The President's Pen

Kia Ora,
Congratulations to  David and the Golf Day team for what can only be called an outstanding success. The proceeds from the day will be equally split between Dove Hospice and RCoSJ and will be used to fund our fantastic projects in our community. 
Thank-you to Peter Lester who delighted our packed meeting on Thursday with his insights from the Americas Cup.  Hopefully he will be able to showcase his RCoSJ shirt during the Olympic Games.
Please support our Anzac meeting this Thursday so we can support our local RSA.
See you all on Thursday. 

President: Rotary Club of St Johns
Phone: 021 0813 7313
Meeting in Review - April 15th 2021
An excellent turn-out for Breakfast last week with 33 members and 20 guests present for the Peter Lester America's Cup debrief talk.
More on the guest speaker below, but first a few club notices.
  • President Hugh extended a huge vote of thanks to Graham Fabian, David Hartstone and the rest of St Johns Rotary club members for the significant effort put in to ensure that the 2021 New World / St. Johns Rotary Golf Tournament was such a huge success, with in excess of $50k being raised for Dove Hospice and the wide range of youth activities that are supported by St. Johns.  Next year's Tournament is already booked in at Whitford Park, on March 22nd, 2022.  Block your diary now.
  • As noted below, our next meeting will be our ANZAC Breakfast on April 22nd.  A very interesting guest speaker has been locked in, and please note the cost for this breakfast will be $30, with $10 going to the RSA.
  • It was also a pleasure to welcome Assistant /Area Governor Vinod Sareen from RC of Somerville to the meeting at which he gave a brief up-date from District which included details of the upcoming Conference commencing 25 June.  Much more detail will be shared with members in the very near future.
Peter Lester was introduced to the meeting by Gary who reminded us that Peter has had an association with our club for 23years!
Not long before the commencement of the 36th America's Cup Regatta we were very fortunate to have Peter Lester as a guest speaker.  We thought that was coup, but last Thursday we definitely scored a coup with Peter coming back to share his thoughts on last months Regatta, the winners and some initial thoughts on the next Challenge.
Peter's talk essentially revolved around the development and design of a Foiling Monohull, how they arrived at the final design and why in his mind Team New Zealand continued to get the minor increases in boat speed, which, when all added together, gave NZL the edge - and as is often said - the fastest boat will always win the America's Cup, and this last regatta was no exception.
Peter is optimistic that AC37 will be held in Auckland in 2024 and will again be sailed with Foiling Monohulls although there will no doubt be some refinements.
When Gary was extending a vote of thanks, he presented Peter with a St. Johns Rotary shirt challenging Peter to wear this in front of the camera whenever he could.  At first Peter appeared to be prepared to do so, but it was only a matter of seconds before Peter said "you've got to be joking mate". 
Club Activities & Other Important Dates to Diary
THURSDAY APRIL 22nd - Breakfast Meeting, Commemorating ANZAC.
Guest Speaker Phil Fry.  Phil is an RSA Service Member at Orakei RSA, and he is also a member of the Officers Club of Auckland and of the New Zealand Military Historical Society Inc.

Phil will share the story of the World War Two, 1943 escape of his wife and her family from the Japanese invaders occupying Hong Kong. Their New Zealand husband and father, engineered his family’s escape through China. This is a true New Zealand story of aggression, hardship, love and dedication. 

Note: Breakfast fee will be $30 - with the additional $10 collected from each breakfast to be donated to Orakei RSA.  Guests welcome, but must RVSP to Club Service:

THURSDAY APRIL 29th - Breakfast Meeting - Guest Speaker Margaret Voyce;
Margaret is an Orakei Local Board Member and will be discussing a range of topics around Environmental Improvements and Issues in the Eastern Bays.
THURSDAY MAY 6th - Dinner Meeting - Annual Debate between St. Johns and Auckland East Rotary Clubs;
It is our turn to host the much anticipated Annual Debate with our 'chums' at Rotary Club of Auckland East. Partner and guests encouraged to come along and support this year's Debating Teams.  NEWS FLASH - Moot now confirmed;
"Should Covid-19 vaccinations be  compulsory for 18 years old and older?"

RC St Johns assigned affirmative – arguing in favour - RC Auckland East assigned to negative – arguing against.

