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.