Monday, 23 March 2015

Age is no barrier - International Caravanning Fellowship of Rotarians (NZ)

ICFR (NZ) was formed in 1978 with the ideals of Rotary friendship through “a common interest in caravan touring and camping, to promote contacts with other Rotarians nationally and internationally and to promote the recreational enjoyment of the NZ environment.”

Membership is open to present or former members of a Rotary Club or any person who is, or was, the spouse or partner of a present or former Rotarian. Age is no barrier, as quite a number who are towing caravans or driving motorhomes are in their 80’s, and one member celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving and commented, "it keeps you young!”

Prospective members are encouraged to attend at least one rally prior to application for membership. If a prospective member has a contact who is already an ICFR member, attending a rally as their guest has its advantages. However, attending as a guest is not an essential requirement. The fellowship is a very social organisation and new members are quickly involved.

Presently the fellowship has around 150 members from Kerikeri in the north to Wellington in the south, including Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and the lower North Island. We do not yet have any members in the South Island. 

Weekend rallies are generally held from a Friday afternoon until the Sunday afternoon with many members choosing to arrive before or stay on after the rally. These rallies have traditionally been held in February, April, August and November. Over the past few years, prior to the February rally, a week-long Bush Rally has been arranged – these rallies are generally held at Department of Conservation or similar sites, off-power and with restricted facilities. They are great opportunities to really get to know fellow members.

Informal rallies, of two to three days are held in June and September. These events are held at hot pool areas Miranda and Omokoroa, and by holding them mid-week, they attract reduced camp site tariffs.

The general format of a weekend rally starts on Friday evening with a 5 pm get together with drinks and nibbles, then after the evening meal in your own motorhome or caravan, have supper with allocated members which is a chance to mix and get to know others at the rally.  Saturday is an outing – either a mystery bus tour or visit(s) to local attraction(s), and then dinner at a local hotel, club or similar. On the Sunday morning, we have a meeting of the fellowship at which we discuss any items of topical interest, decide on the venue for future meetings, have area reports on the health and wellbeing of absent members, have a sergeant’s session, wooden spoon etc. This is usually a pretty light hearted affair, so it is always well attended.  On Sunday afternoon, members are free to leave, although it has become somewhat of a tradition for rally organisers to arrange a delivery of fish and chips for another evening meal together.

There is no strict programme for a rally, so organisers are free to arrange the course of the weekend.  At most rallies attendance is around 35 to 50 vans (70 to 100 members).  A budget for each rally aims to break even.

The organisation does not aim to make a profit and the fellowship does not become involved in projects. Membership fees are currently $5 per couple or $3 for single members.

The website includes ICFR information and copies of recent newsletters.

For further information, contact ICFR (NZ) Secretary Stewart Wright via email / 027 244 7194. 

Included in May
Rotary Down Under

An update about Rotary New Zealand response to Cyclone Pam - Vanuatu. Your help is still needed.


We now have 1000 ERKs either in Vanuatu or en route.

600 left on HMNZS Canterbury last Sunday – two and half 20 foot container loads. Prime TV News covered Sunday night.

Huge thanks to MFAT, RNZDF (Navy), Jenners Worldwide Freight Ltd for making this possible.

The value of the consignments is approx $600k so we desperately need that equivalent to replace the stock.

The Public Response to our Appeal which has appeared on a number of websites has been well received and we are grateful for donations large and small.

We have received many calls and emails from people representing Ni Vanuatu people in New Zealand and New Zealand residents from other Pacific countries with requests to assist them to send containers of donations in kind and other goods. Each is being considered, but not encouraged.

The reasons are many, essentially to protect the Vanuatu economy and not impair the livelihood of the established business community. A lot of DIK sent by well wishers is often inappropriate.

A priority for funding is re-establishment of safer drinking water. 75 communities are being considered to provide potable water and reduce the sanitation and health consequences which arise from water sources damaged by the cyclone.  Following on from a successful project in Samoa as a result of the last Cyclone devastating that country, water harvesting roofs and tanks maybe installed in  schools in strategic locations which community members can access which will prevent the closure of schools due to sanitation and health concerns. 

Reestablishments of home vegetable gardens also an urgent need which is being considered a priority.

