Rotary Club of Port Nicholson Bulletin

Wednesday 15 April, 2020


Weekly meetings are via Zoom due to the situation with Covid-19

David Shackleton
We seem to be inundated with bad news whether it is about the COVID 19, the economy, unemployment or those flouting the virus rules. However, there are certainly some positive elements about our current situation.
Many of us are learning new skills, it is bringing us closer together as we all have a common enemy in COVID, strangers seem to be friendlier, we are spending less and in many respects we are reassessing what is important in our lives.
On the subject of learning, Peter has an excellent article this week on wine appreciation, Linda last week taught us about gardening, Lindsay told us about being a rural vet and Dawn brought us up to date on the Arts and John on Cataclysmic events. And, of course, we have our life in the country article from Miss Piggy.
These articles highlight the great depth of talent we have in the Club and I encourage those of you who have time to share your experiences and expertise with your fellow members.
About new skills, we are reviewing whether we will proceed with the Auction this year. As you know this event is our major fund raiser. To address this potential shortfall, Tony is preparing a paper for the Board on alternative ways to raise funds through virtual fund raising. The Board is also assessing what we will have to do differently in a post COVID environment in all our portfolios.
It was great to see so many of you on Wednesday at our meeting. So that I do not miss anyone out, please let me know ahead of time if you have an announcement you would like to make. This way we can incorporate as many announcements as possible.
Stay healthy and positive


Bill Day's Column for this week..

Some Pictures from about 10 years ago Taken at Life Flight. I think David Jones was president.
Old Presidents

Kiriwhakapapa news

Miss Piggy’s diary – Episode 4

It has been a quiet week. Julian and Sue have settled down into more of a routine although the weather has been a little less routine with a variety of hot sunny days, cold nights and a lot of much needed rain.
I have been getting ready for the winter and my feathers are nearly all new and nice apart from on my head and neck. I heard Julian say to Sue last week that I looked more like a vulture than a chicken with my almost bare neck. That hurt. But this week I heard him say my head looked more like an old toilet brush with a beak. Really! This from someone who looks like an upside-down old-fashioned mop with glasses. Feathers take time to develop and before long I will be as good as ever, and a lot better looking than someone I could mention.
This week Julian and Sue made the second shopping trip of the lockdown. As they are completely isolated from seeing any other humans here at Kiriwhakapapa, even at a distance, they say they find it quite strange and a bit disconcerting to see people again. Sue, who does all the shopping, told me in one of her ‘confidential’ chats that having to keep two metres away from other people is fine, but when most are wearing masks there is no smile or other form of recognition which is difficult to handle. Anyway, they seemed to buy all they needed, although I have not noticed any grapes appearing. 
Julian has been inside his office a lot over the past few days working on the latest issue of the Tree Grower magazine while Sue has been designing more new jewellery. You may have seen the picture of some new earrings she has produced. After she showed me the preliminary sketches, I was pleased to see she incorporated most of my suggestions. She has been using me as her design consultant for years, one of the main reasons for her business success, but that is our little secret.
Julian has been less chatty recently, partly because he does not bring me regular grapes – I do miss them although the therapy seems to be working. I have been asked how I get therapy here in isolation. Not many people know that chickens can communicate long distances using low frequency megg-a-hertz signals. When we are having a dustbath we create a bowl-shaped depression, similar to what a kakapo does, and we send signals that humans cannot hear but chickens can. Cunning, eh? This seems to work a lot better than Zoom which Julian has tried to use, but failed every time, for Rotary meetings and socialising. We chickens can still teach humans a trick or two.
It seems that Julian and Sue are not too concerned about the lockdown and in fact like being able to stay locked away. No doubt some other people appreciate Julian being locked away. I think they are coping very well, although Julian is getting annoyed with one of the rats which has realised that the many traps in the garage and shed are to be avoided. He got very irritated when he found a very large hole chewed in the side of the plastic dustbin which stores my special food pellets. I was also a bit worried when I heard. Apparently, the bin is thick plastic and designed to keep rats out. He resorted to putting down some large blocks of rat poison and the rat has fallen for the trick, consuming enough to kill about a dozen of the critters. With luck it is now a very ex-rat.
Keep safe.


Julian Bateson

Tony's Child Cancer Fundraiser


I received this very lovely message from a Child Cancer Family this week etched into the pavement at my front gate.

As some Rotarians know, I am presently involved in the "Lock down Challenge" to raise money for the Child Cancer Foundation. My challenge involves doing as many steps as possible, so in my twice daily perambulations I have been treading the paths and roadsides of Kelburn, Northland, Thorndon and Highbury.
There have been many highlights, especially the teddy bears greeting you from the front windows of houses, cars and occasionally in trees. Little traffic on the road means that skate boarders have fun, and both joggers and walkers have plenty of space to observe the stipulated two metre distance. What I have particularly enjoyed is seeing parents and their young children out together on their bikes having a great time and the fact that 9 out of 10 people give you a very cheerful 'hello, how are you getting on?' We used to see these scenes a few decades ago but in the meantime we seem to have lost sight of how these simple pleasures can draw people together.
Occasionally on my walk I come across this Child Cancer Family, a mother and two daughters, the younger one in a wheelchair with the reality of a very difficult cancer journey. They are always very cheerful and naturally we stop and chat. This week I bumped into them again, and Lydia, the older daughter, was leading them to the end of the road where I live to write a message at the front gate of her best friend from school. Later in the day, when Jill and I went out for a stroll, we got such a surprise to see their lovely message at our front gate. So I find their courage and smiling through adversity very humbling.
So that is why I do the Lock down Challenge to help families like this. I have just been told I will be continuing to work from home after next Wednesday so plenty more pavements to tread!
Kindest regards

