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 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/exh8gqwfo48drh3/KnFRrinZ4i


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 www.christchurchcitylibraries.com/Mobiles

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

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Rotary on the Radio in November

A national radio campaign starts again for the weeks commencing  12, 19 and 26  November 2012 and uses same commercial read by a female voice (MM -3) and a male voice (MM – 4).

Two gender voices were recorded to appeal to different targets. The different gender intonations will create interest and add some intrigue…a tactic not many use.

The communications all air during Larry Williams Drive 16:00 – 19:00 on Newstalk ZB (internet:
http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/shows/drive/ ).  ZB is rated number one against all national radio stations with a weekly audience of 146,200 listeners aged 20 years plus.  In addition, there is likely to be an on-air interview with Larry Williams focussing on 'Rotary in your community' with a Rotarian, one who is savvy and has good skills.  These spots will be broadcast across Wellington, Christchurch, Waikato, Dunedin, BOP, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Southland, Northland, Manawatu, Nelson, Rotorua and Auckland.

Clip 1 Voice A  Clip: "Do you want to make your community a better place to live in ..."
Clip 1 Voice B

Clip 2 Voice A  Clip:  "Did you know that Rotary played a leading role in setting up ..."
Clip 2 Voice B

These are also on the PR CDs currently being distributed to clubs and there are some tips for clubs at www.radio2012.rotarysouthpacific.org
Listeners wanting more information about Rotary and / or wanting to contact a club local to them are encouraged to call 0800 4 ROTARY or go to www.rotarysouthpacific.org (the Rotary New Zealand and Pacific Islands website)


Rotary New Zealand is the founding partner of Cure Kids.  This special partnership has made a significant difference to so many lives by turning research into hope.  Cure Kids thank Rotary for their commitment to assisting Cure Kids by funding vital medical research into life-threatening childhood illnesses.


The Child Health Research Foundation was established by Rotary to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Rotary in New Zealand.  The late Dr. Ronald Caughey, who was a leading Paediatrician and a member of the Rotary Club of Auckland, had concerns about New Zealand’s worsening infant mortality rate.  New Zealand previously led the world with the lowest rate, however by 1970 had slipped into sixth place.  He sought the support of Rotary to help reverse this trend. Under the leadership of District 292* Governor, the late Bob Yarnton, Rotarians took on the challenge to establish the Foundation as their Golden Jubilee project to encourage funding for research into child health.  Less than six months later, the Child Health Research Foundation was formed with $250,000 raised and presented to Foundation Chairman, Sir James Doig.  The first Child Health Capital Fund Chair at the University of Auckland was also set up in perpetuity, with Professor David Lines.

The Foundation’s support base was extended to Rotary throughout New Zealand. 

Over $1million was raised in the Great Investment Race.  Five investment companies were each loaned $200,000 for six months to invest in the share-market and raise as much money as they could for Cure Kids.  These companies paid back their $200,000 each, and the total profit was $1.2million for Cure Kids. 

Rotarians again showed their support with another determined fundraising effort which raised a further $870,000 for the Foundation.

The Child Health Research Foundation was renamed Cure Kids.  Some world first breakthroughs have been achieved, and over $29million has been directed into research in the past 40 years, including $3.2million contributed from Rotary in New Zealand to date. 

In recognition of the connection with and the support by Rotary over the years, Cure Kids partnered with Rotary in New Zealand in support of Rotary's fundraising towards Rotary International's PolioPlus campaign with a contribution of $200,000 to help Rotary achieve a Polio-free world.  After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease.  As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, children everywhere remain at risk.

Cure Kids staff were invited to promote Cure Kids at the Rotary Zones Institute showcase in Brisbane, Australia. 


 ‘Rotary Woolly Wonderers’ Graham Peters and Andy McCarrison hitch-hiking on the 2011 Accor Hotels $10 Queenstown Challenge.

• Since 2006, there have been Rotary teams in every $10 Queenstown Challenge.  The champion fundraising team in 2006 was Rotary-Rotaract Beryl Robinson and Sam Gordon who raised $32,495.  Three years later, Rotarians Beryl and Colin Robinson raised another $20,217 for Cure Kids. 

