Turangi Rotary celebrates 50 years
Turangi Rotary have created a lot of memories for a lot of different people over the past 50 years.
On Tuesday night, members created a few more memories as they came together to celebrate their 50th birthday. They were joined by past members, the District 9930 Governor and the deputy Governor.
During the night memories were shared, in particular by original charter member, John de Lautour.
In 1966 Taupo¯ and Taumarunui Rotary were one organisation and it was not until the following year that Turangi had sufficient members for Rotary International to give them their own charter.
De Lautour recalled their charter night and said it was a huge celebration.
‘‘Three hundred people registered for the charter night and 500 turned up,’’ he said.
De Lautour had 40 years in the Turangi Rotary Club and remembers the projects they worked on in those early years.
‘‘The building of the original Turtle Pool was the largest venture we achieved,’’ he said.
‘‘The club raised the first $5000 with a Walk-a-thon to Tokaanu and back, then I got a fundraiser friend from Wairoa to run a carnival, raising over $30,000.’’
There were plenty other ways they raised money.
‘‘[We] even ran a gambling evening in the Waihi Pukawa shearing shed,’’ de Lautour said.
‘‘The police warned us not to do this but the club decided to still go ahead. Well, the police with their dog teams arrived and Turangi Rotary were summoned to a court sitting in Taupo¯ . The outcome was, we were let off, though I don’t know why.’’
Since their formation, The Turangi Rotary Club has been involved in many projects in Turangi over the years, including the publishing of a Trout Recipe Book, building of the stone wall along the entrance to the National Trout Hatchery, hosting international exchange students, supplying a defibrillator to the St John’s Ambulance and, more recently, one to the Trout Hatchery.
In a presentation by Leonie Tisch, the District 9930 Governor, Turangi Rotary have raised over $200,000 in the last year which is a record contribution for the area.
With memories shared, laughter had, and the night enjoyed by all, the Turangi Rotary 50th was a celebration to remember as they prepare for the next 50 years.