Member since September 1990
The man behind the audio equipment on Monday’s meetings, John Gibbons, came to be a Rotary member when Robert Fisher among a few others suggested it.When John asked “why?” the men gave him some “reasonable reasons” and convinced him to join. That was about 21 years ago although John struggles to remember the exact date.
What persuaded John to join Rotary was that it was a club full of good business contacts with lots of opportunities for networking “it made sense at the time,” says John.
John’s first career was selling big computers for IBM, through this he had lots of contacts and was connected to a large network of business people, but when his career changed to selling bicycles for the family business John found he had lost all of his Wellington contacts. So that was a major motivator for him and clearly the timing was right to join the club.
Since joining John has made lots of business connections, “it’s really useful to have those contacts if you need them and of course the clubs been useful to making lots of friends, everywhere you go you see a Rotary member! You’re connected with a whole new group of people – it’s great”
When asked how Rotary has enhanced or influenced his life John replied “it’s widened my network of very interesting people – that’s been great.”
He also spoke about the Rotary excursions he’s been on – twice to Fiji and once to Manila and Germany. “The trips are an excellent way to meet and get to know people a lot better and they’re a great experience,” says John.
John hasn’t been to a Rotary convention yet as he’s been a bit busy, but he might later.
Some of John’s favourite aspects of the club are the great variety of interesting speakers; he can’t pinpoint anyone particular that’s stood out in his mind because there have been so many good, motivational and inspiring ones. “I enjoy hearing people sharing their experiences,” says John “and telling us what’s happening in the world, community or businesses.”
The number of friends and connections John has made through Rotary is another element of the club that John appreciates and of course the ideals of what Rotary stands for are particularly important to John “I think you have to be a part of a service group or club, so why not do it through Rotary?”
John’s contributions in Fiji and the Solomon Islands are something he’s very proud of “it’s really worthwhile and it’s great to be able to see the benefits,” says John.
If John had to pitch Rotary to a potential member he would tell them about the great Monday lunch meeting! “Good food, good speakers, good interesting people. That’s what I would promote,” says John.
So, why Rotary? “They snapped me up first, and it was really appealing at the time I joined because Rotary didn’t do what the Lions club do, so I wasn’t obligated to spend my weekends doing things,” says John.
John has three children and would be happy if they were to follow in his Rotary footsteps and join the club.
For the future of Rotary John hopes that the club keeps growing and doing good work, “I’m positive it will continue.”
Written by Vanessa Higham - Communications Intern 2011