• Since 2010, Rotary in New Zealand has been the community partner for Red Nose Day, with clubs and Rotarians up and down the country working closely with Cure Kids and other Red Nose Day partners to support community fundraising while being silly for a serious cause. 

• Rotarians assisted with 2010 and 2011 Walk on the Wild Side by helping on the day, and Rotarian families enjoyed these Walk on the Wild Side events. 

St Johns Rotarians Kevin Kevany, Isabella Tedcastle and Beryl Robinson assisting with Red Nose Day in Auckland.


• Past District Governors Beryl Robinson, Tony Fortune and Charles Wilson are Cure Kids Members representing Rotary in New Zealand (since 2006)
• Roy Austin, Cure Kids Board Chair (since 1998)
• Professor Bob Elliott and Don Jaine, Cure Kids Board Members
• Professor Ed Mitchell, Cure Kids Board Advisor

Quote – “Cure Kids is an amazing organisation with an innovative approach to fundraising and supporting the research it funds.   Rotary in New Zealand is the Founding Partner of Cure Kids and values its special relationship in a partnership that makes a significant difference to so many lives.   I have personally been involved in three Cure Kids fundraising events, and have never before had so much fun raising money for such a worthwhile cause!”   
- PDG Beryl Robinson, Cure Kids Member Representing Rotary in New Zealand

PDG Beryl Robinson ready to bungy jump on the 2006 $10 Queenstown Challenge.

* Footnote: Rotary District 292 was subsequently split into Rotary Districts 9910 and 9920.

A First for 9920 District Vocational Visit to the University of Auckland’s New Medical School

To mark October as Vocational Month, a visit was organised to the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences new facility. The visit was well supported with 60 Rotarians representing 12 Auckland-based clubs attending.

The Faculty provided refreshments on arrival. Rotarians were welcomed by the Dean Professor John Fraser and External Relations Manager Tim Greene. Professor of Oncology Michael Finlay and Professor of Optometry and Vision Science Paul Donaldson from the Faculty were the tour guides.
Professor Finlay, Director of Cancer Trials NZ, has worked closely with the Newmarket Rotary Charitable Foundation to establish an Oncology award which allows a clinician to spend time in the cancer research laboratory.

Highlight of the visit was the tour of the Medical Sciences Learning Centre. This Learning Centre is a purpose built and architecturally designed facility for undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education in anatomy, radiology and pathology.

The Learning Centre combines the Medical School’s anatomy and pathology museums.  It contains a wide range of anatomical models and specimens covering all body systems, over 1100 pathology specimens, and an extensive on-line radiology and pathology image database. The forensic collection was fascinating but macabre!

Following the tour, a question and answer session was held in one of the new lecture theatres. Judging by the number of questions answered by Professors Fraser, Finlay and Donaldson; Rotarians found the visit both interesting and educational, as well as a great opportunity to network and share ideas.

- From Brian McMath, District 9920 Vocational Committee Chair

Rotary Group Study Exchange helps keep Alaskan Eskimo babies warm

Following the successful visit of the District 5010 Group Study Exchange Maternal and Child Health focused team from Alaska and the Yukon, USA earlier this year, the Rotary Club of Otahuhu in Auckland, NZ liaised with Inbound Team Member Brenda Lamont, a Case Manager at the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital, to see what District 9920 could do to help. Her suggestion was baby beanies as a start!

Brenda is married to Russell, who is a Yupik Eskimo, and she is very committed to the families of the region. Almost 90% of the Yupik Eskimo women are on public assistance of some sort, and live a subsistence lifestyle of living off the land. Their life is hard in this remote and isolated area where the winter temperatures fall to 40 degrees below Fahrenheit. Often the mothers are forced to leave their families for a  month prior to giving birth, to ensure that they are able to deliver their babies more safely.

The call went out, and in no time at all, knitters were mobilised.  Members, partners and friends of Otahuhu Rotary have knitted more than 100 spectacular woollen hats in a rainbow of colours and a wide range of styles.  Special mention is made of Past President Jeanette Drysdale who has already knitted 80 beanies. 

