1971 to 2011
The Rotary Club of Fairfield had its beginnings in 1970 when the District Governor, Ian Drabble, invited the Hamilton East President, Wray Hindman, to investigate establishing a new Rotary Club in Fairfield.
DG Ian Drabble, PP Wray Hindman, Hamilton East President Norm Clare, Chairman of the District Extension Committee, PP Stewart Boyes, and 26 applicants for membership attended a meeting at Mardon Road's Silva Bach on 31 May 1971.
Officers for the provisional club were elected: President, Alf Ward; Vice-President, Norm Malan; Secretary, Arthur White; Treasurer, Doug Rogers; Bulletin Editor, Stuart Timpany, and Sergeant, George Parker. Directors were: Keath Ward (Community Service), Dave Gibbs (Vocational Service), Hillary Carter (International Service), and Norm Malan (Club Service).
The club held its first provisional meeting on 14 June 1971, having been admitted into Rotary International on 8 June. On 24 June 1971 the Rotary Club of Fairfield received its Charter, formally presented at the Riverlea Theatre by DG Ian Drabble. Mayor Mike Minogue was present to welcome the new club.
The Rotary Club of Fairfield's reputation for friendly and efficient meetings, established under Alf Ward, continued throughout the years. Significant project involvement, locally and in the South Pacific, gradually extended internationally with Polio Plus and Student Exchanges, Rotary Friendship Exchange and now Shelter Boxes.
Local activities have ranged from construction of a children's play court at Chartwell Park to the provision of Hamilton's first Life Support Ambulance, a Millennium Portico for the Hamilton Gardens Music Pavilion, and paediatric laparoscopic surgical instruments for Waikato Hospital. Currently, club members provide a weekly reading programme at Fairfield Primary School. Hundreds of children have benefited, and every senior student now receives a dictionary for their own personal use from the club.
Over the years, fundraising has encompassed raffles, progressive dinners, working bees, business house appeals, auctions, a celebrity debate and Window-on-Waikato. Our standout fundraiser has been the Rotary Book Fair, enjoying wonderful member participation, its financial success enabling even greater assistance to youth, health and humanity, both locally and world-wide.
The Paul Harris Fellow award, the highest club award in Rotary, has been presented by Fairfield Rotary to 53 recipients, including four who were awarded the Sapphire Pin.
Forty Presidents, their directors and committees, and indeed every member, can take pride in the achievements of four decades of Fairfield Rotary.
Stewart France
President, Rotary Club of Fairfield, 2010-2011