RYDA 2021
Last Tuesday, six St. John’s Rotarians battled the Auckland morning rush hour traffic to get to Alexandra Park by 0830 to be briefed on volunteer duties for the Glendowie College Rotary Youth Driving Awareness, (RYDA), Seminar.
While the Rotarians, Gary, Kevin, Robyn, Isabella, Murray and Peter W were being briefed on their duties, five buses carrying 240 Year 12 Students and 12 teachers were also battling Auckland traffic to get to the venue on time for a 9.30 am start.
On arrival, the students were split into 6 groups of 40 and they then spent the rest of the day moving from seminar to seminar. As the title of the seminar alludes to, they were informed on numerous aspects of improving their driving skills, learning about the dangers of getting behind the wheel at a vulnerable age, and learning how best to deal with the challenges that they will be faced with as a driver in the future.
St. John’s Rotary has been sponsoring Glendowie College to participate in this programme for many years, and for many of these years our Club Champion for RYDA was long time member Nigel Robinson, who sadly passed away in 2019. It was nice of Gary, in his closing remarks, to be able to acknowledge Nigel and the work he had put into this programme.
Apirana Working Bee
It could be said that the club had just had a very busy couple of weeks - well even if that was the case, that didn't stop 16 club and family members turning up yesterday, in a very pleasant Autumn morning, to assist  three Auckland Council Volunteers, Nanda, Ken and Roger, (who many of our members had worked with on Motutapu Island in years gone by), to assist in preparing an area for the planting of another 600 native trees in this small but attractive reserve, situated between Apirana Ave and the main trunk railway line. 
The first picture above is of Peter B safely crossing the road with his tools of trade and the next two pictures are of the team receiving a safety briefing, and the team at large prior to hitting the scrub. The next picture is a view of the "working bees" hard at work, with the last photo being the group enjoying a well deserved coffee and muffin at a nearby cafe' at the end of the working bee.
Letter of Thanks
The following letter of thanks for the efforts of the working beee at the Apirana Reserve was received today by Peter B.
Hi Peter,
Just to say a heartfelt thanks and a huge kudos to your  ' lumberjack '  team at St Johns Rotary.  We're quite overwhelmed at the amount of work done this morning  -  something that would have taken the 3 of us a month of Sundays to achieve.  The absolute willingness of all to just get on and do the job was extremely impressive, and we saw it as a total team effort.  After you left Peter I had to take another look just to make sure that the image of the clearance in my mind was not just a figment of my imagination !
As mentioned to you we still have a little more to clear, the piles of rubbish have to be removed with Council help, and over the next months we will prepare for our planting in mid July.  We will over that time be putting as much pressure to bear on Council to remove the willows that are causing problems with the sooty mould, we will be monitoring the stream for life, chemical wastes , pH., etc., and at the same time ensuring that the weeding is kept up on last year's planting.  We are also very keen to know if the contact with Kiwirail can pull any strings as regards the rubbish that has been dumped.
We certainly will be keeping you up to date with what is happening at the reserve, and hope that your members will visit anytime they pass.   But only if they pull out a couple of weeds !  If you would kindly pass this email to all who helped today.  It was a pleasure to meet them all, we think they're marvellous, and it has given the three of us a real burst of enthusiasm to continue to make the reserve an oasis that all can enjoy.
Nanda, Roger and Ken
Salvation Army Food Packing

IPP Robyn has reported another great team effort with RCSJ members (Robyn, Prabha, Colin and Beryl) combining with members from Rotary Clubs of Newmarket, Howick and Papakura.

This week we were introduced to the Mt Wellington (Auckland City Corps) operation of Salvation Army, where our combined Rotary group were tasked with ‘trialling’ the packing set-up.

Volunteers were very happy with this newer and closer venue which features a roller conveyer that certainly helped save on the energy expended to move increasingly heavy boxes along the packing line.  Our efforts for the morning saw 240 boxes packed and ready for distribution.  This branch currently distributes approx. 300 food boxes per week, but hopes (with regular help from Rotary), to increase the packing capacity to around 800 per week.

St. Johns Rotary will continue with our once-a-month Tuesday session at the Manukau Depot until the Mt Wellington branch is fully operational and ready for us.

Kev's Candid Photo Album
Kev was at it once again, clicking away at last Thursdays meeting - did he catch you this week!!  
(Apologies from Ed.  We are experiencing some technical issues that are prohibiting captions to be inserted - hopefully next week we will be back on track).
Time For A Smile
One day while he was at the track playing the ponies and all but losing his shirt, Mitch noticed a priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race.

Lo and behold, that horse - a very long shot - won the race..

Before the next race, as the horses began lining up, Mitch watched with interest the old priest step onto the track. Sure enough, as the 5th race horses came to the starting gate the priest made a blessing on the forehead of one of the horses.

