club or as partners in our projects.

This includes our club members knowing about Rotary both how it works, what has been achieved and what is possible. If our members are not familiar with Rotary they are often Rotarians in Name Only – disengaged and non-contributing.  There are many sources of general Rotary information but few that tell the stories that are relevant to our members and the community we seek to engage with.  One of the most effective sources is the Rotary Down Under magazine.  

How do I know that?  One source is direct feedback from Rotarians across our Zone on the positive contribution of the magazine to their own enthusiasm for Rotary and its use as part of an effective public image strategy for their club.  A more precise example is my own experience where the magazine is used in the process of interesting people in joining my club and has been pivotal in showing people that Rotary is a credible, active organisation achieving the sort of things that are of interest to them – the result for the Rotary Club of St Johns is not theory but 11 new members and 3 just approved applications in 7 months as at today (plus the other 7 ‘hot prospects’).  It is also the organisations who support our projects because they know more about Rotary than just what we have told them about our club.

Some Rotarians mention that the hard copy magazine is harmful to the environment and their preference would be to read it on-line.  The number of people who would actually read the magazine on-line is very debatable.  Certainly the younger generation are more likely to but few others – although I read a lot on-line, nothing is as practical and easily portable as a magazine you can handle, flick pages at leisure and put down and pick up as is convenient and then pass on to the club for use as a PR tool.  For me reading the hard copy actually takes less time than trying to read on-line yet I get much more benefit as I can much more easily identify and scan articles of interest.

In summary – digital technology is the way of the future but please consider the following effective and very practical points for the use of unwanted (pre-loved?) Rotary Down Under magazines from members before you stop receiving your hard copy magazine:

·         Every speaker receives a  magazine in addition to the speaker gift – it is common for speakers to know very little about Rotary yet they are often people of influence in the local and business community so the magazine goes some way to potentially helping them to support Rotary, maybe even your club, by being informed.
·         Every potential member visiting the club should receive a Rotary Down Under magazine (along with club information and Rotary Basics) – people interested in your club need to receive something that informs them about Rotary – telling them is just not enough – they need to SEE what we do as part of their decision making process as to whether or not they want to join your club and this is an easy way to achieve that.
·         There are many public image activities where the Rotary Down Under magazine can add value – whether a specific PR event, a project or distributing copies with your club contact details on to libraries, cafes etc – for those who haven’t tried this it is an effective activity over the longer-term

Finally you can have the best of both worlds:

·         Continue to receive your hard copy knowing you can also read on-line via or streamed via
·         get your hard copy addressed to your club for club use (as described above)  and you read the magazine on-line

Submitted by AG Colin Robinson, Rotary Club of St Johns Inc (Membership & PR), District 9920 PR & Membership Committee

NOTE: An information sheet explaining the requirements for subscribing to the on-line Rotary Down Under magazine only is at then under PR Downloads

Sunday, 4 March 2012


The second South Pacific Presidents Elect Training Seminar at Waipuna Conference Centre in Auckland was the scene on Saturday evening of a momentous piece of New Zealand Rotary history.

Senior Rotarians present were the Chair of the Rotary Foundation, Past RI President Bill Boyd, Past RI Vice President Tom Thorfinnson, and RI Director Stuart Heal.
The surprise event of the evening was the presentation by Bill Boyd, on behalf of RI President Kaylan Banerjee, of the most significant award made by Rotary International,

to the Rt. Hon. Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM, QSO, KStJ

immediate past Governor General of New Zealand, and member of the Rotary Club of Wellington, who was scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the conference dinner.

The Rotary Award of Honor was established in 1996 as a way to recognize world leaders for their accomplishments in areas that are consistent with Rotary’s areas of service in the world. Up to five awards can be made annually by the RI President of this award which was introduced 25 years ago, with Sir Anand becoming the 61st recipient, and the first from New Zealand. The award consists of a citation, spectacular medallion and distinctive lapel pin. (See attached pix). Sir Anand was the only recipient in 2011.

Previous international recipients of this award demonstrate the importance of this honour conferred on Sir Anand, and by association Rotary in New Zealand and the Pacific.