RI President's Visit to Our Shores
This special edition of the bulletin recognises the recent visit to New Zealand of Rotary International President Ian and Juliet Riseley.
RI president Ian and Juliet arrived into Auckland and the beginning of the month of March to attend South Pacific Presidents Elect Training at the Waipuna Hotel. This gave the opportunity  for District Governor Elect Marion Johnstone and her team of Assistant Governors and Presidents elect for the 2018/19 Rotary year, to charter the year ahead in earnest.
The theme for the coming Rotary year is "Be the Inspiration!" and RI President Ian declared the theme to the gathered Rotarian's for the coming year on behalf of RI President Elect Barry Rassin, from Nassau in the Bahama's.
Part of the RI President's time in Auckland was spent visiting to the Rotary Grove where a number of Presidents of Rotary have planted a Peace Tree. Our current District Governors of New Zealand and the Pacific Islands  celebrated RI president Ian Riseley planting a Totara in the Rotary Grove in the Auckland Domain, on the corner of Carlton Gore and Grafton Road's. Of note was the tree doing quite well planted by our own Past RI President Bill Boyd during his year of 2006-2007.
Ian Riseley & DG's at the tree planting        Plaque for Bill Boyd 
(DG Mitch hiding behind the tree)           
 Deb Gimblett & Marion Johnston at SPPETS                                        
Rotary International President Ian Riseley visits Palmerston North and Feilding!
Our District was fortunate to have the opportunity to have RI President Ian visit our District. Considering the schedule of a Rotary International President of 365 days in the role and the opportunity to visit 220 countries, 540 Rotary Districts, 35,500 Rotary Clubs and our over 1.2 million Rotarian's - to have RI President Ian attend a lunch and dinner function in our Rotary District was a rare and extraordinary event for our District.
The day started with the arrival of RI President Ian at Hotel Coachman in Palmerston North just prior to the first function of the day. The lunch function was an opportunity for Rotarian's to share a special couple of hours be updated on Rotary at large by RI President Ian .
A welcome from Palmerston North City Council Mayor Grant Smith highlighted the community partnerships and importance of Rotary providing leadership and support to do community good. The function also hosted Mayor Tracey Collins from the Tararua District Council. Mayor Tracey noted the significance of the occasion that also recognised 75 years of the Rotary Club of Pahiatua.
The culmination of the day saw speeches by Rotary Club of Ngamotu supported Peace Scholar Tonga Karena, address RI President prior to making his way to the Presidents Peace Building Conference in Sydney on March 17th. 
As a precursor to the RI President visit to Massey University Wild Base Hospital and the Rotary inspired and supported Wild Base Recovery, speeches were made by Past District Governor and Wild Base Recovery Trustee Past District Governor Rodney Wong and Pro Vice Chancellor of Sciences at Massey University, Ray Geor.
With 50 Rotarian's and guests present, the lunch meeting with RI President Ian was a special opportunity to hear from a Rotarian who has and continues to "Make a Difference" in our world.
The remainder of the afternoon had RI President Ian journey to the Massey University Veterinary Sciences Wild Base Hospital for a behind the scenes and close encounter with the special work that is done to save our special native species from injury and disease.
RI president Ian was welcomed by the head of the Wild Base Hospital Dr Brett Gartrell. Brett toured the Rotary party through the amazing facility that not only trains veterinary students but acts as the foremost native wild life hospital centre in New Zealand. RI President Ian witnessed the operation on a native wood pigeon whose broken wing was being cast to immobilise and assist the repair of its broken bone.
It would be a rare life changing experience for a New Zealander to come face to face with a Tuatara or Ruru (Morepork), so for Aussie RI President Ian Riseley the opportunity to spend time in close contact with two endangered New Zealand native species that were being cared for at Wild Base Hospital was truly life changing.
The Rotary connection through the Palmerston North City Council, Massey University and Rotary with partnerships was highlighted with the visit to the to be opened Wild Base Recovery Centre in the Esplanade.
The visit hosted by Aaron Phillips, Parks and Environment Adviser from Palmerston North City Council gave RI President Ian a first hand look at a world first in the care of rehabilitating native wild birds who will pass through this world class facility from the Wild Base Hospital, enroute to a return to their native habitat. This of course after a period of rehabilitation that will ensure the opportunity for the public to visit the facility and experience the changing dynamic as native wild life and birds find their way from Wild Base Hospital, through Wild Base Recovery then back into the homes in the New Zealand bush.
Rotary Club of Wanganui President Tom Carter donated a Totara and Titoki which were planted alongside the Rotary Club of Tawa's gifted tawa tree in the Wild Base Recovery centre. The three trees were planted by RI President Ian Riseley, District Governor Mitchell Brown and President Tom Carter to commemorate and celebrate the visit of RI President Ian and the future opening at "RotaFEST 18 - A Festival of Rotary" of Wild Base Recovery at 3pm on Friday the 11th of May 2018.
PDG Pat Waite Receives Rotary International’s Highest Honour
 Rotary International’s highest honour has been awarded to a Rotarian in our District for the first time in 21 years, and for only the third time ever in our District.
PDG Pat Waite QSM, JP, of Tawa Rotary was awarded Rotary’s Service Above Self Award by Rotary International President Ian Riseley in Feilding on Tuesday 6 March.
