Issue 14 - February 2016
Update from Chairman Denys Boshier
Today let's have a look together at the topics of communication and consultation within our organisation, topics of concern to our clubs and to Council itself.
We have received many communications about these topics, some supportive, others letting us know where we could do better, even why aren't we doing better. With our future becoming clearer, we now have the time to consider these two highly important components of our organisation. Firstly, communication itself is an issue - what is the best way of communicating and how much information is enough? Some clubs read what we send them, other clubs appear not to. They just want to get on with what they are doing.
At the present time, FNZI Council is set up so that there essentially are two forms of communication with our clubs.
Firstly, passive communication, where your Inboxes sit there, like little birds with their mouths open waiting for our communications to you. These may be our Newsletters, specific communications from Council or its Chairman, an Update or Newsflash from our Secretary/Treasurer, a letter from your District Representative, or something from an outside group. Each one of these has some sort of time reference -
We don't even know whether email is the most effective communication tool. What is the optimal frequency for each communication system? We don't know. We do know, however, that there is a wide spectrum of computer literacy in our clubs. Some find the electronic communications easy, others don't. Feedback, hopefully positive in terms of specific ways we can make things better, will be gratefully received by Council.
The second form of communication we may call active communication. It involves clubs and club members accessing our rapidly developing website themselves and availing themselves of the information on www.fnzi.nzi We see increasing use of this rapidly developing facility, with its information sources at the general public, club, regional organisation and Council levels. Each group has its own password for access at its level. We hope that clubs will appoint someone from their Club Committee or Membership who has good computer skills as their Website Officer, someone who can check our website frequently and share with the club items of interest or concern to the club and its members.
Our second topic of interest is that of consultation. We have received many communications of recent months over this topic, particularly when we were involved in the litigation with PSPL over naming and other issues. There are two options available to us: go directly to the clubs, or work via a Regional Organisation representative of the District.
If the former, following Council preparation of the appropriate papers explaining the situation to be considered, we send 278 letters to our clubs. These are then considered at the next club meeting, which may be soon or it may not. The club response may or may not be made at that meeting. When it is ready the club response, possibly one of 278 responses, is then to be considered by the Council at its next meeting, which may or may not be soon after receiving the club responses. To help Council understanding, someone on the Council or part of our Executive branch has to develop a summary of what 278 clubs are saying and convey it to Council members. Then after Council consideration and reaching its decision, the whole process may have to be repeated. It could easily take three months to reach a common, acceptable position if we consulted with our clubs in this manner. How would we have done this within the time constraints of the PSPL litigation?
The alternative, working through Regional Organisations and the District Representatives, gives us a reasonable chance of making a timely decision over the topic at issue. But even then, the Council is dependent on a number of factors e.g. having appropriate communication facilities e.g. papers via email, telephone calls, either as individual calls or as conference calls.
As those of you who have pursued this issue know, there is no provision in the FNZI Rules, as we inherited them from the Steering Committee, for consultation with the clubs as individuals. The whole consultation process is built on the presence of the Regional Organisations and their District representatives, where the latter represents or consults the District clubs as the District Organisation decides. We are going to have to consider these issues further in our efforts to get a Council which supports and develops processes by which it supports and develops the principles of Probus in New Zealand.
We have positive times ahead of us, please give us your support and your own best efforts.
Sincerely and with best wishes to you all,
Denys P Boshier (Dr) Chairman, FNZI Council
It is delightful to see how many of our 277 affiliated Clubs have embraced the new website. It may be a bit of a quantum leap with respect to the previous one and undoubtedly requires our Club officers to climb a learning curve, but that will be worth it. User-friendliness has been at the forefront of the design philosophy of this website, but I am well aware that it will take some time and effort to familiarise oneself with all the nooks and crannies, especially for Club Officers who can login in the Club Area.
|Last minute news .....
