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

10 Aug

June Rotary Fellowships Month  

This month started  with our last visit to Fiji this Rotary year – the charter of the  Rotary Club of Ba New Generation and a post charter Leadership meeting – then a nailbiting game of 2 halves Quiz Finale  beween hosts PUKEKOHE and visitors ALFRISTON battling it out for the Fred Beattie Trophy – followed by our RIYE Farewell Event – then celebrating with PDG Don Currey 50 years of Rotary service – recognising with District PHFs superlative Rotary service and support of individual D9920 family members  during this Rotary year 2012-2013 – making a presentation at Model United Nations Assembly MUNA before  an early District Changeover – ending on a high with 80 other New Zealand Rotarians – 40 from D9920-  at the annual mother of all Rotary Fellowship Events Rotary International Convention Lisboa Portugal.

saturday 1 June evening : Ba Charter de-brief and Rotary Fiji Leadership briefing – fellowship- deepening bonds – sharing

tuesday 4 June evening : Rotary PUKEKOHE Main Grandstand, Pukekohe Raceway – D9920 Quiz Final – a DRAW

PUKEKOHE and ALFRISTON joint winner 


Friday 7 June evening : Rotary International Youth Exchange Farewell Pakuranga Sailing Club

2013 Farewell DG MDSC09498DSC09499DSC09545DSC09543DSC09533DSC09528DSC09527DSC09519DSC09518DSC09515DSC09511DSC09504DSC09490DSC09489

How are you doing –we met on the marae a short 10 months ago- and during the year Sharon and I have caught up with a number of you- on separate occassions -of course we met up with all of you again at Rotorua Confernce where you really danced for Rotary. Did you have FUN?

At the marae I told you a story about our trip to Tahiti confernce as chaperone – the lucky uncle and aunt taking the kids for an indulgent week away.

There WAS more –  as all of our kids told stories of change and learning  over the year. All had plans for their future. All of them pushed personal boundaries. 

From what I have heard and seen – the class of 2012-2013 has been no different.- I know that you have learnt how to say gidday, youse fellas and puha. I know that you have done and grown a lot more. I know that you have pushed boundaries and you certainly did that with us in Rotorua. So- Yes You CAN and You DID.

For over 75 years Rotary Youth Exchange offers students ages 15-19( like you) the chance to travel abroad for cultural exchanges of one week to a full academic year – over 8,000 students a year.

You have learnt a new way of living, a great deal about yourself, and even a new language. You have been an ambassador, teaching people you meet about your country, culture, and ideas. You have helped bring the world closer – and made some good friends in the process.

This Rotary year our Theme is Peace Through Service- I have been asking Rotarians in our clubs to Work Together on our relationships with each other as we go about doing good in the world –Working Together – Pushing Boundaries – Unleashing Our Potential – Buidling Peace Through Service. There is no doubt that YOU have  done the same this year.

Haere rā – Ka kite anō

Goodbye and see you again.


another Peter Pan moment repeated every year

post-script from D9920 RIYE Chair Graham Rea

Hi Ron

Thanks for your and Sharon attending – as one of the Rotarians came up and said to me it’s a pity we can’t get more Rotarians to experience an evening like that – they couldnt help but jump on board!



monday 10 June evening : DG Visit Rotary AUCKLAND EAST – PHF+1 PDG Don Currey and PHF PP Gary Langford and a Presidential Citation for 2012-2013
DSC09563DSC09567DSC09575DSC09569  50 years service
President Mark and Auckland East Rotarians We are connected in so many ways- I first met Don in the Suva Holiday Inn- was the Travelodge back then on his DG visit- then more recently as your AG– and over the years I have socialised with his son Richard.DGs in D9920 are blessed with ready support from PDGs-ALWAYS when asked and sometimes not- Don is no exception. BUT-For me he has gone that extra mile by generously passing on his attitude and his sense of fun to the role – I have yet to answer his question whether I have worn my chains to bed  – but that’s probably information best left for a governors’only meeting.I am sure this club will have many fond memories of Don’s contribution ,dedication and committment – Don 50 years in Rotary is a significant milestone so Congratulations for this landmark and you are in good company- reading the june issue of  RDU today I see PRIP and chair of TRF  Wilf Wilkinson  also celebrates 50 years of Rotary service this year It is an honour for me to be here to celebrate with your club and present you  with a letter from World President Sakuji Tanaka.Sharon and I wish you and Sheridan well as we move from Building Peace through Service to Engage Rotary Change Lives.
DSC09581DSC09583DSC09584  31 years service


tuesday 11 June lunchtime : DG Visit Rotary NEWMARKET – District PHF for District Rotaract Rep Aritra Ray and the banner “Home-Club of the DG ” comes down.

