Mary O’Keeffe, our guest speaker, gave a very animated presentation to members and guests with an address entitled “What lies beneath”. Guests from Johnsonville Rotary included President Neil Haydon and 8 other members. Attending from Wellington Rotoract were President Madison Faber and Samatha Cleary. Minneke Rood, Jeanette Souter, Michele Sutherland and Clara Yiavasis, partners of Karori members also attended.
Mary has been an archaeology consultant for over 20 years working on  major infrastructural roading and  building refurbishment projects around the capital. She has worked extensively on the Kapiti Expressway, Transmission Gully, the Wellington City By pass, the building of the new Wellington Regional Hospital and redevelopment work at Government House. Mary traced the history of Government House, being the site of an early lunatic asylum, with images of early buildings, walls and gardens, and sites of building redevelopment in Willis street, uncovering a lot of history around early settlement in the city, how people lived with examples of bottles, plates and clothing found, and wells located deep in the ground for inorganic material which were very common around inner city properties.
The Club also saw images of skeletal finds and remnants of middens, shell beds and cooking ovens on the Kapiti Coast, the extent of dune erosion and construction work turning up early Maori burials. Under Government legislation all pre 1900 sites in New Zealand are deemed archaeological sites which must be protected when new development work is proposed. Archaeological authorities are approved for redevelopment with mitigation conditions. Mary fielded many questions which highlighted considerable interest in her topic and presentation to the Club.
Allan Frazer followed with a view point on rural and urban environmental impacts in New Zealand urging the importance of bringing both communities closer together to resolve issues for sustainability and benefit for all society, especially for urban residents to gain a  greater appreciation of the rural environment around them. Too few people living in inner cities are getting an appreciation of life on farms and enjoying the values presented  by our rural landscape.