Rotary Club of Port Nicholson Bulletin

Wednesday 1 April, 2020


Weekly meetings are currently suspended due to the situation with Covid-19

David Shackleton

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it” Washington Irving

The present situation is challenging us all to look at different ways to communicate, keep busy and active, engaged and being kind to others. For example, I learned this week that the Open University in the UK has over 800 free on-line courses in such subjects as history, languages, business, nature and the environment. The courses are easy to access and fun.

Several of our more active members are participating in the Chanel One 9am Fitness Class. Some are buying groceries for their neighbours. Some are involved in virtual drinks nights. Whatever it is we are all needing to do things differently and change

As we know, the Saturday underground market is closed and with it our involvement and support of both aspiring and experienced musicians. However, did you know that thanks to Dawn and Rick and many of our members we have been doing this since 2013 and have assisted with 127 events. Congratulations and our sincere thanks go to Dawn, Rick and all of you who have helped over the years. This is a great example of community involvement.

Several of our members have submitted articles on how they are coping during this lockdown period and we are most grateful. Borrowing from an idea from the Rotary Club of Wellington I would like to extend this to include photos of you during lockdown. Just send your snapshots to Paula and Linda for the Bulletin and let’s keep it fun.

After getting advice from several of you our first virtual meeting through Zoom will start this Wednesday the 8th at 7.30am. I will send out more information shortly but please block your calendars. The meeting will take no longer than 40 minutes.

Finally, a big shout out to John B for getting an article and photo on the ambulance we are sending to Samoa into Rotary Down Under. Have a great week and see you Wednesday. 

Stay well and fit


Our weekly report....Episode 2

From "Miss Piggy"

Fame is hard to cope with, instant fame even more so. I was staggered at the reaction to my first diary extract. Critical acclaim was almost instant as shown below.
‘Assured, engaging, lively and genuinely funny, Miss Piggy has once again proven to be a master of farmyard prose’ Guardian 
‘A diarist almost as compellingly readable as Helen Clark ...every passage has a sentence that makes one want to laugh out loud’ Times Literary Supplement
However, I am sure the trolls are out there. I am no fan of social media, which is just as well, but one email worried me just a little.
Dear Miss Piggy,
If I were you, I'd take the first opportunity to scarper, escape, do a runner. When, next week, that kindly Julian goes to the shop to buy food and discovered that we have bought out the lot, then his kindly attitude towards you may change and the grape treats may change to sage and onion treats. If you get my drift.
A well-wisher.
Meanwhile how have Julian and Sue coped with what is now their second full week if isolation? Because their land is away from any road or neighbours they see no-one else at all, even from a distance, wherever they walk. They say this takes getting used to, not speaking to or seeing anyone else. I have been doing it for years, so it should be easy. However, both of them are quite gregarious and it appears their jokes to each other are not as funny now as they thought.
I am able to keep up to date with the horrendous state of the rest of the world partly because Julian leaves his radio on outside my shed. He also talks about it to me. He is obviously very worried about the long term, as well as the short term. I have most of my new feathers from the latest moult, but  he ruffles them quite hard when he talks about the future. I am proud of my latest feathers and to be honest, how could someone with a hairstyle like his and a drawing of Woodstock on his Land Rover understand sartorial elegance. It takes me hours to put my feathers back in order when he has gone.
This week was also a bit of a test for Julian and Sue as they went shopping for the first time since the lockdown. They got themselves all sorted out with gloves, masks, hand sanitiser and a plan. It seemed a bit over the top when Julian explained it to me, but after they returned and explained how it went, I understood. The 20-kilometre road into Masterton was virtually empty apart from about three trucks, and of course the obligatory idiot tailgater in a ute.
Town was very quiet as can be imagined with only short queues outside the supermarket. Sue had the job of shopping while Julian went to the pharmacist to collect a prescription. While he was there he spotted a tent by Masterton Medical offering flu injections. He said he just went up and was told he should have booked, but said his usual charming self kicked in and they allowed him to have his injection there and then. He was very relieved to get it.
Julian has again been doing work not on his list. This time it was trying to seal a hole in the bottom of the hydro dam. He had to shovel gravel, as in the photograph, then mix concrete. He said it worked, but he said exactly the same the last three times he did it. Sue has been slowly getting back into jewellery making, trying out some new designs. They look pretty good so far, well, so Julian tells me but he does not want Sue to know that.
Julian and Sue told me to say for you all to keep safe and well over the next few weeks.


