Our meeting on Tuesday, 8 March, will be one of the most important for members in this Rotary year – to consider pathways to make our Club potentially more attractive for new members, as well as more stimulating for present members, partners and friends of Rotary.

Your board has been considering this issue, our history of evening meetings, together with 4-5 community business breakfasts in the years when we have been able to hold them, largely impacted by Covid since 2020. It is time to look at moving forward with a substantially reduced membership on earlier years and how we can better engage and offer more to those who could consider joining Rotary.

We are in a fast changing world, people have different commitments and interests from what we have experienced over past decades. Today’s world has changed for younger people in the workforce and what they are prepared to commit to today.

I have personally favoured evening gatherings for fellowship, with a dinner, and hearing a good speaker.  We have had excellent meals provided by Elaine Harris. I know that has appealed to many, but there are others with different preferences.  I also like the breakfast model, where we can achieve all these things at the beginning of the day, meet up, network, share ideas, and plan for projects etc and get on our way knowing we can avoid bottle necks at lunch time and in the evening rush. Trialling breakfasts at Marsden School is an option, which has support from the School and from our caterer if we would like to go in this direction. It could be an attractive option to those thinking about Rotary, or people we could approach.

At the end of the day it is for all of us to try and get some consensus around what we would like to do in the future, help President-Elect Jay plan her year with more certainty, and build support and interest in our club around new projects, new social activities.

I want to extend the thanks of the board to Mark Wood and Allan Frazer for ideas they have brought together in a paper coming to you to look at on social activities for the Club. I would like to see an exchange of views at our forum on social activities and a pathway forward for future meetings of the Club.

Finally, I wish to record our regret that long serving member, Henk Rood, has resigned his membership with the Karori Club after 39 years, however he will be staying in Rotary with a transfer to the Wellington Rotary luncheon club. Henk says he would like to stay in touch with our Karori Club through our breakfast programme and social events. We are working on plans to celebrate our 40th anniversary in June this year, so more on that as we progress towards this event.

Take care,
Warm regards,
President David.