Tahiti : Club Cluster 6 DG Visit Event : PORTRAIT of a thrillseeker Part 3 on the District Governor rollercoaster : Club Cluster 6 DG Visit Event : Tahiti

26 Dec

 29 November ROTARY PAPEETE – TARAVAO DG Visit Event, Papeete, Tahiti


Tahiti DG Visit kicked off with a Combined ROTARY PAPEETE-TARAVAO TAHITI-ITI Leadership Briefing in the brand new ” Rotary Papeete Room” in Papeete Club stalwart Charles Trondel’s new 7 storey building – Rotary House.

Rotary Taravao leadership family made the hour long road trip  and was rewarded by an energetic Q&A following the DG Message and club project presentations- then followed by a banquet chinoise at Le Mandarin for partners, friends, family and potential members joined by PDG Nicolas Spillmann – folowed by more reports, speeches, many conversations transacted in french and english with a smattering of tahitian, free flowing appellation controllee reds, chilled bottles of Hinano to wash down the 12 course cuisine chinoise.

A memorable and potent  mix of eastern taste, french passion, tahitian flair making for a catch-up tres bonne.



How are you doing. This is my third visit to Tahiti  – and we already feel we are  back home

This time we have brought our daughters Ruby and Noon with us- this is a thank you for them being such good Rotary orphans this past few months as Sharon and I have left them in boarding school to travel around our Pacific Island Rotary amily. We have all been  looking forward to  coming here.Tahiti 3

So, from Sharon,Ruby,Noon and me. Bon Jour, Talofa lava, Bula, Good Day, Kia Orana,  Malo eh lehleh ee, Mauri..Our surname is INTERNATIONAL.

This is the  FINAL leg of our official club DG Visit Events this side of Christmas-  

As we clamber on the DG rollercoaster to unleash our potential –  indeed- you can say to GO FOR GOLD in this Olympic year. I want to thank all of you for making this happen. “I CANT DO IT ALONE. THANK YOU FOR GETTING BEHIND ME.”  

It is special for Sharon and me  to be here  again in beautiful Tahiti– we are here to serve so do make the most of our visit to benefit Rotary French Polynesia.

Last month Sharon and I were at  Invercargill Zone 7B Institute –this annual event where past,present and incoming governors meet to share ideas – what did we learn?

We learnt we SHOULD Celebrate our achievements AND we SHOULD feel good enough  about ourselves AND we SHOULD therefore make the effort to share our Rotary Moments. This years conference theme CREATE A RIPPLE – CAST THE FIRST STONE – and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  provided all the ingredients to turn the ripple into a tidal wave for action.

We learnt that Change and Continuity IS inter-dependent Tahiti 4

30 November ROTARY MOOREA DG Visit Event, Moorea – woven Peace Cranes


…….I do want to tell you about 3 Takeaway messages I bring back from Institute

  1. from RIPE Ron Burton asking us “Would YOU join YOUR Rotary Club today”
  2. Sam Johnson student army after the  Christchurch earthquake observing  “ We must ask for permission to help others”
  3. Howard Tong Zone Public Image Co-ordinator urging we must move past the statistics and share the WHY of Rotary –- WHY we serve – and share with passion

Our DG year group session agreed we need  Vibrant Clubs to revitalise Rotary. Want to be a VIBRANT club? I suggest Taking action on  the Presidential Citation NOW ; this  is more than a Certificate accomplishing its requirements ; this provides Opportunities to engage all your members . Finally a VIBRANT club has no trouble – asking for permission to help- telling our stories with passion –  attracting and retaining members

This 2012-2013 year we have 29 ways or ideas in the Citation document to engage our members or, put another way 29 ideas for each of your members to find –THEIR hot button in Rotary  and play their part in a VIBRANT Club.

In January Sharon and I returned home to Auckland  from Rotary International Assembly in San Diego where we and another 530 DGsE and partners were given the final polish … …, we made many lifelong friendships and- came away with our Theme for the New Rotary Year. PEACE THROUGH SERVICE.

