Posted by Russell Good on Sep 05, 2018
Let me take you back to March 1996 and a Coffee meeting with a referral source in Petone. The conversation turned to Rotary and how he thought I would enjoy being a member.

At that time, I was not “giving back to my community” and this may well be a way to do so.  In my younger years I was a member of Jaycees in Wainuiomata and enjoyed this immensely, until at the age of 40 I became an “exhausted rooster” as they called it.  Following the coffee chat, I had Lunch with a friend and when I said I was thinking of joining Petone Rotary, I was told by Tony George “You are not, you will join my Rotary Club” which of course was Eastern Hutt.

My first visit as a Guest, I was greeted warmly and openly with a number of members, since found out are ‘Fellows’, whom I already knew and all thought I would make a good Rotarian, but none of them had asked me!

Since joining the club I have had a wonderful time, not only giving back to our community, but also in the wonderful friends I have made. Eastern Hutt is a wonderful club, making all who visit feel very welcome.  I often just listen to the noise levels when in fellowship and marvel.  I have visited a number of other clubs and do not find this to always be the case.  We should all value what we have and ensure we add to it in as many ways as possible.

There have been a lot of changes in society and in the Rotary and similar clubs, most required to reflect the real world and to survive.  Think back if you can to 1996, a tie and jacket was worn by most males.  Nobody removed their jacket on a hot night till the president uttered “Gentlemen, you may remove your Jackets”.  Women membership has increased and add a real dynamic to the club.

I have been honored to serve as a Director twice, to be Corporal and Sergeant, run the Trailer Raffle at Queensgate and other positions including the honor of being asked to be your President.  Unfortunately, I had to withdraw from this position on the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. I am always very proud to be a Rotarian each time that we assist Parkinson’s in collections or district grants and other donations. They are so grateful for our assistance, with Eastern Hutt Rotary always mentioned in Newsletters and at meetings.  Thank you all.

The awarding of the Paul Harris Fellowship is a highlight of my years as a Rotarian.

I guess I am facing up to being in the twilight of my involvement and I am unable to commit as much as I would like to some projects etc. However, I can look back and realize that I have been able to make a difference in our community in so many ways, that I will always be proud to be a Rotarian.

Thank you to you all, for the work you do, for the friendship you give and for generally being nice, caring people. smiley