The new Rotary year is already underway with Rotary clubs, Rotaract clubs and district changeovers behind us.  New club and district leadership teams are in place and we have a new Rotary International President Mark Maloney and his wife Gay.  They are from Decatur, Alabama, USA.
RI President Mark’s theme is “Rotary Connects the World”.  Rotary connects the world in so many different ways; whether it is with individuals, clubs, districts, communities or with Rotary International and the United Nations.  The new logo is attractive and is a representation of a modernised version of the Rotary wheel.
My wife Jan and I are originally from Wellington where we grew up, went to school and university.  We have a son, daughter and a grandson.
I am a Chartered Accountant and retired Fellow of the Institute of Secretaries with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Victoria University of Wellington.  I am a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme at the Harvard Business School in Boston.  I recently retired after fourteen years as CEO of Eagle Technology Group Limited and before that held senior management roles in corporate, co-operative and government organisations.
At the age of twenty-nine I became a member of the Rotary Club of Onehunga, enjoying the wonderful friendship and projects undertaken by that club.  A change of career required me to travel extensively both overseas and within New Zealand.  This meant I was unable to keep up the then strict attendance requirements demanded by Rotary.  In the year 2000 I became a member of the Rotary Club of Auckland East.  It is wonderful to belong to a Rotary club that undertakes great projects and activities in the local community.  I was club president in 2011-12, a PHF and a member of the winning district quiz team.  Jan and I have hosted Rotary Youth Exchange students from the USA and Denmark.
Joining the DG train for the two years prior to becoming district governor provides valuable Rotary knowledge and experience and is great preparation for the DG role.  The role of district governor nominee gives insight into the workings of Rotary at district and international level.  The second year as DG-elect is very busy.  Making the district leadership team appointments and working with the district training and leadership development chair and district trainer to deliver training to the incoming presidents and club leaders in Auckland and the Pacific Islands.
Earlier in the year Jan and I were to join 550 other district governors and their partners to undertake DG training at the International Assembly in San Diego.  Unfortunately we had to cancel due to my need for surgery.  I later undertook the training at our home.
Dates are set in place to visit all of the clubs in the district by the end of November.
My theme for the year is “Create Lasting Change”.  Rotarians and Rotary clubs do this in so many ways.  “Lasting Change” is being created at the individual and community level with the many programmes and projects that Rotary clubs undertake.
The End Polio Now campaign is another example of “Creating Lasting Change”.  Rotary with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have contributed USD 1.9 billion towards the campaign which has involved millions of voluntary hours from Rotarians around the world, vaccinating 2.5 billion children against polio.  The campaign started over thirty years ago when there were 300,000 new cases of polio every year.  This year there has been fifty-seven cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Rotary has a commitment to eradicate polio and we need to continue to support the End Polio Now campaign to ensure the objective is achieved.  I was asked a question at one of the club visits about the role of PDG Dr Grattan O’Connell and PRIP Bill Boyd in getting Rotary International involved in the End Polio campaign.  I am pleased to say that both these outstanding Rotarians were very much involved.  The district is planning a movie night in October.  There is also an innovative fund raising campaign planned with District 9910 which will involve the DG team travelling the Auckland rail network to publicise and raise funds for End Polio Now.
David Gock, president of the Rotary Club of Mangere, has challenged me to join him to raise money for Cure Kids by doing the Sky Jump at the Sky Tower.  This is for a good cause and last year David and his club raised over $6,000 for Cure Kids.  We are looking to jump on Saturday, 5 October and we challenge other club presidents in the district to join us and help support Cure Kids.  Look out for more details on this initiative.
The district is enjoying a resurgence in Rotaract (age 18 to 30) and Interact clubs (age 12 to 18).  They are both official Rotary programmes.  Rotaractors are also involved in running several of the district youth programmes along with leading some activities at RYLA.  Rotaract will be running a zone conference in Auckland, 6 to 10 September for clubs in NZ and the Pacific and already have interest from clubs outside the district.  There are sixteen schools with Interact clubs and another three soon to be chartered.  A district Interact quiz night is being held at Auckland Grammar School on Friday, 9 August.
The Rotary District 9920 conference is being held at the University of Auckland Business School from 15 to 17 May, 2020.  We have a conference team organising an exciting programme and they are encouraging Rotary and Rotaract clubs to showcase their projects.  It will be a great weekend and a chance to renew friendships and make new friends.  We look forward to seeing you at the conference.
Jan and I are looking forward to visiting all of the Rotary and Rotaract clubs in the district and meeting as many Rotarians as possible.  We love to see the good work you are doing in the community and don’t forget to tell your stories.  Doing good work in the community and telling our story will attract more interest and members to Rotary.
Gary Langford
District Governor 2019-20
Rotary District 9920
Mobile:  +64 21 923901
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