My last District Bulletin for 2017-18 - Rotary: Making A Difference
The last District Bulletin for this Rotary year and a very special thanks to our Communications team who keep the information flowing on Facebook - Laura Sommer, District website-  Richard Stephen, and the powerhouse worker with a special thank you to the champion of the District Bulletin - Adrienne Murray. Adrienne has done herself proud with gathering and sending out in a timely fashion a monthly District Bulletin with the musing of the District Governor as well as much information that keeps us all informed. The District Bulletin is the one source for the current updates and information about what is happening in the District.
Much achieved in May 18!
As the Rotary year draws to a close we have continued to have an amazing year of Rotary: Making A Difference. This was exemplified by the road show to promote the Rarotonga Mobile Health Clinic with Rotary Club of Masterton South Project leaders David Baker and Dr Rob Irwin as they traveled with the Tranzit modified bus that has been transformed into a Mobile Health Clinic by the talented Paul Snelgrove and his team at Tranzit in Masterton! Heading through stop offs enroute to Auckland for shipping, the Mobile Health Clinic stopped of in Palmerston North, Whanganui, Stratford and Inglewood. Upon reaching the Auckland waterfront it was loaded aboard a ship bound for Rarotonga. It arrived and was unloaded in Rarotonga on May 30th and will undergo final orientation and driver training through the Ministry of Health staff, The final stage of this part of the project will be the official presentation to the Cook Islands government, Rotary District 9920 and the Rotary Club of Rarotonga on June 18th, 2018, by the Rotary Club of Masterton South and Rotary District 9940.
The biggest event of May was RotaFEST 18 - A Festival of Rotary, 11-13 May 2018 in Palmerston North. My thanks to the hard working committee members who put in massive amounts of personal time to achieve a stand out event that not only captured the hearts and minds of the Rotarian's who attended, it also engaged Rotary in the community in a direct way with the Rotary Festival in the Palmerston North Square. Fantastic youth jazz bands, the Rodger Fox Big Band with Erna Ferry and kiwi music legend Mark Williams, followed up with the Aspire Jazz Band from Wellington, made a wonderful day for all to see what Rotary is about whilst enjoying food trucks, kids rides and entertainment as well as Rotary marquees full of Club and District information and projects that have Made A Difference to many people in many communities.
With great conference speakers, a tour of WildBase Recovery, District Training Assembly and the attendance of Rotary special guests in Rotary International Past President Bill ad Lorna Boyd, Rotary International Director Elect Rafael Garcia III and Minda and District 9910 Governor David and Denise Oliphant, a great weekend was assured for all. 
Of significance at this years Annual General Meeting  on the Sunday morning of RotaFEST 18 was the adoption of the Rotary Club of Wellington proposed Rotary District 9940 Constitution. This came into effect on the 18 May with submission to the Companies Office. My appreciation to PDG's Judy Bain, Tony Fryer, Pat Waite, Anthony Scott and IPDG Martin Garcia for all their hard work to prepare and research the necessary work that has shaped up the District Constitution that we have adopted in 2018.
A full RotaFEST 18 - A Festival of Rotary review is part of this months District Bulletin.   We are organising for all photos to be available asap as there are far too many to be shown here
Still much to achieve in June
The last month of the Rotary year has started with celebration through Queens Birthday honours bestowed on Rotarian's President Graeme Titcombe (Karori) and President Marie Baker (Whanganui Daybreak). Our best wishes to Graeme and Marie and heartiest congratulations on this royal honour and recognition.
This month will have the District represented internationally with two major events. A large team of Rotarian's from our District and District 9920 will journey to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands to officially recognise the Rotary Foundation Global Grant supported Rarotonga Mobile Health Clinic project that has been brought to fruition by the Rotary Club of Masterton South. This project will achieve an amazing outcome for the people of the Cook Islands and this all done within the Rotary year. Spectacular!
The Rotary International Convention in Toronto, Canada from the 23-27 June will be the final chapter in this Rotary year. We will celebrate a a year of Rotary: Making a Difference with Rotary International President Ian and Juliet Riseley. There are 28 District 9940 Rotarian's and partners travelling to be part of this massive Rotary International Convention event. We are in for an amazing experience. I will have the pleasure of catching up with many Rotary District Governors from throughout the world to celebrate the 2017-18 year. I will also get to catch up with my old friend retired Toronto Fire Service Chief William Stewart. A great opportunity to match vocational and community service with Rotary in the biggest city in Canada. A dream come true for this kiwi Rotarian and Fire and Emergency New Zealand Area Commander from Bunnythorpe in the Manawatu!
Finally in June will be the celebration in Pahiatua of 75 years of Rotary Club of Pahiatua service with a program planned for the 29th and 30th of June. The gala dinner on Saturday 30th June night will see a proud history acknowledged with its community and Rotary Club members past and present.
