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Books and other writing by Paul Harris

THE DISTRICT 9920 HISTORY

Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History

 

Rotary in New Zealand commenced following a visit made to Australiasia by Jim Davidson of the Rotary Club of Calgary at the request of Paul Harris with the intent of introducing Rotary to the region.  The first New Zealand clubs were in 1921 starting with the chartering of the Rotary Club of Wellington followed a week later by the  Rotary Club of Auckland. The first conference in Australasia took place in Sydney in 1924.

Following a visit to the Pacific by Henry Guthries of the Rotary Club of Dunedin in 1936, the Rotary Club of Suva was chartered as the first in the Pacific Islands into what was then the 53rd RI district (this brought the total number of RI clubs at the time to 3,943).

Harold T Thomas of the Rotary Club of Auckland became New Zealand's first Rotary International President in the 1959 - 1960 Rotary year with the RI Theme of 'Vitalize!  Personalize!  Build Bridges of Friendship'

By 1982, District 992 had grown to a total of 67 clubs stretching from both Western & American Samoa in the north through the South Western Pacific to include Tonga, Rarotonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island to an area of the North Island from Kaitaia to a line drawn from Tuakau to the Firth of Thames.

It was time to create a new District so District 9910 was created in 1983 to include northern NZ from a line drawn from Onehunga to Devonport plus Vanuatu & Norfolk Island & District 9920 from the line south of that to the Bombay Hills plus the Pacific nations of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa & Tonga.

In the first year, both Districts 9910 & 9920 established combined District Committees for International Service, International Youth Exchange & NZ-Australia Matched Twin Exchange. Today, both Districts combine for Model United Nations Assembly, Challenge & Australia-New Zealand Student Exchange programs.

In 2005, French Polynesia was added to District 9920 following many year being "undistricted".

William (Bill) B Boyd of the Rotary Club of Pakuranga Inc became New Zealand's second Rotary International President in the 2006 - 2007 Rotary year with the RI Theme 'Lead the Way'.

As at September 2007, District 9920 has 48 clubs of over 1,800 Rotarian men & women spread across seven countries making it the largest maritime district with French Polynesia alone covering a geographical are a larger than Europe.

The newest country represented by 9920 is Kiribati

See also Rotary Club of Apia

History amended 15 September 2008 by Jack M. B. Selway

 

 

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