Monday, 26 May 2014

Introducing our new members to the seemingly crazy nature of the club slowly

On the St Johns Rotary Facebook page ( )  President Mary Ann said “We like to introduce our new members to the seemingly crazy nature of the club slowly so as to not scare them off. One way we do this is to invite them all to a New Members Night.”


These are always incredibly relaxing and pleasant evenings and being a pot luck dinner some unexpected cooking skills from the male members came to light.  What is significant is the club is innovative in finding better ways of achieving results and this is one example. 

The whole purpose of the evening is for new members to get to know each other better and they all have the fact they are fairly new to the club in common.  Unlike how such evenings are handled in many other clubs where such evenings often have a formal Rotary information presentation, this evening has none.  This is because new members get excellent information in a highly structure (but seemingly informal) way as they join, and the friendly nature of the club and the quality of the meetings means new members learn a lot about Rotary as they take part in these and in the frequent and varied projects.

Of course, it is inevitable that some conversation around Rotary opportunities arises with the new members becoming much more comfortable that they can just get involved within or outside the club as they choose, and some quite surprised at the extent of what they can just go and become involved in within Rotary and depart the evening intending to find out more through the website about a particular aspect of Rotary that interests them.  The club has long promoted Rotary as offering members the limitless ability to contribute to the community in a way that suits their preferences and interests while respecting your lifestyle and commitments.  Understanding this is extremely attractive to prospective members and the club backs this by sending new members to Rotary Leadership Institute as soon as they are able.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Environmental project attracts world leader's attention

District 9920 and 9910 hosted Rotary International President Elect Gary Huang and Korinna out onto the Waitemata aboard the Pacific Mermaid on Wednesday 12 May to have a look at the Motutapu Pathway project.
Senior leadership from both districts were present along with leaders from the clubs very involved with this - the picture below shows Gary with St Johns Rotary President Mary Ann and President Elect Anil. 
Gary and Corinna were so impressed with this significant and long-term environmental project they made a $1000 donation that was then matched by four other clubs from both districts towards the $10,000 needed for the next main development being a footbridge across a stream at Home Bay. More pictures from this expedition are at

RIPE Gary then attended the charter of the new Auckland South Rotary which is a multi-lingual club (English and Mandarin).

Goldfields Dictionaries

It’s a much anticipated annual event for Cromwell year 4 pupils.  Once again, all year 4 pupils will be  presented with Illustrated Dictionaries, by the Rotary Club of Cromwell. Each dictionary is personalised with the pupils name. In this age of instant google-fed information, It was a pleasure to see how eager the pupils were to open and start investigating their books.

The event was organised by Nick Wood, Youth and New Generations Director of Cromwell Rotary.


Year 4 pupils of Goldfields Primary School, with Murray Kennedy, president of  Cromwell Rotary.
For more information:

On line meetings and training to become more common?

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in connecting Rotarians.  International Rotary Leadership Institute is looking at distance learning and while no timeline is yet available for the RLI course to be delivered on-line progress is being made; the NZ Pacific representative is Beryl Robinson plus District 9920 is also looking at its own distance learning options, particularly to the Pacific.

A recent example was the Rotary Club of 9920 Francophone who held a meeting that featured RI President Ron Burton as guest speaker and attracted visitors from around the world - 5pm Paris-time and 2am NZ-time (attended by Beryl Robinson and Dyann Calverley).

Here is a further example:
The Rotary E-Club 9920 Francophone is going to become Twin Club again for the 7th and 8th time this Rotary year with 2 other Rotary Clubs :
-          On Thursday , May 15th at 1.00pm , France time , with the Rotary E-Club Premier de Montréal, D.7040 , Québec- Canada , on their GOTOMEETING :
-          On Tuesday , May 20th at 8pm , France time , with the SIRC (Stockholm International Rotary Club) , D.2350 , Sweden , on our GOTOMEETING:
And there will be more coming , maybe even before the end of the Rotary year , and certainly next year !
If you would like to join this GoToMeeting please email the President of Rotary E-Club 9920 Francophone for meeting access details.

