The Pakuranga Rotary Club is noted for its contributions to community over the last 50 years.
The club celebrated a very proud history on Saturday night at the Howick Club.
Guests to the gala dinner entered to the stirring sound of the pipes, courtesy of past students of Saint Kentigern College, one of the three colleges closely associated with the club.
The banner of the evening, 50 Not Out, is not quite accurate: thanks to a Covid forced delay, the club is actually now in its 51st year. But that did nothing to dim the enthusiasm of the 180 attendees.
Rotarian and cricket commentary legend Bryan Waddle kept the evening flowing. Guests were welcomed with a stirring Maori Mihimihi by Terry Davis and Ani Black.
Two foundation members who are still active members – Bill Duncan and Bob Ritchie – shared memories of the work that the club had done, including such projects as the Rotary Walkway, building schools and hurricane-proof housing in Fiji, the establishment of Trees For Survival, and as well as the enjoyment and satisfaction they had got from both the opportunity to serve the community and the fellowship that comes with being a member.
The club is honoured to have a past President of Rotary International as a member. Bill Boyd, President of Rotary International in 2006/2007, is one of only two New Zealanders to have held that position in Rotary’s 116 years. Bill reflected on the honour that he had had to represent New Zealand and Pakuranga on the international stage.
He recalled that the Conference in Salt Lake City while President involved 15,000 attendees, including 54 from Pakuranga Rotary. Bill was quick to acknowledge the tremendous support he had received from the club over his two years based in Chicago.
That support included the establishment of a trust which with the support of other Rotary clubs in New Zealand has given over 200,000 full colour dictionaries worth over $6 million to children across New Zealand.
Attendees were treated to a preview of the club’s latest community contribution, a public work of art that will celebrate 50 years of service. This will be located on the Rotary Walkway later this year.
The evening included great food, courtesy of the Howick Club, wonderful entertainment by Tracey Collins and the opportunity of current and past members to catch up and share stories. This made the dinner highly enjoyable and something those present will remember.