Rotary clubs and their members have finished their activities for the year and we hope you will have a well-deserved break after a very active first half of the Rotary year.
We have had a very busy six months and a lot has happened in Rotary and personally.  Since changeover, Jan and I have visited forty-seven Rotary clubs in Auckland and seven Pacific Island countries.  We still have five clubs in the northern part of Fiji to visit in the New Year.  The Rotary clubs we have visited are very inspirational with their community activities and we always leave with a sense of renewed energy and enthusiasm for the good work carried out by Rotarians in the district
In November I travelled to Kiribati with PDG Ingrid Waugh, PDG Jennie Herring, Jeanette Drysdale, Chair of District International Service and Tania Thomas, President of the Rotary Club of Otahuhu, to attend the Charter night of the district’s newest club, the Rotary Club of Tarawa.  Kiribati comprises three island archipelagos and sits on the equator.  It is a three hour flight north of Nadi and halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.  To give you some idea of the distance, it takes three hours to fly from Tarawa to Christmas Island, the second biggest population centre of Kiribati.  We had the opportunity to meet members of the Rotary Community Corps of South Tarawa.  This is the first community corps in our district and provides an avenue for locals to come together and undertake community projects under the sponsorship of a Rotary club.  Both the Rotary club and community corps have been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Otahuhu.
The Rotary Club of Somerville held a very successful Festival of Light dinner and auction where we were privileged to witness the Counties-Manukau Police Bhangra dance group perform in full police uniform.
We were subsequently invited by President Farida Masters of the Rotary Club of Somerville to join a group from the club to present Certificates of Appreciation to the members of the dance group at Counties-Manukau Police headquarters.  We met the Police area commander and members of the Indian community who trained the group.  This was a special celebration as the group has been performing for five years and undertaking community outreach programmes.
The Rotary Club of Harbourside held a very successful Diwali night to raise funds for a mobile medical clinic (MMC) and the club’s Rotary Dictionary Distribution Project in partnership with the Education First Trust for low decile schools in New Zealand and Fiji.  The MMC will receive donations and be operated by the Ramakrishna Mission to provide health services to rural populations outside of Nadi.  The project is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Parnell.  Support will be required from other clubs in the district.
At the invitation of the Rotary Club of Pakuranga we joined Bill and Lorna Boyd and members of the club at Finlayson Park Primary School for the dictionary presentation to 280, Year Four students.  It was a very uplifting experience to provide personally addressed books to students who greatly prized the dictionaries.  Well done to the Rotary Club of Pakuranga and the Bill and Lorna Boyd Charitable Trust for starting this valuable programme which, with the aid of other Rotary clubs, has provided nearly 200,000 dictionaries to date.
The Polio All Trains event held on 1 November was very successful, raising over $70,000 towards the End Polio Now campaign.  This was a joint event with District 9910 and End Polio Now and received excellent publicity as well as raising a significant amount of money which will be tripled with the contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Whakaari White Island volcanic eruption was an unexpected deadly force of nature that has now claimed 19 lives (including those missing) and left many fighting for their lives in hospitals in New Zealand and Australia.  Our condolences to the families of those killed and we give our support to the injured and their families.  We also thank the people who put themselves in harm’s way to rescue the survivors and recover the victims.
The measles epidemic in Samoa has claimed the lives of 79 people, most of whom were aged four or younger.  This is a tragedy and we admire the work that the health services have undertaken to prevent further loss of life.  The Rotary Club of Apia has been supporting the needs of local hospitals and clinics.  Rotary clubs in New Zealand have generously donated to support the appeal for funds.  This appeal followed closely on the appeal for the Australian Bushfire Fund.  Thank you to all the Rotary clubs and Rotarians who have supported these appeals.
It was with considerable sadness that we learned of the passing of PDG Rob Crabtree.  Rob was an outstanding Rotarian and Freemason who made a difference in the world.  He will be sadly missed.  Our condolences go to Rob’s family and his many friends.
The District 9920 Conference is being held in Auckland from 15 to 17 May 2020.  There is an impressive line-up of speakers already arranged and many requests from Rotary clubs to showcase their programmes.  We are privileged to have Julia Phelps nominated as the Rotary International President’s Personal Representative (RIPPR) attending our conference.  Julia is a Past Rotary International Director and current Rotary Foundation trustee.  PDG Ingrid and John Waugh will be hosting both Julia and husband Steve while they are in New Zealand.
Please note that the early bird registration rate ends on 31 December 2019.  If you want to take advantage of the lower rate then please register before the expiry date.  You will still be able to register after 31 December.
We are also asking clubs to register and host prospective Rotarians for the Saturday sessions and to visit the Rotary showcase of club activities.  This will cost $75 per person and includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea.  This is made possible by the generous support of John Boscawen from the Rotary Club of Auckland Downtown.
Jan and I wish all Rotarians and their families a happy and safe holiday season.  We look forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Season’s greetings and best wishes.
Gary and Jan Langford
District Governor 2019-20
Rotary District 9920