President’s Time
President Rod had to do the stern teacher thing when he welcomed everyone, remarking that kids at school were better behaved! Our guest speakers Andrew Bright, Carolyn Cooper and John O’Neill were warmly welcomed.
Weekly Robbery
Serjeant Bill Weir and corporal Colin were gifted plenty of excuses to take fines following the recent antics of certain politicians. Everyone had their pocket lightened.
Bill Weir finished by repeating a great quote from Roy Carter, “when I was a kid I used to shoot sparrows” then fined our President.
The increasing absent wine was won by Terry Stag (again)!
3 min Speaker
John told us about one of his spare time activities, an involvement in the Special Olympics.  These Olympics were founded in the 1960s by Eunice Kennedy Shriver who had a sister with intellectual disability, and it was a way of getting Rosemary involved. Internationally there are 5 million athletes in 172 countries. NZ has 7000 athletes supported by some 3,500 volunteers. Locally South Canterbury is one of 44 New Zealand clubs.  It offers intellectually disabled athletes the chance to develop physical fitness, participate in a fun activity and make friends.
Locally football is the main activity. There are local, regional, national and international competitions. In the past South Canterbury has had a medal winning athlete (2 silver medals)
Guest Speakers
Paul Hewitson took the chair on behalf of Reece Hart (and the charitable trust). From our fund-raising sources Circus Quirkus, Bookarama and donations we have been able to donate $12,500 to three local organisations – all worthy recipients.
Carolyne Cooper (CEO of Presbyterian Support SC) spoke of the work of Family Works (South Canterbury) and specifically the food banks.  She noted Presbyterian support had been in existence 102 years and each unit was stand alone. The bulk of their work in is aged care but they also operate food banks. That used to be a relatively small activity but during and post Covid the demand has increased significantly. In April some 361 food parcels were delivered – a very significant increase. They worked alongside organisations such as Arowhenua Marae and the Salvation Army. The response from the community for help in supplying food (all donated) was overwhelming and humbling.
John O’Neill former Mayor of McKenzie district and local chair of the Society of St Vincent de Paul spoke of their activities. The society was started in 1835 (by 6 men). They considered it their Christian duty to help and sustain the poor.  The local food bank is in the shop and they sell or give away what they have. Costs are kept low with a part time Manager and cleaner. They deliver approximately 100 parcels/month.  They also seek donations for and help with dentistry which is often forgotten and has such an impact on peoples lives.
Captain Andrew Bright of the Salvation Army and not long in Timaru spoke of similar topics as our other two guests, remarking they had not been long in Timaru when the lockdown occurred.
Great volunteers basically made sure the food bank operated and they had many stories of the generosity of businesses and ordinary folk who donated to and stocked the food bank.
Mark Oldfield offered thanks to our guests remarking there was a recurring theme of community.
President Rod thanked our speakers and we took the opportunity for photos.