Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu
Report on the 1999 district convention
27-28 August, 1999
The 1999 district convention was great fun but a considerable disappointment in terms of what our club set out to accomplish. The new district bylaws were passed despite our opposition. None of the amendments that the Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu proposed to protect the rights of clubs were fully adopted. However two of our proposed changes were adopted in a slightly different form. The district dues were raised to NZ$45 p.a. despite spirited opposition from our club and one or two others. The candidate that we nominated for governor-elect, Bette Eavestaff, lost to Barbara Kelly of Taupo.
Such is democracy. It now behooves our club to bandage the wounds and continue to strive to be a force for the betterment of our community despite these hindrances.
On a more positive note, our member Merv Gyde was re-elected to the position of Treasurer (unopposed) and our member Guy Probert was elected to Foundation Trustee. Congratulations to both of these deserving gentlemen.
Despite the setbacks, those attending learned a lot and everyone had an excellent time (as is usual for conventions). The convention was held at the Waipuna Hotel and Conference Center on a tidal basin in Mt. Wellington, south of Auckland city. The tide seemed to always be out during the brief times that we had a chance to look out the window but we had a panoramic view of the mud flats. The facility was very posh and accordingly expensive. Attendance was not announced but there were just over 100 voting delegates present for most of the sessions. There was regrettably no convention registration for business sessions only which kept participation low.
The program on the first morning started with all the introductions and ceremonial events then we tucked into the debate on the new district bylaws. The district board of trustees proposed two changes to the bylaws previously distributed which our delegates were in agreement with. Our own Mike McIvor was appointed as convention parliamentarian and this gave him a bit of work when the amendments to amendments started coming in.
The afternoon started somewhat strenuously with the debate on the dues increase. Few of the other clubs wanted to recognize that the financial strife that the district is suffering is due to too few members and that higher dues do not make it easier to recruit new members. The great debate was followed by workshops on publicity and club enrichment. Te Awamutu members attended all of these and reported them to be worthwhile.
The attendees all enjoyed a very good 'fancy dress party' (costume party) on the Friday. The theme was to dress like a character with the same initial as one's first name. The prize for best costume went to Merlin Merv Gyde and his lovely consort, Snow White Sue. Kermit Kevin Choat and the lovely Miss Piggy Margaret gave them a pretty good run for the money. 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 the debate on district policies (which did not stir much interest) and the passing of a meaningless but well-meaning resolution. This was followed by more workshops (same as the Friday morning) and addresses by such important personalities as Kiwanis International Trustee Peter Kim the incoming Governor Ann Raymond.
In addition to these elected officers, Lorraine Hyland was appointed district secretary, David Fentress will continue as district committee chairperson for technology (i.e. district webmaster) for the 1999/2000 year.
The dinner on the Saturday evening was a more formal affair than the previous evening and was preceded by the presentation of numerous awards and gifts. Our club got a "super achiever" award for our IDD contributions. Due to a marvelous effort by the French speaking delegates at the dinner, we all came away speaking French a little better. 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 2000 district convention 25-26 August, 2000 in Hamilton.
Kiwanis Club of Te Awamutu
5 September, 1999
Te Awamutu Kiwanis home page / NZSP 1999 district convention page