New Zealand Rotary Volunteer Peter Wilson has arrived in Vanuatu to undertake needs assessments having determined a number of islands as those we should support given that Rotary has provided infrastructure to their communities in the past and know the islands well. Rotarians in Vanuatu have suffered loss to homes and businesses and need support whilst they tend to their own personal issues. Trauma is an issue often forgotten at these times.

Vanuatu is made up of 83 islands over a vast area of ocean and limited access mostly by sea. From the most southern to the most northern the distance is approx 1000 kilometres in a straight line.

Given it is only 10 days since Cyclone Pam hit, we believe we are well on track to make a real difference over the coming days, weeks, months and possibly years.


 Four Donation options are:


At any Westpac Branch or by Internet Banking

Quoting   03 1702 0192208 01             Ref.  888 or for ERKs specifically 308


Paypal  at   –



Cheque to


RNZWCS Limited (Rotary New Zealand)

PO Box 20309

Christchurch 8543

New Zealand


Another sneaky Rotary Moment!

Roberta McIvor-Wright
It was February and the time was fast approaching for our Rotary South Pacific Presidents Elect Training Seminar at Waipuna Lodge in Auckland. Our incoming delegates from around the Pacific were bringing their new enthusiasm and fresh ideas to share with others; the whole 400 of them!

Naturally, we needed a traditional NZ welcome for the group. Sounds easy, after all, we Rotarians have great networks and well versed in putting on a good show right?   Not so easy. The date clashed with the Te Matatini competition in Christchurch and Polyfest rehearsals around the country. Not a group could be found. Then, through a Rotary colleague at a secondary college in a low socio economic area, bingo, a small group of more junior children agreed to perform for us.  In just two weeks they put together their show. (Their costumes were made by themselves, right from the cutting and dyeing of the flax.) Their teacher gathered them up early on Saturday morning 7 March as some families have no transport, gave them breakfast at the school and got them to the venue by 8 am. What a show it was with shining faces, strong but beautiful items, finishing with the powerful obligatory haka! The energy was palpable!

The conference was told about the fundraising the group were beginning, to travel to Waitangi, to study NZ history and the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. At recess, generous Rotarians willingly popped notes and coins into a Maori “kite” or flax basket, and on the Monday morning, myself, DGE Jennie Herring and Conference Chair Trish Boyle went to the school to present the money (koha) to the group.   

The rest, as they say, is history; read the thank you response from a fourteen year old below, addressed to all the Rotarians in the South Pacific. Rotary Moments, I am once again gently reminded, can sneak up and catch us by surprise.

 Sylvie Wilkinson

R/C Pakuranga



To The Rotarians of The South Pacific.

Kia Ora,.

My name is Roberta, I am a student at Otahuhu College, and I am also a member of the Kapa Haka group.

Last Saturday we had the privilege of performing for you at the Waipuna Lodge during your leadership conference.  We had a fantastic time and we enjoyed seeing your smiling faces looking up at us.

On Monday, the group and Whaea Darlene (teacher) and I were surprised when we were gifted a cheque for a thousand dollars from the conference people.   We were so emotional we all cried including Whaea. I am deeply grateful for your generosity. It means a lot, not only to me, but every member of our Kapa Haka group.

This year we are planning a trip to visit the Treaty of Waitangi and to experience the Far North.  This koha has made a significant start to our fundraising ventures and pushed us closer to our goal.  I was overwhelmed at the amount of kindness you showed us and the smile is still plastered upon my face. Performing for you has made me more confident about presenting in public.  You have definitely enhanced my life in a most positive way.

When I’m sitting on the bus to Waitangi, I will be thinking of all you Rotarians and your generosity, and how much you’ve contributed to our experience.

Kia Tamatane,

Roberta McIvor-Wright

Year 11 Student.
Otahuhu College, Auckland, NZ

My Rotary Moment: The Rotary family assists after a disastrous work fire

By DGE Karen Purdue, Rotary Club of Invercargill Sunrise, NZ
The worst moment of my business career happened on August 8, 2006.  In the space of 30 minutes, our Alsco NZ laundry factory was destroyed by fire.

At the time, we had 1500 customers, including the main hospital in our town.  We also employed 100 staff.

I didn’t get much sleep from that Wednesday night onwards for several weeks.

