President Peter welcomed guest speaker, David Foris, his wife Christine and grand daughter Hailey.    David is a member of Katikati Rotary Club, and he was accompanied by his Club President Ann Owen.
"About ten days ago I completed the Tongariro Northern Circuit.   It is a 3-4 day tramp (or two days if you are Donald Hegan), and there are three huts that you can stay in along the way.    A matter that has concerned me over time is the quality of reading material that is available in DOC huts.    Sometimes, the newspapers and magazines that are there can be three, or more, years old.    This is an important issue because people can spend days in the huts, and particularly when the weather turns bad.    I see this as an opportunity for to spread the word about Rotary.    So, as you do, I have started depositing past copies of Rotary Down Under in tramping huts.    As it happens, I will not be reading the magazines myself as I prefer quite different accommodation - in my own tent!"
"Our new membership night which is coming up, is very important.   The changes that we have made to our club (such as bimonthly meetings and reduced subs) have set us up for recruiting new members, but so far this has not happened.    May 13 is a big opportunity, and if we let these occasions go we will continue to see diminishing numbers year on year.   Please give earnest consideration to who you might bring along in May.   As well, we all need to think about how we welcome our guests on membership night with Rotary warmth and hospitality."
Fifteen veterans who supported Australian troops in the Vietnam War have been the first soldiers from a New Zealand military unit to be awarded an Australian Unit Citation for Gallantry.

In a statement the New Zealand Defence Force said the award recognises extraordinary gallantry in action and families also received the citation on behalf of their loved ones who had died.

The veterans from 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment, Royal New Zealand Artillery, were presented with their citations at Linton Military Camp by Major General Gregory Bilton, Forces Commander of the Australian Army, on behalf of Lieutenant General Rick Burr, Chief of the Australian Army.

The 161 Battery was part of the 1st Australian Task Force on 23 May, 1966, and provided continuous fire support to successive Australian and New Zealand battalions from that date until withdrawn in May 1971.

The gunners received high praise for the accuracy and volume of fire support they provided at critical stages of attacks on the Australian battalion positions and Major General Bilton said he felt privileged to be able to present the insignias for the award to the veterans.

"This is well deserved and long overdue," he said.

THE ORATOR - Paul Higson
Paul jumped in at short notice, when it was realised that Rachel was orator and was absent, to tell us why he and Rachel will be away.   They are heading to Argentina for a few days, and then on to Brazil where they will link up with Eduardo, the RYE student, who had been hosted by them.   They are then going to visit some tourist centres with Eduardo.   Being a teenager, he says he has no money, and there has been negotiations with him as to who is paying for what.   He will now pay his own air fares, but Paul expects they will end up paying the rest.
BeatgirlsCarmen gave an update on the completion of the project.   There are still three sponsors to make their payments, and there may be invoices.   A final tally of the proceeds will not be given until these are completed.    If those with contacts with sponsors could hurry them along it would be appreciated.
Brian Hodge has agreed to send a letter on behalf of the club to everyone who donated or sponsored items.  Please contact Brian and advise him the name, business, postal (physical) address, and what they donated.
Carmen expressed thanks to Peter Stanley for his contacts with advertising; Don Hoult for sponsor liaison and donating a prize; Bevan Rakoia for his technical assistance and management of Facebook; Stewart Wright for bottles of bubbly; Brian Hodge for his present efforts; Bryan Rosoman for his sponsorship liaison; Campbell & Margaret Des Forges for the design and work put into the bunting; Denis McFetridge for the accommodation; Gordon Mock for volunteering Don's bach; Jan Tinetti for the highly prized signed wine; John Buck and Peter Smith for food vouchers, and helping put up the bunting; Morton Mair for his driving skills and arranging the luxury car prize; Keith McLeod for the finances.  Bottles of wine were given by Carmen in appreciation to Bruce & Kay Farthing for sponsorship liaison, and arranging wine and prizes; John Knowles for sponsorship liaison, prizes, and booking a table for 8; Clyde Stewart for his driving of the Beatgirls and seeing them home on the night; Nola Ardern for for helping with emails, and working to make bunting and putting it up; Paul Higson & Rachel Ackerly for the bottles of wine signed by Simon Bridges and John Key, sponsorship, prizes and miscellaneous work; Paul Noonan for providing the air travel for the Beatgirls, and for buying all the tiem on the night; Carol Burborough for being on the committee, and the collection of all the auction items, sponsorship and prizes; and to her hero Rae James who supported her and was her go to man, and reminded her when things were needed.   And to anyone who has been missed out - an apology.