As Whanganui Daybreak Rotary reported on their Facebook page, “As Martin Garcia and Tony Fryer read through the list of Pat's achievements, both in Rotary and in other areas of life, the story of an extraordinary man was revealed”.
 Pat was taken totally by surprise, although his wife Melva had been given a heads up so that their sons Paul, Brett and Craig could also surprise Pat when the award was announced. Pat said that he “had no warning nor anticipated such an award. Indeed I kept thinking of people in the room that I would feel could be worthy candidates, not thinking for a minute that it would me. I am enormously humbled to have received the Award from my fellow Rotarian World President Ian Riseley from Australia”.
Pat, with the support of Melva, has played many roles in Rotary at the international, regional, national, district and Club levels.  As Rotary District 9940 Governor in 2007/08, Pat set up a Taskforce on Family Violence that focused on connecting Rotary with government organisations to address the serious problem of domestic violence in New Zealand.  Both he and Melva participated in Polio National Immunisation Days in India in 2009 and 2011  Pat was the District 9940 Rotary International Council on Legislation Representative in 2013 and  2016 and  they both were Training Leaders for the January 2018 International Assembly in San Diego.
In addition to his Rotary life, Pat has held several high profile positions in the business and charitable sectors, helping many organisations succeed over a long period of time.  He is currently Interim Chief Executive of New Zealand Land Search & Rescue and Deputy Chair of Diabetes New Zealand.  For many years he has used his time to help Rotary and other organisations who are serving New Zealand communities and who need his governance, financial and practical knowledge and skills to achieve their goals.
For more information about the impressive work Pat has done in the community and for Rotary please read this media release.
Pat knew both of the only two previous recipients of the Service Above Self Award, the late Sir Roy McKenzie of the Rotary Club of Wellington, in 1996, and the late Ray Harriss of the Rotary Club of Tawa, in 1997.
This award is internationally competitive and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide, and no more than one from each district, each year.  There are 532 districts in Rotary.
For more information about awards in Rotary please read the awards page on
Pat and Melva with their sons and RI President Ian Riseley
75 Years of Rotary - A Celebration!
 The Rotary Club of Feilding were the hosts on the evening of Tuesday 6th March, to have RI President Ian Riseley joined by nearly 200 Rotarian's at the Feilding Convention Centre to pay tribute to four Rotary Clubs celebrating their 75 years of service.
 RI President Ian was welcomed by Rotary Club of Feilding President Ken Casey to the evening who then invited the official party to be welcomed by a local junior school kapa haka group with waiata and a challenge by a fierce young warrior!! RI president Ian accepted the challenge and lead the official party of District Governor Mitchell Brown and Fiona, Assistant Governor Richard Wishnowsky along with RI President aide PDG Rodney Wong and Rotary Club of Feilding President Ken Casey and his wife.
The evening was humourously MC'ed by PDG Glen Caves with his normal dry wit. The evening meal was precluded with a presentation of Rotary 2017/18 year theme badges to Interact Students from an array of High Schools and Colleges by RI President Ian that had come from as far as Wellington, Otaki, Levin, Marton, Whanganui and Taihape.
President Barrie Smith and Satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Stratford chair Daniel Steiller were joined by Rotary Club of Pahiatua representatives AG Claire Mathews and PDG Bill Carthew, as well as President Wayne Spencer and wife Lana from the Rotary Club of Marton, who were all individually welcomed to the stage and received their recognition certificates for 75 years Rotary service in their respective communities. Each provided an overview of the last 75 years with a view to the future of Rotary in their respective Rotary Clubs and communities.
 Unfortunately due to circumstance the Rotary Club of Hutt City were unable to have a representative attend to receive their Rotary 75 years of service certificate from RI President Ian Riseley. This will be presented at a special District Governor visit in the next month.
This special night of Rotary celebration was capped off with the announcement that our very own PDG Pat Waite would join the ranks of only 150 Rotarian's in the world each year who are recognised with the highest honour in Rotary - the Service Above Self Award. 
PDG Pat was joined on stage by his wife Melva and their three sons who had made the trip secretly to Feilding to be part of the surprise and celebration of Pat's award of Service Above Self by Rotary International President 2017/18 Ian H.S. Riseley.
My thanks to the Rotary Club of Feilding and the organising committee that put together a fabulous night to celebrate Rotary in our District with a day filled with special celebration and recognition of Rotary projects, programs and support to all of our communities that Rotary Clubs serve in. But of significance were the Rotary Clubs of Stratford, Marton, Pahiatua and Hutt City achieving 75 years of service.. 
The night was completed with a presentation of a certificate for the coming 75th year of service to the community to the Rotary Club of Feilding. RI President Ian was thanked with a Rotary Club of Feilding - Feilding Saleyards farmer and dogs commemorative art work. District Governor Mitchell Brown noted that the proceeds from the night would be made to the Rotary Endowment Fund that RI President Ian and Juliet wish to have supported.
The final presentation for the night fittingly went to RI President Ian to commemorate his visit to Rotary District 9940 - an All Blacks rugby shirt with RISELEY 17/18 on the back !!
Mitchell Brown
District Governor 2017/18
Rotary International District 9940

This Special Bulletin has been sent to all District 9940 Rotarians