Next Meeting Monday 27th September 2021. Guest speaker? will be who will give a short address, given the meeting will be focussing on Club Committees and their projects
Guests were welcomed to the meeting by President Lynn, including our Guest Melanie Harper who will talk later on her business Driving Miss Daisy.
GRACE– was given by Peter Graham: “For the food we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful.”
TWO MINUTE TALK was given by Eddie Blowes who spoke of changes you can’t stop in life – as in his case his HiFi journey. In the 1960’s he bought a Dansette Radiogram featuring a Garrard SP25 turntable to support classical music. He came to New Zealand in 1967, then in the late 70’s he worked at NCR where he met a very clever engineer. Eddie bought a new turntable, and his new friend built an amp and speakers from scratch which impressed Eddie, making him very content with his sound system. Thus started a long journey of learning, listening, and always planning the next improvement considering 30w x 30w RMS, speaker cables, spikes, and wiring – which had nothing to do with sexual orientation!
Eddie can’t recall when he moved to Melbourne in the late 1990s, but was a bit better off and became fussier and more ambitious Some years later he came back to New Zealand with all his toys and eventually converted his entire CD collection to a RAID hard drive and added an audiophile steamer to the system. Over time lots of music was less listened to given the variety of viewing and listening habits have changed including his furniture, cable lengths, and the need for a soundbar for the TV. A new heat pump has required floor space, so Eddie needed to shift the big wonderful speakers, and most soundbars aren’t good enough for music. Eddies head now hurts – watching music and listening to music has really changed – he no longer sits in a quiet room as a solo activity – music is now often just the background to a social gathering. So the next toy will be a soundbar with a focus on music not on movies – two very different beats.
SERGEANT: Jessica Dufty – $68.80
GUEST SPEAKER – Melanie Harper was introduced by Ian Halford, advising that Melanie and her husband had established the business of Driving Miss Daisy in Havelock North.
Melanie advised that she and her husband Jack are the owners/directors of Driving Miss Daisy NZ Ltd which began in 2008 with one car. Now there are 255 vehicles throughout the country and it is her plan to have a “Daisy” in every town in New Zealand. It is now an international franchise, beginning in the UK in 2014 and was to be in Australia this year but given the Covid pandemic, the legal papers were never signed. It is also hoped to get the business going in Europe. A team of 5 run the New Zealand and International business. The concept of franchises has spread the system well and it is intended to duplicate the business further around New Zealand and other countries. Each individual business is owned by Melanie and her team, with the cars all stamped with the same logo and colouring.
Melanie’s inspiration came from her own Aunt Trish who Melanie supported for 8 years, driving her Aunt around following a broken leg and necessary hospital care for a long time. Aunt Trish was concerned about her indebtedness to Melanie, but Melanie was happy, given all the care Trish had received during her childhood. Trish’s son decided to employ a neighbour to assist his mother in all her trips: hair appointments, shopping, etc but Trish became disempowered and concerned but was happy to pay her appointed driver. Such was the vision of Melanie’s dream – to bring the initiative to set up a business while providing a service while providing support and friendship, rather than a loss of independence. Driving Miss Daisy started, following the meeting with a Napier artist who designed the logo and brand for the vehicle. Jack saw the possibilities of other franchises around the country and did the research to enable that to happen, noting that such a service hadn’t yet occurred around the country. He also did the legal collateral and branding requirements, In the beginning Melanie had clients and one car, providing a return trip to the hairdresser and other necessary trips. As they established the business further, there was the need to identify what companionship needs her clients required and what support was needed.
The service is now also offering services to rest homes. Her clients became some of her best friends and it was a delight to see how clients gained confidence and happiness. Franchises were sold to Hastings, Napier Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch. As she sold franchises, her administration role became more and more demanding, so she feels as though she has lost lots of friends – adored people. It is now through the country – called the Companion Driving Service. The principles of the organisation are to provide:
- A safe friendly reliable service
- A family, when family can’t be there
- Assurance that clients enjoy life to the full.
- Assurance that clients have a sense of community – more than transportation
- Warm greetings at the door
- Support and assistance with mobility equipment etc.
- Return for clients, safely home again, having enjoyed the journey.
- Peace of mind.
- A service based on kms travelled.
- Pricing depending on individual client’s needs, noting a quote at the time of prebooking will be required.
The businesses are:
- Vetted by the police
- Licensed by NZTA
- Qualified by NZQA to meet working standards for working for the disabled.
The range of vehicles used must ensure:
- Easy access and egress.
- Comfort and safety
- Wheel Chair accessibility
- Availability of VW Caddy
Feedback from clients has been very positive regarding companionship and support. New Zealand now had 82 franchises, 260 cars and 351 drivers. Most franchises have between 3 – 12 cars, with the impact on the community being a positive change to people’s lives.
Rotarian Trish thanked Melanie for her lovely talk, knowing Melanie and her husband were always very entrepreneurial. She also acknowledged the importance of companionship and keeping the elderly away from loneliness.
Charlie Fergus spoke of Rotary’s involvement at the Blossom Festival is now postponed. He will be contacting members to volunteer and advise them of their time of involvement. 20 people are required for this which will earn the Club $1000 in fundraising.
Charlie also spoke of the Kierianga Garden project, inviting volunteers to support the landscaping and planting to be done shortly, and he will be in touch with us when that occurs.
Christmas in the Park – 4th Dec – Requirements as per last year. It will be at Anderson Park this year. David Trim will be contacting the Club shortly.
Louise from Wardinni’s has completed a review on the book by Abbas Nazari: ‘After the Tamps’
MEMBERSHIP AND WELFARE
- Former Rotarian Wallace Bain and Margaret are moving to Auckland to be closer to family.
PARTING THOUGHT: Thank heavens we are still at Level 2 – from our President.
DUTIES: Please note these arrangements: If you are rostered on for duty but find you are unavailable it is your responsibility to arrange a replacement for yourself. Once this is done, email Stephen Randal at firstname.lastname@example.org and advise him of the change.
|27th September||4th October||11th October|
|Event/Speaker||Club’s Committee Meeting||Belinda Van der Monde|
|Badges, Grace & Parting Thought||Joplin||Lavelle||Graham|
|Vote of Thanks||Konig||Norrie||Riley|
Editors comment: Well, I’m beginning to feel more confident now! Next year, if I lose my license and I’m not ready to go into a rest home, I shall become an avid Driving Miss Daisy Client!
The opinions expressed in this Bulletin are not necessarily those of the President or Directors or of members of the Rotary Club of Havelock North Inc.