Council are having a Face to Face meeting in Dunedin which will include an Information afternoon for District 9980 Clubs on the afternoon of Thursday, 28 April. Watch out for your Invitation! A chance to meet your Councillors and discuss items of interest.
|Member comment – Insurance
One of the important benefits of belonging to our FNZI/Probus group is the ability to arrange travel insurance. Members may be interested in my recent experience.
My bank was offering travel insurance if we had a gold credit card, so I arranged for that to be issued. I thought that would be the best deal. However I found the underwriters for the bank scheme were difficult to deal with as they insisted on receiving information by phone only, and would not accept the email that my doctor had sent, which described our pre-existing conditions in some detail. Having stumbled through reading out the medical terminology, I was then informed by the underwriters that all our existing pre-conditions would be excluded from the policy. That even included an operation that I had at age 21 – now 50 years ago!
Feeling thoroughly irritated, I contacted the Dual/Willis insurance company that I found on the FNZI website. All they require is a certification from our doctor that we are fit to travel. How much easier to deal with - and how much more reasonable! Thank you FNZI.
Editor’s note: To receive the additional discount offered to members you will need to provide your club’s FNZI registration number (also referred to as Username (7-digits)). This can be obtained from your club secretary.
Introducing .... Rosemarie Shaw, Administrator
Rosemarie’s secretarial and administrative career spanned 50 years in the private sector until her retirement in July 2006. Her work experience as a personal assistant to managing directors included such diverse fields as insurance, consulting engineers, architecture, finance, manufacturing and fund raising. For 17 years prior to her retirement Rosemarie held a developmental role at a Christchurch based long established not-for-profit national organisation. This position required travel throughout New Zealand on a monthly basis for Rosemarie to meet personally with donors.
Rosemarie is a former member of Zonta, an international service organisation for women. She and her husband are volunteer drivers for the Red Cross Meals-on-Wheels service in Rangiora.
In September 2006 Rosemarie was inducted as a member of the Waimakariri Combined Probus Club in Rangiora, of which her husband was already a member. At the 2008 AGM Rosemarie was elected as Newsletter Editor and her husband as Treasurer. In 2010 Rosemarie was elected as Vice-President and held the dual roles of Vice-President and Newsletter Editor until being elected the following year as President.
Rosemarie was invited, in late 2013, to consent to nomination as secretary to the Northern South Island Probus Association (NSIPA). She was elected to the position at the 2014 AGM for a term of 3 years.
|Combined Club of Whangarei
On 2 November for the ninth year the ‘Whangarei Combined Probus Club’ held a fashion parade of Summer Designs from Merric Fashions. Merric have 22 stores nationwide and all styles and fabrics are personally selected by Mary, the owner. The parade was the highlight of the morning. Five models walked the catwalk, firstly in casual wear then daywear and finally evening wear complete with handbags, belts, jewellery etc all looking very elegant. The designs were beautiful, vibrant and appealing.
The Club thank Gina from Merric for her expertise in selecting garments and making this a most enjoyable viewing.
| Paremata Probus
On August 28th 2015 twenty members of the Paremata Probus Club set off for a week’s holiday on Norfolk Island.
It was a fascinating place to visit, steeped in the horrors of the brutal penal system the British established. We absorbed the history of the ‘Bounty” mutiny and of the descendants who eventually settled on the Island.
We were welcomed by the friendliness of the people and delighted by the beautiful scenery.
Friendships were made and developed, and everyone felt that it had been an adventure well worth experiencing and treasuring.
In October, a group of members visited the Wallace Gallery in Morrinsville which they found really interesting and spent some time viewing the exhibits. One thing I found especially interesting was the innovative thinking and excellent recycling of several of the old water heaters (you remember those ones about 3 foot tall which hissed and squeaked a bit but gave a good supply of heat).
They had been disconnected and some were refitted, painted and turned on their sides to become seats in the gallery while others had been adapted to stand vertically and became double doors.
