365 days of gratitude

December 12, 2018

Rotary came to us for dinner this evening.

We enjoyed the fellowship, sang some carols and in lieu of payment we asked people to donate to cancer research.

The generous Rotarians donated more than $1,400 for which I’m very grateful.

People die without vaccines

October 3, 2018

A child has died from polio in Papua New Guinea.

The polio vaccine has been around for decades and the disease has almost been eliminated because of that – partly due to the efforts of Rotary.

Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979. We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, here are some ways to make a global impact and protect children against polio forever. . .

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, anti-vaccers put up a billboard near Middlemore Hospital saying if you knew The ingredients in a vaccine would you risk it?:

An anti-vaccination billboard alongside Auckland’s southern motorway which prompted more than 140 complaints is being pulled, the day after it was erected. . .

Immunisation Advisory Centre research director Dr Helen Petousis-Harris said the billboard perpetuated the myth there are concealed issues with what’s in vaccines, which is “most unhelpful and quite untrue”.

“It’s absolutely misleading

Petousis-Harris said the billboard had the potential to “hugely” impact public health, and said its placement in south Auckland targets vulnerable communities who “bear the biggest burden of these infectious diseases
“. . .

Petousis-Harris said it was important to clarify that when people talk about chemicals in vaccines, these are chemicals present in the environment that we come into contact with daily, and that we are born with in our bodies.

The chemicals in vaccines – just like in our mother’s breast milk – are in minuscule amounts and pose no safety risk whatsoever to humans and animals in those quantities, with the exception of course of an allergic reaction.” .. .

A very few people might have an allergic reaction to a vaccine.

The rest of us should have vaccines for our own sakes and to provide herd immunity which protects people who are too young to be fully vaccinated or the few who for medical reasons are unable to have them.


365 days of gratitude

June 27, 2018

Oamaru used to have two Rotary clubs, both of which were in decline.

They amalgamated but the attrition of members continued.

This isn’t peculiar to this club or organisation. Service and sports clubs, political and religious organisations and a variety of other volunteer groups are finding it harder to recruit and retain members.

But it’s not all downhill.

In the last couple of years the Rotary Club of Oamaru has had a renaissance with an influx of new members who have increased the membership and decreased the average age.

The club is reinvigorated and it showed at tonight’s meeting.

The outgoing president handed over the chains of office to the incoming one then everyone participated with enthusiasm and generosity to the auction which followed.

Service and fellowship are the guiding principles of Rotary. Both of which were on display this evening with a third – fun – and I”m grateful for all of that.

365 days of gratitude

May 25, 2018

Oamaru Rotary’s annual Bookarama opened today.

Book collection started months ago and members have been sorting, pricing the donations.

Every box of books holds surprises – some of them disappointing.

One of the volunteer sorters introduced us to the bed test – would you feel comfortable if this book was touching your sheets while you were reading it in bed?

Quite a lot of books fail that test – the better ones are sent to the recycling centre, the worst are dumped.

But thousands of books pass the test, some so well that they get priced so we sell them for considerably more than the $2 that most go for.

Last year we made around $20,000.

We’re hoping this year’s sale will raise a similar amount.

Whatever we make, we’re grateful for the generosity of the people who donate books, the many volunteers who sort and sell them and the many more who buy them.

366 days of gratitude

June 8, 2016

A friend invited me to join Rotary.

She had been very good at supporting me and it was at a time when I had spare time so I accepted.

One thing that had made me cautious about joining had been the weekly commitment to attend meetings, though once I joined I found it wasn’t very difficult.

Besides these days Rotary acknowledges that getting to a meeting each week isn’t practical for many members and irregular attendance is accepted.

Our club now meets only twice a month now anyway, though it happens that for various reasons those second and fourth Wednesdays often don’t suit me.

However, tonight I was able to go to the meeting and was pleased I did.

One of Rotary’s benefits is fellowship. That’s what we all got tonight and I’m grateful for that.

Bookarama retrospective

May 22, 2016

Preparing for and working at Rotary’s Bookarama has occupied me for the best part of  the past week.

People-watchers would find the buyers interesting. Dealers line up at the door before opening morning and run to the tables, others take a more leisurely approach. Some come once, some make return visits. Some are looking for particular titles or authors, others are less prescriptive. Some seek advice or want to chat, others are happy to browse and buy by themselves.

Quite a few buy bag loads of books, many of which they will donate back next year for re-sale, some buy in singles or small numbers.

A few unusual books are individually priced, few for more than $10 and those published recently are also priced – $2 for those from 2011 and 12; $4 for 2013 and 14 and $6 for the last two years. Children’s books are sold at two for $1, Mills and Boons go for $10 a box and all other books are just $1 each.

When it comes to paying, some forgo generous amounts of change while others accept small amounts back. That should not be seen to be judging anyone. Someone’s $9 change from a $20 note for 10 books might not be as important as another’s $1 from a $20 note for 19 books.

In the last few years we’ve found no interest in encyclopedias, atlases or dictionaries and hard back fiction isn’t as popular as paperbacks.

Today we’ll be cleaning up. Left over children’s books will go to the food bank, any good quality books left will be packed up for next year, some of the old books might be offered to dealers and the rest will go to the resource recovery centre for sale or recycling.

This is the club’s biggest annual fundraiser and all proceeds go to the community.

It depends on the generosity of people who donate books, those who buy them and others, not all of whom are Rotary members, who sort and sell them. It’s hard work but also both enjoyable and rewarding.




366 days of gratitude

April 4, 2016

Oamaru Rotary is preparing for its annual Bookarama.

People have begun donating books and volunteers have begun sorting them.

Some, sadly, have been stored where they’ve got damp others have long past their best-by dates.

But most are in good condition and will give others some very reasonably priced reading pleasure.

Today I’m grateful for the people who read real books and generously pass them on to help Rotary raise money and give those who buy them bargain reading.

P.S. I forgot to post this but thanks to WordPress which enables bloggers to schedule in the past and future, it will still appear among posts written on the 4th even though it’s now the 5th.

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