Past-President Paul Noonan welcomed members to the first meeting of the year, President Peter being in the South Island for his son's wedding, with special welcome to guest speaker Dr Bruce Thompson.
Paul also advised the club that David Birkett had not been at the club for sometime, and his membership has lapsed.
Paul was also the nominated Orator for the meeting, and he took us on a trip to Colombia, where he did a cycle tour in October.   Columbia previously had a bad reputation.   It has a population of 48 million people, the country is stable and going ahead, it has a good football team, and crime is down.   In 1993 it was regarded as the drug and murder capital of the world, but this all changed with the death of Pablo Escobar, when he was shot and killed by Police on 2 December that year.   He was a drug lord and narcoterrorist, and it is estimated that his cartel, known as the Medellin Cartel, supplied 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States, at the rate of seventy to eighty tons per month.   He was often called "The King of Cocaine" and was the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated worth of between US$25 and US$30 billion, making him one of the richest men in the world.   Since his death, there have been a lot of reforms.
The capital, Bogota, has a population of 10 million.   The government has developed a huge public transport system, with double bendy buses which rocket along at about 80 kph.   On Sunday mornings, all the main cities close their main roads, and the roads are open to cyclists and pedestrians.    A large cable car/gondola system has been built up into the hill favelas giving people access in and out.
Paul then compared Colombia to next door Venezuela.   In 1997 a socialist government came into power.  Through their actions the economy has progressively collapsed.   They handed money out to the poor, most foreign companies have left, oil production is now one third of what it was, and the government is corrupt.    People now try to escape Venezuela.
Paul queried what is the fine line between these two countries to produce such different results.   It is something other countries, such as ours, should study so that they don't make the same mistakes.
Paul then departed for England today - so expect another travel update soon...........
GUEST SPEAKER - Dr Bruce Thompson
After qualifying in medicine and surgery at Otago Medical School in 1967, he did general and hospital practice in Wellington, Tokoroa, Palmerston North, Panmure, and Waitakere.   He obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1974, and was Medical Officer in charge of WEC Mission clinics and Leprosarium, Ghana, West Africa for four years.   He was International Dean, College of Counselling & Health Care, University of the Nations, Hawaii - 13 years at Hawaii campus, and 13 years at Lausanne, Switzerland campus.   Currently he is International Dean Emeritus and travels and teaches in schools, seminars and workshops internationally, teaching a holistic approach to healing and health.   Author of five books with his wife, Barbara
After following his career in New Zealand, Bruce was working in A & E in Palmerston North, which was a demanding role.   He met a friend who told him that he and others were taking a medical team to the Pacific Islands, going to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.    They also discussed that life was a relationship, and a relationship with God.   So he asked God what he wanted him to do, and in return he was asked if he willing to go to the Nations.  So he went with the team to the islands to see what it was like.   He then did another nine months in S.E. Asia, India, Nepal and East Africa looking at the medical scene, and seeing a lot of medical challenges.  In discussing his future with God, he was told "Go West".   So he decided to go and look at Ghana, where he found that the missionaries had been praying for a doctor for ten years.   They came and asked him to take on the role of Medical Officer, and the challenges of Northern Ghana.   By this time Bruce had exhausted his personal resources, and did not feel he could support himself in such a challenge.    So he was standing on a road in Accra presenting his case to God on what he should do, and as to why his lack of resources meant he should not stay.    A truck came along and drove past him.    On the front, it had a sign, "The Lord will provide".  It took the wind out of his sails, so he agreed to go.
First he had to leave the country, to be able to then apply for a visa to stay.   He went to Ivory Coast, and then back to Ghana where he was told that he had two weeks to leave.    He then got a message that the Minister of Education wanted to see him, and he was asked what he was planning to do.   The Minister rang someone, and he was sent to see him, and he was issued a three year resident permit.    Bruce did not know how the Minister of Education got involved.   So he started work, and married his wife who was a nurse.   They drove a VW van mobile clinic, and went out into the country treating tropical diseases.   He took over the Leprosarium, where there were about 100 lepers.   He trained them in yam farming, and every month would go out in the van looking for more leprosy cases.
Through this work his view of medicine shifted.    To talk to the Africans, you could not just ask them their symptoms - this was rude.   There had to be a long discussion about life and family, and a relationship developed, before symptoms could be discussed.     It was just not the physical symptoms.   It got into the realm of the spirit very quickly.   It led him to the holistic approach to health, looking at the whole person and their development.
He and his wife came back to New Zealand, and went to Palmerston North, but he found himself frustrated by the locum practices that he was working in.     After discussions with his church, the question arose as to why not practice medicine within the church.    This led to a family practice being set with the assistance from elders.  Then the founder of University of the Nations came to town.    [The University of the Nations is a Christian University with branches in 600 locations in 142 countries, providing programmes in over 100 languages around the world.   It was founded in 1978 as Pacific & Asia Christian University, and was renamed the University of the Nations in 1989].   God said to Bruce, "I called you to Nations".   So in 1976 Bruce went to Hawaii, where he developed colleges, which took a holistic approach to health.   He was there thirteen years, before going to Switzerland for another 13 years.   He came back to New Zealand 13 years ago, based in Tauranga, and now travels and teaches around the world.    As he said, "It has been a wonderful journey, and I am still on it."
Bruce and his wife have written five books.
You can reference some of these books at
Carmen gave an update on preparations for the Beatgirls evening.   The theme will be 1940's, swing, Big Band dance, and V day celebrations.   The photo above has been selected as the image to promote the event.   It will take place at Classic Flyers, in the hangar, with spot lights on the aircraft.    Carmen outlined the income and expences of the event, and the potential profit of plus/minus $20000 which is dependent upon sales.   The tickets will be sold through an intermediary company, with some held back for sponsors.   
Next meeting, bring your 16 March diary with you.   Carmen will outlining the jobs that need to be done, and seeking volunteers for all the jobs.   Remember, don't ask what Rotary can do for you, what can you do for Rotary.
Campbell des Forges - January
John Barnard - January
Bernie Currie - January & February
Don took a relaxed start to the year, and fined everyone who had an anniversary listed in the Club Booklet.    All those involved, and everyone else paid in celebration!
COMING UP ......
11 February - To be Advised
25 February -  Business meeting
11 March - Mike Farmer, Farmer Autovillage  - electric cars and the future

Mike Farmer is group managing director of Farmer Auto Village here in Tauranga, Farmer Auto Village have been agents for a number of new and used vehicle brands for over 25years.    Farmer Auto Village are active and major supporters in the community.








Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly.
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.