Rotary is about the actions that take place to make the lives of many that little bit, or a lot, better. This Blog tells just some of those stories made possible by the dedication and goodwill of the men and women who are members of Rotary clubs throughout the region. Rotary - check it out! 0800 4 ROTARY
A history of giving and a challenge for the future...
Sir John and Lady McKenzie
Roy and Shirley McKenzie
2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the JR
McKenzie Trust. It also marks 75 years of dedicated support for the
Trust’s work from Rotarians around New Zealand. Over this time the Trust has
given over $83 million to support New Zealanders in need.
Sir John McKenzie (KBE) established the Trust in 1940
by donating a third of the profits from his successful nationwide chain of
department stores, McKenzies. His strong personal belief in providing benefits and
assistance to people in need was based on his own poor origins, and his need
‘to give something back’ remained constant throughout his life and the lives of
McKenzie generations to come.
Rotarian Patrick Cummings, Chair of the JR McKenzie
Trust, says, 'Sir John joined the Rotary Club of Wellington in 1923 and this
had a profound influence on his life.From the outset, he entrusted Rotary clubs to act as agents for
allocating Trust funds to support local communities. He realised the value of
Rotary as a network of civic-minded people throughout New Zealand. Rotarians
were willing to help and continue to do so today.'
Sir John’s son Sir Roy (ONZ, KBE), also a Rotarian,
greatly increased the Trust’s size and profile, set up several other charities,
and was a major figure in New Zealand philanthropy until his death in 2007.
The Trust has been an early supporter of many of what
are now New Zealand’s leading community organisations – groups such as Women’s
Refuge, People First, CCS Disability Action, the Stroke Foundation,
Relationship Services, Rape Crisis and Age Concern. The Trust has also
supported many local and ground-breaking organisations working within
marginalised communities. The Trust’s key areas of focus today are
disadvantaged children and their families, and Māori development.
Currently the family is represented on the JR
McKenzie Trust Board by cousin David Vance, and Chris McKenzie, a
great-grandson of the founder.
Each of the six Rotary Districts in New Zealand
provides a Board member for the Trust Board, and leads a team of Rotarians and
other volunteers in their District who also contribute to the Trust’s work.
'Child poverty is a key focus for the Trust.Let’s ask what both we and others can do to
reduce child poverty in New Zealand.Many groups close to the ground are doing great work in assisting the
families they reach.Wearing my ‘Rotary’
hat, my challenge to you is what can Rotary do to reduce child poverty and its
effects?' says Mr Cummings.
information about the McKenzie family and Trust you can visit the McKenzie
Room, JR McKenzie Trust, Level 4, 116 Lambton Quay, Wellington.Call (04) 472 8876 or visit the Trust’s website