Julian Bateson
Give it a go!
Results at the bottom of the Bulletin 
No cheating!
Bill Day's Column for this week...
Thanks David for the opportunity to update members on our New Regional Children’s Hospital given COVID19.
Like most things in NZ at the moment the New Children’s Hospital building site has been shut down due to COVID19 as it’s not an essential service, but the current children’s Hospital is operating as best COVID19 will allow.
In the meantime the New Children’s Hospital project management team and design team are continuing to progress detailed designs and procurement activities remotely. I am pleased to say that Weta Workshop also continue their work for the new hospital as they develop the creative environment and interactive space in the hospital. I have seen some of their ideas via Zoom links last week and even though I am not the target market, their ideas and concepts are impressive.
We look forward to the project continuing as soon as COVID-19 level 4 status is over. Last week I was delighted to receive a phone call from DG John Mohi also enquiring of the status of the hospital.
The Foundation continues to raise funds for the new hospital’s  fit out, creative environment and to provide the new hospital with the latest state of the art medical equipment to enable our doctors and nurses to ensure our young patients well-being and to save their lives. John confirmed Rotary’s commitment to the project and will be back on track depending on lockdowns etc. Individual donations can be made at
Please stay well Port Nick Rotarians and thanks for your support. All the best to you and your special bubble people.
Bill Day
Links that make interesting reading...
Become an Armchair Traveller with a Virtual Tour.... Click here for link

Rotary Beyond our Club....
Click here for link
Worldometers…..update statistics daily....
Click here for link
District 9930 Newsletter March 2020
Click here for link
Dawn reports on the Arts....
When the going gets tough…people turn to the arts. Rewind to 1340, when the world’s population was estimated to have been some 450 million. Fleas, which fed on infected rodents, then bit people, causing the Great Bubonic Plague, the worst pandemic ever recorded till then. By 1400, the population had been reduced to between 350 and 375 million, and by between 30% and 60% in Europe alone. It took some 200 years for the population figures to recover.
Midst the ravaging plague, which came and went in intensity, the Renaissance flourished from the 14th to 16th centuries. Beginning in Italy, under the patronage of the nobles controlling many of its states, the Estes, the Sforzas, the Borgias, the de Medicis and many more, this period provided an exceptional upsurge of the world’s greatest artists.
During the 14th century, a common scenario in religious portraits was the deathbed scene, a dying man or woman surrounded by a kind of social ceremony. In the portraits of death scenes after the plague, the sick person is left alone and the room is emptied in the presence of death, generally an angel or a decomposing skeleton. Most tombs in this period shared the same characteristics—that of death – quite the antithesis of portraits of elegance and status.  In the late 15th century, the sleeping figure moved closer to the corpse, a transi, which literally means “stiff”. The macabre transi is a decomposing corpse inhabited and gnawed by worms, with shreds of flesh hanging from it. By the end of the 16th century, portraits were combinations of both living and death imagery.

In the last iconographical shoot of the Black Death, the verse describes the “Three Quick and Three Dead,” three corpses admonishing three cavaliers: “What you are, we once were, what we are, you shall be.”
The trauma of the Black Death gave rise to the most popular artistic channel for the representation of death, the Dance of Death. There are indications that first the dance macabre was performed, then poetised, and finally painted. Before the15th century, the Dance Macabre was traced on walls of churches and charnel houses across Europe, exemplified by the fresco of Eure-et-Loir. In Europe, every victim was danced off to hell no matter what: sudden death was escalated to sudden damnation. Dance macabre, based on folk superstition, was represented by the skeletons themselves, or accompanied with the living, with the subliminal message that death is always coupled with the living.
Then in 1518 came the bizarre dance epidemic in Strasbourg, so passionately and poignantly reflected in Lucy Marinkovich’s mesmeric dance/drama, to music composed by her husband, Lucien Johnson, with its world premiere in the NZ Festival of the Arts in March this year. In July 1518, residents of the city of Strasbourg (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) were facing escalating inequality, rampant misogyny and a devastating drought, threatening the whole town.

