Posted by Colin Alford on May 11, 2020
“Service Above Self” - the Rotary International motto is epitomized by Past President Dave Comparini.
Dave joined the Rotary Club of Eastern Hutt in September 1998. His background was in Construction Management having started his working life as a carpenter in Nelson.
 
Dave was very much involved in sport and had a lifetime passion for cycling. Dave started cycle racing in juvenile events and in later years won three New Zealand titles, riding in 3000 metre individual pursuit events. In 1966 Dave represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games held in Jamaica, he was unable to bring home any medals, but he had the thrill of being a participant. 
It also started him off on his life time love of cycling and travel. His dedication and support of NZ cycling included his being a great coach and mentor to junior cyclists 1970-1990, some of whom have gone on to represent NZ in the Commonwealth and Olympic games.
 
It was his love of cycling and travel that took him to Europe in mid 2019, where he travelled all around culminating in following the Tour De France from go to wo. His stories of following the Tour, the places he stayed and the people he met and made friends with were wonderful to hear. Particulary those friends he made in his family country of Italy.
 
Though very busy with his job with Manzeal Construction he still made the time to participate in Rotary activities. In fact his expertise and common sense and humour ensured Dave became a very important part of the club organisation. This involvement brought him further and further into the folds of Rotary.
 
One of the areas where his expertise was used was in the improvements to the Avalon Pavilion, he spent a number of years on the Avalon Pavilion Trust
 
Dave was President of the club for the 2008-2009 year.  It was a busy year with many activities. As expected with Dave’s leadership much was achieved,
 
Following on from his successful Presidential year, Dave continued to take the lead in many of the clubs’ projects. This lead to him, in 2012, being awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, The highest Award a Rotary Club can give. It is awarded to quote to:-
 
“A person whose life exemplifies the humanitarian and educational objectives of the Rotary Foundation, for demonstrating a life and vocational commitment to helping persons in need here and around the world.”  That says it all really.
 
Dave continued as a Director of the club for a number of years as he followed his passion for the Hutt Valley and the Environment.
 
In 2015 the club with the agreement of the Hutt City Council paid for and erected a Gazebo in Avalon Park, who lead the project? Dave of course. The Gazebo was given the name of the Dave Smith Gazebo in honour of Dave Smith a long-time member and benefactor of the club.
 
It was 2016 when the club was asked for its input into the design of the Avalon Park play area upgrade. Several members made suggestions, but it was Dave who put these suggestions together and participated in the decision-making process. Avalon Park opened in 2018 and is a credit to the Hutt City Council and the decision makers.
 
The club over the years has participated in the development of the Hutt River Trail and continues to help with the annual clean up. In discussion with the City and Regional Councils it was agreed that we would take the lead in planting trees alongside the river trail. Again, Dave took the lead and in 2018, 500 trees were planted. The club continues taking responsibility for maintaining the area around the trees and has every intention of planting more.
 
Dave also took the lead in working with the Waiwhetu Stream guardians. Members of our club helping to weed and then plant trees alongside the stream.
 
On a lighter side he has helped with a number of club fund raisers, collecting for various charities. Being the director in charge of our annual golf tournament and Christmas raffle and getting donations from his many business friends and acquaintances.
 
Being the Assistant Chef and Chief Washer Upper for fundraising, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” evenings.
 
While in Europe last year he attended the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. Rotary was never far from his mind.
 
Quite simply Dave was a great friend, a great leader, Rotarian, husband and father.  RIP
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