A final tally will be done by the end of April.   The project this year was more successful than last year, because the whole club was behind it.
Membership - John Buck spoke to the Membership meeting on 13 May.   The guest speaker will be TV personality Peter Williams.   A pamphlet, shown above, has been prepared, and members are asked to distribute them to doctor's surgeries, dentists, yacht clubs, banks, accountants, coffee shops, premises visited for Poppy Day collections, and anywhere people who might suit our club, meet.
K Valley - John Butt advised the next planting day will be 4 May, and if postponed due to weather then 11 May.   Rotarians are asked to be there at 8 am to put out the plants, wear vests, and they will be briefed before anyone does anything.   There will be a reminder at the next meeting.
Medical Research - Paul Noonan said that New Zealand is at the forefront in some medical research.  Current research is looking at reducing the ageing effect, and volunteers over the age of 65 years, non-smoking, and free from a list if exclusions are being sought.   The study will be a double blind study where some will get placebos and others the real deal, without knowing who has what.   If you are interested, please contact P3 Research, telephone 579 0453.
GUEST SPEAKER - David Foris spoke about life among the Sochiapam Chinantec people of Mexico.   He is also the author of the book shown, along with many others.   For sixteen years he, his wife Christine and his family, lived in the northwest part of Oaxaca in Mexico.   He settled in Chinantia, a Mexican term meaning 'an enclosed place', a region boxed in by high mountain ridges and difficult to reach.   The Sochiapan Chinantec language is an isolated language that exhibits a complex system of verbal inflection.  Speakers of the language can use more than thirty tone-stress distinctions to communicate messages with minimal ambiguity.   The majority of words consist of a single syllable.   Mexico has 300 indigenous languages.
Getting to the village was an ordeal.   After a 35 kilometre drive, it was another 35 kilometres trek on foot over mountain trails.   There was an option to fly in, landing on a dirt strip on the side of the hill, and David used this means for his family.   When they arrived at the village in 1970, there were three houses with tin roofs, with the rest being thatched or reeded.   On an average ten people lived in each house, sleeping on the dirt floors.   All cooking was wood fired, with the art of carrying firewood learned at an early age.   The local crop was coffee beans, and these were sun dried, although the village was at 4500 feet, and was wetter than a rain forest.
In their house, it was found that windows were made to be looked into, and the family felt like they were the entertainment as they became a source of interest.   Their children were educated by correspondence and home teaching, and a local woman taught them crafts.   The pets that the children had were exotic - a mouse deer, parrots, squirrels, and toucan.
The language is a tone language, where pitch is very important.   There are fourteen tone/stress distinctions.   David designed a way to write the language down, and developed a primer book to teach people to learn to read and write.   After three months or learning to read and write in their own language, they became very fluent.   Using their own language was the way to do it.
In 2000 David was offered funding to initiate a major literacy programme, and went and trained people to be able to conduct surveys as to literary skills and resources.   Teachers were then trained to take classes.   People wanted to learn to read and write in their own language.
Over time there has been a great improvement in the village.   You can now drive to the village, albeit with some difficulty, house now have concrete roofs on which the coffee beans can be dried, and the change in society is great - less liquor, less domestic assault, and an eagerness to learn and develop.   A financial gift enabled a library to be established.   Ladies of the village were taught by Christine to make quilts.   They had always had scraps of material that they didn't know what to do with, and these are now all put to use.
Members with a mention in despatches this week were Rae James and John Buck for Rotary anniversaries, and Bruce Farthing and Ian Cochran for birthdays.
Rotary Ted was awarded to President Peter for his innovative "Books in Huts" programme.
Local Ted was awarded to Rae James for his sustained support to Carmen during Project Beatgirls.
Using quick fire questions Don demonstrated how easy it is to collect money.....
  • The tui was once known as the Priest bird, Parson bird, Reverend Bird, or Nun?    (Parson)
  • Who succeeded Richard 111 - Henry VI, Henry VII, Henry VIII, or James II?            (Henry VII)
  • When was the 5 cent coin demonetised?   2002, 2004, 2006, or 2008?                   (2006)
  • If something is bona fide, it is aged, a replica, in good health, or genuine?              (Genuine)
  • How many red balls are used in snooker -  one, six, twelve, or fifteen?                    (Fifteen)
  THE SAGE - Norm Bruning
If you want to go quickly, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
                 [African proverb]
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.