President Peter welcomed everybody - with special welcomes to Assistant DIstrict Governor Ron Fyfe,
Olivia Donaldson (with Morton), Margaret Des Forges (with Campbell), and the four Science Forum students, Grace Blissett, Samantha Reeder, Alice Cerdeira, and PK Wadsworth.
"Two weekends ago I visited New Plymouth and, while there, I managed to slip away for an afternoon tramp on Mt Egmont/Taranaki.     I know that there are a number of members of this club who enjoy a wander in the wilderness, and included here are Nola, John Butt, Bruce, Carmen, Donald, Brian Hodge, Rae, John Knowles, and Dennis.    Did I miss anyone out?    We could just about rebrand ourselves as the Otumoetai Rotary and Tramping Club.   It is some time since I have been on the Mountain, and I was surprised by how busy it has become.    As it transpired, I was very fortunate to get a park at North Egmont.    It seems that the Pouakai Circuit, which is a 2-3 day trip, has become very popular, and it could be following the Tongiriro Crossing as one of those New Zealand ‘must-do’ activities.    Whatever, I decided to avoid the maddening crowd and opted for a three hour return jaunt to Maketawa Hut. 
This is a 16 bunk hut that was aided in its construction in 1987 by the Taranaki Savings Bank and the New Plymouth West Rotary Club.   The trip to Maketawa Hut is fairly demanding, and I spent about an hour there resting, admiring the view out onto Taranaki and the coast, and reading the Hut’s Intentions Book.    The DOC Intentions Book has an intriguing status.     On one level it is a potential life-line because trampers note in it their personal details and movements, and what is recorded could be critical for a successful search and rescue operation.    But the books have a larger aspect because they also show the numbers, genders, national origins, and personalities of most of those who pass by. 
Trampers fill in columns across two pages, and there are headings like arrival and departure date, number in party, and number of nights in the hut.   What has particular appeal for me is the last column where men and women can feel moved to make some general observation about the hut, about New Zealand, or about life itself.  As I say, there is a major data source here and some fit and enterprising social scientist could write a career-defining text based on the information that is available.
I admit that I do carry a notebook myself for recording things I hear and see while in the wilderness.  Tonight, I would like to share with you eight of the personal observations left by trampers in the Maketawa Hut Intentions Book.
  1. “Not many rats.”
  2. “Not all those who wander are lost.”
  3. “First overnight hike for the kids aged 8, 6, 2.”
  4. “Le Taranaki est sublime.    La Nouvelle Zealande est manifique.    Merci.”
  5. And a French person from Lyon wrote: “Another fantastic day in the most beautiful country of the world.”  A heart and exclamation marks were added.
  6. “If you lie on the ground without hanging on then you’re not drunk.”
  7. “Awesome!  Never seen such a mountain in the middle of a plateau.”
  8. “Beautiful track.    Wow!    How lucky are we.”    A heart symbol was added.
We really are lucky to live in a wonderful country, and somewhat ironically the recent tragic events in Christchurch have shown that there is an international consensus about this."
And on the lighter side....   Skipping Church

Father Norton woke up Sunday morning and realising it was an exceptionally beautiful and sunny spring day, he decided he just had to play golf.   So... he told the Associate Pastor that he was feeling  sick and persuaded him to say Mass for him that day.   As soon as the Associate Pastor left the room, Father Norton headed out of town to a golf course about forty miles away.  This way he knew he wouldn't accidentally meet anyone he knew from his parish.
Setting up on the first tee, he was alone.    After all, it was Sunday morning and everyone else was in church!
At about this time, Saint Peter leaned over to the Lord while looking down from the heavens and exclaimed "You're not going to let him get away with this, are you?"   The Lord sighed, and said, "No, I guess not."

Just then Father Norton hit the ball and it shot straight towards the pin, dropping just short of it, rolled up and fell into the hole.   IT WAS A 320 YARD HOLE IN ONE!!!

St. Peter was astonished.   He looked at the Lord and asked, "Why did you let him do that?"   The Lord smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?"
SAGE - Brian Hodge
I eat my peas with honey
I've done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on the knife
THE ORATOR - Clyde Stewart
The Accidental Soldier
I thought tonight I would explain to you just what made me join the Army, and to take up the profession of arms as a career - my sense of adventure, my loyalty to the crown, my sense of duty towards Queen and country, and above all the advantages of being a dashing young man in uniform.
I was born in Wellington in the middle of the great depression but I must say that my birth did nothing to improve the situation.   I had a normal frugal upbringing for that day and age until such time that I started primary school at Miramar South School.    My achievements were of a minor nature – I never became a school prefect but I was a milk and apple monitor – delivering free milk and apples to the classes, drinking copious amounts of sun warmed milk,  and going home with my jersey stuffed with excess apples.
Two years after beginning school the Second World War started and I well remember my deep involvement in the activities of the day over the next 5 years.    My job was to place the coloured pins on the large map of the world in our dining room.    What they represented I had no idea but it was a major role supporting our troops.    My other job was to fly the Union Jack, Stars and Stripes and the Hammer and Sickle on a home made flagpole.  School morning talks were reading a newspaper headline like  'MAJOR OFFENSIVE IN NORTH AFRICA'.    I had no idea where North Africa was nor what an offensive was.
