This month is Growing Local Economies Month. In this COVID affected world this takes on particular significance.  I have been talking to Clubs about how Rotary Opens Opportunities for us to make an impact in our communities in addressing economic, vocational or social recovery from COVID –encouraging Clubs to consider how they might use their talents, knowledge, influence and experience to address local issues. 
Porirua Rotary has grasped this opportunity, applying for a District Grant to support an extension to Citizens’ Advice Bureau in a socio-economically challenged area.  A Manawatu network under AG Venky Cannan’s leadership is exploring how Clubs can support Pacific island students who are likely to be stranded and unable to return to their home Islands once the Massey University year finishes. Rangitikei AG Ray Sisley is involved in this too. Venky has great ideas for support and wants to hear from Clubs who would like to explore this opportunity.  While District Grants have now been fully dispensed for this year, Clubs may be able to share resources to support this initiative or others in your communities.  Your AGs will be very keen to hear of ideas you might have. Please let me know if I can help explore resourcing. 
Kevin and I have had another excellent month ‘on the road’.  We’re really enjoying visiting you all and are so grateful for the welcome and generosity of spirit we experience.  We sense a justified pride from Clubs as you share your achievements.  We hear stories of remarkable projects within your communities – and wonderfully creative ideas for fundraising to enable you to give back – Upper Hutt Rotary is a case in point.  They offer their own Club members’ talents to raise money, for example a member who is a Chef goes into homes to cook a fabulous meal while other members provide prep/ waiting support. I applaud such innovative thinking.
We are also enjoying celebrating milestones with you.  This year is focused on our centenary celebrations – the Rotary Clubs of Wellington, Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney turn 100 this year, triggering the opportunity for New Zealand and the Pacific islands to celebrate Rotary turning 100 across the Zone.  Many other Clubs are celebrating their own anniversaries. We enjoyed attending the combined 75th anniversary of the Rotary Clubs of Taihape and Levin last month. We had a great night too at Kapiti Club as they annually celebrate their birthday with a Charter and PHF night.
Of course we all have much to celebrate in the now official nomination of Jennifer Jones as RI’s first woman President in 2022-23. Those of us who attended SSPETS in Auckland this year were so lucky to have the opportunity to meet Jennifer and her husband Nick.
We’re looking forward to Riding the Train for Polio on the 24th October (This Friday).  This day is World Polio day and Rotarians around the world are focusing on fundraising for this flagship Rotary International project.  Check with your Club leaders as to how your Club is getting involved in this.
There is much to focus on! Thank you all for your commitment to Rotary within your communities and internationally. I know you – as am I – are a proud Rotarian!
Ngā mihi
DG Gillian Jones