The Presidents' Pen

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


Great attendance for last week's Zoom meeting.

Almost as a normal meeting, with Angus as Sergeant quizzing us on our guest speaker's personal profile,

In lieu of the clunk of coins or the shuffle of notes, you can contribute to the Sunshine Fund online,  just saying.....

We all felt we knew a little more about local MP Simon O'Connor as a result.

Simon spoke on a variety of current topics of interest, on the condition we could politically filter as we choose!

 An interesting well participated in Q and A session followed. 

Thanks Simon, we're sure the meeting was enjoyed by all in these very frustrating times,

L and P


Meeting in Review - September 16th 2021
Pictured above are most of the 24 members and 1 guest who zoomed in for our meeting last Thursday.  It was also loverly to see HM and PP Ainie participating in the meeting!
Our Guest Speaker was Simon O'Connor, our local MP.  He is a member of the National Party and is the Opposition Spokesperson for Customs, and Associate Spokesperson for Housing and Social Development.  He is also Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade committees.
DG Elect Allan Smith introduced Simon, although after Angus's Quiz, "20 things you should know about Simon", there wasn't much more to say! 
In his address Simon covered off, and shared, his perspective on a wide range of subjects, both those impacting locally and nationally, such as;  Covid19 and associated issues;  Lockdowns and their impact on people and businesses, MIQ (availability & special cases), Elimination Strategy, Testing, and Vaccination's.
Other subjects raised, specifically linked to the Eastern Bays electorate, included; the growth of crime in the area, the introduction of Community Patrols, Social Housing and Afghani Refugees.  He also touched on the Economy and the state of the National Party and Leadership.  All in all a very comprehensive range of subjects were raised followed by an active Q & A.  Thanks Simon for your time and your interest and support of St. Johns Rotary.   
Club Meetings and Other Important Dates
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 23rd -  BREAKFAST ZOOM MEETING 7.30 am- Guest Speaker Ann Dunphy & Libby Barrett:

Do you know about the Rotary "Reading Enrichment Programme", (REP)?

REP is a programme that has been running for 20 years – but somewhat under the radar!  It aspires to raise student literacy levels by offering professionally supervised one-on-one sessions with students, at set times, and worked within the school timetable.  The programme was set up at One Tree Hill College by past principal Ann Dunphy and businessman Harvey Alison, representing the Penrose Rotary Club.

Students are paired with volunteer reading tutors, who give up their time to coach students to help them with basic literacy principles and gain more understanding (and therefore more enjoyment and motivation to read) from the texts they work on.  REP is now offered at seven high school.  Our club member Alex Gatt has been a Tutor for this programme for many years and can’t speak more highly of it. 

This week we are delighted that Ann will be joining us to tell us about the programme, along with Libby who has been the volunteer-REP coordinator at One Tree Hill College for 20 years; and our own Alex Gatt will also make a special appearance and share his experience as a Tutor.


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.

Board Meeting Feedback
Report. Board meeting 14 September 2021
Criteria for Donations was accepted as update,  (See separate story in this Bulletin)
Board approved complying with Bruce Howe's advice and waiting for Rotary to update the Deed template before we amend our Deed.
In order to comply with 9.6 of the current Deed all Trustees will retire and the Presidents will announce the reappointed and new Trustees at the November AGM.
BeyondWater. (Speakers earlier this month).  A $250 donation was approved.
District Grants 2 out of 3 applications were successful. (Basketball and Have a Go).
Science Forum. Board agreed to sponsor 3 x candidates. $3,000.
Spring RYPEN has been cancelled.
Foundation Donations. Gary will monitor progress.  
Criteria For Donations
If any member, ever wishes to nominate an individual or an organisation to receive a donation from the club, there is a simple but nessessary process to follow.  Please click on "Read More" here, to see the Criteria for Donations.
Tom Gump - Live From The USA
Dear St Johns Rotarian,
As discussed during our Rotary Zoom meeting last Thursday, this is your opportunity to register for tomorrow night's online webinar Membership Inspiration by Tom Gump from USA who is an excellent motivator. 
Tom Gump is a Past DG and master international club builder with the Zoom webinar on Tuesday 21 September 2021 at 9.30pm NZST for a chat about things that work when you're creating a new club, and things perhaps to avoid.

