75th Anniversary Celebrations

          Rotary Paeroa 75th celebration, 8th June 2019

We had a wonderful time. It took a lot of planning and hard work, but we didn’t do it all on our own. We have many people to thank for making this the biggest night we’ve seen in Paeroa for a while. Many gave of their time or services, in recognition of the contributions Rotary Paeroa has made to the community.

So, thanks first of all to Hauraki District Council for donating the use of the Memorial Hall. It was the perfect venue for our 1940’s theme with the imposing Art Deco windows, and we transformed the hall with dozens of big Rotary flags, banners and swags of ivy. Carmen Judson of True Collectors kindly loaned us war-time uniforms, pictures and artefacts that helped create the 1940’s atmosphere, and we borrowed an old motorbike. A generous door prize was provided by AgriSea

Rino Wilkinson of Ngā Iwi FM managed the role of MC with his usual professionalism. His off-the-cuff interviewing, especially of the young people who had benefitted from Rotary exchanges, was definitely a crowd favourite. Jo Tilsley of Positive Paeroa as usual gave a lot of support from behind the scenes.

The music also helped to set the ‘40s mood. Lawrie Smith and Riverside Jazz played cool swing tunes while we ate, and The Bruised Brothers from Cambridge played dance music after dinner. Olivia Dustow sang some entertaining pieces, accompanied by her mother, and Hannah Ashton Beck, accompanying herself on guitar, was enchanting. Damian Anderson helped with the sound and projection.

Central School students welcomed us with a rousing haka and a beautiful kapa haka performance. Paeroa College’s Senior Basketball Team did the heavy lifting to help us set up the hall the day before. On the day, senior students greeted guests with a glass of bubbles as they arrived, handed around pre-dinner canapes and cleared the tables. The Senior Leaders especially impressed with their willing and friendly manner. 

We did have some hair-raising moments. Two weeks prior to the event we had only sold twelve tickets. By the weekend that had risen to 60, doubling to 120 by mid-week and ending up with 156 on the night. Burtons Catering were very flexible in coping with the rapidly escalating numbers and provided us with an excellent meal. Crissy managed the bar. And Historical Maritime Park loaned us their heritage china so we drink our tea in style.

We also need to thank all the people who turned up to support us and make the evening an event. There are too many to thank individually, but we would particularly like to acknowledge Rotarian MP Scott Simpson, former Rotarian Mayor John Tregidga, Rotary District Governor Graeme Jull and District Governor-Elect Peter Maxwell, Deputy Mayor Toby Adams, heads of Paeroa schools, a contingent of Lions members and a strong showing from former and current Rotarians from as far away as Auckland.

Let’s do it again in another twenty-five years!