In with the new! In a remarkably bloodless and amicable coup d’etat, Shelly (Shellz) Fleming has taken over the reins of the Rotary Club of Nelson West. Sporting a striking new dress custom-made with the new Rotary Theme for 2017-18, Shellz graciously relieved the previous president, Richard Lee, of the trappings of office.
“Relieved is actually the right word,” said Richard. “The chain of office was getting a bit heavy!” (This was a bit of hyperbole, as several years ago the club replaced the old solid metal chain of office with a more modern, much lighter version – editor.)
“You can have the Gibbons plate, too!” chimed in Richard’s wife, Candy, who has been carefully guarding the weightily framed and heavily embossed china donated by club Foundation member Bill Gibbons.
Gracious to the last, Shellz took it all with aplomb, and called her new board members up to the podium. There, she handed each board member a bag with a new pin and a painted mushroom – the meaning of which remains something of a mystery. Could it be the president’s nuclear option if board members don’t toe the line?
“It is all about Making a Difference,” Shellz announced, quoting the Rotary theme for her year.
Before relinquishing his authority, President Richard awarded a Paul Harris Fellow sapphire pin to Nelson West Rotarian Graeme Thomas for his long Service Above Self. Over many years, Graeme has generously given his time and management advice to numerous community organisations, and continues to do so. He is an inspiration to us all.
Present to witness the changing of the guard was Rotary District Governor (9970) Arie Geerlofs, who also awarded Paul Harris Fellow sapphire pins to outgoing Assistant Governors Phil and Anna Gully.
The new presidents of Whakatu (Karen Stade), Stoke-Tahuna (Bernie Goldsmith) and Rutherford Nelson (Glenn Morris) also attended to witness Shellz’ takeover and installation.
A lovely dinner and fellowship was enjoyed by all members and guests.