This theme for 2012-13 in many ways is unsurprising  coming from a Rotary International president from Japan . Sakuji Tanaka also announced his plans for 3 global Peace Forums to be  held in Berlin, Honolulu,  and Hiroshima. Historically memorable because of the Wall, Pearl Harbor,  and the H-Bomb. President Tanaka goes on to say that everything we do as Rotarians  in our families  and our communities  help build Peace .Indeed you could say the business of Rotary is Peace. ………..


Rotary MOOREA Leadership briefing in “Hotel Rotary” aka Moorea Pearl and Spa Resort – a vivid visual demonstration of committment and panache with handmade woven flax Peace Cranes dressing up the meeting venue – origami Tahitian style.

The 2012-2013 DG Message conveyed to an attentive and animated audience joined by a visiting Rotarian Eric( excecutive chef at the Moorea Hilton) who supplemented AG Juliette’s translation service – Rotaractor returnee and intending member Christophe added youth to the gathering. Rotary Moorea’s visitors book is a timecapsule of the club’s short but active history. Pres Jacqueline’s project presentation generated vigorous discussion .

Evening 1 December ROTARY MOOREA charter Event – a birthday cake, speeches, dancing and a raffle – then a song for DG Ron “All You Need is Love”

Media coverage par excellence with the Event garnering coverage and  interviews by the Moorea quarterly  magazine and the daily paper – Rotary pride clearly evident in the Rotary signage and detail everywhere – we can accomplish anything when we work together on our relationships with each other and feel good about ourselves to share OUR story.



Bon soir-How are you doing –Thank you for your warm welcome. Sharon and I returned to Rotary Paradise 3 days ago –this time we have brought our 2 daughters Ruby and Noon- their reward for being such good Rotary orphans this past year as Sharon and I have visited our Pacific Island Rotary Family. On our travels I have come across this phrase -in Rarotonga it was Kari-manamanta-in Fiji seqa na leqa- in Tonga it was sai pae- in Samoa awa na popolli  – and now in Tahiti aita peapea – pas de probleme- No problem – that is certainly my observation of the attitude of Moorea Club, Moorea Rotarians and your – and my  AG Juliette Phillippe.

I listened tonight, and I see the proud legacy of Rotary Moorea in the community- locally and internationally. I acknowledge all your charter members and recognize all the Rotary luminaires with us here.

7 years ago today, this club began and  took great effort to deliver Service .That was the vision back in 2005 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—Moorea is not exempt from that.

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 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  dreams get that much more – closer to becoming tangible realities.

Moorea, in almost a decade – you have already achieved so much. Imagine how much more You- no WE can achieve when everyone begins to believe in Working Together: Nothing is impossible Working Together -Pushing Boundaries -Unleashing our Potential -Building Peace through Service. Maaruru roa Merci beaucoup et Bonne Nuit.


3 December ROTARY RAIATEA-TAHAA DG Visit Event, Raiatea – a Family spirit – having FUN doing Good – and happy birthday Pres Patrick

Rotary RAIATEA TAHAA is where the core values of Family and Diversity is paramount. Leadership briefing at Pres Patrick Leninger and Jacqueline’s  home – a meeting venue tres jolie  held on an  idyllic deep verandahed tropical bungalow perched breathtakingly on a hillside looking due west  to Borabora.

Clearly evident was the enviable tahitian Rotary relationship with the media – the meeting naturally started with a media interview by the Rotary friendly local daily, then fellowship meeting and getting to know new friends as well as catching up with old ones and family- then a project presentation – a WOW being the funds raised for a $1M franc sailboat to support the local Raiatea Yacht Club youth sailing program – followed by the DG Message powerpoint projected onto a kingsize white bedsheet strung across the end of the outdoor living deck – followed by hors d’oeuvres of local delicacies washed down with alsace gurwurtztraminer – the n for more fellowship and dinner down the hill at the very cool Raiatea Lodge where the standard of the food and wine were up to the quality of the company and tres bonne amie



…….The personal Takeaway for me from International Assembly is an oldie but a goodie.

