Plimmerton Rotary

Community Organisation

Plimmerton Rotary
The Mana Cruising Club
Ngatitoa Domain (off Pascoe Avenue)
Paremata
Porirua 5024 on Tuesday evenings only
7 days ago

The Myanmar Community in Porirua

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Club members were the visitors this week. We were royally welcomed and entertained by the Myanmar Community in Porirua, set up by the New Zealand Myanmar Ethnics Council. The leaders of the local group, Christalin, told us a little about Burma / Myanmar, the numbers of different ethnic groups and … View moreClub members were the visitors this week. We were royally welcomed and entertained by the Myanmar Community in Porirua, set up by the New Zealand Myanmar Ethnics Council. The leaders of the local group, Christalin, told us a little about Burma / Myanmar, the numbers of different ethnic groups and languages that make up the rich tapestry of the country, and the difficulties that face immigrants when they find themselves in a totally new environment with little or no knowledge of the language or customs.

President Bill also spoke and asked all of us to use the Burmese word for 'hello' - mingalaba. Christalin congratulated Bill on his pronunciation!

Members of the community had prepared plates of meat, fish, shellfish, quail's eggs, vegetables, tofu, and even some things that some of us didn't recognise. We were instructed to choose from the very many choices and then to put what we'd chosen into one or other of the soups on offer, one sweet and one spicey. It was a delightful experience and the food was delicious. Dessert followed but we didn't need to cook this time.

With the meal over, we were treated to a couple of musical numbers from some of the young members of the community who had been coached by Christalin's brother, Kim. The women then encouraged us to join them in a traditional Burmese dance and, to be fair, most members joined in with enthusiasm. It was then out turn to teach them a childhood rendition of the Hokey Pokey dance - no touching of course!

All in all, this was a lovely evening and each of us would have returned home well-entertained and perhaps a little wiser.

12 days ago

Dr Swee Tan - The Gillies McIndoe Institute

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

This week we had the pleasure of hearing Dr Swee Tan as our guest speaker.

The meeting was well-attended with many partners and guests keen to hear Dr Tan’s fascinating story.

Our club has supported Dr Tan’s work in the past and members have visited his Research Institute, the Gilies … View more
This week we had the pleasure of hearing Dr Swee Tan as our guest speaker.

The meeting was well-attended with many partners and guests keen to hear Dr Tan’s fascinating story.

Our club has supported Dr Tan’s work in the past and members have visited his Research Institute, the Gilies McIndoe.

The Gillies McIndoe Institute is now well staffed and established in its new premises in Newtown.

Dr Tan’s original calling was in Plastic Surgery and he became interested in strawberry birthmarks, which gave an insight into cancer and other disfiguring conditions.

Its research outputs are impressive with seven patents, and numerous journal papers, book chapters, and conference addresses.

As we know, cancer is a major health issue and it is getting worse because the population is aging. Treatments are often nasty and may be very expensive.

Currently, there is a focus at the Institute on cancer stem cells, which are the most malignant cells appearing in a cancer. It may be possible to treat these using common and off-patent medications.

This has also led to the Institute’s interest in repurposing existing medication for other conditions too, and may yet provide an answer to Covid-19.

As always, research funding is scarce and may be more difficult to obtain if the work is based around a new paradigm.

This was a most interesting address, although at times rather technical, and the audience was deeply absorbed in what Dr Tan had to say.

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16 days ago

Peter Miskimmin

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

This week, a sporting celebrity, Peter Miskimmin, was our guest speaker.

He is an icon in the world of international hockey, having played 150 tests for NZ over 12 years and appearing at two Olympic Games. He is also an old friend of Bryan Waddle, and the two were able to exchange embarrassing … View more
This week, a sporting celebrity, Peter Miskimmin, was our guest speaker.

He is an icon in the world of international hockey, having played 150 tests for NZ over 12 years and appearing at two Olympic Games. He is also an old friend of Bryan Waddle, and the two were able to exchange embarrassing anecdotes.