The members then went to Loxy and Co for a really yummy lunch (well recommended). A walk around the town and viewing of the decorated cows on the streets followed.
|Hagley Ladies Club
The Hagley Ladies Probus Club was formed in August 1990 with many ladies attending and later signed up to help form our club. We still have seven foundation members some are in their 90's and still attending meetings.
Our first meeting place was in Mandeville Street, Riccarton in the Marist Rugby Club rooms. This was a comparatively new building but unfortunately after a few years the building was sold. We then went to another rugby club rooms, still in Riccarton. We were there only a short time when they too had to renovate so again we had to move.
This time we were lucky to find the Crockfords Bridge club rooms in Upper Riccarton which was large enough to accommodate our club. This proved to be a great move including good parking for cars.
Last August the Hagley Ladies Probus Club celebrated their 25th Birthday. The entertainment for the afternoon was presented by the Christchurch Japanese Choir. Much enjoyment was had by all, the music and singing was in English, Maori and Japanese and was well received.
As usual the club find it difficult to fill positions on the committee. Many members accepting to do these positions do more than their share. However to keep the club alive they continue. During 2014 the Yaldhurst Ladies club joined our club after they closed. Here is a good quotation. "The reason your eyes are in front of your head is one must always look forward".
Each month we have interesting speakers, also go on monthly trips. We do arrange many trips within shorter distance so as to pool cars otherwise we hire a bus. We enjoy the Friendship and fellowship of the club.
Geraldine Men’s Probus Club celebrated its 30th anniversary on 27 October 2015. Members were pleased to welcome special guests for the occasion. Graeme Pierson, the PNZI Interim Councillor for District 9970 and President of the NSIPA made the presentation of a certificate marking the occasion.
Other guests included Ross Buick, the NSIPA representative for South Canterbury; Eion McKinnon, the President of the Geraldine/Temuka Rotary Club, which was instrumental in the setting-up of the club in 1985; and representatives from the Geraldine Ladies Probus which was formed a few years later.
A number of members shared reminiscences of the past and some amusing anecdotes and poetry suitably fitting the “golden years” before an enjoyable time of fellowship with excellent catering.
|Kowhai Probus of Bethlehem
On Friday 6 November 2015, Kowhai Probus Club Bethlehem celebrated its fifth anniversary with ‘cake and song’ at its monthly meeting held as usual at the Tauranga Citizens Club.
Seventy six members were present to watch the cake cutting ceremony presided over by club President Elaine Dow and the most senior foundation member Tim MacDonald.
Of the original 104 foundation members, 49 are still with us, including five of the original eight Executive and Committee Members. Despite the loss of 55 members over the last five years due to various reasons, membership has remained constant during that time and in fact has increased slightly to 111 at the time of writing.
Many new members have been attracted to the club by hearing of its friendliness and the many and varied activities which members can avail themselves of, either from existing members or the occasional publicity campaign the club undertakes from time to time.
The Combined Probus Club of Waimea celebrated their 20th birthday at the 19 November meeting held at the Hope Community Church in Ranzau Rd, Hope, Nelson. There was a good turnout of 75 members augmented by nine guests representing five other clubs in the region. Margaret Amor, one of eight founding members still active in the club, told us what it was like in the early stages of the clubs existence.
Twenty year membership certificates were presented by our current president, Margaret Dawson, to the founding members and a cake was cut by Audrey and John Bogers, Audrey having been one of the founding members.
After morning tea we were entertained by the Nelson Bays Harmony Chorus.
|Tauranga Central Ladies Club
We have 90 members and meet monthly at ‘Daniels in the Park’ for morning tea, where we enjoy a variety of speakers as well as Spring and Autumn fashion parades. We also meet for lunch once a month. Our members like to experience the delicacies offered by the numerous cafes in and around Tauranga.
Like all Probus Clubs, we have enjoyed many bus trips over the years. Last month 38 of our members travelled to Cambridge for the day. Below is a brief description of our day out.
