Kiritimati : DG Visit : PORTRAIT of a thrillseeker Part 3 on the District Governor rollercoaster : DG Visit : Kiritimati

30 Mar

27 march ROTARY KIRITIMATI –  DG Visit meeting at Captain Cook Hotel, Kiritimati

( Christmas Island), Kiribati

we started with introductions – name, vocation -architect -engineer, teacher, social worker, fisherman, media, banker all returned to make a difference-

and one wish – the standout was Nita’s wish to be a bird so she could fly around and be free

then a presentation – showing the diversity of D9920



Thank you for the warm- very warm welcome- I am the 3rd Governor to visit since your club charter in August 2008 and we have heard so much about your island –not least of which is the fishing-  I met Sam Tekiree in Suva at Leaders Training in last year and got a more personal viewpoint from him –this is the longest journey  Sharon and I have made yet for a DG visit. So greetings  from New Zealand.

On a more serious note we have easter coming up and apart from its christian significance of new beginnings-  this event also has a special relationship with the new beginning for your club here in Kiritimati- because it was your request to George Maybee  for an easter candle that started this special relationship-   I  also want to say thank you for giving  us an opportunity to engage and help through the internationality of our Rotary family

Thinking about my visit and what I should be presenting to you reminded me when Pres Terry in my home club NEWMARKET – asked me last year to give a 5 minute update on recent highlights as DG – but a DG speaking for only 5mins is an oxymoron – a DG’s job is more than being short and sweet but  DON’T PANIC -Today’s will be around 15 mins with some time for Q&A if you are so inclined – and I have projects to see and a plane to catch.

those who browse my DG news- read my  blog, or got the good oil from Sam who attended my Suva LETS  training workshop will know- we have been urging clubs and Rotarians to work together on 3 priorities -Making all Rotary activities Events ,

making TRF as our charity of Choice and Enhancing our Public Image- Sharing our Rotary Moments or Stories effectively and then overlayed with a sprinkling of Peace- this year’s theme

As we embark on the last quarter of our Rotary year we can perhaps pause a moment to  celebrate what we have all accomplished, to share some of what I saw –putting a human face ( if you will) on my moments on the DG rollercoaster- to take some learnings from these – and to look at what we still want to do. 

I am going to show and tell  3 rapid fire slide segmnents structured around our 3 priorities Events, Our Foundation of Choice, Public Image – you will see selected projects throughout our District – a few more of our only island club in Auckland WAIHEKE and even some of yours.- to show that all of us belong this International Rotary Family.

wow how 8 months have flashed by- this is what I saw – moments of  creativity, resilience, faith, hope and love- and much much more…


Events-To KICK off- How did we go about making all our activities memorable Events?

We WORK TOGETHER on this year’s  DG Visits. We  make them Memorable  –an action packed Event including a gymnast display  in our first ever Cluster DG Visit Event AND HISTORY made – a colorful and noisy Proms Night– YOUR club charter and how a FUN time fishing together started it all…

Our Charity of Choice. The Rotary Foundation. What do we offer those we serve? Faith, Hope and Love?

We Question- We find a purpose

Building upgrades- helping your schools- finding clean water….

Public Image Sharing Our Moments – Everything we do as Rotarians affects our image and our brand.

A Rotary moment is when the magic happens. We can create peace. One story at a time….

We Sign our projects – acknowledging , leveraging our internationality, TELLING OUR  STORY EFFECTIVELY…

To retain a professional image Sign design and instal  must be mindful of maintenance efforts.

Design for durability …..

We Remember …. People Everywhere are People- we have children, we share food together, we express ourselves through music, dance, art , we fall in love, we love our families.

Remember this – when we see what seems far away –  is what connects us. 

Remember that our surname is International.

Remember that we have a few more months to further Unleash our Potential – Pushing Boundaries – Building Peace through Service.

Thank you for all that you have done and all that you are going to do.


our internationality – you are not alone


arrival – meeting our Kiritimati Rotary family


finding ROTARY and HOPE


“Banana School” – founded 1917- “determination is the key to success” finding HOPE in Literacy- in separate school restrooms for girls and boys DSC07257DSC07251DSC07253DSC07246DSC07248DSC07244

daily reality scene 1


finding HOPE in safe drinking Water – rainwater tank insatllation

DSC07234DSC07232 sustainable towns program- NZAID

daily reality scene 2

DSC07230DSC07226DSC07220DSC07176  there is faith in religion

downtown Kiritimati – the council building meeting the “permanent secretary” – forging relationships finding opportunities for service


daily reality scene 3


“watertank towers and windmills built to draw water – more followup work required”



struggling to win


HOPE in Rotary Commerce City, Colorado lock-up storage – waiting for Mr George”


daily reality scene 4


“London Hospital” – battling against the odds

“waiting for a donated standby generator to be installed”

DSC07203DSC07199DSC07200DSC07202DSC07201DSC07198DSC07204DSC07205 find partnerships with existing aid  sources?

DSC07263DSC07265DSC07268 “goodbye to return with LOVE”

daily reality scene 5 – a day on Kiritimati See, Listen, Understand, Act

for starters- take action to engage and empower the local Rotarians there more frequently and regularly inter alia including,

• more contact from District in Auckland

• more effort in project scoping and liason  with Rotary Kiritimati by the  3  sister clubs  Auckland, Howick,Somerville Howick

• more liason and co-ordination with Kiritimati “godfather” George Maybee to facilitate bringing local engagement into the loop


Remember this – when we see what seems far away –  is what connects us.  

Remember that our surname is International.

post-script No. 1 sunday 31 march

Kia ora – Greetings

I really am grateful for your recent and first visit to Kiritimati Island in the Republic of Kiribati. Both the visit and the speech you made at the Captain Cook HoteI have inspired me to be a full member of the Rotary Club.

I have conducted free and voluntary services on advice for small scale businesses during the period of two years now and thus willing to expand such services through more knowledge of the Club’s objectives and other obligations.

It’s nice and a pleasure to know you and wife and give best of health to your daughter.

Good luck and God Bless You All.


Ata Betero

Ata Betero <>

post-script No. 2  monday 1  april

DG Ron, it was good to hear that you and Sharon were able to visit with the Kiritimati club and see that the hand washing station had been installed for the Banana school toilets.

At this very monent the 500 new water filters and additional filter elements for MG NO. 74754 are loaded on the Sailing Vessel Kwai,, in Honolulu, HI ready to set sail for the island. Once the filters arrive at the Rotary warehouse the club members will work on assembly and distribution to needy families. Each filter will provide safe drinking water for a family of 8 to 10 for up to 2 years. These filters will be in addition to the 150 filters given out by club members in the past.

In addition to the water filters the load contains: 5 water transfer pumps for use in delivering water to residents and medical facilities; blackboard paint for the Rotary members to restore the surfaces of the school blackboards; medical items for the hospital and; additional school kits and dictionaries for distribution by the club members.

I thank all the members of D9920 for their support for the Kiritimati club and the residents of Christmas Island.

George Maybee, Commerce City Rotary 2012-2013 President

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