Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally focus on sharing good wishes for health and prosperity in the year ahead. This year a sold-out event was organised by the Rotary Club of Wellington in favour of better health for Pacific children.
Thanks to many generous guests and prize donors, more than $11,500 was raised for Rotary Give Every Child a Future during a superb ten-course Chinese banquet at Dragons Restaurant in Wellington on 21 February, held to mark the beginning of the Year of the Ox.
The event was attended by dignitaries including the Australian High Commissioner (an active supporter of Rotary’s Trans-Tasman Centenary), Rotarians from Wellington and further afield, and many friends and family members. Fundraising came from ticket sales, raffles and an auction. A particularly sought-after item was afternoon tea with the Club’s honorary member, Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance.
Well-known epidemiologist, Professor Michael Baker of Otago University in Wellington, was the guest speaker. His speech reinforced the importance of immunisation as a regular, ongoing public health service. He strongly endorsed RGECAF’s focus on ridding Pacific countries of deadly but preventable childhood diseases along with protecting girls against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV). Professor Baker outlined the evolution of the COVID-19 virus from early 2020, the variable responses internationally and the effectiveness of New Zealand’s choice to try to eliminate rather than manage the virus’ spread.