This Week In Rotary

Posted By Bob Girvan

Changeover, June 28th 2023 was another great night for members of our club. The annual changing of the guard is always an enjoyable event and this year was no exception. With special guests David and Pauline Mead from Ashburton Rotary and Alison Scammell representing Inner Wheel we were entertained by singer Isabel Wang. 

Isabel Wang performing for members

Paul Harris Fellows

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of two well deserved Paul Harris Fellowships to Steve Allen and Alan Lill.

Our club designates a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objective of the Rotary Foundation – SERVICE ABOVE SELF – and who have given great support and service to The Rotary club of Ashburton Plains.

The first member honoured…

Stephen Allen, Paul Harris Fellow

Steve joined Plains Rotary in 2001 and soon became active in participating in club activities. In the 2004/05 Rotary year he was the Editor of our newsletter ‘Spectrum’. Since then he has gone on to be a Director on six different occasions including Vocational, International, New Generations and Community Service.

President Carolyn with Sue and Steve Allen.

Steve has been club Secretary on two occasions. He was President elect in Rotary year 2019/20 and was club President in 2020/21

A brief summary of Steve’s leadership roles are…

2003-2004, Spectrum Editor

2004-2005, Spectrum Editor

2005-2006, Director Vocational committee

2006-2007, Director Community Service committee

2007-2008, Secretary

2008-2009, Secretary

2009-2010, Director International

2011-2012, Director International

2012-2013, Director New Generations

2019-2020, President Elect/Administration Director

2020-2021, President

2021-2022, Past President/Directors minute secretary

2022-2023, Secretary

In the lead up to Steve’s year as President he was the catalyst to instigating a change to the club structure by rationalising committee structures and reducing our club meeting frequency from weekly to a 3 meetings per month cycle. Steve also had to contend with dealing with Covid 19 lockdowns and disruptions in his lead up preparations to be President, to overcome this he instigated regular online Zoom meetings as a way of keeping members being in contact with one another at the same time retaining good fellowship in difficult times. 

Rotarians cannot work in isolation and we take this chance to acknowledge the support and encouragement Steve has had from Sue

Congratulations Steve and well done.

The second member honoured…

Allan Lill, Paul Harris Fellow

On joining in 2010 Allan soon became active in participating in club activities. Initially he was part of the Community Service committee as well as being the raffle coordinator.

Heather and Alan Lill with President Carolyn

The following year he was on the Projects committee, the next year he was the Sergeant.

Allan became a Director for the first time in 2014/15 Rotary year when he was the Community Service Director.


A brief resume of his service to our club is…

2013-2014, Programme Coordinator.

2014-2015, Community Service Director.

2015-2016, Membership Director. 

2017-2018, International Director

2018-2019, International Director

2019-2020, International Director as well as the potato project coordinator

2021-2022 Projects Director.

2022-2023 Projects Director.


During this time Allan has introduced some new ways of how we manage our main projects selling Potatoes and Pea/Linseed straw. This has taken out much of the physical work.

Potatoes: We now purchase the potatoes, which has almost removed the risk factor of being exposed to bad weather, this means we now only pack and sell the potatoes. This has made the job much more pleasant and easier for “older hands” to cope with while retaining good fellowship.

Pea/Linseed Straw: The straw is now only handled when club members make deliveries throughout the year.

This year the Projects committee introduced the car boot sale to the list of club projects and Allan coordinated the introduction of it after the committee put the project concept and format together as a group.

Allan is a person who is always thinking of new ideas and ways of doing things and the ‘Club has greatly benefited from his approach.

We acknowledge the help and support Allan has had from Heather to allow him to commit as much time as he does to Rotary

Congratulations Allan and well done.

Following the presentations Carolyn performed her final duty as President with the handing over of the presidential chain.

Outgoing President Carolyn Cameron with incoming President Pip Wade

Thank you Carolyn for your leadership and Pip all the best for the year ahead.

The meeting concluded with addresses from Ashburton President David Mead and Inner Wheel’s Reprsentitive Alison Scammell.

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