Then you can either watch the webinar live, and / or the webinar recording will be sent to you a few days later to watch whenever it suits you. 
Questions for the webinar panel?  Please send them to
Kindest regards,
From the Inbox - Rotary Foundation News
Dear Rotarian,
I hope this email finds you safe and well in this long  lockdown in Auckland and Fiji.   It is a difficult time but we will get through this.
Included in this email below, is the link to a copy of the September 2021 Foundation News.   It contains the normal information with regard to how to make Donations to the Foundation and also the updated list of the 2021-2022 Foundation Committee members.
It also contains information regarding a proposed Foundation Dinner in November 2021 (Covid permitting) and a way to virtually raise funds for the End Polio Campaign.
Enjoy the read.
Yours in Rotary Service
Jennie Herring
District Rotary Foundation Chair (DRFC) D9920
Salvation Army Food Packing
Once again St. Johns Rotary supported other clubs in the District to pack Food Boxes on behalf of the Salvation Army.  The latest packing was undertaken last Wednesday September 15th and three St Johns club members, Murray H. Gary K. and Peter W. participated in what was a record day with 453 boxes packed in just under 3 hours.
We are also looking for volunteers for Wednesday September 29th - Can you help?  If so please contact Murray H to register your interest;
Polio - All Transit Appeal

St. Johns Rotary Club wishes to support this year’s POLIO ALL TRANSIT Appeal. Friday October 29th.

This is District’s appeal to raise money to defeat Polio in the world.  Some 40 cases still arose last year in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Rotary and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have invested over USD 1 Billion so far and the campaign is working.

On the 29th October, Rotarians will have free use for the day of the AT network; Ferries, Trains and buses, (where substituting for trains) when wearing Rotary gear.  We can collect donations; carrying pails but really the collection is now using QR codes to enable internet banking. We want a good turnout.  It is proposed that the St Johns members pickup the train at Orakei / Meadowbank at 7.45am.  Ride the train to Swanson; have  a coffee and return.  Keen riders head out South to Puhinui Road station then Pukekohe. Others ride the ferries to Waiheke.

The club has traditionally donated to the Appeal and we would like to do the same again this year.  

Can you help??  Please contact Murray H. asap;

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.
Gibbs Farm Sculpture Walk
This event is an MS Fundraising event, brought to us by Honerary Member Donald Bowie.  Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions the proposed walk has been postponed and has now been rescheduled for 19th November, dependent on Auckland being in level 1.
Should any members who purchased tickets have questions, please contact Donald at;
Life Bouy For MS!
Our past member and now St Johns HM and Taupo Rotary Club Member, Donald Bowie is still very active with the MS Society in Auckland.  In this position he has asked the good members of St. Johns to consider supporting the following MS Fundraiser. 
All details are in the flyer below and it would be great if a good sized group from St. Johns are able to support the event - all subject to Covid19 restrictions of course.
An Opportunity to Visit Chatham Islands

The Private Travel Company (PTC), have put together a unique tour, for Remuera Rotary Club, family and friends, and members of St. Johns Rotary are invited to join fellow Rotarians from Remuera Rotary.

PTC have been very fortunate to secure accommodation in the Chatham Islands in February 2022 when the weather is as good as it ever will be down there.

If you are interested in finding out more on the tour, itinerary dates and cost, please contact Cindy Bakewell on;

021 0247 0005   Freecall 0800 142 4639

Time For A Smile

As promised - more for the LEXOPHILIA:

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He's all right now.

A bicycle can't stand alone: it's just two tired.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.

Rotary Four Way Test
Next Meeting:
Breakfast Zoom Meeting.
Link to follow via email.
Thursday September 23rd
  • Presidents Pen
  • Meeting in Review - September 16th 2021
  • Club Meetings & Other Important Dates
  • Board Meeting Feedback
  • Donation Criteria
  • Tom Gump - Live From the USA
  • From the Inbox - Foundation News
  • Salvation Army Food Packing
  • Polio Appeal
  • Gibbs Farm Sculpture Tour
  • MS Life Buoy
  • Photos From Lockdown
  • An Opportunity to Visit the Chatham Islands
  • Time for a Smile
Sep 23, 2021 7:00 AM
Rotary Reading Enrichment Programme (REP)
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
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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