Posted by Sylvie Wilkinson and Peter Woodcock on Jun 12, 2018

On Monday June 12, President Dave and members of Pakuranga Rotary were treated to very special and quite uplifting occasion as members of the new satellite, Pakuranga Tamaki River Auxiliary, formally became Rotarians. All the more special because our District Governor Malini Raghwan was present to do the honours and congratulate the fifteen new Rotarians who were arrayed in their different national flags or colours, obviously excited and enthusiastic about the step they had made.

The amazing CVs of each were delivered by a variety of young and old – pupils introduced their teachers with pride and considerable confidence and aplomb, sometimes out-performing their more senior fellow presenters. Congratulations to new Rotarians:

  • Carole Holmes
  • Lorraine Field
  • Pauline Puckey
  • Rachel Wong
  • Fiona Smith
  • Annette Tomas
  • Elizabeth Arrowsmith
  • Joseph D’Ambrosio
  • Rosemary Rodgers
  • Zahana Zafirova
  • Crystal Leung 
  • Kiri Kirkpatrick
  • Trish Plowright
  • Becca de la Vega
  • Penelope Franca

Particularly gratifying was the evidence of a youthful contingent from both current and past Interact ranks. This promises well for future involvement by younger people in Rotary!

Click on the read more link to find out more about each of our newest Rotarians.

Carole Holmes was born in Nairobi, Kenya and now lives in Buckland Beach with her husband Ian. She has three children and 7 grandies. She worked in urology and oncology then, with Ian, owned and managed the Bucklands Beach Vetinary Clinic.  She is a much treasured Rotary Reading Tutor at Panmure Bridge School In that role, is making a big difference to the outcomes for her students.

Lorraine Field was born in Hartfordshire England, lives in Pakuranga and is married to Carl. They have two children. She is head of science at Anchorage Park School, has a strong passion for conservation, sustainability and the environment. She is a member of the prestigious NZ Royal Society.

Pauline Puckey was born in Auckland and comes from a family of 8!! She now lives in Half Moon Bay and has 2 children. She works as Plunket Nurse in our area and is passionate about improving the outcomes for local newborns and their mums. As far as we can make out, is the only Plunket Rotarian in 9920.

Rachel Wong is from Malaysia and now lives in Pakuranga. She is an only child and a student at Pakuranga College where she is co chair of Interact. She is going on to university next year. Our Rotary Club has had the benefit of Rachel’s community commitment at our Carnival and Top Schools events.

Fiona Smith was born in Palmerston North and now lives in Howick with her husband Paul and two sons. She has travelled widely, working in France, England, Kenya and the USA. She is a qualified Cordon Bleu Chef and a Reading Recovery trained teacher. She now works at Chapel Downs School. Her father in law was a Rotarian for over 40 years and she is coming in as Chair of the new group. She has already demonstrated her commitment by attending Leaders Elect Training a couple of weekends ago.

Annette Tomas was a foundation pupil at our local Riverhills School. She lives in Botany Downs and with her husband Francis and decided at the age of 38 that her life needed a change of direction so studied to gain her Bachelor of Education degree. She is now a teacher at Riverhills.  Her knowledge of Te Reo and Maori culture will be a rare and much needed asset to Rotary.

Elizabeth Arrowsmith is a first generation NZer, with Tongan, Fijian, Scottish and British heritage. She is co chair of Interact, House Leader of Pasifika, Peer Support Leader and Head Girl at Pakuranga College. She has completed the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards. She has a strong interest in human rights and next year intends enrolling in Biomed, Global Studies or a Bachelor of Science at university. Another stunning Rotarian in the making.

Joseph D’Ambrosio was born in Chevy Chase in Maryland USA.  He is married to Sarah who works at the Auckland University. He lives in Half Moon Bay and is the hard materials teacher at Farm Cove intermediate. He heard about Rotary when he applied to the Johnston Trust for funding. He has a strong interest in the environment so will be an excellent fit with Rotary’s sustainability focus.

Rosemary Rodgers is married to David and lives in Howick. She is a Radiographer and has worked as a researcher in the Breast Cancer field.  She is a Rotary Reading Tutor at Panmure Bridge School. She has strong Rotary connections, is a former Rotaractor and then sponsored by this club to attended RYLA. Her uncle Wilf Wagener was our DG and her Great Uncle was Harold Thomas, one of only two Rotary World Presidents from NZ. True Rotary pedigree.  Rosemary is coming in as Secretary of our new club.

Zahana Zafirova was born in Macedonia. She came to NZ 18 years ago, lives in Farm Cove, and is married to Michael. She is a qualified mechanical engineer, has worked in the tourism sector but is now employed as the Executive Officer at Riverina School. Zhana speaks seven languages and has a strong interest in refugee support… a perfect fit for Rotary.

Crystal Leung was born in NZ and lives in Botany. She is the former joint President of the Pakuranga Interact Club and has spent many volunteer hours supporting Pakuranga Rotary at various functions. She is currently at university studying engineering and is going to be a huge asset to our Club.            

Kiri Kirkpatrick was born in Auckland and is well known to many members of this Club. She lives in Mt Wellington and is Deputy Principal at Panmure Bridge School, who is highly thought of by her Principal. She is a skilled hockey player. Kiri is keen to know more about Rotary and how we can support Community initiatives, and also attended Leaders Elect Training at St Cuthbert’s a few weekends ago.

Trish Plowright was born in the far North and now lives in One Tree Hill. Sometimes ca sometimes be seen riding a motorbike. She is married to Henry and has two children… one a banker and the other an actress. Trish is well known to us as Principal of Elm Park School, is keen to assist local youth. Pakuranga is lucky to have Trish.

Becca de la Vega hails from the Philippines where her Dad was President of his Rotary Club. She lives with her husband Virgil in Somerville and has two teenage children. Becca is owner operator of SKIDS, the after school and holiday care programme for children. She wants to join Rotary in honour of her Dad who, before she left for NZ, advised her to “Continue to bloom, wherever you are planted”. She says she is delighted to put down Rotary roots and bloom here in her new country. Becca’s sister Olivia flew in from Dallas Texas to be at her Induction.

Penelope Franca comes from Brazil. She is married to Luiz and lives in Sunnyhills. Penelope works in real estate, and in her words, says she is keen to join Rotary to make a difference in her community, for personal development and the joy of contributing to humanitarian causes. Penelope is going to soon create history for our club and become the very first Pakuranga Rotarian to gift us with a Rotary baby!! Looking back it has apparently been almost 40 years since a Rotary spouse has produced a child, but never an actual Rotarian!!