13 October 2005
Silent workers need more helpers
In 250 rooms around New Zealand around 10,000 people will meet this week to quietly talk about projects that positively
affect thousands of lives here and around the world.
Many Kiwis never hear about those projects, like building homes in Fiji or schools in Africa, helping victims of natural
disasters and ridding the world of the polio virus.
They may see some results closer to home – things like new playgrounds and walking tracks - or hear of things like
student exchanges, camps and educational gatherings like the Model United National Assembly.
But now, in “Rotary Awareness Week” October 15 - 21, New Zealanders are being asked to recognise these projects are
carried out by people like them who are prepared to put something back into the wider community.
Rotarians represent a cross-section of the community's business and professional men and women. The service organization
is nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
What about the Orewa speeches, where National Party leader Dr Don Brash delivered some strong political views, some will
ask? The answer is clubs invite speakers to talk about a wide spectrum of topics. That’s part of the self-education
process. But Rotary doesn’t endorse the speakers’ views.
Rotary International celebrated 100 years in February this year. Over the years New Zealand clubs have initiated,
facilitated or supported some of the country’s most potent helping organisations. They include Outward Bound, CCS, Meals
on Wheels, Milk in Schools, Karitane, Mobile Blood Transfusion Service, Child Health Research Foundation, Trees for
Survival, National Kidney Foundation, Starship Ronald McDonald House, Defensive Driving Courses, Ellerslie Flower Show
and many more.
This year’s Rotary International President Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar has put the latest focus on literacy and water
management. He sees them as the keys to help people live decent lives.
Whether it is contributing to the project to provide New Zealand youngsters a “Bag of Books” to take home from school,
or building or funding tanks to provide fresh water to villages in Pacific Islands, New Zealand’s Rotary clubs are
meeting that challenge.
A New Zealander, Bill Boyd of the Rotary Club of Pakuranga, is next year’s Rotary International President. He will
present his own focus at Rotary’s world conference in Sweden in June next year. But he will be keen for as many New
Zealanders as possible to help him.
To find out more about how you can help and to join a Rotary Club, telephone 0800 4 ROTARY.