Working Together we can accomplish Anything. This is the message that we brought back for you and  your clubs. This is also the message that we have brought back to be carried out beyond your clubs . As it is in the Beatles song- All you need is Love.

So in this Rotary  year you could say, we will be working on our relationships with each other as we go about doing good in the world.

in 2012-2013 we will have our clusters of clubs working together with your AGs on 3 priorities.

Clubs working together -Making all Rotary activities  Events  memorable ones (LIKE THIS ONE-a kickstart being our new DG Visit format),

Clubs working together on at least one  MG to increase awareness of our charity of choice TRF – and by doing so-keeping our promise to the world finishing the job with help from the Gates Foundation- Eliminating Polio ; and preparing for the bigger, bolder, sustainable projects that the new simplified grant making model Future Vision will bring,

Clubs working together on a PI initiative as we collectively learn to share our Rotary Moments and tell our MANY stories -effectively  to our communities

We will all be working together on these 3 priorities with an emphasis on Peace in 2 ways

  1. by meeting the Presidential Citation Peace Challenge-conducting a  club or community Peace Forum or a service project focussed on Peace And
  2. by sending at least 2 NG candidates from D9920 to the Peace Forums in Honolulu and Hiroshima.

Today I want to tell you 3 stories: try and connect the dots of how we can work together in this Rotary year. That’s it. Just 3 stories.

My first story is about the POWER of HOPE– At Invercargill Institute in October I was mesmerised by a keynote address from Ambassadorial Scholar Robbie Franks – accepted into the Peace and Conflict Resolution School in Tel Aviv in 2010 she is now completing a Masters Research at the National Cenre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University NZ. .

Tahiti 6This is Robbie on her graduation in 2011 in Israel. I was particularly taken by a phrase she used that day Freedom is Forgiveness.

Knowing that Rotarians during a DG presentation are known to fall asleep  I asked Robbie to summarise her story for my message to you today –  she said

“300 words is near impossible! But i reckon I’ve put together something appropriate”

 This is Robbies story- in just 306 of her own words

“My time in the Holy Land was unforgettable. Inspired by courageous peacebuilders, challenged by violent racism and inequality – It was not long before I began to question my role in such a place and my ability to love.

Could I love and accept someone who had killed another human being? Could a little white disabled girl like me make any difference? ( Robbie has a prosthetic leg)

When I think about what Israel taught me, it’s that I cannot afford to question my own ability to make a difference. It’s times like these that peacebuilding is more important than ever.

However before I encourage other people to make peace I need to be at peace with myself. I am no different from those people. They are fighting a war of psychological walls on their side of the world, while I too put up the same kinds of walls around me which limit my ability to flourish. I know it is all too easy to use the bricks of ‘poor me syndrome’ and ‘unforgiveness’ to build the walls around me higher and stronger rather than paving the path of moving on.

I’m the first to put up my hand and admit that yes, sometimes I do feel sorry for myself and I do find it hard to forgive.

But I know, peace begins with me. It begins with how I treat others and how I treat myself.

Peace may appear impossible and overwhelming, but even though I am young I believe in a more peaceful future. I can and will make a difference.

This was eloquently summarized by my Palestinian classmate who, at our graduation ceremony, planted a pomegranate tree on campus as a legacy for our cohort. “While we might not be around to eat it’s fruit or sit in it’s shade, we are planting a seed for future generations who will”.

Robbie has a dream to become involved in national and international Peace and Conflict initiatives.  Lets hope that dream becomes reality very soon.

Working Together we will work for Peace – accomplish Anything, I am asking for our club clusters  to work together on our 2 Peace emphases this year.

Shall  we also start NOW follow Sam Johnsons advice- and ask for permission to help our neighbour and build Peace……..