Towards the end of  this  period I became a member of the Rongotai Terrace Gang, as opposed  to the Calibar Road Gang, engaging in frequent battles.   We would take up our positions and throw any missile we could lay our hands on at the other gang – stone, concrete wood and sods in pitched battle.    Just how we didn’t injure someone is anybody’s guess.    After each  battle we would all gather our sledges and spend the rest of the day playing together peacefully until sunset.
It was during this period that I learned my first military lessons.    First the importance of occupying the high ground –this enables you to throw stones onto the roof of houses below without fear of retaliation – and second that to get maximum range from a missile, it had to have a trajectory of 45 degrees no more no less, unless you were firing a large high velocity naval gun and we didn’t have those.   The third lesson was that the further you were from the front line the safer you were.
My entry into secondary school (Rongotai College) was the start of the year, following the end of the second world war.    At the end of the first week we were issued with military uniforms so we could attend Barracks Week.    Most colleges throughout the country had a school cadet unit, supposedly to maintain some form of military awareness and to develop leaders for tomorrow.    I hated it.    Uniforms were cut down WW1 uniforms, the material so rough I would now consider sending some to Cricket Australia to use instead of sandpaper.   The first  two years were spent avoiding any sort of military training by forgetting to wear my uniform on the monthly parade days, or dreaming up some excuse for not having to parade and spend all day marching from point A to B.    I wasn’t surprised that no one suggested promoting me to lance corporal.    Some enthusiastic students went to Linton Camp during school holidays to learn to become NCOs, and a number of the more dedicated ones joined the services on leaving school.    In my third year I did something which no self-respecting soldier should ever do – I actually volunteered for a job .  The college armoury which held about  200 rifles had to be manned all day, so I would be  able to remain in the building watching the rest of the college play silly soldiers.   I didn’t need a uniform as we had to wear overalls to keep gun oil from our clothes.    Second year on the job I became head armourer and was promoted to Warrant Officer, without going through the other ranks step by step.   
I left college and went straight to Linton Camp to start my compulsory training in the second intake of Compulsory Military Training.    For those too young to remember or know, this involved fourteen weeks full time training  for all eighteen year olds, followed by three years part time during which we had to complete twenty days a year.  While there were some aspects I enjoyed, most of the  training was what I had spent 5 years avoiding at college, and at the end of basic training, once again, promotion to unpaid lance corporal passed me by.   In our case  we only completed 3 weeks specialist training instead of six as all regular service members were required to work on the wharves during the 1951 national  wharf strike.
I was posted to an Artillery unit in Fort Dorset Wellington, for the completion of my commitment to CMT (20 days training each year for three years) and again never managed to impress anybody with my obviously well- hidden talents.    And I still had no intention of making a career wearing a sandpaper type uniform.
In October that year I received a letter inviting me, and I presume hundreds of others with university entrance to consider joining the expanding Regular Army, with the vague possibility of becoming a commissioned officer.    As I was just filling in time making some money before attending University to study as a geologist, I was inquisitive enough to shrug my shoulders, and say 'why not see what it is all about'.     A number of interviews later, and the start of a New Year, I marched into Trentham Camp - the oldest, most run down under resourced camp in the country, to commence a three month Instructors course, designed to train me to teach  compulsory military trainees  all those subjects and skills I had struggled to avoid for many years.
Samantha Reeder, Grace Blissett, PK Wadsworth, and Alice Cerdeira
This week we heard from four outstanding students who had been sponsored to the forum by our club.
Alice Cerdeira was born in Brazil, and moved to New Zealand when she was thirteen.   She speaks three languages, and her favourite subjects are calculus and physics.   She was involved last year in the Robotics World Championship.   She describes herself as being shy before the forums, and left much more confident and able to hold a conversation.   Bonds, friendships, and learning lots of things were the highlights.   Prior to going to the forum she wanted to be an engineer, and now she knew how to get there and what to do.   Her favourite modules were applied mathematics, where puzzle based learning and employing problem solving skills were used; and Biomedical Engineering which was a combination of biology, medicine and engineering. 
Samantha Reeder enjoys being involved in the community, and has been involved in surf life-saving since she was eleven.   She is either competing or involved as a lifeguard most weekends.   Her community work has inspired her to pursue a career in science as she wants to make a difference.    Samantha has applied to attend the international forum in London, and has been accepted.    At the forum Samantha learned what is offered in New Zealand, what can be achieved internationally, and met people who share her passion for science.   Her favourite modules were molecular biology where they extracted DNA from fruit; and biomedical science where they became acquainted with the heart, its capacities and functions.   They also did three field technical visits, and she enjoyed going to the Auckland Medical School, and the Police Station where they looked at forensics.