On the Friday morning, my Rotary Club of Invercargill Sunrise was meeting for our usual breakfast. Despite my tiredness, I decided to go as a bit of normality seemed to be a good idea. 

When I arrived, several Rotarians gave me a hug and spoke encouraging words.  I don’t think they know how much that meant to me.   

They didn’t know that less than an hour earlier, I had slid down the shower wall and bawled my eyes out as the reality of the disaster sunk in, and the enormity of the recovery was becoming obvious.

During the course of the Rotary meeting, many offers of help were made by fellow club members, who through their business or contacts helped our business to get new premises, office furniture and a photocopier. A Rotarian, who was a psychologist, worked with our management team to help us come to terms with what had happened.

Many of the Rotarians were customers and offered their assistance, like doing their own laundry until we got back on our feet.

The local insurance assessor was also a club member. We got to know each other very well over the next two years.

I received flowers, food and many offers to help care for my young family.

I experienced what it’s like to be part of the Rotary family.  As someone more used to caring and helping others, I will never forget the kindness, caring and practical assistance from the members of my Rotary club.

Included in May
Rotary Down Under


My best day in Rotary: Leading a Rotary Friendship Exchange to Alaska

By PDG Cathy Roth, Rotary Club of Geelong Central, Victoria, Australia

Welcome to Barrow, America’s northern-most city: Australian District 9780 Rotary Friendship Exchange and District 5010 Rotary Club of Barrow members enjoying time together in Alaska. Cathy Roth is far left and husband John on the far right.

Scanning the hazy horizon bathed in the eerie, half-light of an Arctic summer night, our quietly-spoken Inuit guide warned us that polar bear were close by, and that we should stay close to our twelve-seater van.  Curious otters, bobbing up and down, like arcade air-gun targets, peered at us from the still sea.  The myriad of small ice-flows reflected the long, thin fingers of moonlight. 

Here we were in June 2007, eleven Australian Rotary Friendship Exchange members from District 9780, standing on the very tip of Alaska, and well into the Arctic Circle, looking across the sea-ice to the North Pole. It was almost surreal.  

As the bitter coldness clawed at our throats, it was hard to imagine living through a winter here.  Yet in this environment of self-preservation, the beauty, the fullness, and the magnificence of Rotary shone through, more than I could ever have believed possible. 

As homes and hearts of Rotarians were thrown open to host us, so too was revealed a caring and a selflessness for their community that was humbling.  

Community service includes the Inuit communities which for centuries have lived alongside nature in a sensitive ecological balance.  Projects include the provision of warm parkas for Inuit children attending school in the bleak winters, and the fostering of Inuit tourism ventures enabling culture and dignity to be maintained whilst economic independence is able to be established. 

Rather than work for the community, Rotary in that northern-most point of our globe works with the community, quietly, unassumingly – a little like Rotary’s founder Paul Harris himself. 

Seeing this Rotary in this environment, was more than humbling.  It was a quiet reminder of Rotary’s responsibility to be a guardian to every facet of our global environment, as well as the incredible ability Rotary has to impact every nation and all its peoples.

While not a NZ Pacific story, this is the first of a series over the coming months that will illustrate why various 'ordinary' Rotarians are Rotarians.

Cathy Roth was instrumental along with Beryl Robinson in bringing to and establishing Rotary Leadership Institute in New Zealand and Australia.

Included in May
Rotary Down Under

Use it or lose it

I’ve been in Rotary for a good many years and over this time have heard most of the grizzles associated with compulsory subscription to Rotary Down Under.  [Subscribing to a Rotary magazine is compulsory]

Can I implore you to stop moaning right now and have a good long look at what is being published in the new look RDU. Our NZ editor Beryl Robinson from District 9920 has been totally successful in bending the ear of the executive editor in Parramatta, with the net result that practically every project story being presented the way Beryl has asked them to be presented are finding their way to the publication. A significant number of these stories (12 in the three editions leading up to Christmas) were from clubs in District 9930. Beryl has put a lot of work into ensuring this happened and I’d like to think that discussions members of our own Public Image committee had with members of RDU when in Sydney at Convention have helped Beryl and culminated in a great result for us all. The magazine, particularly the editor, addresses some good contentious issues and it has become a good read. The thing is that while this is happening now, it’s because a number of clubs around the country are all fired up and making it happen.