Peter is now CEO of Sport New Zealand, which is an organisation funded by the government and has a wide and heavy brief.

Sport is a New Zealand passion, which makes Peter’s job both easier and harder. Easier, because it captures everyone’s attention. Harder, because everyone has a view and an axe to grind.

We are an extraordinarily successful sporting nation for our size, a fact which is not properly appreciated. We have had world champions in many sports, and participation is high. Sporting achievement is part of the kiwi identity.

Historically, the reasons are not hard to find. Children pay a lot of sport here, especially in rural areas, and we have sporting role models, and excellent coaches: world-class in many cases.

We are abreast of new technologies in eg cycling and yachting. We send our best athletes overseas to compete with the best, which can be relatively expensive. Covid-19 is making this more difficult.

There are downsides. Children now have inflated expectations, and success is measured too much in commercial terms. This is a disincentive to teamwork and the ‘fun’ side of sporting activity.

Sports clubs are struggling as the young are turning to individually based sport such as cycling, surfing, fitness, and even E-Sport. Organised, structured sport is a turn-off, it appears.

There is a strong connection between sport and the physical and mental health of the nation. Physical activity peaks at age 12, on average, and declines thereafter. It is markedly lower in deprived communities. This is a worry, and Sport NZ now has a focus on youth, and especially those in deprived areas.

Sport NZ has the difficult task of allocating its funds between these needs and its traditional support for elite and successful athletes.

A fascinating talk by one who is immersed in his role and is able to communicate it in fine style.

41 days ago

Tony Sutorius: Documentary Film-Maker

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Our guest speaker this week was Tony Sutorius, well-known to the club as the partner of Tanya Woodcock and the father of our exchange student, Theo.

Tony runs a film-making company called Unreal Films. He started by making a documentary in 1994 about firefighting but has since directed feature … View more
Our guest speaker this week was Tony Sutorius, well-known to the club as the partner of Tanya Woodcock and the father of our exchange student, Theo.

Tony runs a film-making company called Unreal Films. He started by making a documentary in 1994 about firefighting but has since directed feature films and other documentaries. He has specialised in making films about elections, which in themselves have encouraged and promoted sound democratic processes.

His most recent doco is about the Independence Referendum in Bougainville, which was held in 2019.

Tony reviewed the often ghastly history of Bougainville Island, the largest in the Solomons. It was a German colony in the 19th century, then passed into Australian administration during WW1, and was added to PNG for governance purposes. It was under Japanese, then US occupation during WW2. When PNG was granted independence in 1975, Bougainville was deemed to be part of PNG.

Things turned nasty in the 1980s as a result of a dispute over the Panguna Copper mine, an enormously profitable enterprise owned largely by Rio Tinto. The local people saw little benefit from the mine, which was an environmental disaster.

An insurrection and civil war led to the mine’s closure in 1988. PNG forces regained control in the early 1990s. New Zealand sent an (unarmed) peacekeeping force to the Island which succeeded in gaining the trust of the locals and paved the way for a peace accord and undertaking to hold an independence referendum within 20 years. (See below)

The Referendum finally took place in November 2019, under the supervision of the NZ Electoral Commission. The vote was 98% in favour of independence from PNG, deemed to be a fair and credible result and its implementation is in the hands of a group called the “Melanesian Way”.

Tony filmed his 40-minute documentary singlehandedly and the narration was in pigin. Its intent was to cement trust in the voting process inside and outside the country, and for the education of people everywhere.

This was a fascinating address which could have been much longer. We should invite Tony back to show us the full film and answer more questions.

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81 days ago

Bill McAulay New President of Plimmerton Rotary

Rhondda Sweetman from Plimmerton Rotary

Plimmerton Rotary Club has a new President for the 2020-21 year. President Euon handed over to President-Elect Bill McAulay to take over as President for the 2020=2021 year. The chain duly changed shoulders and pins were exchanged.

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