PK is a massive problem solver and has represented New Zealand at the Robotics World Championships in America in 2018.   His favourite modules were Biomedical Engineering, 3D CAD and printing, and Physics where natural phenomena were explained in such things like the aurora.   Along with the others, PK talked about the friends and relationships made.   At the formal dinner at the end of the forum it was sad to say good bye, but it was an amazing way to bring the forum to a close.
Grace Blissett is the head girl of Otumoetai College, and also co-leader of the sports committee.   She competes in multiple sports at a national level, including triathlons, netball, and cross country.   It would no surprise that she spoke of the volleyball held over four nights, and the competitive rivalry that developed between the teams.   She didn't know that nerds could be so noisy.   She enjoyed the chemistry model with its practical experiments, and psychology, leading her to now consider studying towards those two areas.   Prior to the forum she had no idea what to study.   She thanked the club for the opportunity the four of them had, and indicated that they would like to stay involved with Rotary, as Rotary alumni.
All four were a credit to the college, and the opportunities that the youth today have are amazing - if in doubt about that please re-read Clyde's story.  As Carmen commented this is what raising money at the Beatgirls is all about - enabling the youth of today.
  • Rotary Youth Exchange - President Peter said that he had received a request to see if the club could assist with hosting incoming students, for three month periods.   If you could assist, please email Peter.
  • Club Duties - Peter requested members who are rostered for duties to please read pages 28-30 of the club handbook, to check what you are required to do.   A reminder, that those who put things up, must also put them away.
  • March Social Event - A list was circulated for those who wish to attend a social event on Sunday 31 March.    It is organised by the Membership Committee and will be held at the Mount Ocean Sports Club at Pilot Bay.   There is plenty of room for parking, a departing cruise ship, and good company.   Go and celebrate the last Sunday night of daylight saving.    If your name isn't down please contact Bruce urgently.
  • POPPY DAY - Norm Bruning collected names to assist with the Poppy Day Collection on 12 April.   While he has names, any reserves would be welcome.   Please advise Norm if you may be available.
  • K VALLEY - John Butt advised that there will be a planting day on Saturday 4 May at 10 a.m.   There are 7000 plants to be put in, and volunteers are needed.
  • 50TH ANNIVERSARY - The 50th Anniversary of the club was on the 15th of March.   Rae James advised that a formal evening will be held in May of June, and negotiations are underway to have the Prime Minister as speaker.   Confirmation of a date is awaited, and will be advised in due course.
  • RECRUITMENT DRIVE - Bruce Farthing advised that the meeting on 13 May will be a membership drive.   Negotiations are underway to get broadcaster Peter Williams as speaker.   Publicity material has been put together, and it will need to be sent to professional offices.   Bruce will not be available on the night, and John Buck will be bringing items to the club as required.
Carmen thanked everyone who put in the effort to make the night a success.   It could not have happened without a lot of help from a lot of people.   Just over $10000 was raised.   The feedback received is that it was a much enjoyed evening.   There was some ferocious bidding on auction items, with signed bottles of wine reaching heady prices over $100.   It was not as well attended as might be liked, but this year we raised more money with less people, so the formula must be right.
President Peter said that the Board had passed a motion of thanks to Carmen, that was passed with acclamation.   The club is very graterul for her leadership.   Carmen will make a fuller report in a few weeks, when all the accounting is complete.
It's a celebration - nobody!
8 APRIL  -  to be advised
THE STEWARD - President Peter
The club has two Teddy Bears which are awarded.   Rae James, proposed that the second bear be held as a reserve, and the award for a silly event by a Rotarian, be a clown.   The clown was duly awarded - to Carmen - purely for the reason that she was out of the room at the time.    [Editor's comment - If you have looked in the boot of Carmen's car lately, you will see Rotary Ted, Elsewhere Ted, and now the clown too.   It is time another member got awarded for something - come on - Service Above Self entitles you to be silly some of the time, and to even be silly doing good!]
In the absence of the Steward, Peter ad libbed on his questions.    Members were invited to define the meaning of the following disorder initials - either for real, or a humorous interpretation.     For the want of decorum only the real definitions are shown.
AD/HD      Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
CD            Conduct Disorder
ODD         Oppositional Defiant Disorder
FASD       Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
FLK          Funny Little Kid
It's a pity to waste good advice on those who need it!
President               Peter Stanley           570 1952       Mobile 021 0247 5576
President-elect     Bevan Rakoia           578 9511           Mobile 027 461 2127
Secretary               Nola Ardern             576 2410  Mobile 021 752 335
Treasurer              John Knowles          548 2324          Mobile 027 499 9456
Apologies &
Attendance            Ian Cochran             579 3836          Mobile 021 449 599
Bulletin Editor       Peter Smith              548 1680                Mobile 027 655 0397
Meetings each second and fourth Monday of the month – 5.45 p.m. for 6.30 p.m. at Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, Sulphur Point, Tauranga.  There will be no meeting on public holidays, and these dates will have been rescheduled in the same month.   Please contact a club officer to confirm such dates.
ATTENDANCE – Members please email apologies to Ian Cochran,  The close off time for apologies is 12 Noon Friday, with late apologies by 12 Noon Monday.
Guests wishing to attend the club meeting please call 579 3836 or email Ian with your interest.