Rotary - Emergency Response Kits – ERKs

A message from Stuart Batty of RNZWCS
Delivery to those living in tents as their houses have been shattered.
Pictures tell a thousand words.
Thank you to all those Rotary supporters assisting today’s distribution in Tonga.
Cyclone Harold has devasted parts of Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Those areas most seriously affected according to information supplied to the NZ Govt. by the respective National Disaster Management Offices (NDMO) are :
Fiji                    Islands of  Kadavu,  Lau,  Western Division (Lautoka, Nadi),  Central Division
Tonga              Islands of Tongatapu, E’ua
Vanuatu           Banks Islands, Santo, Malakula, and Pentecost
The number of families affected whilst significant, is not as for previous high category cyclones in recent years. Further, communities are better prepared than in past years mitigating damage.
We have been working with the NZ Govt. Aid Logistics (MFAT), Rotary Clubs and the NDMO in all three countries. Rotarian Bob Niranjan is our representative in Fiji to ensure coordination between MFAT and NDMO.
Rotary  Emergency Response Kits (ERKs) have and continue to be distributed. They are for most beneficiaries, the first tangible support they have or will receive.
Thanks to Rotarians in all three countries for their support in getting the ERKs to where directed by the NDMO’s. This approach ensures that Rotary is the only agency supplying this type of relief and eliminate the risk of  duplication
Rotary cannot do the distribution alone and is grateful to Govt. agencies (e.g. military in Fiji) and local businesses and NGO’s (e.g. MORDI in Tonga)
We anticipate that in excess of 600 families have or will receive a Kit, but this figure may go higher.
Replenishment stock will need to be purchased and assembled  in New Zealand as soon as Corvid 19 allows.
As expressed earlier, we appreciate the implications on clubs from Corvid  19, but know this request will receive consideration.
Best wishes and thanks to all from those people who you will never meet, but benefit from your generosity.
Upcoming Events
Friday Night Social Get Together on Zoom
Apr 24, 2020
5:00 PM – 5:40 PM
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  
Rotary in Review - A roundup of Rotary News
Click here
UK's Open University
A friend of mine has recommended the UK’s Open University. There are some 800 free courses available with subjects as diverse as:
  • Health, sports and psychology
  • Education and development
  • History and the arts
  • Languages
  • Money and business
  • Nature and the environment
  • Science, maths and technology
  • Society, politics and law.
The courses are short and accessible and great value. Perfect for spending a few hours

Members TV recommendations

David Shackleton Recommends:
This crime thriller, now into season 3, follows a family who are forced to leave Chicago after getting embroiled with the mob and move to the Ozark's. No sooner have they settled then they become involved with a money laundering enterprise for a particularly vicious Mexican cartel. 
This is terrific entertainment with excellent characterisation. It has more twists and turns than a snake, with great acting and an intelligent script. The series makes great viewing and is both clever and gripping. Highly recommended. 
The amazing Mrs Maisel-Prime
Based in New York in the 50’s and 60’s this highly acclaimed and successful series (now into its 4th season) follows the highs and lows of Miriam (Midge) Maisel. Midge has everything she has ever wanted, a rich and well respected family and husband; until one day she discovers her husband is having an affair. The series follows her as she becomes a standup comedienne. The series is stylish, fun, with fast talking banter and is peppered with some excellent 50’s music. It is well written, humorous (think Lenny Bruce) with great period sets. Can occasionally be profane but very New York. 
Joy Durrant recommends:
Into the Wild 2007
A young man gives up everything – including his trust fund and ties to a seemingly stable family – to lead a solitary life in the wild.
Set in Alaska.  I loved it.  Sad all the same.
Jane Paterson Recommends:
Unorthodox on Netflix and also Making Unorthodox
England’s Game on Netflix
The Enemy Within on Lightbox
The Good Place on Netflix
Grace and Frankie on Netflix
Heather Lucas recommends:
Killing Eve (season three on TVNZ)
Run - new series just started on Neon 
Rebekah Martinsson drama on TVNZ - good old detective murder mystery with lots of vodka
Sonnet Competition
What a great opportunity to get creative! Write a sonnet and enter.
Click here for details

Members in Isolation

Howard shared a picture of Jenny's bread
Mike and Sue have been walking in their neighbourhood and looking at Wellington from a different perspective.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY? (written by kids)

(1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
- Alan, age 10

(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
- Kristen, age 10 (looks like Kristen is made for Alan!!)


