On 27th September Judith Gray; Managing Direvctor of Nada Bakery was guest speaker at our club meeting. Judith outlined her career which started when she trained as a nurse and later how she met Peter Gray who started the family business that is Nada Bakery today. Originally, Judith looked after marketing, recruitment and general administration for Nada Cakes (as it was then known) until becoming Managing Director of the business after the sad passing of her husband Peter in 2005. Today, with her son, Judith has grown the business with both a successful online business supplying product all across New Zealand as well as continuing to sell their products through shops across the Wellington region.

Judith explains the history of Nada Bakery

Judith explained that both she and her late husband have been very active over a long period in the New Zealand Baking Industry Association and Judith was honoured with LIfe Membership of the organisation in 2017. Nada Bakery continues to grow successfully as well as winning awards and prizes for their pies and other products.

Club Services Director Alex Giorgiades thanks Judith for her presentation

Our Rotary meetings were able to resume on 13th September and we very pleased to welcome Karin van der Walt who works as the Conservation and Science Advisor to Wellington City Council.

Karen oulined her important work in identifying and preserving unique NZ plant varieties and why it is so important to preserve them for posterity. Currently she is working on her PhD research investigating the conservation of the Myrtaceae species.

Karen outlines the process for saving native NZ species

Just before Wellington entered its most recent COVID lockdown we had a timely presentation by Chris Tchernegovski: who looks after Rotary International’s “End Polio” program for District 9940.

Chris outlines the current state of Rotary International’s successful “End Polio” program

Chris gave a really interesting updates in the the End Polio program Just two countries still have Polio; Afganistan and Pakistan and even now it is hoped it will be eradicated despite the difficult conditions there. Chris also talked about vaccination programs in general and how these have been successful in eradicated so many diseases that used claim many lives in the past. He also talked about the current COVID outbreak and the vaccination program and explained the risks of having a vaccine are negligable compared to the risk of getting the disease.

Chris talks about vaccination and how it can save lives

The Johnsonville Christmas Market will return on Saturday 4rd December between 9:00am and 2pm. The location will be in Johnsonville Road right next to the route of the Christmas Parade which is same day, same time. Please ‘contact us’ if  you would like a stall at the market. All money raised goes to charity

On 28 July Pooja Kulkarni was our guest speaker. Pooja is the Emergency Management Adviser for Wellington’s Northern and Western Suburbs. They have a major role in ensuring community resilience and to prepare communities for a major disaster.

Pooja gave an interesting presentation outlining the work that the Wellington Region Emergency Management office (WREMO) undertakes and explained what local communities and individuals need to do to be better prepared for the impact of major emegencies such as Earthquakes and Tsunami.

On 14th July the club held it’s annual changeover meeting. Outgoing Club President; Neil Haydon reviewed the club’s achievements and activities during the last 12 months and thanked all members for their support.

He awarded Alex Georgiades with the Presidents Award to recognize Alex’s special effort and work during the year.

President Neil Haydon (right) presents Alex Georgiades (left) with the Presidents Award

Assistant District Governor Kathryn Beattie was a a guest of the club and she introduced new Club President; William Nobelen

New Club President William Nobelen (left), ADG Kathryn Beattie (centre) and Outgoing President Neil Haydon (right)

On Wednesday 16th June members of the club and friends made a visit to the Gryphon Theatre in Wellington to see Wellington Repretory Theatres production of Ben Elton’s play ‘Popcorn’. Menbers of the club enjoyed the dark comedy that examines the question of whether violence on the screen is a reflection of violence in real life, or vice versa. The play was written by Ben Elton in 1988 and adpted from a book he wrote of the same name.

Cast of Popcorn

Club Secretary Mike Wotherspoon recently visited Life Flight to see how their new Wireless Intercom System is working out. In 2020, Johnsonville Rotary donated funds in and arranged a Rotary District Grant to fund the purchase of the system. The new communication system enables the flight crew operating the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to improve communications with ground crews during operations.

Club Secretary; Mike Wotherspoon meets with the Life Fight crew