Service before self is the motto of the Rotary Club of Richmond, but fun and friendship are also the focus of incoming president Diana Wilkens.

When Diana retired six years ago, she returned to New Zealand after 40 years running a business in Sydney. Buying an old villa in Wakefield kept her busy the first year and she says she was a labourer and landscaping apprentice.

But once she had finished that she found herself “twiddling her thumbs” and it was then that she was introduced to Rotary.

“I didn’t have friends when I arrived in Nelson and Rotary has given me good friends,” she says. “I’d love to see ex-pats with time on their hands join us.”

In 2018 and 2019 she helped manage the Nelson Wine and Food Festival and hopes that they will be able to run the event again in 2023.  Her personal involvement with Helping Families, a local charity supporting families with essentials needed to raise children, led to her Rotary involvement. Along with refurbishing and painting containers, Rotary is filling the Helping Families volunteer roster each Tuesday. They are also due to build a deck for the charity.

Rotary Richmond will continue with Days for Girls, a project supplying menstrual products both locally and internationally.  They are also joining the cancer society to run sausage sizzles at Bunnings.

Both Diana and Debra want the community to know that Rotary is not just for men, and while they are busy with service projects they also meet once and week and have frequent social outings.

For more information, please phone 0274 413 300.

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