Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

Philippines relief fund presentation

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Acting President Douglas Webb welcomed H.E. Virginia H. Benavidez, the Ambassador for the Republic of the Philippines (and an Honorary Member of Rotary in the Philippines) and invited her to speak. Her Excellency spoke of the fury of the storm unleashed in the Philippines on 8 November – “a disaster of unparalleled, unprecedented, unimaginable destruction of life” with thousands affected …” She thanked New Zealand for the messages of sympathy – one of the first countries to respond – with Prime Minister John Key sending his thoughts, also the first offering support. Returning to Wellington the past week, H.E. said it “was very emotional – seeing members of the public, the churches, young people, all going out of their way to help.” She expressed her thanks to the Club for demonstrating our concern: our generous help and that of the international community will, they believe, help the survivors – little communities in the outlying islands, fighting so hard, so well, to survive. Douglas Webb then called on Michael Fagg to formally present Karori Rotary’s cheque for $4000 – raised from the Memorial Park underpass walk that he had organised – to the Ambassador for presentation to Jeremy Spanjaard, representing the Rotary New Zealand World Community Service, for its urgent work in the Philippines. Michael Fagg reported there had only been 10 days’ notice for the opportunity to use the walk-through as a fund-raiser, but the scale of the Philippines disaster drew great support. With so many affected, cholera is a real threat … Jeremy Spanjaard, accepting the cheque, described the walk as a “fantastic effort” by Karori Rotary – attracting the support of the local Rotary clubs and the wider community.

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