Rotary International President Elect Gary Huang honours promise to charter new Taiwanese Club in Auckland

It was indeed a great honour that Rotary International President Elect – Gary Huang and his wife Corinna made the long trip from Taipei to Auckland to keep to his promise of chartering the new multilingual club of Auckland South on 21 May 2014. From stepping off the plane he was warmly hosted by D9910 and D9920 and spent a day visiting the important environmental friendly project being the Motutapu Island pathway. Cruising over from Auckland to Motutapu Island aboard the Pacific Mermaid was an experience that Gary will appreciate and knowing that Rotarians care for every inch of protected island and surrounding native fauna. On the Tuesday, Gary and Corinna also enjoyed the tradition of planting a native tree at Rotary Grove, Auckland Domain with Mayor Len Brown.

The Rotary Club of Auckland South (54th in the District covering Auckland and the Pacific Islands) is multilingual predominantly Mandarin speaking with a good cluster from the local Taiwanese community. The inauguration evening was enjoyed by over 110 Rotarians and friends at the Commerce Club on Wednesday 21 May. With so many dignitaries and with the past RI President Bill Boyd – the essence of the evening was of celebrating diversity and maturity that Rotary and New Zealand was embracing every culture and ethnicity. Gary in a very Taiwanese yet Kiwi way showed his love of singing and taught the audience of being happy with a clapping chant. Gary will lead the Rotary global movement in 2014/15 with his theme – “Light Up Rotary”…..indeed we all will – and thank you for coming so far given your busy schedule.
- from David Wong


Rotary Harbourside visits Taiwan – what better way to enjoy the Easter break

With over 25 District 9920 Rotarians and friends from the Rotary Clubs of Auckland Harbourside, Ellerslie Sunrise, Auckland and Botany East Tamaki, we were assured of an Asian cultural and culinary experience not to be forgotten. With then Governor Willard Martin and Gabrielle accompanying us, we made the connecting flight from Sydney to Taipei. Collecting our bags we literally jumped onto the ultra-fast bullet train down to Kaohsiung, a city of 1.5 million people and 1 million scooters. The culinary delights were first class with pig’s trotters, fish and duck soups and exquisite noodles on the menu. The view from our 85 Sky Tower Hotel overlooked the picturesque Cheng Ching Lake.

Walking the night markets following a harbour cruise, we all soon appreciated the natural beauty of Kaohsiung. The following morning we prepared for the Rotary Club of Kaohsiung hosting us over a generous lunch. President Minna, who was a former Group Study Exchange team member (sponsored by Taipei club), gave us all a warm welcome, along with the German GSE team leader Petra Niemann Hessler sharing her current experiences in Taiwan. We all found the local Taiwan clubs had a quirk of allocating nick names to their members.  The sergeant of Kaohsiung club had a background in sea navigation, hence the name “Pilot”.

We visited the Paper Dome in Nantou designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (who is famous for his design of the Christchurch cardboard cathedral). It is an interesting structure which got us all thinking about sustainability and the ability to adapt to nature (with the risk of earthquakes).

The bus ride to Sun Moon Lake took us through many long dark tunnels cut through a mountain range. Sun Moon Lake was the equivalent of Queenstown, but with aura and mystery of low fog creeping across the waters.

Our final destination was Taipei (population 2.6million) – a thriving hub of history and culture. The National Palace Museum, Freedom Square and the Sun Yat-Sen memorial were crowded with local and mainland Chinese tourists. Our visit to Rotary Taipei – the home club of Rotary International President Gary Huang was an experience to cherish. Taipei club member Bruce Yang thought he knew the Maori haka - he didn’t - so Auckland Harbourside Rotarian David Wong supported him from the kamate kamate first lines to the final celebratory jump!

We thank Auckland Harbourside President Ronald Chen for coordinating this visit back to his homeland and appreciate all the hospitality of the Taiwan clubs ….I can still taste the soft skin of the pigs trotters!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Explaining the Rotary - CDC partnership for Polio Eradication: Compelling viewing

Eradicating Polio is a partnership between Rotary and others . This video explains the relationship between Rotary and the Centre for Disease Control. Compelling viewing. Note you can expand to full screen for easy viewing.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Masterton Rotary Breakfast Supports Pink Ribbon on 29 May - join in

A leading community presence in Masterton is holding a special breakfast in support of Pink Ribbon Day for breast cancer.  Full details are at:

Please come join us at our


fund- and awareness-raising



Thursday 29 May 2014

from 7:15 for 7:30 start

Bring along a friend

Or if you can’t make it,

send a work colleague/staff in your place

Sunday, 11 May 2014

High Visibility Means Safer Students

As part of the continuing commitment of Cromwell Rotary to road safety, all primary age pupils in Cromwell will be given high visibility vests


At Cromwell Primary School’s assembly on 9 May, Rotarian Craig Lunn explained to pupils the reason behind wearing the vests, and the pupils thanked those involved for their generosity.