They are on their way to Brenda in Bethel, Alaska, with some also going to the Rotarian Team Leader Vivian Finlay to distribute to other communities in outlying areas to help in the northern winter. But we won’t be stopping there because there is also a great need for woollen baby blankets and clothes (3-6 months preferred), nursing nightgowns, and sewers who can make nursing covers for breastfeeding mums.

This is a great example of the practical benefits arising from a vocationally-oriented GSE Team.  Four other clubs are keen to join the action.  If you can also help, please contact Past Assistant Governor Penny Leyland via email penny.leyland@gmail.com.

Sign writing is a great way to publicise Rotary

Electrical contractor and Past President of Otaki Rotary Chris Dungan recently took delivery of a new work vehicle.

Chris said “I’m now on the club’s PR committee, and as I’m always banging on about getting members to wear Rotary branded gear when we’re out and about, I felt it was time to put words into actions. So when I was getting the sign writing done, I got Wayne Kaye from Kaye Sign Service in the nearby town of Levin to include Rotary on half of the rear of the van”.

Chris feels that more Rotarians should include Rotary signage on work vehicles. “When you think of the huge number of Rotarians who own or run businesses with vehicles, we should be encouraging them to include Rotary in with their company branding” emphasised Chris. “At times I feel I’m a member of some arcane secret society. We should be letting people out there know that Rotarians are everywhere.”

How will you get the Rotary message across? 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Rotary Bling

Being on the younger side of the Rotary spectrum, I certainly have different views on Rotary matters than the more elderly members, as we see the world quite differently. There is one area however that I am quite old fashioned about, and that is the wearing of our Rotary bling. I’m not talking about our everyday Rotary pins, as that is a different story, but of the President’s chain.

My husband Mike is the President of the Rotary Club of Botany East Tamaki this year, and I remember wishing him good luck for his first meeting and not to forget his Rotary bling. He laughed because it sounded so old fashioned, but for me is part of the job. I was amazed at how many clubs during my year as District Governor, made jokes of dusting off the chain when the DG was visiting, so they had to wear it. Unbelievable in my eyes!

Yes, I admit it doesn’t make you a better President by wearing it, but shouldn’t you feel proud to be President and wear it? Your club voted you into this position, so you should feel proud to represent it by wearing the chain of office. Members and non members will then know you are President and that you are “boss” for the year. You might not like this, but honestly, if things turn to custard as they inevitably do, you are in the hot seat as President whether you like it or not.

Be proud to be President for a year and be proud to wear the club’s chain, representing all those who have gone before you. It’s only a year (if you’re lucky) and won’t hurt. It’s time to be proud of our Rotary bling and not leave it in its box collecting dust.

- By PDG Leanne Jaggs, Rotary Down Under NZ Promotions Committee District 9920 Representative

[Blog editor's comment:  Re-examining and discussing how things are done in Rotary is good - it educates and helps ro either reaffirm the value of what we do against our goals and objectives or provides a catlyst for change.  The Editor of the Rotary Down Under magazine includes a similar monthly that is worth reading - www.rotarydowunder.org ]

Institute: not for the old and crusty

Gone are the days where Rotary Zone Institute was just for the Past District Governors of districts and their partners to get together, swap stories and listen to a few good speakers.

Times have certainly changed, as we now have experienced two years of Future Leaders’ Seminars in Australia and New Zealand which have opened the door and welcomed these up and coming leaders within our Rotary Districts to also attend Rotary Institute.

Then families like my own are also welcomed with open arms. It does mean a juggle, but it allows both myself and Mike to attend. Our young children, Brayden (4 ½) and Isabella (10 months), attended our recent outstanding Institute in Invercargill, and as seen in the photo, they got right behind the theme Create a Ripple … Cast the First Stone. Brayden loved throwing the stones and Izzy just watched and giggled.

It just goes to show that Rotary is moving in the right direction. Institute is now more than the old and crusty, as many call us, getting together. We start training them young, and you never know, they too could end on the Rotary world stage one day.

