Rotary role handed on

Rotary's new district governor Jonathan Usher (left) accepts the chain of office from Gary Williams. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Rotary's new district governor Jonathan Usher (left) accepts the chain of office from Gary Williams. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Rotary Club's lower South Island district governor position has passed from one Taieri local to another.

In a small ceremony on June 26, Gary Williams handed over the district chains to newly appointed district governor for the lower South Island Jonathan Usher.

Former district governor Mr Williams, of the Dunedin South club, said it took three years of organisation and leadership training to prepare for the position, which was handed over to a new candidate annually.

''Jonathan started his journey two to three years ago.

''If you're on the district governor train, then you know your successors,'' he said.

He said he had achieved a great sense of satisfaction during his time as district governor.

A particular achievement from the past year was raising money for the Rotary Children's Ward at Dunedin Hospital through the Carisbrook Project, in which Rotary clubs sold off mementos of the former sports ground: turf, goal posts and seats.

''It was a collaboration between the Dunedin area clubs.

''We raised quarter of a million dollars to put into the children's ward.''

Mr Usher, who has been with Dunedin Rotary Club since 1997, said he was happy to be taking over the role, acting on behalf of 30 rotary clubs from the Rangitata River southwards. He had been to his first project as district governor on June 29.

''Some young prospective Rotarians ran a rubber duck race in Queenstown, raising $16,000 for resources to continue cleaning up the beach area,'' he said.

Having the opportunity to meet members of all the clubs was something he was particularly looking forward to.

''We don't just do projects here [in Dunedin].

''We're also trying to encourage new people to get involved,'' he said.

It was good the district governor was changed annually, as it meant new people could come in and bring different ideas and experience to the table, he said.

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