Sunday, 28 June 2015

Wellington South celebrates

Club President Sr Catherine Hannan 
gives the PHF badge to Annette King M.P.

Last Wednesday, June 24th 2015,   The Rotary Club of Wellington South held its annual dinner at ‘The Pines,’  Houghton Bay.   During this function the Club honoured Annette King, the long-serving Labour M.P. of our local electorate, by awarding her the Paul Harris Fellowship.

“You have been a Member of Parliament for 28 years, with 22 of those years as M.P. in this Southern part of Wellington. However, we don’t bestow this Award as an honour for your service to national politics or to any political party.” said Sr. Catherine Hannan, outgoing Club President.  “We see this as honouring you as the person who has given over two decades of service to all the people of Wellington South.  You have supported countless individuals and a host of community organisations, in so many ways.  We see you at all our community functions and celebrations -  the annual Newtown Festival, the Opening of the Leonie Gill Walkway -  and there you are, amongst the crowd.”

“When the new Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen was opened, we felt many  people were unaware of the new site, so we invited sundry Members of Parliament to come to dinner at that time, as media photographers would follow.  Most milled around in the Dining Room, talking together.  Where was M.P. Annette King?  She was at the sink, doing the dishes! That is a small snapshot of the priority you give to being of service to others, and that is what we now honour you for, with the Paul Harris Fellowship award tonight.” 

Club members parade the iconic “Bill Boyd” R.I. tie, treasured by many in our Club. Standing on the right of  Bill Boyd  is his friend, Club Past President and club stalwart Russell Gould, who as (then) President-Elect of our Club organised the District Conference where Bill Boyd became District Governor of District 9940 so many years ago.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Foodbank appeal keeping needy people healthy

‘Kevin Atkins (Kapiti Foodbank Manager), Agnes Batchelor (volunteer) 
Alison Edwards and David Edwards (Rotary Club of Kapiti)’.

The people of Kapiti respond in generous style annually to an appeal for assistance with foodstocks for the local Kapiti Foodbank. This is achieved through collectors manning doors at eight supermarket sites, and requesting shoppers to buy something extra for donation on leaving the premises.

Collection points at Paraparaumu and Waikanae are supervised by over forty personnel from the Kapiti and Waikanae Clubs, and assisted by Inner Wheel. The overall arrangements are coordinated by David Edwards of the Kapiti Club, who has been on the job for over 8 years.

Every year has resulted in an increase in food collection and cash for the local Foodbank. The recently held 2015 appeal has amassed over 300 banana boxes full of a wide variety of tinned foods, breakfast articles, and toiletries, as well as over $2000 in cash donations. Local schools and other organisations also assist throughout the year with collections.

The Kapiti Foodbank Trust is run by volunteers, and the people who are supplied with food parcels are generally referred by WINZ and local churches. Applicants are carefully assessed for genuine need by the trained volunteers.

David Edwards is ably assisted by his wife Alison in this annual promotion. They enjoy seeing the results that keep needy people healthy in times of adversity.

This activity has been emulated in other Districts throughout New Zealand, and it is a tangible demonstration of Rotary in action at local level.

My Rotary Moment - Raewyn Kirkman at the remote Kioa Island School

Seven members of the Waikato Sunrise Rotary headed to remote Kioa Island in Fiji – home to 300 people and a four room school for around 100 kids to refurbish a school building. Apart from a beautiful beach and stunning sunsets this was not the resort version of Fiji – we had a flush toilet that worked for the first three days and the shower was a bucket and bowl. Our beds were mats on the floor. 

Each day the village women would bring lunch, welcome us to the communal area and we shared a meal. 

On the first day, a woman thanked us for helping changing the lives of the young people of the island, for giving them hope for their children’s futures and for opening up the world beyond Kioa for the next generation.  Every day the welcome would be the same – thank you for giving up a week of your lives to make a difference to the rest of the lives of our children.

And I thought I had just gone there to fix up a rundown building.

For 18 years I had heard Rotarians talk about their Rotary moments – those special moments when they went from Rotary member to Rotarian, and while I have had many special moments in Rotary, as I sat there on the ground in Kioa that first day listening to the village matriarch talk about changing the lives of their children, tears streaming down my dusty, paint splattered face, I truly understood the magic of Rotary.