Friday, February 22, 2008

A Chance to meet at The Crack of Dawn!


Having joined Rotary in Chelan, when traveling it is a good opportunity to make up meetings, and to meet a lot of men and woman who have similar service interests. Because of a location near our apartment, I selected the Downtown Auckland Rotary which meets at 7:15 a.m. at (ironically) The Auckland Club. This is a very British and posh private club with lots of dark wood and paintings of landscapes and old men. Being the first one there I had a chance to meet a lot of arriving Rotarians.

I sat at the President’s table and chatted with him, the program presenter, the Swedish exchange student, and a private detective Rotarian. There are about 80 members with about 45 attending on this morning. The hot breakfast was 21 NZ$ which is about $17 U.S. The program was a retired engineer from Napier who was on a crusade to reform the justice system and to implement ways to stop the escalating violence in New Zealand. He was a real tough justice guy, which I certainly agreed with. For more information check out The club has three very huge projects in the works, including an Arts Week which raises about a NZ$ 100,000, an end of summer wine tasting evening, and an annual golf tournament. Sounds like home.

For our tourism event of the day, we visited Devonport, located across Auckland harbor. This is a delightful Victorian village reached by a quick 12 minute ferry. We walked the village and enjoyed the ambience. Off the south end of the Devonport peninsula is the location of the America’s Cup course. The views of downtown Auckland from the ferry are spectacular. Most of the ferries, at least from observing the North Island are operated by the Fullers Ferry Company which is running a very huge and efficient operation. They have ferries going everywhere about the islands and appear to be a very successful company. The ticket price was NZ$9 roundtrip to Devonport, which is $7.18 U.S. By the way, if you want to know the exchange value of any currency in the world go to

Quirky Living Note: When walking around Devonport I came across a fascinating business which could become a staple of many governments, if they had an imagination. The business was called “The Department of Doing.” Take a look at their website to learn how out of the box they are:

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