We can’t allow this impetus to fade. Without your assistance in ensuring your projects are at least available to the magazine, we’ll lose the privileges and it’ll revert to the Australian format we all remember. Use it or lose it!

Jock McIntyre

District 9930 Public Image Chair

Included in April
Rotary Down Under

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Keikeri Rotary raise money for Vanuatu

Vanuatu collection raises $643.20

Bucket of love. Kerikeri Rotarians Vicki Douglas (left) and Peter Heath with the collection bucket into which locals poured more than $600 destined for the people of Vanuatu in just five hours.
People visiting The Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri today (Saturday 21 March) put $643.20 into the Rotary Club of Kerikeri’s collection bucket for use in Vanuatu’s Cyclone Pam recovery effort.

The money was raised in just five hours.

The impromptu collection was organised by Rotarians Vicki Douglas and Owen Smith on a stall donated to Rotary by the owners of the market.

“Every single cent will find its way to Vanuatu,” said Rotary Club of Kerikeri President Bruce Mathieson. “That’s one of the benefits of donating to a cause through Rotary. There are no fees or deductions of any kind.”

The donation will be sent as cash to Rotary clubs in Vanuatu, for use as they see fit.

“This way there is no delay and the money will be used by the local people for the local people,” Mathieson said.

“We are extremely grateful to everybody who donated today. As usual, Kerikeri came up trumps.”

Rotary in Nadi provide support for Vanuatu

The following is an article courtesy of the Fiji Sun followed by further actions by Nadi Rotary to aid for the Cyclone Pam disaster in Vanuatu:

The Rotary and Rotaract clubs of Nadi held an aid campaign for cyclone victims in Vanuatu yesterday.

The joint initiative was coined by the Nadi branches.

Present at the drive was Member of Parliament and Rotary International member Sanjit Patel.

“This is the first relief that we want to send quickly and there will be people joining hands in providing assistance to our friends in Vanuatu and obviously Government will help,” he said.

Both clubs will be working with sister associations in Australia and New Zealand who are stationed in Vanuatu today to aid the distribution.

He said the response from the public has been outstanding.

“So far we have had people from Sabeto and even Kerebula bringing in bags of clothes and some have volunteered to get food. I’m proud of the people in Nadi who have been genuinely giving whatever they can,” he said.

The Rotary International club in Nadi plans to discuss logistics with the Fijian Government and try to provide food rations as well.

“We can show our compassion for our neighbours when they need us the most and showing them that Fiji is with Vanuatu all the way,” Mr Patel said.

Meanwhile, Rotary Club of Nadi president Krupesh Patel said the public donated basic necessities.

“Since we cannot be there with them psychically as Rotarians we thought people would really need these basic things,” said Mr Patel.

The collection from the drive included house hold items like kitchen utensils, curtains, linen beddings, shoes and toys.

The team in Port Vila will be assessing areas which are accessible for distribution.

Source Fiji Sun – 22/03/2015

In addition, Nadi Rotary report:

1.       We have collected just over ½ a 20ft Container load of items.

2.       This project / appeal to the public was done for 1 week where we printed posters, flyers and advertisements on Radio and TV as well.

3.       We had 2 locations points where all collection was done and 1 area where Nadi Rotaractors were doing all the sorting of the items.


Currently we are talking to few freight companies who can quickly get this shipment across to Rotary Club of Port Vila.

Rotary’s support could see cancer cure in 10-15 years

Rotarians on both sides of the Tasman are being urged to support New Zealand reconstructive plastic surgeon and research scientist, Dr Swee Tan, whose ground-breaking research into cancer may produce a cure for the disease in 10-15 years.

Dr Tan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI), based in Wellington, New Zealand.

He and colleagues are pioneering an innovative field of cellular and molecular research that international experts have labelled a ‘paradigm shift’.

Dr Tan believes the GMRI’s work could lead to a cure for cancer in under two decades.

“Based on our discoveries, and the work currently underway, I believe that timeframe is possible,” he says.

“I believe we are on the right path.  It’s a function of having the funding and the resourcing to continue – and accelerate – our work.”

Dr Tan and his team and collaborators at the GMRI are world famous for their work on strawberry birthmark.

