Gordon Shields: My Time in Rotary
Gordon (2nd right) at Hanmer Forest Camp
I was born at Lewsham Hospital (now Southern Cross) on Bealey Ave in 1941 and spent the first five and a half years of my life on a farm at Masons Flat near Hawarden in North Canterbury.
My family then moved to Christchurch where I was educated at Hawarden District High School, New Brighton Primary, Papanui Central Seven Day Adventist, Heaton Intermediate (3 Years) and St Andrews College.
I started a Pharmacy apprenticeship with the late Em Dale (a charter member of our club) in 7959, Managed Redcliffs Pharmacy for seven years and purchased Shields Pharmacy at 95 Main North Road in 1972, took on a partner in 2000 and sold in September 2005.
I was President of the Canterbury Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ, Vice President of the Canterbury Division of the Pharmacy Guild and a Director and former staff member of the Urgent Pharmacy.
During my primary and secondary years I was a St John Ambulance cadet, a member of the Presbyterian Reese Camp committee. More recently a member of St Giles Presbyterian Church Board of Managers, I am now on the Parish Council of The Village Presbyterian Church, a member of the Papanui High School PTA Committee and was Deputy Chairman of the Hanmer Spring Forrest Camp Trust.
I became a Justice of the Peace in 1993.
Margaret and I were married in 1968 and have three daughters: Heather who is in Christchurch, with her sons Henry and Oscar and daughter Elsie, Kerry who lives in Incholme l8 kms out of Oamaru, and Paula who loves in Warkworth with her husband Andy and their two girls Joella and Elise.
I joined the Rotary Club of Papanui in September 1975 and have enjoyed the time, particularly the fellowship of non-pharmacists and the opportunity to help in the community. At the time of joining Rotary I could have told you anything & everything about pharmacy in Christchurch but not much else.
During my time in the Papanui Rotary I have been President, Director of Fellowship, International Committee, Foundation & and Community Service, and Treasurer for the last 11 years.
Time to retire.
I will start with "a what is my life" followed by activities that I am aware of since the chartering of the Club Rotary Address 4th June 2020
Robin Stirling and I attended a Rotary meeting probably round 1960-ish this being my first taste of Rotary before joining in 1975.
The RC of Papanui was charted on the 3rd of March 1958.  RC of Papanui's early major activity was the creation of the recreational area at the Groynes in 1960. This was possible because Neil lssac and Leister Farrer of lssac Construction and Farrer Waimak were charter members of the Club and had the appropriate machinery for the heavy work required.
Other activities undertaken in the early days include:
  • Swings constructed at Plynlimon Park by Joe Sedgley – Ron’s' father. 
  • Playground work at Erica Street and Armitage Reserves.
  • Demolition of old houses.
  • Building of a Mobile Stall which was available from the Waimairi County Council for Community Use.
  • Organising an auction of nursery stock the commission which went in the Children in Needs Trust.
  • When the Town Hall was built two pipes were donated for the organ: one in memory of Cliff Bowman a former of the Club.
  • The Club doubled the size of the Aged Peoples Welfare Centre in Blair Ave, refurbished and maintained it then used it for Club meetings until the APW Council sold the building in 2003.
  • Renovation & painting of the Adult Cerebral Palsy Hostel.
  • A Bookarama organised in a building on the Corner of Blair Ave and Papanui Road.
  • Building swimming pools at the Methodist Children's Home in Harewood Rd and Allenvale School.
  • Painting of the YMCA lodge at Arthurs Pass.
  • Arranging for two bath hoists for Bethany Hospital in Paparoa Street.
  • ln earlier days the Club organised a thank-you party for School Children’s traffic wardens at Xmas. 
  • Defence Driving was introduced in NZ by Jim Reid an active member of the club in earlier years.
  • We had a nursery at Heaton Intermediate School for plantings at Corsair Bay.
  • The Club organised work experience of students from Greymouth High School in Christchurch.
  • Organised a Men’s Health Forum with Lions & Kiwianas at St Andrew College.
  • The Club established the Papanui & Merivale Probus Clubs
Another major event was the establishment of Abilities lnc. in Vagues Road which gave work and organising activities for disabled people. The club was recognised with a Paul Harris Award for this venture. When no longer required the building was sold and the money raised was gifted towards the building of the Abilities Lodge at HSFC again mainly for the disabled.
Other activities the club has been involved in that I remember include:
  • High Country Farm visits organised by Lon Holland.
  • Fishing trips to Port Underwood with the Perry Families.
  • For youth: RYLA, RYDA, and science summer schools in Auckland.
  • Factory and work place visits to the Crematorium, Air NZ Hanger, Medical School and Prison.
  • Transporting paraplegics to Hanmer for the day being their first outing from Burwood Spinal Unit after their
  • Accidents.
  • Supplying suitcases for packing books, clothing, & medical supplies for Fiji.
  • Sourcing a wishing well to collect donations to assist Ronald McDonald House which I believe may still be at RMH.
More recently I have been involved with:
  • Tree of Giving at Northlands Shopping Centre.
  • The sale of The Entertainment Books since 2006 which return the Club $14 for each book sold and is now in digital form only.
  • Directing traffic at PHS for Aged Concern Expo parking.
Meeting Places of the RC of Papanui during my time have been:
  • 1958 St Giles Church Hall.
  • 1963 Papanui Memorial Hall.
  • 1971 Fendalton Community Centre Clyde Rd.
  • 1976 Autolodge.
  • 1977 Monavale.
  • 1979 Blair Ave Centre.
  • 1991 lsleworth School (briefly).
  • 2003 Elizabeth House.
  • 2005 St Pauls Church Lounge then back to St Giles when St Pauls found asbestos in their roof.
  • 2016 Papanui Club.
In addition to providing worthwhile services to the local community, there is one other main enjoyable aspect to being a member of Rotary that I have appreciated:
“The fellowship it provides members.”