Papatoetoe Central Rotary’s Indian Diaspora Night and Fundraising Dinner was an incredibly successful event at which all guests had a wonderful time that achieved its main objective in making a very significant and valued contribution to the good work done by the four chosen Charites; The Rotary Foundation, Cure Kids Fiji Oxygen Project, The Middlemore Foundation and Kids Can
First impressions count right?  The constant stream of cars in a part of town that likely was deserted at that time of night otherwise was a giveaway that we were on the right track for D’Grand Cabana. When we arrived we were struck by the presence and cheerfulness of the security at the gate and by the brightly lit and clearly vibrant Indian appearance of the venue across the crowded car park.
The entrance was fitting for the venue … grand.  As with other arriving guests, we were greeted at the door by a Papatoetoe Central Rotarian who made us feel great and escorted us to have our picture taken by a photographer.  Then we were accompanied to a registration table in a huge, well decorated receiving area and invited into the marble floored grand hall.  Throughout the evening the Papatoetoe Central Rotarians and helpers – family and friends – were clearly identified by blue rosettes with a Rotary wheel in the middle and were very attentive to the needs of all guests. The very personalised attention was very welcoming.
The atmosphere was happy and full of people all greeting each other and chatting.  The colour among the 500 plus guests contributed to this with bright sari’s, turbans, and dress generally everywhere.  There were clearly groups of Rotarians from many clubs, but obvious groups from the Indian community there in support. Next to the table we were assigned was a table of representatives from the Government, the Community Boards and the community Police.  At our table we were joined by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who was very easy to chat with.
After an extended Cocktail period the MC, who had come from the Fiji to be there, invited people to take their seats and made some initial introductions.  He then mentioned that for him the evening was about the virtues of love, compassion and forgiveness and asked all to enjoy the positivity of the evening.  This was followed by a buffet entrée followed by a dance by The Wonder Girls (pictured left).
The formal part of the evening started with President Dr Ajit Singh (pictured left) welcoming Mayor Phil Goff and other Dignitaries.  Ajit spoke of the many projects that the club had achieved during the past Rotary year and we were struck with the number and valuable contribution to the community of these.  In addition to a rolling PowerPoint, throughout the venue there was Rotary signage emphasising the values of Rotary and what Rotary contributes to the world.
Mayor Phil Goff then presented several Awards including Community Awards to Roshan Noharia, Kharag Singh and Asare plus Paul Harris Awards to Karnail Badan and Dr Ajit Singh.  The brief bios of all these recipients is impressive in both the community and business achievements.  President Ajit then presented the sponsors with plaques recognising their support of the evening starting with Spark as the main, Diamond, sponsor.
Club Fundraising Chair “PJ” Dhatt (pictured left) spoke about the beneficiaries of the evening and presented to PDG Jennie Herring and super-sized cheque to The Rotary Foundation of $21,000.  Jennie was appropriately introduced as the “Mother” of Papatoetoe Central Rotary in recognition of her role in the forming of the club; she accepted the contribution for the Rotary Foundation and spoke briefly about what the Foundation was and achieved. Presentations of cheques for the other charities benefiting from the evening were then presented:  $9,000 to the Cure Kids Fiji Oxygen Project, $8,000 to The Middlemore Foundation and $5,000 to Kids Can.
We were then treated to a very vibrant Pacific drums and dance performance before a sumptuous main course of fine Indian cuisine. Following this the dance floor opened and was well used by guests.
We had a wonderful time and we know all the guests would agree.  Most importantly the event achieved its main objective in making a very valued contribution to the good work done by the four chosen Charites.
The Indian Diaspora Night and Fundraising Dinner was an incredibly successful event.  Papatoetoe Central Rotary left nothing to chance from their extensive promotion of the event to the detailed organisation and successful deliver of the evening itself.  This is a relatively new club that has a very noticeable presence in its community through many projects and the complete dedication and participation of its Rotarians, their families, friends and many supporters.
- Written by Colin and Beryl Robinson