Not only did they find that stem cells arising from the placenta are the origin of strawberry birthmark, a vascular tumour that affects newborns, but they also discovered that those stem cells are regulated by the body’s renin-angiotensin system.

They succeeded in transforming strawberry birthmark stem cells into harmless fat cells, bone cells and red blood cells. Their discoveries underpin new treatments of strawberry birthmark by manipulating the hormone system that triggers the tumour to ‘commit suicide’ and self-destruct. 

“The discoveries we have made in strawberry birthmarks have given us insights into cancer. If we can do that for strawberry birthmark tumours, the logical conclusion is that we can achieve it for other tumours as well,” Dr Tan says. 

“We just need to identify the relevant regulatory systems within the body that control cancer stem cells.”

In additional to his work with the GMRI, Dr Tan has provided surgical services for free to the Rotary Overseas Medical Aid Corps (ROMAC).  He was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2008 and was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Rotary International Institute conference in Wellington.

The past Governor of District 9940 and conference organiser, Pat Waite, says Dr Tan’s keynote presentation was rated the best by conference delegates.

“Over 80 percent of those surveyed noted Dr Tan’s presentation exceeded expectations, a remarkable result,” Pat says.

Now Pat’s urging Rotarians to support Dr Tan and his team to help progress their work on cancer stem cells, which are thought to be the driving force behind the development and progression of cancer.

The cancer stem cell concept proposes that all cancerous tumours comprise two types of cells:

·         Cancer cells that form the majority of cells within a cancerous tumour.  These cells possess little to no self-renewal capacity and spontaneously die out quickly.  They are traditionally treated by surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

·         A small number of highly malignant cancer stem cells that have unlimited self-renewal capacity as well as the ability to generate cancer cells.  These cancer stem cells resist radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which explains why cancers often relapse following conventional treatments.

Dr Tan explains this concept with the analogy of a beehive.

“The hive has lots of worker bees, which are the cancer cells.  These worker bee cancer cells are made quickly, but they have a limited life-span.

“But the cancer stem cells are the hive’s queen bee.  They direct the hive and produce the worker bees, but more importantly they have an unlimited capacity to replicate themselves, producing even more queen bees which, in turn, produce more worker bees. These queen bees can migrate to other sites and start new hives.

“And as yet, medical science does not know how to control or manage these queen bee cancer stem cells and that’s why the cure for cancer remains beyond our reach.

“But I believe we will find the control mechanisms because our work in strawberry birthmark tumours has provided a lot of insights into how this can be achieved in cancer.”

Included in May
Rotary Down Under

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Habitat Youth BUILD

Habitat for Humanity Fiji joined the Habitat Youth BUILD campaign for the first time in December 2014.

The campaign is run across the Asia Pacific region to encourage the next generation to become involved in helping to alleviate poverty through adequate housing.

The Rotary Club of North Suva jumped on board adding their financial support to the events that Habitat for Humanity held over the 3 month campaign period.

The first event was a three-day build of two transitional houses in Suva’s Sukuna Park. This involved over 100 youth. One of these houses was rebuilt later outside of Nausori, north of Fiji’s capital, as a home for a family who were very much in need of shelter.

A group of Japanese volunteers arrived to build another two houses near Nadi on the west coast of Viti Levu. These houses were a continuation of work from the effects of tropical cyclone Evan in December of 2012.

The Habitat Youth BUILD campaign period ends mid March with Habitat Fiji announcing they now have an online donation tool available at

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Drury Rotary hits it off

The club has been organizing this special hospice tournament for quite a few years now and usually around $10.000.00 is being raised every year.

The last tournament was held in November and last Monday the money for our local Totara hospice was presented by club president Des Redgwell to CEO Tina Mc Cafferty who is very new to the job.

Tina thanked the club for the privilege of attending the meeting and acknowledged what community groups like Rotary do for the hospice. They receive 50% funding from Government but the other 50% is raised by hospice itself or groups such as Rotary.

It takes a bit of organizing the yearly tournament but the Drury club members do it with great dedication and it is a pleasure to give this money to such a worthwhile cause.

We couldn’t have done so well without the help of the local sponsors ,  we are very grateful for all the help received.

A runaway success

Farida Master was there to cheer and capture the five and10 km fun run/walk hosted by the Highbrook Rotary in words and pictures.


