November Moments: PORTRAIT of a thrillseeker Part 3 on the District Governor rollercoaster : November Moments

27 Nov

 2 November ROTARY APIA DG Visit Event : The Rotary Message – 3 Priorities followed by a Q&A and a  Samoan Buffet and Fellowship

 more pix in separate post

3 November ROTARY APIA Project Visit Take 1: House of Hope and Salua School Manono Island

 a case study in International and Local co-operation

 Permission to help granted = Buy-in

4 November ROTARY APIA Project Visit Take 2 : Miss Samoa aspiring Rotarian and Melbourne Cup Calcutta

5 November ROTARY APIA Project Visit Take 3 : A day on Savaii – Hospital visit, Falelima  and other Schools, post-Tsunami outcomes

A case study for  1. better co-ordination with Government plans prior to support, 2. spending a little more and building robustly

6 November ROTARY APIA Project Visit Take 4 : Annual signature Melbourne Cup fundraiser

Talofa lava- How are you all doing.

I am not going to make a big speech today as you are here to enjoy the racing.
I hear this is the 16th Melbourne Cup fundraiser event in Rotary Apia’s 45 year history. When I was here last April for training with your incoming Rotary leadership Assitant Govrnor James Arp convinced me to change my official DG Visit calendar around this Event- so here we are  and we are very happy to be here.
As Sharon and I travel around the 7 Pacific Island countries in our Rotary District 9920 I have come across a phrase that I associate with Rotary and Rotarians – and Rotary Apia’s  proud legacy of Supporting your Community  here is no exception- the phrase in the Cook Islands is kari-manamanata- in Fiji it’s seqa na leqa; in Tonga it’s sai pai; here in Samoa it’s awa la popolli – NO WORRIES. This applies to Rotary Apia supporting the House of Hope, placing dsesks and chairs to every school on Upolu, installing water tanks in schools, fitting out school libraries and I can go on.
On that note can I ask all Apia Rotarians here today- past and present to stand and shout Malo.
Thank you and enjoy a winning afternoon.

7 November ROTARY APIA Project Visit Take 5 : Upolou post-Tsunami

    The GOOD – when a community buys into a project

   The BAD – the pit-falls of first response after a natural disaster

 The  UGLY – have needs been assessed prior  to support

7 November ROTARY APIA Project Visit Take 6 : APIA ROTARACT Briefing : the Promise of  Youth

  Community Service +; a strategic plan; a number of signature project; a healthy bank balance; FUN

8 November ROTARY PAGOPAGO : Leadership Briefing

9 November ROTARY PAGOPAGO : Project Visit

9 November ROTARY PAGOPAGO : DG Visit EVENT : a Rotary Open Day 101

 more pix in separate post

10 November ROTARY PAGOPAGO : Rotarians Everywhere : INTERNATIONAL is our surname


11 November ROTARY APIA : Leadership Briefing


12 November ROTARY DEVONPORT D-9910 Fundraiser : Sculpture on Shore : Exclusive Rotary Twilight Viewing 

  It’s a Different World we live in

14 November ROTARY PAPATOETOE WEST : Annual MIT Harold Rose Scholarship Awards

Pres Avalua , Your worship- my Rotary Family and friends

Following on from my Newmarket colleague and a PDG of Ross’ stature is always a challenge but here goes- When I was first invited by Ken I wondered what should or can I speak to you about in 5 mins – Rotary’s efforts in Literacy? on Vocations?  for New Generations?

As we have just heard, this scholarship dating back some 16 years with $1500  awarded to an “adult student”  attending MIT provides that life changing 2nd chance to make a difference.

Then I read  one of the  awardees’ comments – “ As a recipient of the Harry Rose Memorial Scholarship, I will make every effort to live up to Harry’s philosophy: you can achieve anything if you try”

How true is that- as so often is the case this is made possible through a great Rotarian’s relationship with a Trust- in this instance the Chenery Memorial Trust.

The job of a District Governor – aside from keeping it short and sweet – is to inspire. But as I look on our 3 awardees, what’s clear is that you’re the source of inspiration today. To me. To your institution MIT. To Rotary International.

Awardees, this is the day you also become members  in the finest family in the world- our surname – yours now too is International.

Today we can pay tribute to all our extraordinary men and women in Rotary for their generosity, for their dedication.

Around the world, Rotary is leading efforts in building  peace

We’re leading on efforts in basic literacy

We are leading on efforts for alleviating poverty

We’re leading on behalf of human dignity and on behalf of self determination.

Because of this, around the world there is a respect for Rotary.

I see a hopeful future because of the character of our organisation – the spirit, our core values that have always made us exceptional.

