The Presidents' Pen

Co-Presidents St. Johns Rotary, Penny McGarry (Ph: 021 702 310), and Lesley Harris (Ph: 027 4935 498).

What a great meeting, it was well organized, welcoming and almost 'normal' so to speak. 
It was lovely to see Oscar, Prabha and Ainie join us together along with all the 'locals'. 
Michelle 'aka' Angus posed topical questions as our Remote Sargent's session was concluded, we didn't have all the answers.
Then starring as a participant in the presentation 'Rotary Reading Enrichment Programme' was our very own Alex Gatt, alongside Ann Dunphy and  Libby Barrett.  We are proud of you Alex for your 7 years participation in the programme - a true Rotarian, and don't forget you are on tea towel duty on behalf of the Club! Don’t forget to give yourself one as you deserve it.  
Have a good week all, enjoy McD's, KFC or just a bought coffee - the little treats that come with level 3, but let’s hope it’s not long until we can meet face to face with ‘normal’ Club meetings before too long. 
See you next week
L and P


Meeting in Review - September 23rd 2021
Once again our weekly meeting was via Zoom - hopefully only two or three more weeks before we can meet face to face - HOPEFULLY!!!!
Member participation in the Zoom Meetings is becoming very consistent with numbers again this week being 21 plus guest speakers.  It would be great to have a few more members join in if it's at all possible.
As mentioned above we were treated with member Oscar Lyons zooming in from London!  It was great to see and hear you Oscar and to be updated on how well you are doing in the UK, and more importantly, it was so good to hear that NZL is still home and it may not be too long before we see you back here, even if only initially for another visit.
Director Foundation and PE Gary reminded all members that the annual (Tax Free), voluntary donations to the Rotary Foundation are now due.  As little or as much as can be afforded will be well received by our Charity of choice.
There are several Club and District events scheduled between now and the end of the year.  However, as we have seen over the last couple of months, many of these have been postponed or cancelled, so do please be sure to check the Bulletin each week for new dates as they come to hand, and we have a better understanding of the extent of any future lockdowns.
It was also good to have another Sergeants Session conducted via zoom - thanks Angus. 
Following the Director updates and other club notices, our guest speakers were introduced; Ann Dunphy Penrose Rotary, Libby Barrett a teacher and REP Coordinator from One Tree Hill Collage, (OTHC).over 20 years and or very own Alex Gatt.  
REP has been running at OTHC for some time now with over 1,000 students being given the chance to experience its unique benefits.  REP is a literacy initiative that relies heavily on community involvement. It is "learning through connecting" and it involves students being mentored by many volunteer tutors – all of whom have made successes of their lives.  Our Alex being one of these tutors and he has now been involved for 7 years.
For many years now, there has been the realization that the literacy skills of a portion of students entering college, are not at the required levels to encourage success.  The REP programme has therefore been devised to upskill students in the required components in an endeavour to overcome their reading challenges.  OTHC have been fortunate to be able to make REP available to a selection of Year 9 students due to the support of the management and teaching staff, and the sponsorship of;
  • Penrose Rotary Club, 
  • Burnett Charitable Trust,
  • Event Cinemas,
  • David Levene Foundation,
  • Lois Dalley Trust, MSA Charitable Trust, 
  • Newmarket Rotary Charitable Foundation,
  • One Tree Hill College BOT,
  • Management & Staff, Rotary Club of Newmarket,
  • Scholastic NZ,
  • The Chenery Trust,
  • The Fletcher Trust and
  • The Harold Thomas Memorial Trust.
The success of REP can be judged, not only the data gathered, but by the fact that its reputation is spreading, and it has now been set up in nine different colleges and high schools in the North Auckland and Auckland regions, with many more enquiring to set up the programme in their schools.
Auckland University has just released a report on their research into why REP is so successful – their findings back up fully what the programme was designed to achieve for the students.  The programme targets students who have ability but just need the necessary enrichment of their literacy skills to reach their full potential and therefore be successful in their academic life.
An excellent overview was delivered by Ann and Libby and accolades to Alex for his commitment.  If any members are interested in learning more on how they could participate, please contact Alex who will be more than happy to share his experiences. 
Club Meetings and Other Important Dates
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 30th - BREAKFAST Meeting, via ZOOM, 7.30 am - Guest Speaker Desley Simpson:

Desley is an Auckland Councillor representing the Orakei Ward. Prior to that she was Orakei's Local Board Chair, a role she held unopposed for 6 years since the formation of the Super City in 2010. Desley is known to many of our members and most recently 'entertained' us as a member of the Rotary Club of Auckland East Debating team, during our annual interclub debate.

We look forward to hearing what is currently keeping Desley super busy in her role as Councillor.


THURSDAY OCT 7th - DINNER MEETING 6.00 pm for 6.30 pm.  This could well be our first Face to Face Meeting for some-time.  Due to Level 2 restrictions we are limited in the size of the meeting.  Be sure to RSVP to PP / Club Services Director Robyn I. to secure your seat at this Dinner meeting.  Guest Speaker - James Palmer:

An overview of the real stats and state of housing in New Zealand, and a discussion on some of the solutions needed to tackle New Zealand’s greatest social crisis since the Great Depression.

