Beth Pethig

(Awarded May 16 2013, at a special meeting of club members friends and associates of Beth at the Khandallah Town Hall)

Beth, a longtime Khandallah resident is a widow, mother of five and grandmother of 10, and is heavily involved in a large number of Wellington community groups which help other people.  She is involved with them in many different ways, including involving cooking, catering and providing a venue for dinners at her home.  The groups include:

Church-Khandallah Presbyterian, Save the Children, Citizens Advice Bureau, Victoria House -University hostel, Amity English as a Second Language, Probus, Inner Wheel, Serendipity Garden Club, Neighbourhood Book group, Cancer Society – Daffodil day,  Angel-Immigrant Refugee Services, Dental Nurses Group and Plunket.

Beth is also a constant source of support and inspiration for family and friends, as well as this awesome list of organisations.

16 May 2013 saw 90 family, friends and Rotarians and partners gather at the Khandallah Town Hall.  The award is traditionally a closely-guarded secret until the announcement, and so it was to be.  Beth’s family and close friends gathered in an upstairs area until seating themselves quietly at the back of the group when the programme got underway.  If Beth had turned her head she would have seen over 50 of her family and friends seated quietly behind her, but the announcement came as a great surprise, as did the sudden realisation that everyone was there.

Speakers from four of the organisations that Beth serves talked briefly about her work, and then her son Mike spoke on behalf of the family.

Rotary District Governor, Graeme Blick presented the award and read the citation.

The Rotary Club gained considerate satisfaction at not only being able to acknowledge a huge community contribution, but also being able to meet and mix with it’s community.

 Lynn Brown

(awarded at club meeting April 21 2014)

Lyn Brown, you have been selected to receive this recognition because the Rotary clubs of Hutt City, Pencarrow, Johnsonville and Wellington North, in the name of Rotary District 9940, believe that your life exemplifies the humanitarian and educational objectives of the Rotary Foundation.

We thank you for demonstrating in your life and vocation a commitment to helping people in need in the land of Timor Leste, and in particular the perioperative practices at the National hospital in Dili. You are an inspiration to us and we are delighted to make this award today.

The certificate states that you have been named a Paul Harris Fellow, “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations between peoples of the world.”

Rotary Honours Wellington Nurse for Volunteer Services to Timor Leste

For the past three years perioperative nurse, Lyn Brown, although not a Rotarian herself, has planned and implemented a major Rotary project to raise the standards of perioperative nursing care in the National Hospital of Dili, the capital of Timor Leste. Her work, coupled with the Rotary funding and administrative support, is already making an impact on what can be achieved in healthcare in that country as it emerges from its troubled past. In recognition of her volunteer services, at a recent ceremony at the Rotary Club of Wellington North, Lyn was named a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

Lyn Brown is a registered nurse with over 20 years operating theatre experience at Wellington Hospital. In 2000 she took up the position of Quality Facilitator for the Child Health Service at Capital and Coast DHB. Two years later she was invited to become the nurse member of the New Zealand team, which formed part of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, volunteer services at the National Hospital in Dili, Timor Leste.

Lyn says, “my love of the country and its people was immediate.” She resigned her DHB position to start her own consultancy as a quality healthcare practitioner, which would enable her to be readily available for work in Timor Leste. For the next 11 years she visited once or twice a year with the paediatric surgical team.

Soon after she started her visits Lyn was offered a contract by the College of Surgeons to provide an education programme in Perioperative Specialty Practice. Later, she was able to provide the course for nurses from outlying hospitals.

Following its struggle for independence from Indonesia, Timor Leste emerged as one of the world’s poorest nations. Resources were sparse and, despite the good work of the visiting surgeons, patient recoveries were hindered, sometimes fatally, by the general nursing standards, the shortage of suitable equipment and the limited understanding of the vital importance of sterility in and around operating theatres.

Lyn knew what had to be done and, despite doing what she could with her limited resources, she lacked the financial wherewithal to make the difference, which would raise the nursing standards to a new level.