Living up to their reputation of being highly efficient, Highbrook Rotary business house fun run-walk challenge was a much organised affair.

There was an air of friendly, business rivalry as 460 fitness enthusiasts registered and turned up in their company colours to compete on Wednesday, Feb 25 at 5.30pm.   

Past district 9920 governor and commentator Rotarian Rob Crabtree kept the pace upbeat with lively commentary and state-of-the-art technology--recording every participant’s timing with registered name tags.

The proceeds of the fun run will go towards funding the Flat Bush School library and to Middlemore Health.

A big contingent from Healthy Hearts was spotted doing the five km walk, accompanied by cardio-respiratory physiotherapist, Sarah Mooney.

Healthy Hearts is an initiative of Counties Manukau Health for people suffering from heart failure.

Another group of people with chronic lung condition who are a part of the Better Breathing programme also challenged themselves. They felt safe and supported by respiratory physiotherapist Sarah Candy and her team.  

 Acknowledgement:  Farida Master, Journalist, Times Newspapers Ltd

Included in May
Rotary Down Under

Performers showcase tai chi fan dance and the tribal dance at the Chinese New Year celebration

The sharp click of traditional Chinese fans, accompanied by energetic kung fu danceby like movements, had a mesmeric effect on the guests.

The enchanting tai chi kung fu fan dance along with the Chinese tribal dance was part of the entertainment at the Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the Rotary Club of Auckland South.

The celebratory evening at Te Tuhi Centre of Arts on Reeves Rd, Pakuranga was a feast for the senses. It started with tables laden with scrumptious Chinese fare, followed by an introduction from the well spoken past District Governor Ron Seeto and exchange of Rotary banners with other clubs in and out of the area.

Members and presidents of different Rotary Clubs that included the Rotary Clubs of Somerville, Pakuranga, Newmarket, Drury, Ellerslie Sunrise, Otahuhu, Papatoetoe West and St Johns were present in a strong show of support for the new Taiwanese club in New Zealand.

Assistant governor Avalua Tavui, district governor elected Jennie Herring, assistant district governor Sue Fairburn were also seen partaking in the celebration.

Adding a poignant touch to the evening was Phil Tchernegovski.

The Kiwi sculptor’s son Reuben had gone missing in the mountains of Alishan, Taiwan, in 1998.

Mr Tchernegovski spoke about how he travelled to Taiwan in search of his son.

“I lost my son but made 24 million friends,” he said. “I was so overwhelmed with all the love from strangers in Taipei, the local mountain people, the media and the police who came out of their way to help me in my search of my son.” The grateful father presented a copy of his book titled Mountain of the beautiful moon, based on the search for his son to Kitty Chung, president of the Rotary Club of Auckland South.

The evening ended with guests being presented traditional red packets that symbolise good fortune.
Acknowledgement:  Farida Master, Journalist, Times Newspapers Ltd

Feature (cover)
article in May
Rotary Down Under

Waiheke Rotary's busy start to the year

All are pulling above their weight to great effect
Waiheke Rotary have the usual busy start to the year with their four signature events all well supported and very successful.

The first, on the 17th January with 770 entries, was the annual Wharf to Wharf race from Orapiu, up many very steep hills to arrive 25 kms later at Matiatia All of the local Rotarians are Marshalls each year and guide the runners through intersections and by passes to arrive safely – if not exhausted -at the other end. Each year Rotarians are taken through the updated ideas of first aid and resuscitation if we witness a collapse or injury and the local doctors ride the course continually on their motor bikes ensuring they are all OK. The weather was perfect and the runners had a fantastic day with many prizes allocated.

The second was the iconic Onetangi Beach Races on Sunday 22nd February which has being going for over a hundred years and run very successfully by Rotary for the past 17 years

It has evolved each year attracting more visitors as the word spreads and more exciting events happen. The first event was the world’s largest Sealegs race as Waiheke proudly boasts the most per head in the world with over 70 on the Island each costing at least $175,000. Then the usual tractor, kids in wheel barrows  and horse racing plus tug of war, silent auction, storytelling, fashion in the field etc providing a fun exciting free day for all.