I would be missing out on so much Rotary if I didn’t have a club or District that was so supportive of young families. It is a juggle, but who’s life isn’t these days. No matter what age you are, there is always something you have to juggle to have Rotary as a part of it. I am just thankful for the major support we have from everyone, so I can do the jobs I love doing in Rotary.

- By PDG Leanne Jaggs, Rotary Down Under NZ Promotions Committee District 9920 Representative

Clevedon Guy Fawkes Fireworks & Bonfire.

From the Rotary Club of Alfriston:

It was in the early gloom of a Friday night that the members of the Rotary Club of Alfriston gathered on a dusty gravel lane, on a windy hillside in Clevedon. They donned high-visibility jackets and proceeded to set-up a roadblock for the purposes of demanding money.
Yes, it was the time for the annual Clevedon Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night. This is an event run by the Clevedon Residents’ Association.

Out of the watery sunset came the sound Rolls Royce Merlin engines and we were swooped-upon by an elegant Mosquito bomber. All the soundtracks of old WWII movies were recreated as the plane made a number of passes over the gathering crowd.

The traffic into the venue was steady, and efficiently dealt with by the Rotary team. As the light dimmed the huge bonfire was lit and formed a bright backdrop to the stream of cars. We packed-up shop a few minutes before the pyrotechnics started as the traffic jams after the event are legendary.

We find that this annual event only takes a few hours, and is just as much a fellowship occasion, as it is a fundraiser.  This year’s funds will be going towards our youth programmes. At the moment we are sponsoring students to the RANZSE programme, the National Science and Technology Forum, RYPEN. We hope to have a RYLA candidate, and will host a RIYE student, as well as the inbound GSE crew next year.

Slicker and digital too

Quote received today - Wed 8 November:

"The Rotary Down Under mag is getting slicker content and going digital too.  We constantly underestimate its value in the Rotary brand"

- Kevin Kevany, Rotary Club of St Johns Inc (a freelance writer and publisher)

WWII veteran and PDG returns to the campaign

Past District Governor Stewart Frame, of Wanganui in District 9940, at 96 years old is still full of vim. He had the good fortune recently to be selected in a party of twenty three New Zealand veterans of the North Africa Campaign to attend the commemorations in Egypt to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein, which was one the pivotal battles of WWII.  Stewart served in the campaign as a pilot with the Royal Air Force flying Mark 8 Wellington aircraft. 

Stewart says it was an experience he never expected to have.  It was the opportunity to join with other New Zealanders and Australians to go back for this remembrance anniversary to the battlefields and cemeteries where so many of their war time colleagues served and lost their lives and are buried in the New Zealand, Australian and Commonwealth cemeteries.  More than 1100 New Zealanders are buried in the El Alamein Commonwealth War Cemetery.  As the eldest in the group of New Zealanders returning for the anniversary, Stewart was asked to lay a wreath on behalf of his fellow travellers. 

After training with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, he was posted overseas and joined up with the RAF.  He served with distinction as a pilot and was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during operations in Malta. 

He has often told the story about having to ditch in the sea during the war as a result of engine failure.  Stewart and his squadron were trained for coastal command and search missions and to locate enemy shipping, including U boats.  With an engine failure an hour out from Sicily, the crew sent out a mayday call, and Stewart managed to put the Wellington down on a good sea.  The tail touched the water and then the aircraft nose-dived and all went quiet.  “I thought at first, this is heaven.  My co-pilot and I got up out of the aircraft and stepped onto a life raft without even getting wet”.  They were fortunately rescued by an allied ship and within a few days were back on active service. 

Stewart has been a wonderful mentor and friend in Rotary over many years, not only in his own club, the Rotary Club of Wanganui, but to all his close colleagues and past Governors in District 9940. 

He says his guide in life has always been a belief “in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isiah 30:15).  He has held to that belief throughout his extensive business career and in his years of community service. 

Stewart and his late wife Alison have been true friends in Rotary. 

From PDG David Watt, RDU Board Director