James Palmer, BA, LLB - Chief Executive, Community Finance and Christian Savings.

Christian Savings is New Zealand’s only registered charity that is also licensed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as a non-bank deposit taker.  Christian Savings manages over $225m, with over $180m in loans to a range of not-for-profits and Community Housing Providers.    

James identified a need to grow impact investing to help meet New Zealand’s significant housing crisis.  He founded and launched Community Finance in 2019.  Community Finance is now New Zealand’s largest open impact investment intermediary established to facilitate investment into affordable housing.  The core focus is on permanent solutions delivered by reputable organisations who are equipped to take care of our most vulnerable New Zealanders. Community Finance has already advanced over $50 million to Community Housing Providers such as The Salvation Army and Community of Refuge Trust.  In 2021, Community Finance launched the Aotearoa Pledge to raise an additional $100m for impact investing through the housing sector.  By April 2021, $71m had already been pledged from a range of fund managers, KiwiSaver providers and community trusts and foundations.

At the Institute of Financial Professionals of New Zealand Gala event in May, James won the coveted Emerging Leader Award for 2021.

Salvation Army Food Packing
Once again St. Johns Rotary put their hand up to pack food boxes on behalf of the Salvation Army on Wednesday September 29th.  Many thanks to the team who registered their availability and volunteered.
However, as it turns out - the coordinator has called Murray to advise that they have too many clubs / personnel offering to help next Wednesday.  Accordingly we have “devolunteered” the St. Johns team knowing we would be happy to wait till our third Wednesday slot on October 20th.
Many thanks to all who had volunteered.  Please let Murray know if you can assist on October 20th.
Have Some Fun Helping Promote Your Club
Hundreds of great people will be coming to the Orakei Volunteer Expo to find out more about the volunteering opportunities in their community and St Johns Rotary will be there to let them know that they can enjoy this with us.
What we need is some of our great members to be at the stand to chat about the greatness of St Johns Rotary - our people, our projects, our fun - to these prospective volunteers, sponsors or members.  The event is on Saturday 30 October from 10am to 2pm at the Auckland Netball Centre, 7 Allison Ferguson Drive, St Johns (so easy to get to and loads of parking).  Colin is organising the display and what we need to be doing when there and is the person to call today 021 652 801 and say "YES - I will help" ... we need 4 people at least (2 on the stand and 2 floating handing out material and generally being visible).  All will be wearing club shirts or a hi-viz vest. 
Covid-19 issues:  The event will only happen at Level 1 so will be safe (but the date may change) for larger number of people attending and usual Covid requirements will be followed.
Time For A Smile

Well maybe not a joke, but an interesting video clip if you haven't seen?


Rotary Four Way Test
Next Meeting:
Breakfast Zoom Meeting.
Link to follow via email.
Thursday September 30th
  • Presidents Pen
  • Meeting in Review - September 23rd 2021
  • Club Meetings & Other Important Dates
  • Salvation Army Food Packing
  • Time for a Smile
Sep 30, 2021 7:00 AM
Auckland Councillor
Oct 07, 2021 6:00 PM
New Zealand’s Housing Crisis: An overview of the real stats and state of housing in NZ
Oct 27, 2021 6:00 PM
Oct 28, 2021 7:00 AM
Combined meeting with RC Auckland Harbourside
Nov 04, 2021 6:00 PM
Scott Brown Carpentry
Nov 11, 2021 7:00 AM
New CEO Tamaki Regeneration Company
Nov 11, 2021 7:00 AM
Nov 18, 2021 7:00 AM
Nov 19, 2021 6:00 PM
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Orakei Volunteer Expo (TBC - in Level 1)
Auckland Netball Centre
Oct 30, 2021
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
View entire list
Meeting Responsibilities
Thursday 30 September MORNING
Fabian, Graham
Robinson, Beryl
Mayne, Alan
Speaker Host
Key, Gary
Thanks & Close
Gulani, Namrata
Robinson, Colin
Thursday 7 October EVENING
Ingram, Robyn
Cain, Miles
Belthazar, Jane
Speaker Host
McGarry, Penny
Thanks & Close
Gilmer, Gavin
James, David

Club Contacts

Penny McGarry 021 702 310 &
Lesley Harris 027 4935 498
Secretary, Treasurer & Apologies: 
Alex Gatt 021 571 722
Presidents' Elect: 
Gary Key 021 611 169 & Graham Fabian 021 826 292
Club Services: 
Robyn Ingram  022 0200 171 
Gary Key 021 611 169
Hugh Scott Russell 021 0813 7313 & John Lewisham 09 5288908.
Tom Street 021 685 651
Science Technology & Education:
 Peter Buchanan 027 434 1832
Michelle Forman 021 0277 9456, Angus McPhee  09 575 1007 & Cheri Joliffe 021 037 7559
Beryl Robinson 021 652 802. Email:
Bulletin Editor: 
Pete Walsh 021 747 858.
Club: Email:
Area Govenor:
Ashwini Sadhu
021 305 261,
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:
Beryl Robinson 021 652 802. Email:
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