Posted on Sep 24, 2023

65th Papanui Anniversary celebration last Saturday was one to remember.

Our 65th Papanui Anniversary celebration last Saturday was one to remember.
Councillor Victoria Henstock opened our evening with a speech about the value of volunteering. She was joined by her husband Michael and we welcomed our District Governor Phil Gully and Past Assistant Governor wife Anna, joined us at the Commodore Hotel.
The theme was black and gold which echoed the Super Gold Card status of reaching the 65 year milestone. The tables were set with placemat replicas of the Super Gold Card and black and gold helium balloons.
The Promenade Quartet entertained us with their superb modern take on carpella singing which was witty and original and the room was buzzing from beginning to end with plenty of good humour and chat from current and past members who joined us to celebrate and enjoyed listening to this world class group.
The cake was cut by two of our longest serving members, Charles Barltrop and PDG Euan Hilson who were both recognised with a special Long Service certificate in reaching 56 years of membership with Papanui Rotary. They have seen many projects come to fruition and helped to make them a reality.
The club was delighted to recognise Dr Larry Skiba with a Paul Harris Fellow sapphire pin and his wife Janetta with a Paul Harris Fellow for their outstanding community service of over 25 years with Koru Care. Dr. Larry and nurse Janetta have fundraised, vetted and organised the tours for children who suffer from Cancer and along with a team take them to LA and Disneyland– a trip of a lifetime for these children. We congratulate you both and wish you well for the upcoming trip in October.
Past Papanui Member, Emily Walker(Gaulter) gave us an overview of where life has taken her and the impact of having been a member in her early 20’s and how this has impacted her career and volunteering choices. She now has her own Engineering Consultancy, lives on a farm in Tarras with her husband and a has just had her first child 6 weeks ago. Emily is very interested in environmental engineering and is using her skills to help Environment Canterbury and many other businesses in the rural sector.
Eden Skipper was a Rotary Youth Leadership Award ( RYLA) graduate and represented NZ on the world stage of RYLA. He was part of our University Associates group in Christchurch which was started by one of our Papanui members Tony Taylor. He works for the Government in Community Research and is passionate about youth, the environment and Māori development. Eden is currently on the Board of Generation Zero – a youth-led climate change action organisation. He has already experienced a lot of the world with his passion for youth, taking him to conferences in Washington DC and Australia. He spoke to us about the challenges ahead for volunteering and the time, skills and sacrifice we give as people in this space. His speech was thought provoking and challenged us to think about the future.
We are indeed lucky to have met and mentored both these young people and to hear where life has taken them. It was humbling to hear how Rotary had impacted their lives and made me feel grateful that as a Rotarian we had given them opportunities to grow and develop.
During the night we looked back over the last 50 years and highlighted some significant projects such as the development of the lake at the Groynes which the club took on over many weekends in 1961 transforming the area into a family picnic space well used today.
We established a relationship with Burwood Spinal Unit taking patients on day trips to a number of venues including The Hanmer Springs Forest Camp where Papanui Rotary had donated $100,000 to construct “Abilities Lodge” for those in wheelchairs. We continue to have Directors on the Board of the Hanmer Springs Forest Camp and ongoing maintenance weekends. This facility is well used by schools and family groups today.
Over the last few years we have raised funds from an annual trailer raffle to support the Papanui Children In Needs Trust, The Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank, Recovered Living, Neighbourhood Watch Car and this year the Mobile Eye Unit. We look at our community needs to assess and assist with funds to make a real difference to the lives of people in our community.
The environment is a large club focus and in conjunction with the Community Board, Conservation Volunteers and the CCC we are helping to develop the Papanui Bush Walkway where we have taken a bare piece of land full of rubbish, cleared it and planted it with natives, added seating and a walkway through to Langdons Road from behind the BrainTree Building. This is an ongoing project and involves maintenance which the club is committed. We have involved school groups and members of the public on Community Volunteer days and supplied Papanui High School with paint for the artwork panels which hang along the fences. Papanui Rotary is helping to bring the local community together in this space to help leave a legacy for the future.
We run an annual free Halloween event in partnership with Ray White Real Estate Papanui at St. James Park where every year we attract over 400 children. We are delighted to continue this relationship which gives families a safe place to have fun with their children 12 and under.
We have a proud history and we are looking to the future to do more. If you are interested in volunteering and want to know more about what we do then contact
Join us at the Papanui Club where we meet every Thursday from 5.30 for a 6pm start. We welcome all visitors to our safe place where everyone is valued and respected.
A slideshow from the 50th Anniversary Celebrations was shown. These photos can be seen by clicking this link here.
Also, DG Phil posted a great article with photos on his Facebook page. To see this click on the link here
Plus, Simon Forsyth has posted 32 photos on the Papanui Rotary FAcebook page. Jusy clcik on the link here.
On the night there was a short Video showing some video clips form Papanui Rotary Projects since 2012. This can be viewed by clicking here.