We are almost two months into the new Rotary year and clubs will have set their Rotary citation goals and are well underway with their programmes.  I am encouraging clubs to work with neighbouring clubs to support each other.  It is important that clubs report both volunteer hours and money spent on community activities as both are essential in identifying the extent of Rotary service in the community.
Jan and I have so far visited twenty Rotary clubs and one Rotaract club since the district changeover on 6 July.  This includes the clubs we visited in Suva.  We have been warmly welcomed and have been privileged to see clubs in action and have visited many community projects that are good examples and illustrate my theme “Create Lasting Change”.
It is important that Rotarians and clubs tell their stories.  Whether personally or by way of social media, club and district websites and the district newsletter, etc.  We are often asked what is Rotary?  We need to have our elevator speech ready and share why we are in Rotary and the good work that Rotary does in the community.  We also need to ensure that we are identified as Rotarians by displaying Rotary banners and wearing the Rotary vests and caps when we are working on projects in the community.  It can lead to membership enquiries.
September is Basic Education and Literacy month and there are many examples of Rotary clubs active in this area.  In August the Rotary Club of Auckland Harbourside, in conjunction with the Education First Trust, distributed over 1,000 Rotary dictionaries in rural areas of Fiji.  In addition there are other Rotary clubs involved with reading enrichment programmes at local schools or in helping school children to read.
The Zone 8 conference for Rotary districts in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands will be held in Christchurch from 20 to 22 September.  The Rotary International President Mark Daniel Maloney and wife Gay will be attending and speaking.  This is an exciting opportunity to meet them in person and we are encouraging Rotarians to attend.
Rotaract is holding its first Oceania conference in Auckland from 6 to 9 September and registrations have been received from clubs around NZ, the Pacific Islands and from other countries as far away as India and Bangladesh.
Interact is a Rotary programme for young people 12 to 18 years old.  It is growing fast and District 9920 has sixteen Interact clubs with another three in the pipeline.
We are inviting clubs to organise an EndPolioNow movie night in October and this year the movie is Ride Like a Girl, the story of the first woman jockey to win the Melbourne Cup.  Clubs are encouraged to organise a movie night either on their own or in partnership with other clubs.
In addition, both our district and neighbouring District 9910 are organising an event on 1 November to raise awareness and funds for the EndPolioNow campaign.  This follows a similar event in Sydney last year where Rotarians travelled on trains stopping at all stations during the day to collect funds raised by clubs and from the public.  More details on the event will be announced shortly.
Finally, I have accepted the challenge from the Rotary Club of Mangere President David Gock to join him in raising funds for Cure Kids by taking the sky jump from the Sky Tower on Saturday, 5 October at 2pm.  We will be joined by Robin Ingram and Peter Martin, presidents of the Rotary Clubs of St Johns and Drury respectively who have also accepted the challenge.  If you would like to support this challenge in aid of Cure Kids, then visit the web site Rotary Sky Jump for Cure Kids for more information.