Sunday, 23 October 2016

Wanganui Rotary - building on tradition to create change in their Club and community

DG Martin, President Dot McKinnon, PDG 9980 John Henderson, PDG Bob Smith
Wanganui Rotary is one of the oldest Clubs in our District.  The Club was chartered in 1924 (the same year as Palmerston North Rotary), just 3 years after Rotary was established in New Zealand. I am impressed with Wanganui Rotary's Strategic Plan which connects Rotarians with their history while keeping them moving forward with a focus on projects.

Their projects are diverse - ranging from the annual book fair, to development of the Westmere Walkway, Kowhai Park maintenance, to reading in schools and many other youth programmes.

I was privileged to visit the Matipo Street Gardens where Wanganui Rotary is supporting local grassroots leaders develop community gardens to not only help feed their local community but also provide horticulture training as a pathway to employment.  Their vision is to help people in the area faced with challenging situations make choices to change through education and training - including horticulture, literacy, numeracy and parenting skills.    

Wanganui Rotary's age range of membership is wide - ranging from Rotarians in their early 30s through to post-retirement - so they are well-prepared to keep serving Wanganui for another 92 years.
Several new members have been inducted recently and, during our visit, Denise and I witnessed the induction of yet another new member.  Wanganui Rotarians are also exploring the establishment of a young professionals group or a satellite Club.


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