The year in reflection
What a year of Rotary I have experienced with the support of an amazing team of people. From my mentor PDG Rodney Wong, the District Governor Train with IPDG Martin Garcia, DGE Marion Johnston, DGN John Mohi and recently announced DGN Designate Gillian Jones, District Trustees PDG Howard Tong and PDG Tony Fryer, to our talented team of District Leaders and committee chairs, the Assistant Governors of the thirteen clusters of Rotary Clubs and our Rotary Club Presidents and you the Rotarian's of District 9940 - thank you for all you have done to make this year so memorable in so many ways.
I would say the greatest honour to be bestowed on a District Governor is for the Rotary International President to visit the Rotary District during the year of office. Given the 540 Rotary Districts in the world, I feel deeply honored that we were able to host RI President Ian Riseley. Firstly to address gathered Rotarian's at a meeting in Palmerston North and then visit WildBase Hospital and the amazing Rotary inspired and supported WildBase Recovery centre. That night 200 Rotarian's gathered in Feilding to celebrate Rotary on a number of levels.
Four Rotary Clubs celebrated 75 years Rotary service to their communities. We were privileged to celebrate with Rotary International President Ian Riseley the presentation of recognition certificates to the Rotary Clubs of Hutt City, Pahiatua, Marton and Stratford. Of course not to be missed were the Rotary Club of Feilding who hosted the event just five months shy of their 75th birthday! A special certificate of recognition was presented to President Ken Casey!
Rotary International President Ian Riseley then provided the biggest and best surprise I have witnessed in Rotary with the recognition of an extraordinary Rotarian in Past District Governor Pat Waite with Rotary International's highest accolade the Service Above Self Award. To have this presented by a serving Rotary International President, when there are only up to a maximum of 150 awards of this type each Rotary year, was very special to Pat and Melva and their sons who made the trip to Feilding to surprise Pat as well !!
This year has seen an explosion of youth based investment in Rotary programs. We have three new Interact Clubs in Waipopehu College in Levin, St Orans College in the Hutt Valley and Waitara College in the Taranaki. We have some six other colleges that will charter in the next Rotary year. This bodes well for Rotary and our programs for youth and my special thanks goes to District Interact Coordinator Marilyn Stevens and Interact Council leader and President of the Rotary Club of Taihape, Michael Andrews.
The Rotary Club of Awapuni chartered  the Rotaract Club of Massey University and this will bode well for future expansion of Rotaract in the District. Well done to Rotaract Club of Massey University charter President Lachie Davidson and incoming President Ramola Ladge.
The future for some Rotary Clubs lies with the evolution of the Club to the next generation through the charter of a Satellite Club. My congratulations to President Barrie Smith for the vision to start a Satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Stratford that will in time I am sure become the next generation of Rotary club members. I know Chair Daniel Stieller will lead a great team of community minded new generation Rotarian's for the future.
Our Rotary International Youth Exchange committee has again performed at the highest level to support and select outbound and inbound students. This year I was so pleased to see the development and opportunities that our host Rotary Clubs have achieved to support this years inbound RIYE students. My best wishes to Amandine, Emilie, Sonja, Linnea, Tilde and Ludi as there year in New Zealand draws to a close. You have represented your countries, families, yourself and Rotary so well, that I am sure you have touched the lives and made a difference to all you have had the chance to meet while here in New Zealand. My best wishes for the future to each of you, please keep in touch !!
My thanks and see you at District Changeover!
My thanks and appreciation will complete a year of Rotary service with the recognition of the wonderful support that I have enjoyed this year at our District Changeover on the 1st July in Whanganui. I look forward to welcoming District Governor Elect Marion Johnston and her leadership team for the coming year were we will Be the Inspiration! Once the chain of office is handed over to DG Marion I will continue to support our Rotary District with the role of District Chair of Learning and Development, succeeding PDG Rodney Wong. I look forward to assisting DGE John Mohi with the preparation of his team for the training and development needs to support his year as our District Governor in 2019-20.
My biggest thanks goes to my most ardent supporter and pillar that has made this year and the lead up years on the DG train possible, my wife Fiona. 
any of you have said, I don't know how you do it! Well the secret is out - an amazing wife that has made it happen without any fuss and deserves so much for what she has given to me and Rotary. I can't wait to spoil her rotten and thank her for all of the time away and long days, nights and weekends of meeting the commitment of a Rotary District Governor that I felt was required to meet my expectations for the role.
Thank you Fiona.
As has been said to me, You wouldn't miss experiencing the District Governor role for a million dollars, but you probably wouldn't do the job again for a million dollars!
Lastly I acknowledge the start of my journey in Rotary that began in March of 1991, with the investment in me through my then Rotary Club of Panmure and President Dr Jon Cole. Little did Rotary Club President Dr John Cole know that in investing Rotary support for me to attend the National Fire Academy in the USA in April of 1992, my professional career and my Rotary journey would arrive at this point some 27 years later! 
Lesson learnt - lets invest in our youth and Rotarian's that will Make a Difference in the future !!
Mitchell Brown
District Governor 2017/18
Rotary District 9940