President Terry and Newmarket Rotarians

Some of you will know this Rotary year we have made an effort to engage with an important component of our Future – Rotaractors –

This has paid off in many ways not least the 11 who turned up on Motutapu 2 weekends ago- the ones who came to Conference in Rotorua- the ones who joined our Dance for Peace sake on 23 feb- the ones who came and contributed  to our training workshops- social media- PETS and others- the ones who give us our Peter Pan moment everytime we engage with them.

Leading the way has been one particular Rotaractor- I first met this young man on the water project on Upolu Samoa – was impressed with the thoroughness firstly of the submission and  then its subsequent delivery – that was the start of a very fruitful relationship as he has been my connection to this part of our Rotary family .

He has been DRR for the past 2 years- We have all heard the saying at no cost to Rotary- well this young man has paid for himself to attend  his own DRR conference in australia-and now is offering a $1500 annual travel grant for a lucky Rotaractor to attend a rotary conference

Aritra thank you for all that you have done and what you are going to do in Rotary- for suporting our initiatives this year THANK YOU-  we missed your changeover but please come up and accept  your District PHF.

tuesday 11 June evening : D9920 TRF Committee end of year dinner – District PHF+4  for DRFC Leanne Jaggs- funniest PHF presentation for the year


here’s the pin but where did the back pin go?


Great to see so many people here and partners as well- it is an EVENT-  with all the trappings you could say- and fitting for what I am going to do and that is to bestow a District PHF to a very special person in my life .- – as this person does like the glam of an event – as well as a pair of shoes or 2 –(oops)

This person has prodigious energy and unstoppable enthusuasm- She is a mother and plain for all of us  to see she is an authentic super mummy – she also  treats emails like boomerangs- 24/7

She has been an enormous support on all our initiatives this year- and she keeps me on my toes from wherever- even from Tahiti in between LETS trainingShe is destined for greater deeds in Rotary. She is none other than our awesome and very cool Chair – my DG buddy – Leanne Jaggs

 Here is your District PHF+4


saturday 15 June afternoon : MUNA – Model United Nations Assembly 2013, Auckland Girls Grammar – Closing ceremony


Good afternoon,

Leader of the opposition David Shearer, Secretary Generals Maryan Street( who was here yesterday) and Ross Robertson, Members of the General Assembly, Security Council members, Ambassadors, Observers and visitors.

What an action packed couple of days it has been… and now No more bloc meetings,remits,questions ,emergency meetings for another year.

Returning here as DG today brings back memories when I was President of  Rotary Newmarket and my homeclub was the Rotary connection for this programme some 5 years ago .Nothing has changed  including our 2 secretary generals- the remits topical reminders of your concerns- and this major annual Rotary International  program continues to inspire and build our future- YOU – with this year’s event attracting around 50 schools and 100 teams, from Northland and Auckland.

Rotary International was formed in February 1905 by Paul Harris and a group of like minded businessmen who wanted to set an ethical benchmark for business people and to find ways and means of helping people less fortunate than themselves. That small group has now grown to over 1.2m rotarians in 34,000 clubs in 215 countries. As Rotarians, we are like your parents, grandparents and teachers, who enjoy nothing more than to see young people challenging themselves and pitting their wits against others of the same ilk.  This is what Rotary MUNA is all about.  Challenging yourselves and each other with understanding and respect.

This year’s Rotary International theme is Peace through Service. 

We hope you have learned from this experience how YOU can build Peace .

We hope that you will find something in your MUNA toolkit when you need to – on your life journey.
We hope you have had a wonderful time, and that you have achieved your goals, whatever they may be.

Just before I finish I will share with you this quote by  Kahlil Gibran “ It is well to give when asked but it is better to give unasked, through understanding” Good Afternoon.


sunday 16 June morning : D9920 Changeover Breakfast – OUT DG Ron and Sharon IN DG Willard and Gabrielle


DSC09718DSC09719DSC09720DSC09750 more  pix on separate post

monday 17 June evening : DG Visit Rotary PAKURANGA – a District PHF+3 presentation for Ken Holmes


President Clive and Pakuranga Rotarians

I have said this before- always enjoy visiting this club – AS we hurtle towards the finish line the energy levels start to flag and coming to PAKURANGA always gives me that needed boost- and this evening is no exception- and especially as I am here to recognise  a very special person.

Couple of weekends ago Sharon and I were at the BA charter – our 3rd new cub in D9920 this Rotary year and the 10th club in Fiji – their first since the charter of Taveuni in 2002 11 years ago. As we speak we are finalising the paperwork for a 4th new club of Bairiki Tarawa.

