Community activities and leadership


+ Red Cross Waikato Area Council Chair 2016-17

Co-opted to the Committee

An adjunct to the voluntary driving we do on behalf of Red Cross, taking patients in our own cars to Waikato and Rotorua Hospitalsand other appointment venues, along with occasional Meals-on-Wheels

+ Tokoroa Lions Club, St Johns and South Waikato Grey Power 2013-17

Helping in the Local Community

Committee work for Grey Power and publishing their newssheet. Joining in with the very active Lions Club and contributing as webmaster. Driving the health shuttle on the St John's roster

+ Publicity/publications officer and Webmaster of Brunei Music Society 2006 - 2016

Bringing overseas classical and jazz musicians to Brunei

Service on the committee involves concert organisation, financing, ticketing etc. My main contribution is creating writeups for the news media, maintaining the website, producing the programmes and adapting photos for the posters, all of which I continue to do online.

+ Founder Committee Member of New Zealand Association (Brunei)

Creating a stronger sense of community and liaising with NZ foreign service as no representative was stationed in Borneo

The association was formed to provide a link for ex-patriots with the foreign service, to try to get better facilities for those living in Brunei, and to establish contact lists for emergencies and socialising.

+ Treasurer and Publications officer of Serunai Singers 2005-2011

Bandar Seri Begawan choir

Ex-patriots make their own amusement in Brunei, so our twice-a-year choral concerts were popular. The choir is made up of all nationalities - the guest workers and locals alike. While my wife and I helped with all aspects of concert organisation and held the treasurer's position for some time between us, my main contribution was the design of posters and programmes.

+ Librarian and Webmaster of Brunei Nature Society 2002-2016

Helping to share knowledge of the rainforest.

The nature society is linked to the University, where talks are held each month - walks or outings are also arranged regularly. I joined the committee because, like many voluntary societies, there is a reluctance amongst members to take on the responsibillty of ensuring smooth running, appealing outings and strong attendances - and the website was a way of informing newcomers of the enjoyable activities available.

+ National President of the Independent School Teachers’ Association NZ  1996 - 98

Promoter, counsellor, even lawyer!

While working at Woodford House, when it was still a private school, I was invited onto the committee and encouraged to stand for President, a position elected by the entire membership. This role did not only involve enthusing members and ensuring discussion of important issues, but counselling distressed teachers and investigating contractual discrepancies when boards of governors overstepped the law.

+ President of Marriage Guidance Hawkes Bay 1992 – 94

No counselling, but guiding the organisation through a transition

Having volunteered to serve on the committee of an autonomous regional voluntary organisation, I found that the national office was planning changes because of new proposals for the government's funding support. This created much debate amongst the stakeholders, particularly the counsellors themselves, as we found a path towards change through national conferences and regional meetings. The organisation became "Relationship Services" and then "Relate".

+ Chair of Vestry at St Luke's Church, Havelock North 1994 - 98

Soothing troubled waters

Having joined Vestry to help out in the church, I found the meetings very fiery and contentious. The vicar asked me to chair the meetings under the impression that I would maintain a calmer atmosphere. A very substantial building programme was put into action involving new church facilities funded by a small village of older people's houses on church land.

+ NZ Mensa: national selection agent; national committee; co-editor monthly magazine

Testing and assessment for membership

The selection agent is reponsible for liaising with Mensa International to organise all testing in NZ and confirm all assessments. Mensa membership has only one criterion - a measured IQ at the 98th percentile of the population. People of all ages, walks of life, levels of academic and financial success or failure belong and enjoy the fellowship and communication. As sole agent I had to ensure NZ norms were properly calibrated, select the tests that would be deemed acceptable (and affordable) and confirm membership of those who qualified. Some years prior to this my wife and I joined Mensa after testing with a registered psychologist and both receiving the identical score - 142 (Cattell). Once we joined the national committee, Jan became the editor of the magazine, which I then assisted to typeset and lay out in the publishing software.

+ Lions Club Youth Organiser

Arranging scholarship support, youth activities and a class exchange with Noumea

Starting in Ruatoria I joined the Lions Club to contribute something back to the local community. I became a committee member once in Havelock North, and most enjoyed the role of youth organiser, which culminated in a trip for my French class to Noumea, as an exchange with Lions host families.