May 2020     This Newsletter has been sent to all District 9920 Rotarians

District Governor Gary's May Message

We have just come out of thirty-three days in Level 4 lock down and have two more weeks (subject to review) at the slightly less restrictive Level 3.  All Kiwis can be very proud of achieving a huge reduction in infection rates of COVID-19.  Many of our Pacific Island countries have also had stringent lock downs and have been either able to remain COVID-19 free or flatten the curve of infection.
This success has come at a huge economic cost and disruption of normal social interaction.  Rotarians across the district have played their part by meeting virtually, finding other ways to stay connected and keep members engaged.  It is also encouraging that many clubs have been able to reach out to those in need in the community and donate money and time while observing the lock down requirements.
Over half of our clubs are meeting by way of Zoom or Skype and others are in contact via telephone trees, emails and newsletters.  It’s wonderful to be able to use technology and many of us have been on a steep learning curve.  As an example of the use of technology, my club will have its annual debate with the Rotary Club of St Johns by way of Zoom next Monday.  I have attended many club meetings by Zoom and if you send me your club meeting link I will do my best to attend as a guest.
Now with growing confidence there will be a new normal post COVID-19.  More board and committee meetings will be held using Zoom and as an example, Rotary International is organising a virtual convention in June which we will all be able to attend from the comfort of our homes (see separate story on the website and in the newsletter for the website link – operative from 1 May US CDT).  It is also interesting to see some clubs attracting new members who prefer this type of meeting to the more traditional meetings.  Rotary has established new club operating models over recent years and these provide new opportunities to attract members.

May is Youth Service Month


District Governor Nominee selection 2022-2023


I am pleased to advise that the District 9920 Nominating committee have selected Allan K Smith as District Governor for the Rotary year 2022-2023.  The selection is subject to objection by a Rotary club with a 14 day period but only if the club has previously suggested a candidate to the nominating committee.
Allan is a past president of the Rotary Club of St Johns, District 9920 Area Governor 2020-2021 and a panel member of the Rotary Governance Working Group.  Sue is the NZ Operations Manager for ROMAC - Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children and works as a volunteer for many organisations such as the Cancer Society.
Jan and I wish Allan and Sue every success in their year as District Governor and I look forward to Allan joining the DG train as District Governor Nominee.
Gary Langford
District Governor 2019-20
Rotary District 9920

RI Virtual Convention

1 May 00:01am in Chicago is 1 May 17:01 NZST so information on the virtual Convention should be available after that time on .

Rotary grants provide a major boost to Pacific vaccination project


Rotary Give Every Child A Future is Rotary Australasia’s centennial project to introduce three vaccines into nine Pacific Island countries.  It has just reached a significant milestone with the approval of nine Global Grants by The Rotary Foundation.  These grants, one for each country for the first year of the project, have a combined value of US$1.3 million.
Global grants are made up of Rotary club fundraising and Rotary District Designated Funds which are then matched by The Rotary Foundation’s World Fund.
RGECAF can now move to the implementation phase of this major public health initiative in the Pacific.  Through our collaboration with UNICEF, 100,000 women and children will benefit individually, saving lives and saving families.  In addition, the project will significantly strengthen health systems in each of the nine countries, providing a sustainable legacy of improved healthcare.

Nukualofa Rotary distributes 148 ERKs following Cyclone Harold




Cyclone Harold cause significant devastation in the Pacific including remote areas of Fiji. Rotary Clubs in Fiji 15 April handed over F$280,000 worth of assistance for the people of Fiji residing in the Western and Central Divisions who had their houses destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Harold. The provision of the ERKs on Monday and todays handover bring Rotary’s assistance towards TC Harold to over F$0.5 million.   

Rotary Youth Exchange Inbounds - Locked Down but not Out


Going into a four-week lock-down due to a world pandemic is not something any of us would ever have imagined doing, least of all our group of seven Inbound RYE students. But heck are we proud of the way these young ambassadors have conducted themselves during this challenging time.
D9920 is currently hosting seven delightful young ambassadors, two from France and one each from the Netherlands, Denmark, Chile, Austria and Germany. Weighting up the pros and cons of “should I stay, or should I do?” and in constant consultation with their families and Rotary advisors here and at home, our Awesome Inbounds have all elected (for now) to stay here.

Changes we have made

Now that we have left Level 4 for Level 3 and the uncertainties this represents include just how long this will go on for, we can reflect on progress to date in the response by Rotary. 
The first and most obvious is that clubs have had to meet on-line and most seem to be doing this OK.  Members, even the “technophobes” have quickly adopted regular attendance to these electronic meetings as a way of staying in touch and beating the isolation blues. Often clubs are reporting that these meetings are gaining more attendance that their normal meetings, but it has been acknowledged that the preference for the usual face-to-face meetings remains.

District Grant puts food on the table

Early on in Alert Level 4 Manukau City Sunrise Rotary was aware that some families in their community were likely to be finding things tough during the current crisis where lockdown had restricted movement and, in many cases, suspended jobs affecting income. What the club wanted was to find a way to relieve some of the stresses those families were facing in outing food on the table.
The club’s solution came through one of their members, Pelu Leaupepetele who is the Principal of Kedgley Intermediate.

Parcel drivers doing an essential service

Auckland East Rotary has answered the call by the Salvation Army for drivers to deliver food parcels to families facing serious difficulties putting food on their tables at this time of crisis.  Unfortunately, the need is rapidly growing right across Auckland and even though the club has had a good response from members and Friends of Auckland East Rotary more drivers are needed – if you can assist call for more information.

Rotary Clubs step up under Level 4

There has been quite a bit happening among clubs during the Level 4 period of the crisis that includes the following:

Thank you - together we are succeeding

It may not be radical or wildly Instagram worthy compared to pictures of Rotary volunteers delivering food parcels to grateful elderly or the myriad of other roles that are in the public eye, but Rotarians throughout New Zealand and the Pacific have been connecting with others fills a very essential function during this crisis.

Thank you to all who have and continue to willingly and brightly performed the role of cheer squad with your members and others who need perking up and to ensure people are not feeling isolated as they stay at home to keep all safe.


Zoom discount for Rotary clubs and Rotarians

Rotary Zoom Offer

Through Rotary Global Rewards clubs and Rotarians can get a 20% discount on a paid Zoom account. Go to

The free version of Zoom has a 40 minute meeting limit and other restriction although good for first-time users to try out.  If your club is looking longer=tern to use Zoom for on-line club, Board or Committee meetings then a paid account is an option to consider.

Rotary Zoom Backgrounds you can use

Click on picture above to access.  There are several options.  This is a PowerPoint for maximum flexibility and has instructions.

Hungry for interesting Rotary news!

District 9920 is a geographic area covering a half of Auckland, New Zealand and the seven Pacific nations of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga.  This is the largest maritime district in Rotary and this unique Pacific influence provides Rotarians with wide ranging and interesting service opportunities.  In this area there are 53 Rotary clubs of which a third are in the Pacific countries.
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