Struck by a sudden and seemingly uncontrollable urge to dance, a woman known as Frau Troffea, stepped into the street and began to silently twist, twirl and shake. She kept up her solo dance-a-thon for nearly a week, and before long, other Strasbourgeois joined in. By August, the dancing epidemic had claimed as many as 400 victims, as many of the dancers collapsed from sheer exhaustion, strokes and heart attacks. The strange episode didn’t end until September, when the dancers were whisked away to a mountaintop shrine to pray for absolution.

Similar manias took place in Switzerland, Germany and Holland, though few were as large, or as deadly.
The most likely explanation was that it was incited by St. Vitus, a Catholic saint, who pious 16th century Europeans believed had the power to curse people with a dancing plague. Other theories have suggested the dancers were members of a religious cult, or even that they accidentally ingested ergot, a toxic mould that grows on damp rye and produces spasms and hallucinations.
Ironically, the father of one of the dancers came over from Australia to see his son dance in the second performance of 1518: Strasbourg at Circa this year, after having a meal with some Wellingtonians and attending a reception for the company…bringing with him one of the earliest recorded cases of Covid-19 novel Coronavirus in Wellington. It quickly spread amongst those with whom he had interacted. That was on 14 March, just 2 weeks after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in this country on 28 February. Another 3 weeks later and some 870 confirmed and suspected cases have been reported in NZ and over 1,000,000 internationally.
Read Part Two 
Click here for Link
Upcoming Events
Rotary Zoom Meeting 15 April 7.30am
Apr 15, 2020
7:30 AM – 8:10 AM
Anzac Day Breakfast
Apr 25, 2020 6:30 AM
Rotary Weekly Meeting 29 April 2020
No meeting at Wellington Club this week.
Apr 29, 2020
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Charity Auction & Quiz Evening
May 01, 2020
6:30 PM – 10:30 PM
Rotary Weekly Meeting 13 May 2020
No meeting at Wellington Club this week.
May 13, 2020
7:00 AM – 8:30 AM
District 9940 Conference -
May 15, 2020 5:00 PM –
May 17, 2020 12:00 PM
View entire list
Rotary Oceania Covid-19 information
 Click here for link  
Photos during Lockdown

David & Sheryn about to walk their two beautiful dogs

Paula attempting some drawing exercises

Online Buy The Box
Linda Wellington
Waterford Security
turned 26 years old on
1 April  2020
Congratulations Linda & Craig

Granada Spain
Hayley's travels...….
Kia ora whanau!!
It’s your intrepid pregnant home owner here!!

Here’s a wee synopsis of my AWOL life:
It was a bit of a rash decision that had me go to Spain the day after Waitangi Day. Originally, I was thinking I’d go in March. I travelled via Seoul (admittedly, it was the prospect of “Poopooland” that most intrigued me) and had a wonderful (though freezing!) couple of days there, exploring the markets, architecture, temples and parks (and eating some pretty yummy kai while I was at it). Seoul was busy, but clean, safe, and (relatively) easy to navigate. It is somewhere I would love to return to one day.
Dad and Liv met me at Barcelona Airport. Dad welcomed me as only a loud extroverted kiwi could, with a classic karanga, as if I was being called onto a Marae: “Haere Mai, Haere mai!”

