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By Chis Garrett
Chris GarrettAt the Presidential Changeover on Saturday, outgoing President, Chris Garrett reminded everyone about all the things that had made the year so special and successful. The MC for the evening, Past District Governor Howard Tong, remarked that any club with this sort of history would encourage others within the community to join it in order to enjoy the fun and friendship the club offers and be a part of its many projects and activities. Although it was clear that the club has started to share certain activities with other clubs in the district, it is hoped that this will increase in the future.

Visiting speakers
  • Ria Earp, Chief Executive of Mary Potter Hospice told us of the challenges looming ahead with the prospect of an aging population. Port Nicholson Rotary members were invited to this meeting.
  • Phil O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Business NZ, told us what is happening in other countries and how it affects the NZ economy. This was a joint meeting with Mana Lions Club.
  • Sir Bob Jones, property investor, told us about his experiences with Robert Muldoon. Tawa and Johnsonville Rotary members came along to this meeting.
  • Steve Sanderson, CEO of Wellington International Airport, told us of the plans to extend the runway, build a new hotel and expand the airport to enable direct flights to Asia and USA.
  • District Governor, Anthony Scott, spoke about the application of science to help shape the economy.
  • Fran Wilde, Chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council, spoke on the subject of Council Amalgamation. Mayor Nick Leggett and other PCC members were present at this meeting.
  • Judge John Walker spoke about Porirua Youth and the fact that many offenders come from families where a work ethic is completely unknown.
  • Lt. General Rhys Jones gave us a fascinating account of the conflicts around the world and NZ involvement in these conflicts.
  • Chris Greenacre, Phoenix soccer coach, gave us an insight into his roller coaster ride as a professional soccer player who started out with one of the top English football clubs - Manchester City.
  • Professor John Nacey gave us a very sobering address on issues of the Prostate and the development of new treatments using the patient’s own white blood cells to seek and destroy cancer cells.
  • Marty Donoghue represented NZ on the United Nations in 2003 and for much of the time became NZ’s deployment of one. He educated us on the different tribes of Iraq and gave his account of the real situation over there.
  • Vince Langford told us of his bike ride through Africa and showed us that the whole of China, USA and India fits comfortably into the footprint of the African Continent.
  • His Worship the Mayor Nick Leggett addressed us on Council issues.
  • Terry Jordan of the Insurance Council of NZ gave an overview of how the Insurance Industry is structured and how NZ is affected by Global Re-insurance.
  • Professor Swee Tan gave a fantastic presentation on the wonderful work he is doing with facial tumors and birthmarks. He also explained the link between stem cells and cancer and how his team’s research is leading to possible future cancer cures.
  • Roger Gasgoine, former radio and television announcer, gave a humorous account of his experiences showing dignitaries around Te Papa.
  • Billy Graham and Latu Tula told us about the new Boxing Academy in Cannons Creek. Billy is working with the Police setting up these Academies all over New Zealand.
  • Frank Torley told us how he now only does the Voice Overs for Country Calendar but people think he still goes out on location to do the whole production.
  • Graeme Blick showed us around Antarctica with some incredible photographs.
  • Alison Briesman told us of her life on board a Mercy Ship which is a floating hospital off the coast of Africa.
  • Karen McDonald, Marketing and Business Development Manager (on behalf of the CEO, Sue Chetwin) told us about the work done by Consumer NZ checking out and comparing various products.
  • Judge Sir David Carruthers recounted many of his experiences during his long legal career impressing us with his, humility, compassion and delightful sense of humour.
  • Chris Boyd, coach of the Hurricanes told us what a great season they have had this year.
  • Murray Sherwin of the NZ Productivity Commission told us of the many huge reports they submit. 
  • Greg O’Connor told us about the legalising of Cannabis in Colorado and the complications of it still being a Federal Offence.
  • And last but not least, Jamie Fitzgerald, holder of the World Atlantic Rowing record and walker to the South Pole gave a very motivating speech on the value of goal setting and positive thinking - which he learned the hard way.
Off-site visits
  • To BNZ. It was very interesting to see small offices cantilevered out over huge Atriums three stories high.
  • To Billy Graham's Boxing Academy where we saw the young ones being put through their paces. The children are taught Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Consideration, Kindness, Duty, Obedience, Honesty and Truthfulness, all through the discipline of Boxing.
  • Whitby Bowls Night, where some were eager to bowl and others were happy to just sit outside and enjoy the summers evening.
  • Guess who's coming to wine and cheese. This was a new initiative where wine and cheese is enjoyed from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. every third Sunday throughout winter and the venue is a surprise until the day of the event. The idea is to keep it simple. BYO cheese and wine - hosts to provide crackers.
Mayoral Citation

We worked in with the Mayor’s office to recognise the work carried out by Stuart Wheeler in the community and Mayor Nick Leggett put on a reception in Stuart’s Honour for a formal presentation.

In Memoriam

We mourned the passing of Past President and Almoner, Gordon Wellwood, and my darling wife, Trish Garrett, both of whom will be sadly missed.