That is the essence of Rotary, and there’s nothing else like it anywhere in the world

 It’s what’s provided a second opportunity to almost a generation of MIT Harry Rose Scholarship awardees, renewing us with their energy and their hopes. And that includes an awardee here today, who grew up in China, got on a plane to come alone to New Zealand, and today is closer to her dream of becoming a Nurse – Lydia Zhu. Lydia said what we all know to be true: “Today I have received a great help. I will contribute back to the community with my knowledge and skill I am going to gain in my further studying.”

You’re right, Lydia. As a Rotarian That is what we wish to see you do. That’s who we are. To Lydia, Lucy and Bernetta –  Go Well.

15 November ROTARY Somerville Howick Fellowship at MARY POPPINS

16 November Joint D-9920-9940 Conference Rotorua : Planning Continues : Early Bird registrations open

16 November GSE Kentucky D-6710 Get-Together at Home : the more we Get Together the more we can Work Together

Hello everyone. How are you doing?

I am not going to give a big speech and I realise I am between you and supper…. I will leave the big speech for our official farewell function… And  I do want to spend some time with you all INDIVIDUALLY.

A special kiwi welcome to our Kentucky visitors. KIA ORA.

I wonder whether our visitors know

that GSE is kiwi and homegrown…started in NZ by the Auckland Club as ROTA Rotary Overseas Travel Award

that whilst GSE is officially described by TRF  as a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for busness people and professionals between the ages of 25 & 40 in the early stages of their carreers….….. prominent D9920 Rotarian Frank Deaver  called  it succinctly as  an immersion experience in another society.

That is true even when you are only on the periphery looking on- the magic rubs off onto you- If it werent for this exchange my knowledge of Kentucky would have been limited to the Kentucky Derby – a horse race- and one type of bourbon whisky( DG Don introduced me to Makers Mark) now I have found out you also have associations with Muhammed Ali, bluegrass and a baseball bat called the kentucky slugger – I actually saw one left as a gift when I returned to my homeclub Newmarket  for lunch on Tuesday.

Did you know that the same eloquent Frank Deaver said this….. Tourists go abroad to take pictures, Buisness people go abroad to make money, Politicians go abroad to make news, GSE Teams go abroad to make friends.

From the noise and conviviality tonite that is certainly plain to see.

Sharon and I have just returned from our visits to Apia -Samoa and Pagopago  American Samoa last Sunday where I reierated this year’s message  urging our D9920 clubs on what I learnt at IA in San Diego –Working together we CAN accomplish anything – and I see this message also resonates with the Kentucky team song- “The more We Get Together”

So hopefully we are deepening our bonds tonight in this very uniquely Rotary way called FELLOWSHIP so that the more we get together the more we will work together to make this immersion experience that much more meaningful and memorable.So thank you all for taking out a friday evening for Rotary. Thank you all for your service and engagement with this exceptional organisation. To our Kentuckians- enjoy the rest of your exchange.

18 November ROTARY Harbourside DIWALI :  “how a little club of 33 CAN punch well above its weight”  DG Ron : a  record 450 crowd  “imagine if everyone joined the club tonight” Hon Steven Joyce

 Parallels with a what “little” Rotary clubs CAN DO

how can a little country like New Zealand contribute to a country as large as India ” Hon Steven Joyce

Pres Shefali, PDG Mike and Savita,IPDG Alan, my AG Greg, my Auckland East President Mark- my family  of sweet,hot & spicy Harbourside Rotarians…. and friends NAMASKAR.

I realise I am between you and dessert so wil be brief. Sharon and I are honoured to be here with you to celebrate Diwali. …your Festival of Lights  and  we do feel very comfortable here.

As I travel around our Rotary clubs I see everyday instances where Rotary and Rotarians do not stand back when they see a need. So I must congratulate you on the 2 main charities being supported by tonight’s celebrations.

Firstly I can tell you as a Fijian import I know what a worthwhile cause it is with your work for the Foundation for Needy Children in Fiji. We were reminded again of this need recently, when Sharon and I witnessed a food for schools program in Lautoka but that is a story for another day.  You have once again adroitly applied  your club’s special strengths and connections, combined it with the leveraging power and  internationality of Rotary for this cause on our doorstep – or is it our playground.

We heard earlier, Diwali the triumph of light over darkness is a fittiing occasion for shining a light at the end of the tunnel for the needy children in my old hometown Fiji. VINAKA VAKALEVU. Thank you Harbourside.