Barcelona (and Spain in general) was beautiful. My days were filled with sightseeing and delicious food (they’ve had seven months to hone their favourite restaurants in Barcelona, which we relished eating at). It was a sensory extravaganza, truly. We visited Gaudi creations (including the Sagrada Familia, which was mind blowing (and still incomplete!!), watched Flamenco, ate at a Michelin-star restaurant, walked through parks, and generally enjoyed being together. Oh yeah, and Sam and I bought a house!! (rest assured, we had looked at it before I left NZ, but I did complete the tender documents, arrange insurance, and all the legal bits from Barcelona!!).
I popped to Scotland and visited a friend in Edinburgh for a week. We took road trips into the countryside, visited some of her favourite castles, and played the ‘lets-laugh-at-Hayley’s-attempts-at-pronouncing-Scottish-placenames’ game (fun for the whole family!). Edinburgh is a beautiful place (when you can raise your head and look up without being blinded by icy raindrops!!) and I enjoyed understanding (most of) what people were saying. I didn’t make it into the Edinburgh castle, but it’s good to have something to go back to.
On my return to Spain, Dad and I went away together for a week. We visited Granada, Cordoba and Seville. This was such a special thing to do, to have a Dad-Daughter holiday, in Spain, at age 34, pregnant with the first Grandchild… And we had the most fantastic time together, we laughed and laughed (often inappropriately), ate more delicious food, and saw some incredible sights, including La Alhambra, La Mezquita, and Alcazar.
My time away abruptly came to an end, as did my blissful ignorance of the increasingly rapid spread of the novel Coronovirus. Mum was pretty nervous about her pregnant daughter returning to NZ via Seoul, so I checked myself into a transit hotel in Seoul Airport for my eight hour stop over, to reduce the likelihood of catching any nasties (Poopooland would have to wait..). The airport was eerily deserted compared to the bustling mass of bodies I had groaned my way through only a month ago. I woke from a nap two hours before my flight to Sydney was scheduled to leave, only to discover it had been cancelled. Thankfully, I managed to get on the second-to-last flight AirNZ ran from Seoul-Auckland (this is a story in and of itself..). I almost cried when I sat down on my final flight to Wellington, it had been a touch stressful there...!
I am now 27 weeks pregnant, and truly feel like I have cashed in on all of my Karma points for a while!! I was able to enjoy the sights and tastes of Spain before Coronovirus shut the country down. I made it out of Seoul before all flights from South Korea were cancelled. And Sam and I managed to buy and move into our own house before lockdown took over New Zealand (we moved on 20/3!!). This is my fourth week in isolation, but I am incredibly lucky to still have a job, as well as a healthy baby, a wonderful partner and to be in our own home. All is well.


Port Nicholson Gardeners

Linda reports great progress on a job well done.

One photo is of the Port Nick gardeners in August last year and the other one is taken this last week.

The plants are growing well.  I think of the gardeners every time I walk down that path. 

      Thank you

A duck walks into a shop
Got any bread?
Got any bread?
Got any bread?
Got any bread?
No, and if you ask me again, I’ll nail your beak to the floor.
Got any nails?
Got any bread?
I told my doctor that I broke my arm in two places
He told me to stop going to those two places
Why did the yogi refuse anesthetic to have his tooth extracted?
 He wanted to transcend dental medication

My wife told me to stop acting like a flamingo.

So I put my foot down

That's all for this week, hope some of them you haven't seen already
Answers to Quiz
1. Black death
2. Foot and Mouth
4. Swine flew
5. Yellow fever
6. Ebola
7. Chicken Pox
8. Corona virus
9. Typhoid
10. Rubella
Bonus: Sars

Lindsay tells some stories...….
An Encounter with a Deer Hind

I am responding to a request from President David for articles for the Club Bulleting. He suggested something along the lines of “How to care for your pet over the winter”. I have been out of small animal clinical practice for 30 years, so I may not be quite up to date. But the usual things, feed, water, shelter and exercise still apply from then.
I however have decided to write some James Herriot-like stories. All veterinarians have these but it took someone like James Heriot with the gift of the gab to publish his stuff very successfully.
It was most unfortunate for him that he came to an untimely end with prostate cancer in 1995. The previous year he had been attacked by a flock of sheep on a lawn at the back of his house when a pet ram attacked him and in spite of fending it off with a walking stick, the ram got him on the ground and broke his leg.
All veterinarians have had accidents of various sorts, and I have not been immune to those. I recall being called out to a hind with fawning difficulties many years ago in Otorohanga. The farmer had the animal in a small circular dark-house made from an old walk-through cow shed. I arrived and the farmer quietly opened the circular door, and the hind came out fighting, head first and kicking up with her front feet. She caught me in the chest and knocked me off balance, tipping backwards, hitting the back of my head on what used to be concrete wall of the exit race of the walk-through cowshed. I was knocked unconscious, and when I came to, I had pins and needles in both arms and legs, and I thought I had broken my neck. In spite of this, I quickly recovered, finished the job and drove myself to the Doctor’s surgery.
Gillian worked there as a Practice Nurse, and I am not sure who got the biggest ear-full – myself for driving, or the farmer for allowing me to drive. I made an uneventful recovery, after being on light duties for a few days on headache pain relief. Today I would have had the benefit of brain scans and all sorts of neurological tests not available then. Some will say that I never recovered from this experience.
Lindsay G Chitty
And here are two more stories.......
"An Unusual Dog Spey" and......
"One of the Local Veterinary Characters" .....Click here  for link


Third week

A friend of President David sent him the following piece. On many levels it makes much sense and just wanted to give you a heads up. We will need to watch Week 3

“Back in NZ when I was a Probation Officer, I was a Home Detention specialist - managing offenders ‘tagged’ to stay at home, (up to 12 months) who would otherwise have received a prison sentence. I managed a wide variety of people, but they all went through distinct stages of their sentence, that I monitored closely.