We put the fun into fundraising
  • Melbourne Cup Casino night. We raised $1,000 for Billy Graham’s Boxing Academy. Inner Wheel, Zonta, Mana Lions and other Rotary Clubs were invited to this function.
  • All new Quiz evening. We raised $1,000 towards our Grant-a-Wish programme for low-decile schools. Zonta and Inner Wheel entered Quiz teams and Zonta’s team won.
  • Out regular 'Sergeant's Sessions' raised up to $200 each time, which was mainly donated to the Salvation Army Food Bank.
  • Our regular raffles raised funds for various other charities.
  • An evening to enjoy the Jersey Boys at the home of the Nichols' raised $1,000 for Swee Tan's research. This was matched by the Club, then matched again by an anonymous donor to make the figure $3,300. This was matched yet again by a Rotary Foundation Grant thus increasing the final donation to $6,600 to buy Automated Cell Counting equipment for Swee Tan.
  • A cinema screening at The Lighthuse to see Boychoir with Inner Wheel raised over $2,000 for Te Aro Piko.
  • An all new Zonta/Rotary Celebrity Debate raised $3,765. The moot was 'to fill in the Pauatahanui Inlet and  build and International Airport' was won by Plimmerton Rotary who took the affirmative. Apart from the money that was raised, we also get a Hospital and a Resort on Mana Island.
  • Our Annual Bookfair raised over $23,000, half of which went to Life Education Trust.
  • An all new 'Breakfast with the Prime Minister' was held on 28 May 2014 (before my year began) and raised $8,000 for Mary Potter Hospice. So we ran another on 18 March 2015 and raised a further $11,000 to make a total of $19,000 for the Mary Potter Hospice. And the Prime Minister gave our International Exchange Student, Jess, his silver fern lapel pin!

We had a huge involvement with Youth over many projects. We donated over $10,000 to low-decile schools with our Grant-a-wish programme.

  • Corinna school got netball uniforms.
  • Glenview school got Tools, topsoil and trees for a community garden, plus two adjustable portable basketball hoops.
  • Holy Family school got family learning resource take home packs.
  • Maraeroa school got junior Volleyball equipment.
  • Tairangi school got a sound system for their school hall.
  • Windley school got two new swings for their existing playground.

In addition:

  • We staged the Paramuana Speech Contest which was keenly contested by primary school students, all of whom showed a lot of talent.
  • We held a Children's Christmas Party for Rotary kids with George Bright as Santa Clause, Alan Nichols as Elf helper and Dianne Roberts as chief fairy.
  • We held the Under privileged kids Christmas Party which was well-received by young children who received door to door service and a quality present from Santa Claus, Tim Beere. This Christmas present was probably the only present some of these children would receive.
  • We sponsored Liam Dalton to The Science Technology Forum.
  • We sponsored Eirenei Faimalo and Iosefa Lafaele from Porirua College to RYPEN (The Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment).
  • We sponsored Josh Jackson to RYLA (The Rotary Youth Leaership Awards programme).
  • We sponsored Colin McClean to NZ Business week in Palmerston North.
  • We conducted mock interviews at Aotea College in conjunction with Partners Porirua, to help equip our youth to enter the work force.
  • We held the all new Rotary Best Speaker Awards Competition for intellectually handicapped young people, a tremendous project with great potential for the future, extremely well organised by Julie McLagan and sponsored by Tommys.

We introduced an all new secondary school speech contest with nine contestants from six Porirua colleges. The results were:

  1. Terina-Teowai Andrews, speaking on “Lest we forget” from Te Kura Maori O Porirua College.
  2. Mimisa Omeri, speaking on “Change” from Bishop Viard College.
  3. Levi Skelton speaking on “Tell me I can’t and I will” from Te Kura Maori O Porirua College.

We welcomed nine new (to Rotary) members and one transferring Rotarian. They were Euon Murrell, Rob Harris, Cath Berryman, Phillip Mottram, Alistair Taylor, Marty Donoghue, Les Callear, Sandie Ryan and Raewyn Graf with Ken Gardner transferring. Unfortunately for us, Leonie James, Stuart Wheeler and Toni Kerr moved out of the area and Gordon sadly died so we lost four valued members during the year.

Community Projects
  • We renovated the playground at Calliope Park in conjunction with Porirua City Council.
  • We helped the Guardians of the Pauatahanui Inlet by putting on a BBQ at the end of their annual clean-up of the Inlet.

We set up a separate committee, headed by Ron Lucas, to deal specifically with the Meandering Path around the Pauatahanui Inlet - Te Ara Piko.

  • We had a visit from Hon Amy Adams, Minister for The Environment,  with Hon Hekia Parata, Minister of Education, and a visit from past member Roger Fitzpatrick who was involved in the original planning for the Pathway.
  • No additions to the Pathway were actually constructed this year but Propagating, Potting, Planting, Planning Consent, and Grant Applications were carried out throughout the year. The Grant Applications yielded grants of $100,000 from Stout Trust and smaller grants from others plus a pledge of $1 million over three years by Porirua City Council.
  • We updated the Club's Constitution and Bye-laws.
  • We hosted Jessica Nüssel, our International Exchange Student from Switzerland who has been a pleasure to host.

At the last meeting of the year on 23 June, Chris had made several awards. Paul Harris Fellowship Awards to:

  • John O'Connell for his service to the International Youth Exchanage Programme, among other things.
  • Bob Austin for mentoring roles, for co-convening the Districts 9940 and 9920 Conference and for his work on obtaining high profile speakers, among other things.

And President's Certificates of Appreciation to:

  • Julie McLagan for initiating the Rotary Best Speaker Awards project in conjunction with IHC.
  • Wendy Betteridge for keeping the club's website up to date and maintaining it to a very high standard.
  • Graham Craig for covering events and providing quality photographic coverage.
  • Ross Garner for his guidance and willingness to commit to projects both for Youth and Club Service.
  • Bill McAulay for his commitment to and work for the Youth Committee on several projects.
  • David Knight for his special commitment to the Parumoana Speech competition and the inaugural Secondary speech contest.
  • Terrie Turner for her leadership of the Youth Committee and her structured approach to its planning and execution.

Wow - what a year.

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