Wellington North Rotary Club is leading the way with New Zealand’s, first Rotary Global Grant says Morris Robertson. The Club, along with Pencarrow, Hutt City and Johnsonville Rotary Clubs, in partnership with an Australian Rotary District, have sourced $85,000 to help support the Timor Leste Perioperative Nursing Project.

Meanwhile The Rotary Foundation, the charitable arm of Rotary International, was introducing a new system of global grants with a limited focus, which included healthcare in developing countries. The then incoming District Governor tasked Morris Robertson, a Past District Governor of Rotary, to investigate the potential for a global grant project in East Timor. Knowing the work that Lyn was doing Morris approached her with a view to identifying a project. Lyn’s response was immediate and positive.

Lyn was able to identify specific needs, especially in the areas of sterility, essential to ensure that infection does not arise following operations. A project was designed around these needs and Wellington North Rotary agreed to be the lead club.

 Jan Jones   

(Awarded at Club Changeover dinner July 7 2017)


Jan Jones has provided Early Childhood educational resources to the Cook Islands, seven other Pacific Island Nations, and to Haiti. These resources included reading books, paints, brushes, crayons, pencils, scissors, paper, glue, puzzles. They were sourced from bookshops and book fairs (sometimes at nominal cost), New Zealand schools; Jan purchased many resources herself. Transport, at no cost, was negotiated with shipping companies, Air NZ, partnerships with several Rotary Clubs, NZ Police, church groups, NZ Defence Force, and the Department of Corrections.

Jan worked in the Cook Islands for three years, 1981 to 1983, and became more aware of the very limited educational resources the early childhood centres had available. Since then Jan has been responsible for gathering, assembling ane consignment of resources entailed many hours of work in preparing the materials.

Jan has been selfless in her commitment to this project. She has demonstrated to a very high degree the Rotary ideal of Service Before Self. The Rotary Club of Wellington North is privileged to mark her service to the community with the Paul Harris Fellow award.

John Mohi

James Andrew Simm

(Awarded at Rotary Meeting May 12 2016)

“In special appreciation for his contribution to the greater Wellington community, in particular the development of the Te Araroa walkway.”Andrew grew up in Khandallah with Khandallah Park and Mt Kaukau as his domain.

He developed a lifelong love of the outdoors which he has turned to both professional and voluntary use. His passion for the outdoors and the environment has seen him operate professionally in locations as remote as the Antarctic and in his recreation time in such exotic
spots as the popular pilgrimage trail of Camino Santiago de Compestella in Spain and the Pacific Coast Trail in the Western USA.
All through however he has retained his love for the Khandallah greenery, and in recent years he has climbed Kaukau virtually every day, clearing out drains as he goes.
Key episodes in Andrew’s distinguished life of service have been:
1978-1983 Queen Elizabeth 2 National Trust
Andrew spent 6 years establishing their Field Based operation for Queen Elizabeth 2 National Trust, and in so doing saw the number of projects rise from zero to the current 4000 New Zealand wide, which amounts to 182,000 Ha, bigger than Molesworth Station.
2008-2016 Te Araroa Wellington Trust. Andrew joined the Trust and became its Secretary, a position he has held up to the present
time. During this eight year period Andrew has been involved in all the projects in the Wellington Region. since 2011, he has been the Engineer’s Representative on the $1.4M Escarpment Walking Track Project which is a 10km track from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay. He
was closely involved in the City to Sea and Southern Walkway walking routes for Te Araroa, and also oversaw the Wellington CBD footpath Te Araroa plaque installation. He also introduced the current computer and record keeping systems for the Trust.

Wellington North Rotary has been proud to be associated with Andrew through its own support for the Te Araroa walkway, in particular the tree grove adjoining the Bolton Street cemetery. Andrew’s lifelong commitment to enhancing outdoor recreation facilities and creating new recreational opportunities for the wider community make him an eminently
deserving recipient of a Paul Harris Community Fellow award.

Andrew Simm