Annual Synopsis - 2019-2020
Diane Whitehead
"Rotary Connects the World"
President Diane Whitehead’s term became a year of two halves, challenging the Club and the rest of the world.  Rotary became effectively “dis-connected”, defying our theme for the year!

Our Club, like many others, is facing declining membership numbers and our total now stands at 37 active members and 5 Honorary members, three of which were appointed this year; Jim Anderson, Chris Deverson and Shalini Guleria.  Shalini is doing her PhD in medicine at the Olivia Newton-John Centre in Melbourne and it is hoped she will attend Rotary Clubs there to fly the flag!
Sadly two stalwarts of our Club, Honorary member Nelson Cullen and active member Lynden Clements left us this year and to quote Lynden, they have “graduated” to a better place, with honours I’m sure.
Difficulties arose for the governance of the Club when the President-Elect had to resign due to ill health and work pressures and it took to the end of 2019 to secure a new President-Elect.
Our Trust Fund has been in a very healthy position for several years now and the Board agreed to disburse $45,625 of it this Rotary year.  Other donations, not budged for, $100  to Tim Neild, ex Hamilton Boys High School hockey player, to assist with expenses towards his participation in an International tournament;  $100 to an Inter-schools quiz evening, organized by Jennifer Kim from Sacred Hearts Girls School for year 12 and 13 students. Jennifer went on to form Hamilton Students Leaders Association;  $1,500 and $750 respectively to Hamilton Combined Christian Food Bank and Salvation Army Food Bank.
At our Christmas function, $7,000 was raised at auction for the Hospice Nepal Project.
Mike Grayson was presented with a PHF for his outstanding contribution to the International projects undertaken by the Club and the legal knowledge he very generously provides when needed to the club and its members.

Sue Truman was presented with a PHF for her outstanding work sorting out and setting up the club’s financial records and procedures on a new computer system.  Sue is leaving our Club this year, but I want to thank her personally for the support she has given me and for the professional way she has tackled every task for the Club.

Gavin Petrie was presented with a triple sapphire PHF for his dedication to the task of District and Fairfield Rotary Club web master over many years.

Bruce Birnie was presented with a sapphire pin for his untiring efforts towards all the club’s projects and in particular the last Book Fair that was held -  that we had decided not to be involved in!  Bruce is always there with his expertise, energy and his trailer.

Tony Richardson from Rototuna Rotary Club, was presented with a PHF Sapphire pin in recognition of his contribution to the Annual Book Fair, which Rototuna will now organize.

Recognition was given to Mike Cahill on being awarded Rotarian of the Year 2019 by District 9930.  Mike was at the time recovering from a heart attack in the UK.  He was later presented with this award, on his return, by PDG Graeme Jull at our meeting of 19th August. 


Shortly after resuming meetings in the New Year, Covid 19 struck the world and all District, National and International events were cancelled or postponed and the focus became keeping our members informed, connected and well.  Mike Cahill organized an online account for us to hold our meetings and suddenly “Zoom” meetings became all the rage.  We all improved our knowledge of technology very quickly.  Mike Cahill did a great job as Editor of the Bulletin during lock down, keeping us informed and the jokes about Covid 19 helped to keep spirits up and thankfully our member came through unscathed.

Our first “face to face” meeting was in June 2020, at Changeover at the Hamilton Gardens Café, selected as the new meeting place for meetings.

A year that will go down in history!