Since we are all now effectively on Home Detention - I thought it worth sharing these stages so you are aware of the very real impact this sort of confinement will have - I know I’m feeling it & have a genuine appreciation for what my ‘offenders’ went through.

First two weeks - bit of a novelty, settling in & doing lots of odd jobs round the house - becoming aware of the domestic relationship dynamic (at least other household members were able to come & go) - getting used to the ‘territory’ restrictions - some were accepting - others really resisted & argued & pounded the ‘fence line’.
Week Three (this is key! & happened pretty much like clockwork) - a real malaise hit ( acute confinement depression) - this was the week I really had to watch as people would all cope with it differently- a real despair & feeling like a loss of their entire world - defeat would set in.
Week Four onwards (this is also very key!) Adapting - The penny would drop about all the new opportunities that presented themselves from this new way of living - I saw creative minds start mapping out a more productive future- studying - business ideas - self improvement- relationship challenges - finally addressing the internal issues that got them where they were etc etc. This was when the ‘good work started’ - & their nearest & dearest really started to notice significant change.

The planet has been given a ‘wake up call’ - we’ve all got the opportunity to dig deep & examine the issues that got us here & how we can expand more as individuals- lets all make it count.
Just watch out for Week Three people, & look after & support one another”


 Paula Smith McKnight - a profile by Jean Sloan
“I love fabric. I love the colour, the texture, the design. I just love fabric,” says Paula Smith-McKnight with such depth of emotion you can tell it’s not just important to her, it actually defines her.
Like a purposeful piece of cloth with a strong weave and a lovely colour, the design of Paula’s life has always been to use her creative talents to teach, to train and to manage.
“I taught design and patternmaking,” says Paula, “but I wasn’t an innovator. I always helped the students improve their ideas. Really, I’m just a trades person. I’m good with my hands and I’m quite good with figures.”
But Paula has another unique talent. “I’ve been told that I have a mind that can see around corners,” she laughs. But, certainly it was a useful skill, helping to promote her into various management roles at Wellington Polytechnic including: Head, School of Fashion and Food (for 11 years); Head, Nursing, Health and Environmental Sciences (for a short period); Head, Engineering and Construction and Group Manager for the College of Sciences (for 3 years). “I was often working in organizational restructuring,” says Paula, recalling two years working through the merger with Massey University.  Paula later went on to serve as Business Development Manager for Textiles New Zealand and spent time working with her husband Peter in a boat chartering business.
Seems Paula makes a success of whatever she turns her hand to. The Sapphire Pin she received 18 months ago tells the story of her many contributions to Rotary over 28 years. “I’ve done some work,” Paula said. “But it was seldom work.” Paula twice served on the Board and was Club President in 2000-2001. While she enjoyed umpteen years serving on the District’s Scholarship Committee, that wasn’t quite true of her time trapping, “I don’t know why I put my hand up for that one,” Paula says incredulously. “I hate rats.” Now, Paula uses her skills more efficaciously as designer/developer of the club’s weekly Bulletin.
Paula is as committed to her own health as she is to any other endeavour. “I’m a sports person,” she says. “If I’m going to live to 99 like my mother, I want to keep well, and I want to keep active.”  Tramping and biking are Paula’s preferred roads to wellness. She regularly participates in the Perambulators and has participated in a great many bike trips including the 300 km Alps to Ocean – Mt. Cook to Oamaru ride.
Travelling is one of Paula’s other big pleasures, and she was looking forward to a trip to Spain later this year where she and members of her painting class will visit art galleries, draw and as she says, generally have a good time. “I find the class very difficult, but I love it. I’m a very spatial person and I love texture.” There’s that word again.
Whether it’s painting, designing, managing, biking, hiking or volunteering – the full and rich texture to Paula’s life no doubt comes from the fine cloth from which she was cut.