Friday, 28 October 2016

Taihape Rotary - making the most of opportunities

AG Richard Wishnowsky, Rotarian and Councillor Ruth Rainey,
DG Martin and President Diana Turney
Twenty-five years ago Taihape Rotary spotted an opportunity.  The Kawhatau Valley School was closed down and Taihape Rotarians converted the school into the Kawhatau Outdoor Education Centre.  They trucked in additional buildings and now the facility is used for RYPEN (Rotary Youth Programme for Enrichment) and by various other groups.

DGE Mitchell Brown and DG Martin on the Taihape turntable.
For 25 years the Rotary Club of Taihape has been running RYPEN and I recognised this achievement by awarding a District Paul Harris Fellow Award to the Club.  The award recognised that achievement and the enduring impact that RYPEN has had on young people who have attended this programme.

Members of the Rotary Club of Taihape are enthusiastic, committed and generous in their continuous support for RYPEN.

While RYPEN did not proceed this year due to a combination of circumstances, DGE Mitchell Brown, AG Richard Wishknowsky and I had a very useful discussion with Taihape Rotarians to scope a way forward to ensure the programme proceeds next year.  Taihape Rotarians were appreciative of the positive support some other Clubs had conveyed to them when RYPEN was cancelled this year.

Taihape also spotted an opportunity when they restored the train turntable.  Steam trains are still using this valuable asset.

Taihape Rotarians are now working with the Rangitikei District Council to build a lookout on Mount Stewart that will replace the lookout damaged by a bush fire.

They are involved in many other community activities, including running the famous gumboot throwing competition.

Rear from left: Dianne McKinnon, Michael Andrews, Graham White, Ruth Rainey
Front from left: Jan Byford, President Diana Turney, DG Martin, Bill Byford 

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