The President's Pen

President Hugh hopes everyone had a peaceful long ANZAC weekend and he is looking forward to seeing you all at the Breakfast Meeting on Thursday April 29th. 
Hugh Scott Russell

President: Rotary Club of St Johns
Phone: 021 0813 7313
Meeting in Review - April 22nd 2021
As has become a special day in our club's annual programme, this years ANZAC Day Breakfast, was no exception.  A good crowd of 37, including 10 guests, were very fortunate to hear a war story that in all likelihood they had never heard before.
A review of the guest speaker's talk is covered off below, but first one club notice;
  • After a year's absence due to Covid, the Have a Go (HAG), sailing programme, which is partly sponsored by SJRC, is back.  This year Orakei Marine are also back supporting the ST.RC. Thank you Orakei Marine.  A big thank you also to New Zealand Yachting who run the programme which is commencing at Akarana Yacht Club on May 10th.  Weather permitting, the programme will run for 12 days and if any members are interested in getting up close and personal to the action, please contact Gary Key.   
Our guest speaker today was Philip Fry, an RSA Service Member from the Orakei RSA, a member of the New Zealand Military Historical Society, and a member of the Officers Club of Auckland.  Phil wanted to share with us a story titled "Snake Boat out of Hong Kong."  This is a true story about Philips wife's family who were living in Hong Kong in December 1941, when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong.
Philips wife Margaret and her sister Marie were young girls when this traumatic event, which lasted over two years, occurred.  Not only were we very fortunate to have Philip share this story on  behalf of the family, both Margaret and Marie accompanied him to our meeting this morning. 
This photo is of the two girls taken in the 1940's.
After the invasion, the father who was a ships engineer working away from Hong Kong, managed to escape from the Japanese on a merchant ship which took him to Melbourne.  From Melbourne in early 1942 he began his mission to return to occupied Hong Kong and smuggle his family out of Hong  Kong. 
Despite travelling through many war torn areas from Australia through Singapore, India, China and Macau over a two year period he completed his mission, against all odds, with the family eventually arriving in New Zealand in 1944. 
The family's story was originally captured in a book written by a ghost writer.  Philip and Margaret,s son has only recently re-written the story in a book titled "Snake Boat out of Hong Kong" which will soon be released.
Philips talk supported by numerous pieces of memorabilia such as maps, letters, uniforms, medals and photographs, was a perfect match for our ANZAC breakfast.  A very big thank you from the RCof SJ to the Fry family for sharing this amazing story with us.
A big thank you also to Michele Mann for providing the ANZAC ‘touches’ for the tables and to Katrina Bell for assisting Club Services Director , IPP Robyn, with the special ‘set-up’ for our ANZAC meeting.  Lastly a big thanks to Tom for his thanks and close - both hit the spot perfectly.
Club Activities & Other Important Dates to Diary
THURSDAY APRIL 29th - Breakfast Meeting - Guest Speaker Margaret Voyce;
Margaret is a Orakei Local Board Member (OLB) and will be discussing a range of topics around Environmental Improvements and Issues in the Eastern Bays.  Margaret was elected to OLB October 2019, one of 4 new members at that time.  Her current Orakei Board Position is: Environment, Water Care and Civil Defence and her goal is to make our OLB Environment as relevant to as many residents in the board area as possible!


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?".  The RC St Johns has been assigned the affirmative – arguing in favour - RC Auckland East assigned to negative – arguing against.  Be sure that you RSVP so that you too can be witness to Jt. Johns lifting the highly sort after trophy high above!
Salvation Army Food Parcel Packing
Next Volunteer Dates
Hello Club Members
Our assistance is still very much appreciated at the Manukau depot for usual packing duties.  This week and next month on these dates:  
Date:  Tuesday 27 April & Tuesday 25 May
Time:  9:30am - 2:00pm (but we often finish earlier)
Venue:  15 Bakerfield Place, Manukau
Please let IPP Robyn know if you would like to help - just click here to email her.
It is likely from June onward, our designated help day will be moved to Wednesday - working at the Mt Wellington Branch.
Put your Thinking Cap on - be creative
Another thought provoker as we head towards the 13th of May and our all important Club Assembly (aka Brainstorm) where YOU will have the chance to help shape our club for the year ahead. We are vibrant now, but in true St Johns Rotary fashion are always looking to do even better.
Peter B - In His Happy Place
If you were wondering where our Peter B was a couple of weeks ago, or what he was doing, well as confirmed on Seven Sharp on Friday 23 April, he was in his "happy place" with other Fungi Maestros on Stewart Island hunting down rare and beautiful fungi.  The following pics are still shots from the Seven Sharp TV story, but if you are interested in seeing the full item, check this link out which still features the Friday April 23rd programme.  
Four District Events for you to consider
The following Event information (details under 'Read more ..") has been received from District 9920 and is passed on for your consideration.  If interested, please respond directly to the Event organisers - also see the District Calendar at
  1. Rotary 100 Year Centennial Showcase
  2. District 9920 Conference
  3. District 9920 Conference Formal Dinner
  4. District 9920 Changeover
Kev's Candid Photo Album
At last weeks meeting, Kev was once again taking his photographers role seriously and below are more shots to be added to his Candid Album. Did he get you this week?
I wish our Taupo meetings were as much fun!  Great to see you Donald.  We trust all is going well in Taupo for you.
Only three months to go - yeh!
It was very nice to see our Guest Speakers wife Margaret and her sister Marie join the meeting.
A very attentive audience listening to the guest speaker
Very nice to see you at two consecutive meetings Katrina, but please be sure to leave enough Brekkie for Aubrey.
A nice shot of the Leylands
Goodness knows what Graham is about to do, but there's bound to be a chocolate fish for the best caption submitted to the Editor before the next meeting!
Time For A Smile
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.
The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. 
Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.
The little girl said, 'When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah'.
The teacher asked, 'What if Jonah went to hell?'
The little girl replied, 'Then you ask him'.
Rotary Four Way Test
Next Meeting:
Breakfast Meeting;
Thursday 29th 2021 for 7.15 am.
Venue - Remuera Golf Club
Bulletin Contents: 
  • The President's Pen
  • Meeting in Review - 22nd April 
  • Activities and other Important Dates
  • Salvation Army - Food Packing up-date
  • Put your thinking cap on
  • Peter B In His Happy Place
  • District Events
  • Kev's Candid Camera Album
  • Time for a Smile
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 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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