Reproduced with permission from the District 9940 Newsletter, Issue 12. June 2013
It is amazing to think that we are now in the ﬁnal month of our term as DG. We are reminded of a visit we had over 3 years ago by DG David Watt, when we were invited to be DG for our District, and thus began a 3 year journey. On reﬂecting back over the last 12 months our outstanding memories of the year have been of the huge work that Rotarians and Clubs do within our communities. We have seen clubs ‘Push Boundaries’ and ‘Make Change Real’. One of the programmes we were keen to see resume again in our District was the GSE programme and it was very satisfying to see the successful exchange with District 5370 in Canada.
We were also pleased to see our District send two candidates, Samuel Stevens from the Rotary Club of Wellington and Faye Elliott from the Rotary Club of Takaro, to the Peace Forum in Hiroshima and see them take the Peace Cranes that many clubs had made during the year to the Hiroshima Children’s Peace Monument in recognition of Peace in the World.
A special highlight through the year was our joint District Conference with District 9920 held in Rotorua. Here we set out to try something a little diﬀerent and ‘Push Boundaries’ and set out to ‘Make Change Real’. Our thanks for the huge eﬀort and support put in to make the conference a success from both District 9920 and 9940 Conference Committees, from 9940, Bob and Ross and their team and for the support from Plimmerton Club and the other clubs in our Cluster. And of course our thanks to all who attended, for without your support it would not have been the success it was.
To Ron (DG 9920) and Sharon, it was a great journey with a lot of fun and laughs along the way.
At the beginning of the year we challenged Clubs to ‘Push Boundaries’ and ‘Make Change Real’. Sadly our membership has continued to decline slightly and we have seen the closing of the Rotary Club of Western Hutt after nearly 40 years of Service.
Many Rotarians have told us of the diﬃculty in attracting new members, particularly women and younger members. And yet in our District there are some Clubs that are growing strongly, have a good mix of female and male members, and are attracting younger members. We need to learn from these clubs as they are clearly meeting the needs of the communities in which they serve.
Recently we were at a Clubs 40th anniversary and there was a lot of talk about the change that had occurred over the past 40 years in Rotary – and yes there has and there will continue to be more change to come. However as we pointed out when we addressed the club, some things have not changed and will continue to be not negotiable – Rotary’s core values and mission statement, Service Above Self, and the huge amount of good that we do as an organisation in the world and in our local communities. Change always presents us with an opportunity, an opportunity we should grasp because Rotary has a strong platform from which we can build on for the future. We were struck by a saying we recently gleaned from the Wellington Rotaract club which we think sums it up:
“The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating.
The paths to it are not found but made.
Humans can work to build a future only if they can ﬁrst imagine it.
One who does not live in the future today will live in the past tomorrow”.
“Ideas for the New Millennium”
And so as we near the end of our Rotary year we are left with an overwhelming sense of all of the great work that Rotarians do across our District. Whether it is a club of 10 or 60, our members get on about doing what we do best of all, giving Service About Self. We wish to thank all of our members across our District for their dedication and the huge eﬀort that they put in to make our communities a better place to live in.
We would like to thank Clubs and Members for their hospitality in making us feel welcome as we have visited clubs around the District and supporting us and sharing with us the work they do in their communities. Our special thanks for the support that we have received from our Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Plimmerton and particularly President Bob, Ross and the Conference Committee, Adrienne our District Secretary and Graham who has helped put this newsletter together each month, for the huge eﬀort and support that we have received from our AGs, and for the great work of our District Chairs and their committee members. We have also valued the support and advice from the other DGs across New Zealand, the PDGs and District Advisory Committee.
Chris and I are looking forward to a break with some overseas travel over the coming months before tackling several Rotary projects that we have planned.
We wish Deb and Neville all of the best for their year ahead, and Anthony and Nicky, Simon and Brad all the best in their planning for their years ahead.
Our very special thanks to our family, our friends, our work colleagues, and our Rotary friends across New Zealand and the World for making this a very special year for Chris and me.
To you all, the very best for 2013-2014 and we look forward to meeting many of you again over the coming year.
With Thanks to you all,
Graeme and Christine