Secondly most of you already know of our journey through the cancer maze with our oldest daughter Ruby when she was 10 years old. I ask your Indulgence for a quick commercial for yet another worthwhile fundraiser for the other main charity you are supporting tonight STARSHIP Childrens Hospital….. Ruby who is now a healthy 15 year old -in partnership with Wallace Cotton has just launched her new 2012 teatowel – a new design series and a  departure from her recipe series teatowel – this year for the new series we have The Tree of Life. There is a limited run this year so be quick.

Diwali is also about renewal. As Rotarians, we know that we belong to the greatest change organization in the world . We know all about renewal with our annual Changeover.

So a happy Diwali to all of you. Sharon and I extend on behalf of your District leadership circle our very best wishes as you continue your efforts  for the remainder of this Rotary year- Unleashing Our Potential building Peace through Service.

Bahut dhanyavadd

22 November lunchtime : ROTARY Newmarket Home Club of DG :  “5 minute” DG Update

Pres Terry asked me last Tuesday to give a 5 minute update on recent highlights as DG – 5mins  from a DG oxymoron perthaps – but a DG’s job is to be short and sweet right?

This time constraint has meant that we tell our story today without pictures- an architect presenting without visuals?  another oxymoron perhaps. Anyhow

here goes- those who read my blog, participated in any of my cluster visits or attended my training workshops will know- we have been urging clubs and Rotarians to work together on 3 priorities –making all Rotary activities Events vis a vis memorable, making TRF as our charity of Choice vis a vis engaging in bigger, bolder, sustainable Matching Grants and Enhancing our Public Image– Sharing our Rotary Moments or Stories effectively.

Here are some selected highlights under these 3 priorities

1.     Eventsa very recent highlight has got to be the conscience payment at the  subsequent sergeants session by those of you who missed our cluster DG Visit Event at St Matthews in the City. The City Mission is $400 better off.. (thx to RussellToplis) –

another memory to treasure – you have heard the first experience is always the one you remember and that is so true in the case of our first DG Visit Event – this happened in Fiji my old homecountry-a combined Savusavu-Labasa club Event – took place in a streetfront café in Savusavu with the Labasa Rotarians making a 2 hour road trip over a mountain range and braving potholes the size of craters- to be there ( they love their Rotary over there and to meet the Governor in person – a humbling experience)- 50 attendees from a combined club membership of 25 including a PDG -Mike Jaduram- festively decorated venue that can only happen in the Pacific Islands- our powerpoint was projected onto a white double bed  sheet  tacked onto timber posts dressed in palm fronds and- we had an additional audience of approx 20 onlookers standing on the public footpath jostling for a clear view of the proceedings just inside – the Rotary Message communicated Savsavu style. Labasa club went on to induct 5 new members all FaceBook savvy and their first ever woman member. – an Event generating energy and positive membership outcomes.

  1. TRF- My opening of a water project by Rotary Pacific Water for Life in Dreke Village up in the Sigatoka Valley- a 1hour bumpy ride off the main road from Sigatoka town – 2 hours midway between Suva and Nadi. PDG Ross will know of this project and the area well. RPWFL is a partnership with Vodaphone delivering over USD1M to date – in the case of Dreke – the village helped in installing the pump and pipe reticulation so became trained in the process-the women no longer need to get up at 3am every morning to fetch water- truly TRF delivering value and sustainability. Good reasons to support it.
  2. Public Image– Sharon and I returned from Samoa 2 Sundays ago- in Apia we met Miss Samoa, Janine,  a UOA law student spending her Miss Samoa reigning year in Apia- sharing our Rotary story has her now wanting to join Rotary starting with the Apia club WATCH this space- – another highlight was a couple of weeks earlier visiting Geoffrey Amos and Rotary Taveuni – an island to the NE of   Suva-where we had a master class in how to be an effective Rotarian- Roger Harvey and others here will be familiar with Geoffrey’s massve work on the Rotary Garden Island of Fiji- Effective Rotary 101 is asking for permission from the communities we help ensuring buy-in, acknowledging contributors, leveraging the internationality of Rotary, TELLING OUR  STORY EFFECTIVELY-branding with a consistent Rotary recognition template on all completed projects-

Time’s up- for more check out my blog . Given  more time I can do the next installment with pix – our intrepid journey to Pacific Island playground-featuring good,bad and ugly. Thank You.

22 November evening : Dreaming of another  Rotary Club: Pukekohe Interest meeting : no one size fits all- new club new rules for doing good in the world

 L-R Franklin County Times, some of the new “pioneers”

and a pic when the Dream is realised – provisional Rotary Club of HIGHBROOK – doing good in the world ahead of its charter

  wearing the Rotary logo with pride

26 November Farewell GSE D-6710 Kentucky at Rotary PAKURANGA what a wonderful GSE world 

firstly thank-yous- everyone who has been involved in planning, selections,hosting this Exchange please stand and take a bow.

