Quality Hotel Plymouth International, New Plymouth 21-23 April 2017
Dear Conference registrants
Well only 7 weeks to go until the District Conference in New Plymouth!
I thought that you would be interested in where we are and also some information on keynote speakers and activities in New Plymouth.
As of today we have 210 paid registrations. Our breakeven target is 250 so we are on track to having a very successful conference. All keynote speakers have confirmed. The Rotary International President’s Representative is Ms. Saowalak Rattanavich, a member of the Rotary Club of Bangrak, Thailand and a Director of Rotary International. 
Saowalak Rattanavich is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education's curriculum and instruction department and a special expert of the graduate school board at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok.  A Rotarian since 1990, Rattanavich has served as RI president’s representative, Rotary coordinator for Zone 6B, committee and task force member, RI training leader, and district governor. She also has served as host area coordinator of the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University and vice chair of the Literacy Rotarian Action Group.
Rattanavich is a recipient of RI’s Service Above Self Award and the Presidential Citation, and The Rotary Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. She is a Paul Harris Fellow.
The theme of our Conference is “Celebrating our Different Journeys” and our keynote speakers have been chosen to provide a perspective that we hope will challenge, interest and create a discussion, which we hope, will continue past the weekend.
On Friday, Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon and Monday there is a range of activities planned by Taranaki Clubs. To access information and book one or more of these activities go to Rotary Club of New Plymouth West’s website: rcnpw.org – check the ‘Conference 2017’ link which is listed on the top of their front page. I understand that places are still available so get in early to avoid missing out.
On Monday 24th April morning we have a rare opportunity to visit Parihaka. It was there that on 5th November 1881 that the peaceful, unfortified village was invaded by 1,500 militia and volunteers. Parihaka was virtually wiped out of existence, the more than 2,000 residents offered only passive resistance.
The story of Parihaka is compelling. There are parallels with Rotary’s search for Peace. Places on the morning tour are limited so I urge you to register early to avoid missing out. (use the same registration process as for the Saturday activities)
Saturday evening’s dine and dance is a celebration of success and over the evening a number of District Awards will be presented – I guess you can describe it as our own Oscars but hopefully not with the problems that the recent Academy Awards had! The theme of the night is ‘Out on the Town.’ I am not sure what your Club plans to do but watch out for Tawa! They will be dressed to kill (literally not actually if that makes sense!!!)
I visited Plymouth Hotel earlier this week and came away very confidant and delighted with arrangements in place. For those of us who need constant monitoring of our emails etc. I am pleased to advise that Wi-Fi is free to conference attendees over the period of the conference!!
My Rotary Club of Tawa will have 30 members and partners attending the Conference. All of us will be available to assist you from the time of your arrival until you leave. Watch out for the Tawa ‘blue and red’ shirts! We look forward to welcoming you to New Plymouth Friday afternoon.
Best wishes
Pat Waite
Chair of the Organising Committee
District 9940 Conference