4 December ROTARY BORABORA DG Visit Event, BoraBora –  a PEACE FORUM : DG Message : New Members welcomed

Rotary BORABORA made its mark with a DG Visit Event which kicked off with the opening of a community Peace Forum at the TownHall -“mairie”  – focussing on Peace in the Home and a hands-on Parenting Workshop held over 2 days led by two invited experts from Papeete. Adding significance to this Event was the deputy Mayor, local media and  interested locals – followed by a club meeting where the DG Message and priorities were conveyed in conjunction with a club project presentation – past, current and future projects – then the highlight of welcoming two new members into the Rotary BoraBora and International Family.

The post meeting soiree and fellowship at the iconic island MaiKai Restaurant included a convivial dinner with partners, friends, family and the charter president – a delightful get-to-know each other in the exotic timbered high volumed space complemented by a great bar and the live music of one of Tahiti’s singing legends – also a Plan of Action for Rotary BoraBora Dance for Peace on 23 February 2013 on Rotary’s Birthday

1BOR 2+1 RCBB PaixDSC04385DSC04325DSC04360DSC04400DSC04397DSC04394DSC04388DSC04387DSC04386DSC04377DSC04375DSC04374DSC04352DSC04351DSC04348DSC04345DSC04342

How are you doing – bonjour Sharon and I are pleased to be here in BoraBora with our two daughters Ruby and Noon – where I come from we say Fortune – good or bad – comes in threes- being a supreme optimist I like to think that this has come to pass since our arrival here- first there was the rain and what rain as we left Raiatea for here- it is the first time my daughters have experienced tropical downpour like this – secondly when we arrived at Sofitel I saw that we are in time for the ironman contest- and as all my Rotarian friends have heard me say one of my personal goals this year is to  retain my ironman stomach by keeping my belt size the same at the end of my year as Governor as it was when I started- finally the third  piece of good fortune is I am here with my family at the opening of this Peace Forum organized by the Rotary Club of BoraBora

At this point I wish  to acknowledge my Rotarian colleagues, AG Juliette, President Tehani , members of Rotary BoraBora- and of course the many community leaders including your deputy mayor who are here- and our two Parenting experts who have come all the way from Papeete to lead this Peace in the Home Workshop.

The Rotary International theme for this year is Peace  through Service. Rotary’s business is Peace- and how we achieve it is through Service.

RI President Sakuji Tanaka challenged Rotarians worldwide this year to complete a Peace project or organize a Peace Forum. There are 530 Rotary Districts in the world – our District 9920 is the largest maritime  Rotary District with 49 clubs- 19 of them in 7 Pacific Island countries and I am pleased to say that Rotary Bora Bora is the first Pacific Island Club to take up this challenge. Give them a round of applause..

I understand this is the opening of a Parenting workshop .What a great way to start Peace- by starting with ourselves- by working on relationships between our future- our New Generations – our young people and their parents-

This one simple gesture is a real personal expression to Rotary’s theme for this year. Congratulations Rotary Club of Borabora.

Today, more than ever, Rotary recognises we need more commitment to partnerships such as a workshop like this so a higher standard of Service can be delivered. It is a real pleasure for me to be present to declare this workshop open. Maruru-roa- bonne soiree.



Followed by a Club Meeting and briefing with 2 new members welcomed

……..My second story is about the PROMISE of YOUTH- Around changeover time in our Rotary District we undertake one of our most successful New Generations  programs – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, RYLA.Tahiti 2

A weeklong camp for our leaders of tomorrow, young people aged in their early 20’s. We had a record 130 odd RYLarians this year ( including a dozen from the Pacific Islands) having spent a sleep deprived 24 hours with the army on Motutapu Island – an island 30 minutes ferryride from Auckland City- where the footprint of Rotary and Rotary Newmarket is writ large. This episode at the end of the week is considered a highlight as they are putting their team building skills  learnt earlier in the week to the test. It also brought back memories of my son Joss coming back elated from his remarkable week long adventure.

