Rotorua convention logo To the Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu

Report on the 1997 district convention - 12-13 September, 1997

In general the convention was notable for its lack of notable events. There were no contested elections, no bylaw changes, no significant change of direction and (mercifully) no one wanted to raise our dues. But a lot was learned and everyone had an excellent time (as is usual for conventions). The convention was held at the new Rotorua Convention Center located between downtown and the Government Gardens. Approximately 225 Kiwanians and another 50 non-members (mostly partners) attended the convention.

Mike McIvor looking befuddled The program on the first morning consisted largely of all the introductions and ceremonial events followed by breakout sessions for workshops. Our own Mike McIvor was appointed as convention parliamentarian and this was confirmed by vote of the delegates. The parliamentarian's job is to "interpret the district bylaws and the standing rules for the house of delegates." This would normally be a largely figurative role but Mike was immediately dropped in the poo when a member from the South Island questioned the interpretation of the published standing rules of the convention and claimed that they contravened the district bylaws. Mike found himself in the unenviable position of having copies of neither the standing rules (they had been left out of the convention documentation) nor the bylaws. Mike managed to hold his cool, borrowed copies of both documents from various people and managed to answer all the questions to most people's satisfaction. That lawyer training is good for something after all!
He can't be serious!
And Neville said this job would be easy.

The workshops were on community service (led by Guy Probert), new ideas for Young Children PRIORITY ONE activities, ideas for IDD fund raising and a seminar on new club building. Te Awamutu members attended all of these and reported that all were worthwhile.

The Friday afternoon session was devoted to reports of district officers, award presentations and passing the one resolution which was put to the delegates. President Guy Probert presented our representative, poster-sized check to the IDD steering committee with great aplomb. Te Awamutu is one of three clubs in the New Zealand - South Pacific district which have now paid their full five year IDD target. We received a banner patch for our three-year target achievement and a temporary patch for attaining the entire goal. The big check
President Guy handing the big check to District IDD Chairperson Robert Lynds.

The resolution to extend the current Auckland program to supply asthma emergency kits to primary and intermediate schools in the rest of New Zealand was passed. The kits are basically financed by the Kiwanis clubs and training for teachers and maintenance of the kits is done by the New Zealand Asthma Society.

The attendees all enjoyed a very entertaining "Polynesian evening" on the Friday. Despite the raucous frivolity of the occasion, the Te Awamutu members were all pictures of decorum (and had a good time too).

The Saturday saw more workshops (same as the Friday morning plus one on leadership) and addresses by such important personalities as the Kiwanis International president-elect Glenn Bagnell and the incoming Governor Neville Puckey. In the afternoon a Robert Connelly award (for assistance to their fellow man beyond the call of duty) was presented to a young man from the South Island who, at great personal risk, had saved a woman from drowning in a car accident. This was followed by the "keynote" speaker for the convention (giving a new meaning to the term keynote speaker), Dr. Alan Liang. Dr. Liang gave a brilliant talk on asthma, its prevalence, causes and its prevention. We all came away both highly informed and greatly entertained. More importantly, all got the impression that the resolution was passed by the convention the previous day was the correct decision and that the supply of asthma kits to schools was truly a worthwhile project.

Merv Gyde and banner The convention came to a close after the election of officers. None of the offices were contested. The new district officers are:
Neville Puckey of the Kiwanis Club of Kirikiriroa
Mike Boyd of the Kiwanis Club of Rotowhenua
Merv Gyde of the Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu
Foundation trustee
Ross Taylor of the Kiwanis Club of Ashburton

In addition to these elected officers, Geoff Tregurtha will continue as district secretary, Mike McIvor will be committee chairperson for laws and regulations and Guy Probert will be committee chairperson for community service and human values. For those interested, your secretary has a list of the other district committee chairpersons and lt. governors.

Merv Gyde and his new banner.

The dinner on the Saturday evening was a more formal affair than the previous evening and was the occasion of the presentation of numerous awards and gifts. A good time was had by all, which indeed holds true for the entire convention. For those that missed the experience, the next opportunity will be the 1998 district convention 28-29 August, 1998 in Christchurch.

D. Fentress
Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu
15 September, 1997

Te Awamutu Kiwanis home page / NZSP 1997 district convention page

Page last updated by (David Fentress) on 29 November, 2003.
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