You could say we have a new phenomenon –  4 new clubs in D9920 in the last 10-14 years depending on where you are in our farflung disctrict. – You could ask why this surge of interest in starting new clubs – You can wonder why we have finaly launched our first ever Rotary Community Corps in this District- the Rotary Club of Mangere Community Corps.

To amplify- this is a no cost to friends of Rotary Mangere BUT with benefits- such as eligibility for MGs and  a transition to future membership- a minimum of 10 friends from the Mangere community with skin in the game – no downside – how good is that? But why all this positive membership activity?

Well  one can say that there is now a greater need than ever for Rotary in the various communities that make up our District- one can say there is  a new appetite for starting fresh both at the grassroots and at District levels- one can  say that there is a better understanding of Membership Extension- supporting existing clubs whilst starting new ones-one can say we are happier so we want to share our story

I can definitely say- all of the above and My committment to starting fresh was super charged by one man’s persistence, one man’s passion, one man’s professionalism in getting our first ever club chartered this year before Xmas- Highbrook- so thank you Ken Holmes – please step up and accept your District PHF+3



tuesday 18 June breakfast : DG Visit Rotary DOWNTOWN AUCKLAND – a District PHF+1 presentation for President Pamela Deal -“oops…the pin is in the mail” LOL


Being an avid reader of your club publications I saw that today was going to be a meeting where many of your members are to be present – a cabinet minister addressing the club – a bigger crowd puller than a mere DG.

An appropriate time and place for me to make a District PHF+1 presentation. In addition to the 2 other District PHFs awarded this year to Downtown members.

Last month at the conclusion of the D9980 Wild45South Conference – that’s a story for another time- Sharon and I witnessed a presentation of PHFs for SERVICE- to 2 charter members and Past Presidents of Invercargill South the Home club of DG John Prendergast.

Apart from long and dedicated service their citations also included passion and continuing enthusiasm. Yes you can go and take a club a long way with those 2 qualities.

This morning I am specially pleased to recognise a very special person who has enthusiastically embraced all of our 3 priorities this year with passion- Events, TRF- working Together on a cluster project, Public Image and – our mother of all Events ticking all those boxes- our Dance for Peace Sake on 23 february aka Rock’N’Rotary End Polio Builds Peace.

AND most of all leading the way for this Party club of Rotarians to do so too.

This has also flowed onto Membership outcomes for Downtown Club with this club enjoying the second largest membership number increase this Rotary year in D9920- Congratulations

President Pam for all of the above and your enthusiasitic efforts building Peace through SERVICE please step up and receive your PHF+1


thursday 20 June : 4th club chartered this Rotary year – Rotary Club of BAIRIKI, Tarawa – thanks to DG special rep George Fraser and RISSPO support Joy Walker and Barbara Mifsud

Dear DG Ron

Congratulations on the chartering of the new Rotary Club of Bairiki, South Tarawa, Kiribati. The club was officially chartered on 20 June 2013, with 23 members.

Please find attached scanned copies of official welcome letters. I have also attached a copy of the Organising new clubs expense report, should you wish to claim for expenses relating to the organisation of this new club. You can claim an amount equivalent of up to one half of the charter fees paid. (US$345 divided by 2 = US$172.50). Here is the link to access the official RI motor vehicle rates should you need them to fill in your expense report: http://www.rotary.org.au/en/RESOURCES/Documents/MVRates.pdf

I will post the hard copies to you shortly. Also enclosed will be the hard copy of the charter certificate for you to sign and present or send to the club.

Again, congratulations and should you or the club need any further assistance please let me know.

Kind regards

Barbara Mifsud


Club and District Support

South Pacific and Philippines Office

Rotary International

PO Box 1415



thursday 20 June  : off to  104th Annual Convention of Rotary International 24-26 June 2013– the Rotary Fellowship Event of the year – party in Lisboa Portugal before, during and after Convention


Rotary and Rotarians in town- conspicuous welcome everywhere- Lisboa truly a Harbour for Peace 


checking into Fontana Park Design Hotel – hotel corridor straight out of The Matrix – well done DGN Jennie  organising this design surprise for this architect DG

DSC09845DSC09859     checking into the Convention at Fiera Internacional de Lisboa Parc das Nacoes – with 25,000 others


Extra curricular Convention programme included a Rotary international Opera Contest and a Rotary Downunder Breakfast – watchout for a Kiwi breakfast at Sydney Convention next year ?