The next event was Opera On The Gulf on Saturday 28th February held at the spectacular cliff top home of Tony and Sandra Pope in Cory Road overlooking the Hauraki Gulf . This was an outdoor concert attended by over 200 opera lovers where they listened to an inspiring mixture of favourites performed by Helen Medlin, Patricia wright, Rodney McCann and Richard Greagor and the Aotea Youth  Symphony Orchestra. In between the breaks the guests were served delicious canap├ęs and award winning Waiheke wines.

Part of the funds collected went to The Waiheke art gallery.

The last summer event was the King Of The Bay on Sunday 15th March This was the day that Cyclone Pam decided to wreak havoc around the island with high winds starting around lunch time. However, with 60 entries there was still had a lot of fish to weigh and auction. This year, instead of the largest fish, to preserve the breeding stock it was decided to have a mystery weight which was 1.2kgs. Over 200 locals were in attendance and the proceeds of the event will be going to Living Without Violence.

The proceeds from the first three events came to around $40,000 which has been distributed already to:

Waiheke High School (Goal Post Pads) $1,440.00

Takapuna North Rotary (Challenge Camp) $330.

Dictionary Project (School Dictionaries) $1,080.00

Science and Technology Summer Science School [2 x Students] $3,200

Youth Rypen [ 6 students]$1,500.00

Hip Hop Foundation $500.00

RNZWCS for Vanuatu $500

Waiheke Youth Trust [Friends Of The Street vehicle] $6,000.00

 Waiheke Health Trust (Wheelchairs) $3,000.00

 Waiheke Dirt Tract (fireworks donation) $500.00

Waiheke United Football Club $1,200.00

Monday, 16 March 2015

Rotary membership is great for your brain and memory health, but can you do more?

Memory Matters!

Rotary membership is great for your brain and memory health, but can you do more?

"I have a terrible memory."  How often have you heard that? When I meet new people and tell them I research and treat age-related memory loss, the most common response is "You should research me - my memory is so dreadful!"  Is it really?

Do you...

·         Lose your glasses?

·         Forget names?

·         Have trouble remembering appointments?

·         Forget why you went into another room?

What's happening?  Are you losing your edge?

Many people are worried about memory and become concerned these occasional lapses may be the beginning of losing memory altogether. Perhaps you have been told that from the age of 50 you lose brain cells at a prodigious rate.

The good news is that neuroscience, with the aid of sophisticated imaging techniques, has blown away the old gloomy myths around ageing and memory.  It is likely that your memory has dulled simply because your brain (and maybe your body, too!) is no longer in tip-top shape.  You don't have to accept memory lapses as inevitable - you can take steps to improve your brain fitness.

PDG (9970) Don Eadie enjoying  our
memory games on a
The University of Auckland

health robot.
After several years of researching memory, it became apparent that too many people accept memory loss as inevitable. With my sister Gillian Eadie, a noted educator, we combined our skills to create practical solutions to  help people remember confidently and well at any age.  Then our own mother, Jeanie, in her 90s, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. As we cared for her we became 'sisters on a mission' to make sure everyone knows we can grow new brain connections every day and harness the power of these neurons. And so the Memory Foundation was born, established to provide all the information you need to make sure memory serves you well.

We've had fun along the way. A partnership with The University of Auckland led to our very own memory games being enjoyed by older people on the University's delightful health robots. You can play our memory games yourself on the Memory Foundation website. We greatly enjoy the new confidence shown by people  who take our Brain Fit for Life workshops.

Staying mentally active, engaging in physical exercise, staying socially engaged

and other important lifestyle factors all contribute to a sharp memory. That’s well known. But so many people asked us, “How do we go about setting up the best memory habits?’ that we devised a plan to get brain and memory health on track.

The result is the book 7-Day Brain Boost Plan. Our own backgrounds of memory expertise and education combine with contributions from a nutritionist and exercise specialist to give a day-by-day, step-by-step plan.

The response from readers has been extraordinary. After we made a television appearance last week, an 87 year-old viewer rang to say he felt mentally 20 years younger!

Check out the Memory Foundation website for yourself on

to enjoy our memory games, read about your memory, or try the 7-Day Brain Boost Plan.

Dr. Allison Lamont (Rotary Club of Auckland East) is founder and clinician at the Auckland Memory Clinic,, or email

Included in May
Rotary Down Under