The funding for the vests was supported by Contact Energy, the Otago Motor Club Trust and the Rotary Club of Cromwell.

For more information:

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Honouring PDG Ross Craig

PDG Ross passed away peacefully at home on Monday 5 May, aged 82. Ross made a huge contribution to Rotary in Auckland over his 48 years of service. He chaired three Trusts with many Rotary clubs and organisations across New Zealand benefiting from their funds.

As the Rotary District Foundation Chairman for Polio, Ross was known as Mr Polio. A Testimonial Dinner held for Ross in 2010 raised over $30,000 for Polio. This year, he supported the Polio Plus Challenge for an Auckland Rotary Clubs’ competition. Ross and the Trustees of the Chenery and June Gray Memorial Trusts offered $15,000 as incentive for clubs to raise funds for Polio.

Polio eradication was Ross’ top priority and is a task that certainly needs completing. We know Ross would loved to have been around for the day when it is finally purged from the world. Everyone’s donations however big or small are important and will, in the end, make the difference.

We invite all Rotarians to recognise the efforts of Ross over the years, and to make a meaningful donation to their District Polio Fund in his honour.

Rotary Foundation Committee 9920 c/o Peter Wilcock 44 Atrana Drive, RD2, Drury, Auckland 2578 (please ask if you would like a tax receipt)

11:00am Monday 12 May Iona Presbytarian Church 38 Donovan Street Blockhouse Bay Auckland

Monday, 5 May 2014

May magazine delights

Articles featuring New Zealand and the Pacific in the May issue of Rotary Down Under magazine include:

(RDU, p7) Otahuhu Health Expo draws a crowd
(7) Tahiti Fundraiser makes fashionable appearance
(8) Walking for Polio
(16) How much is a child’s life worth?
(35) Dawnbreakers team joins fight against cancer
(36) Vanuatu school project inspires big dreamers
(38) Practical help for Fiji
(49) Oral language program targets literacy
(50) Rotary projects make a difference in Vanuatu
(Life & Leisure, pp53-55) Kiwi trio hitting right notes
(58) Sol3 Mio

There is also a feature article about Sydney Convention 

Read the magazine on-line via and / or download the free App by going to the App store on your device and searching for "Rotary Down Under" - download and enjoy.

New Winton Rotary Trail enthusiastically supported

The Winton Rotary Trail is a fantastic community asset for current and future generations to enjoy using. It was officially opened jointly by Minister of Parliament Bill English and landowner Joan Hodges on April 12. An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 300 joined in the celebrations at the culmination of three years and more than one thousand man hours of work by Rotary Club of Winton members.

The nine kilometre trail encircles the whole Winton township and includes native bush, the Winton Stream to meander by, rural farm land, built up housing areas, and grounds beside Central Southland College.

The different seasons of the year provide extra aspects of nature for people to admire, ranging from daffodils flowering in a woodland bush setting, to coloured autumn leaves, plus bird life in the native bush and animals grazing peacefully on the nearby farmland.

It all started with the simple idea that Winton’s population would benefit from a walking and cycling trail that was safe for everybody to utilize. It was immediately welcomed by Rotarians and supporters.

The appropriate consents were granted and work started with great enthusiasm from local businesses and government-based organisations. The physical work was in the hands of Winton Rotarians, all of whom were eager to help. Winton Rotarian Lachlan McGregor was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in December 2013 for his outstanding contribution of instigating this community walkway and his motivational work.

The extra assets on the trail include four car parks, two shelter sheds, and six seats for rest areas. There are many access points to conveniently hop on/ hop off certain parts of the trail. The most satisfying aspect is now watching young and old using this great community facility while walking, cycling or walking the dog.

The Winton Rotary Trail has come from the community for the community and it is owned by the community. Prior to the official opening, Winton Rotary Club hosted a thank you lunch for the landowners who had donated their land and for the business community who also donated time and materials.
-By Rotary Club of Winton President Winston Gill

For more about this club: