Posted by Desmond Darby on Dec 04, 2017
With much pride, Robin Fenwick was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow award for his long and exceptional service as a Rotarian.
Beginnings and career
A boy who grew up in a Taranaki farming family.  He studied at Massey University MAgrSci (Tech) and a PhD in protein science. His association with Massey University continued with a two-year term as Chair of the Milk and Health Research Centre.
His career in the development of the dairy industry has spanned the globe with jobs in India, Kenya, Korea and two years in the USA, all during his 25 years with the NZ Dairy Board.  The recent bulletin contribution, "Whey to Go", was about whey protein concentrate, a success story of NZ benefiting from science.
Family and community interests
Robin married Carolyne, his late wife, who many of us knew, and had two sons Peter and Gary; and now, including Shayne’s, he has a total of 5 grandchildren.
He has a special interest in King Richard III, loves gardening and he is ‘Santa Claus’ at Koraunui Kindergarten in Stokes Valley, and at Manor Park. He is an expert at Public Speaking - Oratory and Debating - IMPS and Rotary.
Robin is a laity representative at the Synod the Anglican Diocese of Wellington and has worked as counsellor and Board Member with the Samaritans.
Robin joined Rotary in 2003 and served on many committees, including Health & Wellbeing, and Environment & Public Amenities.  He's done a host of other things and those that come to my mind include:
  • Riverbank clean-up
  • Organising Foodbank collection together with Lions
  • Other things
  • Recent examples are gardening services in our Auction of Promises
  • Volunteering at the Special Olympics
  • Almoner for the Club – someone with an ear when someone needs someone to listen
  • Helped to secure District Grants to help both the Samaritans and Parkinson’s Society
  • Perhaps most special work and expertise is helping with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
Alzheimer’s and other dementia work
This special interest was no doubt stimulated from his support of Carolyne over many years, before and after she moved into Manor Park.  I recall his talk to us on dementia, from the point of view of the sufferer. Robin continues working there, attending every week and is now the Advocate for Residents.
Robin contributes to a course, Dementia Essentials 103, for people supporting someone with dementia who has moved into a care facility. This is a collaboration with Alzheimer’s Wellington, WellElder, Woburn Home, and Te Omanga.
Robin has successfully secured successive Rotary District Grants for Music for Life pilot project that explores how music can help people with Alzheimer’s.