Then the Grand Opening ceremony – showcasing our internationality complete with entertainment including IL DIVO – 2 seatings


80 strong kiwi presence – 40 from D9920 – making an impression all black and silver fern


time-out in the Convention complex or outside – the local beer’s more than this close to good

there is the Host Hospitality Night at Parque das Nacoes- catching up with the local DG couple , fellow DGs and partners met during our journey together, Rotarians  we have met on the way, our own D9920 family, making new connections


All Black impact against the colour and diversity of loud and proud Rotarians from our international family


Convention complex of 4 cavernous pavilions included the House of Friendship – even a glow in the dark Peace Garden

DSC00150 DSC00154DSC00155 and a Food Alley – fast food Portughese style

Plenary session speakers making an impression on this DG included Leymah Gbowee 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate on Activism and Community Cohesion, Emmanuel Jal founder Gua Africa Foundation From Child Soldier to Peace Soldier, Jane Goodall founder Jane Goodall Institute Reasons for Hope, Carl Kielburger Co founder of Me to We on Connecting With and Engaging New Generations.


we went to a Fado Night at the Campo Pequeno – the old city bullring now a concert venue – life stories in song and much angst


we grabbed a photo opportunity with Rotary NEWMARKET PP John Fitzmaurice and Betty – a re-run of when we 4 were last all together at PRIP Bill Boyd’s Convention in Salt Lake City


we enjoyed Lisboa sights and tastes – taken by local architect Jaoa Perloiro to a special lunch in  Lisbon’s medina quarter Alfama at cafe Ti Pico Lautaso – a sloping limestone cobbled  postage stamp sized courtyard shaded by a tree and simple authentic portughese fare


we also enjoyed a dinner in a converted theatre


and walking back to our hotel stumbling on 24 hour eaterie Gelato – one of the most fantastic vintage interiors in the whole city ( Wallpaper City Guide)  for a late supper of cod fish and chips or gelado


and another taste sensation was the divine custard tart in Belem – making pastries since 1837


DSC09885 the in season cheeries  too everywhere

and arrived at the the building this DG and architect wanted to see and feel – we stood under  Portughese star-chitect Alvaro Siza’s breathtaking thin curving concrete canopy of the Portugal Pavilion- “Lisbon’s only publicly accessible building” 100 meters from the Convention complex that this  DG and architect came to see in Lisbon – a thoroughly crisp modern space against the historic grandeur and froth of St Jerome Monastery in Belem


we savoured another beautiful modernist concrete structure at  Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian surrounded by Gulbenkian Park a very lived in green space away from the hustle bustle and heat of the city – the colection spanning from early 2700BC Egypt to earl;y 20th century represents oil tycoon Gulbenkian’s wide interests and deep pockets


the hand of Rotary is clearly evident


back at the Convention there were long queues and overflowing attendances at breakout sessions every afternoon – connecting, sharing, learning

along with six others from Australia, Italy, USA and India – we presented at a breakout to a full house of 380 – checkout http://slideshare.net/Rotary_International/energize-your-presentations-ron-seeto


we finally met up with  PE Jean Louis Nguyen e-Club francophone – Surprise and Delight- chance or arranged meetings every day everywhere during Convention 


then before we knew it we are at the Closing Plenary watching the banner exchange and entertainment including our own Hayley Westenra


DSC00487  D9920 group pic – those who had not left early to avoid the transport strike

then onto the traditional D9920  DGs Last Supper – on the way we met up with DG Debbie Hodge D1260UK host to our ill fated our GSE 5 Ferns to London Exchange

D9910 DG Lindsay and Alison and others joined us  – thank you Merv Ah Chee for a canny  restaurant selection


we took the opportunity to surprise Adrienne Davies with her inaugural Rotary Spouse/Partnership award

This is a wonderful tradition in our D9920 and an opportunity to celebrate with a special group of Rotaruans- all of you.

We are still 4 days  away  before the email deluge stops- so it is timely still to repeat a japaneese phrase Sakuji Tanaka used when we first met him as DGsE in Brisbanne.- – ICHIBAN meaning to be the best that one can be.

I have tried this past year to practise just that – as just over 3 short years ago when I accepted your nomination to be DG my promise then was to be the best that I can be – to do all of you and our District proud.

All of you here have done exactly that too so tonight we can recognise a special person among us – the best of the Best. A partner of a DG and all that entaills- but not stopping on the 1 July- support has been and is continuing – ADRIENNE DAVIES I am delighted to announce that you are one of 100 worldwide to be recognised in the inaugural Rotarian Spouse/Partner Service Award.

 I have brought a copy of the citation for you half way across the world- because you are worth it ………….


we went on a post Convention tour  to Sintra – made more Rotary friends and Connections


all to soon it is time to leave Lisboa and Portugal – Adeus Lisboa


what an ending to fellowship month- what an ending to my DG year – what a privilege it has been


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