(1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
- Camille, age 10

(2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
- Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)


(1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
- Derrick, age 8


(1) Both don't want any more kids.
- Lori, age 8


(1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
- Lynnette, age 8

(2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that Usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
- Martin, age 10 (Who said boys don't have brains!)


(1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
- Craig, age 9


(1) When they're rich.
- Pam, age 7 

(2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
- Curt, age 7 (yeah, that'll stop them)

(3 ) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
- Howard, age 8 (Who made the rule)


(1 ) I don't know which is better, but I'll tell you one thing. I'm never going to have sex with my wife. I don't want to be all grossed out.
- Theodore, age 8

(2 ) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
- Anita, age 9


(1 ) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favourite is........


(1 ) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
- Ricky, age 10 (The boy already understands)

Wine Tasting
Sitting here sipping on a lovely 2010 Te Mata Elston Chardonnay reminded me that President David had asked me to do a piece on the joys of partaking in a little juice of the grape.  Even in times of “Lockdown” significant joy can be had, within the constraints of one’s bubble, by applying some thought to matching the food you are preparing for dinner, with a glass or two of wine.  A good match of wine and food will enhance the enjoyment of both, turning a simple meal into a gourmet delight.
There is an amazing array of wine available from the supermarket and/or the specialist retailers/merchants.  The choice can be almost over whelming.  And, of course many of the wines from Europe will not tell you anything about the grape varieties inside, making your decision even more difficult.  So here is the pre-amble to a couple of chapters on interesting things about wine.
The first rule of wine is to drink what you enjoy.  As that old adage says “life is too short to drink bad wine”.  However, while drinking what you know and enjoy is important, it is equally important to experiment with the unknown.  There may be something better out there and if you don’t try you won’t find out.  We are extremely lucky in New Zealand that we can purchase wine from just about every region in the world – from the traditional areas of France, Spain, Italy and Germany to Chile, Argentina, Lebanon, Oregon and of course New Zealand and many others besides.
It is important to expand your horizons, move away from sauvignon blanc with everything, and test some of the other wonderful food and wine matches that exist.  You don’t have to stick to the white wine with white meat, red wine with red meat scenario but those general rules give you a starting point.  Best to think about the flavours of the food. Is it strong, spicy, rich or is it delicate, sweet or savoury?  Is there a flavour that is dominant, is the sauce creamy or citric?  Considering the flavours and the textures of the food gives you a better guide to a good wine match.  There is plenty of advice online to help with your match making – but use it as guidance not rules.  Different wines of the same variety will have different textures and flavours.
An example - traditionally you would have red wine or port with cheese at the end of the meal.  Recently it was suggested to me that chardonnay could be a great match for a particular cheese we were having.  That just sounded wrong – but no it worked really well.  Try it, you never know!
New Zealand has a fantastic array of different regions producing distinctly different wines.  Regions tend to focus on the varieties known to do well in their respective climates and soil types e.g. Central Otago for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Marlborough is the home of Sauvignon Blanc, Hawkes Bay has Syrah and Pinot Gris although also well known for Cabernet Merlot based blends and Chardonnay.  Martinborough is again known for Pinot Noir, whereas wonderful Rieslings come out of Waipara in Canterbury.  Regions do tend to overlap, and often produce a bit of everything, but generally they focus on particular varieties.
The traditional varieties in NZ, mentioned above, predominate but the industry here is still very young, on an international scale, and a great deal of experimentation with new varieties continues.  Wineries are growing exotic varieties like Tempranillo, Arneis, Viognier, Gruner Veltliner, Verdelho etc.  The options are almost endless, and this is before you explore further afield.
Most wines are made to be consumed within 2 to 3 years of being made but many will also age extremely well, providing you with a much more complex and enjoyable experience than the initial fruit and oak burst of flavour you get from a young wine.
Of course, once you have worked your way through the different varieties and what food goes with Viognier or Pinot Noir or Malbec, you then have to deal with the different vintages.  No two years are the same.  This is the excitement of the chase for the wine drinker.  Each vintage provides a new challenge to find that perfect match.  The wines will always be subtly different – higher acid, fuller bodied, longer finish etc.  Right now there are some wonderful 2019 vintage wines being released, particularly chardonnay from Hawkes Bay.  2018 was also an exceptional year for whites.  For reds 2013 was exceptional, 2018 may also prove to be very good.
To optimize your enjoyment, I suggest trying to have a supply of wine that is at least 2 years old (probably 5 years for reds).  Nothing in wine is straight forward so even though most wine will benefit from ageing there are some that will be fading or a least changing much earlier than that.  In this “I want it all and I want it now” era more than 80% of wine produced is consumed within 24 hours of purchase.  Nothing wrong with that as it keeps the money coming in.  But, if you want to enhance your enjoyment (get a better bang for your buck) keep your wine in a reasonably even cool temperature place for at least 2 years before drinking.  I like my wines to be a lot older, so I tend to be drinking them at around 5 to 10 years plus of age, hence the Elston Chardonnay we started with.
By the way the Elston Chardonnay was a perfect match for the lightly pan-fried terakihi fillets accompanied by a butter, caper and parsley sauce.
Peter Whittington