At International Assembly in San Diego we get to meet DGsE from our partner Districts  and actually sit together during some of the plenary sessions- well this year as some of you will know- we have 2 GSExchanges – one a tradtional multi vocational exchange –with our new friends from Kentucky D.6710 and the other ,a focussed exchange – next year-with D.1260 in the UK on adult literacy and numeracy- so in January at IA you could say  I enjoyed a transatlantic GSE sandwich –

a consequence of sitting regularly in airport transit lounges- especially if you are lucky enough to be on an ANZ flight and have had a glass or 2 in Koru- is that one’s mind tends to wander – well on a recent trip I got to thinking on this well known  fact – that  GSE comes in all shapes and sizes and, they literally do – physically I mean –Picture this –for my GSE sandwich  the american side in DG Don Dykman is very much in the Clint Eastwood mould- a Kentuckian tall and lean in stature and this image has continued with his team leader  Roger ( singing gunslinger- please stand so we can take a look at you)– on the English side we have the jolly very english rose in  DG Debbie Hodge- so bets are now open on what our D.1260 team leader will be channelling-

Anyhow on a more serious note, I like these  2 quotes on GSE from our eloquent  Rotarian Frank Deaver

The first one  is : GSE is  an immersion experience in another society

The other –  ….. Tourists go abroad to take pictures, Business people go abroad to make money, Politicians go abroad to make news, GSE Teams go abroad to make friends.

The latter quote was quickly evident 2 Fridays ago –when Sharon and I had the pleasure of hosting a GetTogether at home and meeting for the very first time -Roger, Suzanne,Holly,Jigisha,Nicole and Stephanie – the same Rotary core values- instant friends-we hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did.

and as I observed then- my message this year to our D.9920 clubs and Rotarians  is Working together we CAN accomplish anything – and I see this message also resonates with the Kentucky team song- “The more We Get Together”

so this has come to pass-  the more we get together the more we work together and made this immersion experience meaningful and memorable- and what’s more shall forever be a connection for a  fruitful  relationship between our 2 Districts.

Haere rā – Ka kite anō – Goodbye and see you again. 

 27 November ROTARY OTAHUHU 67 years old 

As Sharon and I have travelled around our clubs I have come across this expresion- in Rarotonga it was kari-manamanata, in Fiji it was seqa na leqa, in Tonga it was sai pai, in Samoa awa na popolli, in New Zealnd we say NO PROBLEM – that is certainly what I know of Rotarians and  especially OTAHUHU Rotarians . 

The job of a DG– aside from keeping it short and sweet- and I realise I am keeping you from your birthday cake- is to inspire- but as I look at all of you here tonight – You are the inspiration.

One of the privileges of being DG is I get to see the proud legacy of Rotary in our community- Rotary Otahuhu has a prominent legacy locally and internationally. At this point, I acknowledge all your honorary members who are here–your PDG Jack who plucked me out from my club silo to see the bigger picture of Rotary, Yours and my AG Jennie, a big HELLO to all the PARTNERS  of this club- also your extended Rotary family and friends–

SO it is another birthday celebration -67 years ago today, this club began and  took great effort to deliver Service .That was the vision back in 1945 and it obviously still is today. YOU found your unique way to serve.You and me, we are all members in a Service organisation.

Today, more than ever, we need more people to make a commitment to a higher standard of Service. After all,our organisation is on the move to change some outmoded  attitudes and some of our traditions, and the way we deliver Service—Otahuhu is not exempt from this.

Too often, these days, when we switch our televisions to the news, or when we browse through the pages of our papers, or our ipads if you will – we are greeted with negativity. But this mindset can be and is being changed.

There are truths embodied in your history-our history- that can encourage our Rotarians to participate in the large-scale turnaround of this great family.

There are truths that can empower our people to become active agents for change—and inspire them to give rise to their own individual stories. Sharing these Rotary Moments showcases the vibrant tapestry of your club and our international Family .

Adhering to the truth does not always mean seeing what is lacking or what is wrong. In fact, the truth can elevate our opinions of ourselves, of others, and of our organisation; it can restore and strengthen confidence. When we start to see the opportunity in the difficulty  – quoting Sakuji Tanaka-  dreams get that much more – closer to becoming tangible realities.

Otahuhu,in 67 years-you have already achieved so much. Imagine how much more You- no WE can achieve when everyone begins to believe and act on Working Together:Nothing is impossible Working Together-Pushing Boundaries -Unleashing our Potential -Building Peace through Service. Thank you, and good evening.

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