The special event on Saturday of RotaFEST 18 was the Festival of Rotary in the Palmerston North Square. This day attracted the public with a free concert featuring high school youth jazz bands from Paraparaumu, Freyberg and Palmerston North Boys High School. The youth jazz bands made way at lunch time to the Rodger Fox Big Band with great support from Erna Ferry and kiwi legend and music icon Mark Williams. The food trucks provided a great variety of food for the lunchtime conference sessions break. With kids rides and entertainment, the Big Screen TV playing a variety of Rotary videos promoting the good we do in the world, RotaFEST 18 shared with the community and the gathered Rotarian's many Club projects and activities that Rotary is involved in supporting to support lives and communities. Three jammed packed marquees that circled the PN Square featured Rotarian's with programs and their projects that engaged with the community and promoted Service Above Self.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
The evening gala dinner and award function gave the opportunity for many to Go Wild About Rotary as we went Into the Wild Blue Yonder! The Palmerston North Convention Centre was transformed in to a forest with blue hue lighting and a sumptuous dinner to be served. The recognition of Clubs that had achieved much saw
The Rotary Club of Eastern Hutt sweep the best dressed and most attending with furthermost travel awards. The Rotary Club of Masterton South was awarded the Genesis Innovation Award for the Rarotonga Mobile Health Clinic Project as well as the Humanitarian Project Award. The Rotary Club of Stratford were recognised for the greatest membership gain with the charter of the Satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Stratford. The Rotary Club of Plimmerton who had won the friendship and fellowship award at last years District Conference, recognised and awarded the Satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Stratford and the Rotary Club of Stratford for this years attendance at RotaFEST 18.
A very special recognition of RI Director Elect Raffy Garcia and Minda saw the presentation of blessed manaia taonga to each of them by DGN John Mohi and Peace Scholar Tonga Karena. DG Mitchell presented Raffy with a RotaFEST commemorative glass sculpture symbolising a koru and new life. A waita was sung for Raffy and Minda and duly responded with Raffy banging out a great Louis Armstrong ballad "Hello Dolly!"
Special recognition to MC Lyal Brenton, RotafEST in the Square coordinator Marilyn O'Halloran, RotaFEST dinner coordinator Katrine Imrie, RotaFEST in the Square music maestro AG Roger Buchanan, RIYE Youth Exchange Chair Lynne Phillips and RotaFEST 18 Committee Chair Glen Caves. But the best was saved till last with DG Mitch presenting the biggest thank you to his wife Fiona with a beautiful floral bouquet for all her behind the scenes hard work to Make A Difference and make it happen!
The night was completed with the amazing Rodger Fox Big Band, Erna Ferry and Mark Williams ensuring all were up on the dance floor with some classic ballads and music that energised the night and had all Go Wild on the dance floor!!
Sunday morning dawned with the Annual General Meeting receiving IPDG Martin Garcia's report from his year and moving the financial report be accepted for the 2016-17 year. Of significance was the motion by the Rotary Club of Wellington to adopt an updated District Constitution. This was supported by the Rotary Club of Wellington South and the Rotary Club of Upper Hutt. The motion was adopted by the Annual General Meeting and DG Mitchell moved to recognise and thank PDG's Judy Bain, Pat Waite, Tony Fryer, Anthony Scott and IPDG Martin Garcia for the work that had gone in to this process over the last five years.
At the completion of the Annual General Meeting of Rotary International District 9940, District Governor Elect Marion Johnston opened the District Training Assembly by setting the scene for the coming year with the Rotary 2018-19 theme 'Be the Inspiration' and the District Conference theme of 'Light my Fire'. The day of District Training was led by District Learning and Development Chair Rodney Wong who had provided the attending Rotarian's with a great program of learning through sessions lead by District leaders.
RotaFEST 18 concluded with the District Training Assembly on Sunday 13 May and many who had attended RotaFEST 18 commented on the success and great program of speakers, RotaFEST in the PN Square and a dinner and entertainment to remember with District Training to complete an amazing weekend of Rotary getting in touch with the community and Going Wild About Rotary!   
That looks like the end of the day
Mitch and Fiona with Wendy Betteridge (Plimmerton Rotary)
Mitchell Brown
District Governor 2017/18
Rotary District 9940
Phone 027 4822295