Our first stop was at Karapiro Café and Gifts for morning tea. We then travelled onto Earth Clayhouse and Gardens for an interesting tour of their eco-friendly house and gardens. Following this we had a beautiful lunch at Monavale Blueberries Café which overlooked their organic blueberry orchard. Our final tour of the day was at Avantidrome where we were very fortunate to witness some members of Cycling NZ in action. All in all, it was an extremely interesting day out.
Probus club of West Auckland celebrated its 30th anniversary at The Brigham Restaurant on June 17th 2015. Members and their partners marked the occasion. The Probus New Zealand district councillor representative Jim Taylor attended with his wife Maureen.
Charter member Dalton Dean and past member Herb Simmonds were presented with life membership certificates. The men's social club was first chartered in 1985. It was sponsored by the Henderson Rotary Club under the presidency of the late Mac Williams.
|Probus Club of Orewa
Who says retirement isn’t fun? The Probus Club of Orewa ran the “Jim McGlone Memorial Trophy” bowling tournament for the North Shore & Northern Probus Association recently at the Orewa Bowls Club. There was lots of competition, food and sportsmanship. Eight teams took part and they came from Birkenhead up to Orewa. The competition was stiff but eventually there was a winner...oh dear it was the host team - the Orewa Probus club! Red Beach Combined came a close second place with Browns Bay Women’s taking the third place. The Probus spirit of Fun, Friendship and Fellowship was totally evident throughout the whole day.
|Dunedin Central Ladies Probus
Our bus with 41 club members and friends left Dunedin at 9am and travelled to Southland. Before lunch we took a side trip to Mimihau, to view a collection of stuffed animals and trophy heads collected from all around the world, during the 1950s -70s. A glass of mulled wine relaxed us as we were greeted by bears, deer, moose, pigs and fish.
We then had a terrific country lunch at the Wyndham Hotel, and then continued on to the Maple Glen Gardens at Glenham.
The spring garden was a picture and the few drops of rain didn’t spoil the afternoon.
After reboarding the bus, we had a tour of some of the back roads around Edendale to view the tulip fields in bloom, before arriving back in Dunedin at 6.30. A very enjoyable day.
Combined Probus Invercargill
Members of Combined Probus Club of Invercargill visiting a Sheep Milking Facility out at Springhills.
It was a very interesting outing to the farm owned by a local company with the end product made from the sheep milk, namely milk powder, cheese and icecream being exported to the Middle East and Asia.
The Men’s Coffee Morning was held on Saturday 21st November at the home of Merle & Jack Wilcox. The idea came about as an opportunity for the male members of the club to meet and chat about their interests and hobbies.
Jack and Merle were excellent hosts and everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed it.
A single women’s morning has since been hosted by Jack and Merle.
The Probus Club of Upper Hutt has named three new Life Members recognising outstanding service to the club in recent years. Malcolm Gilloch, Ian Pearless and Valerie White now join current Life Members Grahame Holmes, Kevin McEvoy and Bill Potter as holders of the club’s most prestigious award.
Both Malcolm Gilloch and Ian Pearless have filled many roles in the club including that of President and long-term membership of the Management Committee. They are deeply involved in numerous club activities. They joined the club in 2005 and have given great service. Malcolm has been secretary and is now membership secretary and he has also filled the role of Male Welfare Officer. Ian has organised the monthly visiting speakers, is currently convenor of the gardening group and is recognised as “Mr Fix-it” within the club.
Val White, one of the first women admitted to the club when it became a “combined club” in 2003, has given nine years of exemplary service as Female Welfare Officer involving numerous home, hospital and rest home visits to current and former club members and regular reports to the club membership. Val has been a valued member of the Management Committee and she has been involved in a diverse range of the club’s activities. She and Malcolm are also the two who welcome members and visitors to the monthly meetings.