Was he challenged physically and intellectually? I saw that he was.

Did he learn some leadership skills? I think so.

Did he come  back a little more cocky? I am afraid so.

Had he seen Rotary in Action. I am certain that he did. We do more than sausage sizzles.

I saw Most of all he learnt about himself and how Working Together he can accomplish so much more.

We will be working together in our club clusters to continue supporting New Generations programs-like RYLA .

Would they join YOUR Rotary Club today?

Followed by Fellowship and Dinner at MaiKai – Rotary Fellowship- making new friends young and old – consolidating current ones



7 December ROTARY E-Club Francophone DG Visit, Papeete : Leadership and project briefing : DG Message : an additional PHF sapphire

Historic first DG Visit to D-9920 E-Club Francophone took place in Rotary PAPEETE’s “Rotary Room” – a Leadership briefing and a presentation of projects planned.


…..My third story is about FAITH – in March we had PRIVP Tom Thorfinnson come and deliver the keynote address at our MultiDistrict Presidents Elect Training weekend-SPPETS. Tom talked to us about our core values. A focus group of kids from the NW university of Chicago came up with 5.

1. SERVICE. We are a SERVICE organization.

2. FELLOWSHIP. More than  friendship, networking, socializing What makes Rotary UNIQUE

3. DIVERSITY. Our clubs need to reflect our Communities

and to use a N American image our clubs need to be  a multi colour flower field rather than a  monochrome corn field.

4. LEADERSHIP. We are seen in our clubs and communities as Leaders.

5. INTEGRITY People trust us to get the job done. Its in our DNA. We are Rotarians.

Being the storyteller that he is, Tom gave vivid personal illustrations of each core value but the one leaving a lasting impression on me was the story of a trip to a village in the Central Plateau of Haiti In 2004,  where he and a team of Rotarians witnessed first hand the need of those we serve.

The village had just received a well as part of  a TRF Matching grant. Tom and his friends were  inspecting a new toilet constructed by a farmer with material donated to his family ( one of the poorest in the village).

After a short introduction the farmer went into his small farm house and came out with a gift. He held a jar that contained 3 eggs. Nervously, he opened the jar to take out the three eggs as a gift in thanks for our kindness. He fumbled the jar and the three eggs fell broken on the ground.  The look in his eye was that of a man who had just suffered a major loss. -it is a different world we live in) He shook it off and went back into his house to find three more eggs.

What is unforgettable is what his young daughter did next …as she tried to rescue the precious eggs. Tahiti 5

Yes People have FAITH in us, they trust us to get the job done . Our INTEGRITY.Working Together we can change lives-accomplish anything.

This is some of the WHY of Rotary for us to share. YOUR hot button in Rotary.

Together we have 11 clusters in this greatest of maritime districts spread over Auckland and 7 other PI countries. With 11 clusters working together on 3 prioriites we  have our opportunity to make change real –meaningful. We also have our challenge and our opportunity to at least accomplish  33 bigger, bolder sustainable projects whilst continuing with our usual club activities.

I do NOT know what the remainder of this Rotary year has in store for us  – 

but I do know that your leadership circle and I are counting on you as members of this great family circle – to  make a ripple -cast that first stone- to make a difference

–  Working Together –  Pushing Boundaries – Unleashing Our Potential – building Peace Through Service.

Tahiti 1

PEACE. mecri beaucoup and bonne soiree

Conference Rotorua Screen shot 2012-10-04 at 8.55.23 AM

Hands up those who have been to a Rotary conference?

Did you enjoy yourselves?

Well in 2013 in Rotorua we are aiming to DOUBLE your enjoyment as we are having a joint District Confernce – Pushing Boundaries with District 9940 – you could say we have rotary in the south pacific and the north island of New Zealand covered.

Early bird  registrations http://www.rotaryconf2013.co.nz



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