Mitch made a beeline for a betting window and placed a small bet on the horse.  Again, even though it was another long shot, the horse the priest had blessed won the race.

Mitch collected his winnings, and anxiously waited to see which horse the priest would bless for the 6th race. The priest again blessed a horse.

Mitch bet big on it, and it won. Mitch was elated.  As the races continued the priest kept blessing long shot horses, and each one ended up coming in first.

By and by, Mitch was pulling in some serious money. By the last race, he knew his wildest dreams were going to come true. He made a quick dash to the ATM, withdrew all his savings, and awaited the priest's blessing that would tell him which horse to bet on.

True to his pattern, the priest stepped onto the track for the last race and blessed the forehead of an old nag that was the longest shot of the day.

Mitch also observed the priest blessing the eyes, ears, and hooves of the old nag.  Mitch knew he had a winner and bet every cent he owned on the old nag.

He then watched dumbfounded as the old nag come in dead last. Mitch, in a state of shock, made his way down to the track area where the priest was.

Confronting the old priest he demanded, 'Father! What happened?

All day long you blessed horses and they all won. Then in the last race, the horse you blessed lost by a Kentucky mile. Now, thanks to you I've lost every cent of my savings -- all of it!'.

The priest nodded wisely and with sympathy.
'Son,' he said, 'that's the problem with you Protestants, you can't tell the difference between a simple blessing and last rites.'

Rotary Four Way Test
Next Meeting:
Breakfast Meeting;
We are expecting a large crowd for this meeting - RSVP's Essential - Please Contact IPP Robyn Ingram if you and guests are planning to attend this meeting.
Thursday 22nd April 2021 for 7.15 am.
Venue - Remuera Golf Club
Bulletin Contents: 
  • The President's Pen
  • Meeting in Review - 1st April
  • Activities and other Important Dates
  • RYDA 2021
  • Apirana Reserve Working Bee
  • Salvation Army Food Packing
  • Kev's Candid Camera Album
  • Time for a Smile
Apr 22, 2021 7:00 AM
Commemorating ANZAC Day - A Snake Boat out of Hong Kong
Apr 29, 2021 7:00 AM
Environmental Improvements and Issues in the Eastern Bays
May 06, 2021 6:00 PM
Should Covid-19 vaccinations be compulsory for 18 years old and older?
May 13, 2021 7:00 AM
Club Assembly (aka Brainstorm)
May 20, 2021 7:00 AM
May 27, 2021 6:00 PM
Jun 03, 2021 7:00 AM
Jun 10, 2021 7:00 AM
Jun 17, 2021 7:00 AM
Jun 18, 2021 6:00 PM
Please diary
Jun 24, 2021
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Annual Debate with RC of Auckland East
May 06, 2021
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
MUNA 2021 (Model United Nations Assembly)
May 28, 2021 9:00 AM –
May 29, 2021 5:00 PM
View entire list
Meeting Responsibilities
Thursday 22 April MORNING
Ingram, Robyn
Bell, Patrick
Bhana, Prabha
Speaker Host
Ingram, Robyn
Speaker Thanks & Close
Street, Tom
Rutherford, Christie
Jones, Simon
Thursday 29 April MORNING
Robinson, Beryl
Hartstone, David
Boyd, Lynette
Speaker Host
Buchanan, Peter
Speaker Thanks & Close
Robinson, Colin
Francis, Andy
Harris, Lesley
Thursday 6 May EVENING
Belthazar, Jane
Figueiredo, Avinash
Fabian, Graham
Scott-Russell, Hugh
Debate Thanks
Scott-Russell, Hugh
Harris, Lesley

Club Contacts

Hugh Scott-Russell 021 0813 7313 
Secretary, Treasurer & Apologies: 
Alex Gatt 021 571 722
Presidents Elect: 
Penny McGarry 021 702 310   &
Lesley Harris 027 4935 498
Michelle Forman 021 0277 9456
Club Services: 
Robyn Ingram  022 0200 171 
Bulletin Editor: 
Pete Walsh 021 747 858
John Lewisham 021 375080
Our Meetings
We meet Thursday for breakfast at
7:00 am for 7:15 am start,
except for the first Thursday of the month, when we meet in the evening at 6:00 pm for dinner.
Remuera Golf Club
120 Abbotts Way
Auckland 1072
New Zealand 
All Rotarian's are welcome 
including family members.
Others wanting to visit are most welcome - please phone or email:
John Lewisham. Ph: 021 375 080, email;
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