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Club News

Farewell to a Great Rotarian

2010

There is not one project delivered by the Rotary Club of Lae to any organization or community in Lae or the Morobe Province that does not bear the fingerprints of Ross Humphries.

There is also no wheel chair nor any pair of clutches delivered to the needy that does not have the footprints of Ross Humphries.

He has been at the forefront of all decisions to donate, build and deliver services to those who needed help most throughout Lae and the Morobe Province or beyond the borders of Morobe.

When time came to deliver donations in kind donated by Rotary Clubs from Australia or overseas he was always at the forefront unpacking, assembling and delivering.

If it is to the Angau Memorial Hospital he would do it all by himself. That in a nutshell is the story of Ross Humphries – a man so committed to the cause of helping the underprivileged grassroots communities that one could say his life was cut out to be just that and nothing else. An icon he is and a shinning star of the Rotary movement across the entire world – not just in Papua New Guinea.

He is an Australian by birth who grew up in New Zealand, married a New Zealand girl he met while both were in their teens and spent more than half adult life in Lae. In the city riddled with potholes, the Rotary Club of Lae bid farewell to a fellow Rotarian Ross Humphries- to say thank you to him for the distinguished services he had rendered to the club over his more than 30 plus years with the club and for everything he did to promote the cause of rotary.

He has in fact been a Rotarian for 40 years both here and in New Zealand. The story of Ross Humphries is a long story. It is an interesting story about a unique man, a gentleman and a true giver of humanity. Christmas is at hand and some people might call him Santa Claus but Santa comes once every year whereas Ross Humphries visited the needy everyday over the past 30 plus years while working and living in Lae.

He was born in Delegate in New South Wales in Australia , a very small town in bushland on the NSW-Victoria border. His father was a gold miner. The family- mother, twin brothers and a sister- lived in a tin hut made from opened -up tar drums and a dirt floor.

Just like “Old Salt Bush Bill”.

When the war broke out in 1939, his father joined the Australian Army and moved his family from Delegate to Sydney. In 1946, straight after the end of the war, his father couldn’t find work in Sydney so moved to Wellington, New Zealand as the New Zealand Government had started a building boom to employ the returning soldiers.

The family travelled it New Zealand on board a Hudder Parker Line ship named the Wanganella. During the war, the Wanganella was a converted hospital ship and now converted back to a passenger ship. This was the very first trip after being converted back.

On the eve of arriving into Wellington Harbour, the 19th January 1947, the Wanganella hit Barrett’s Reef and very nearly sunk. Ross’s father was already in  New Zealand as he had gone there some months earlier to build a house and find employment. When he arrived on the morning of the 20 th Jan to greet his wife and family, he was told of the news that the Wanganella had hit a reef and was sinking.
One can imagine what he went through for the next few hours because of all the rumours that were flying around.

Ross and the family were taken off in the very first rescue vessel. The scenes were very much like what was seen in the movie, The Titanic. All very vivid still in his memory.

Ross started school and played rugby at age seven. Went to high school where he first met his future wife Margaret (she was just 15, he was 16). He represented his school in rugby and in athletics. He was also on the school council and was the school prefect. When he left High School, he took up an apprenticeship in metal trades and finished as the top apprentice in the whole of New Zealand in 1962.
He won a twelve month study and travel Bursary and spent the next year overseas.
He returned and married Margaret in 1964. Three years later they had a son Michael and then a daughter Derryn.

They were the owners and operated a small contracting business in New Zealand but because of the continuous cold weather, they decided to sell up and shift to a warmer climate. That was when the family decided on Papua New Guinea and if they didn’t like it, they would shift down to Australia.

The Humprhies family gave themselves 12 months to decide whether they like living in Papua New Guinea or not- if not then they move down under to Australia. Thirty two years later and they were still here. Before they left NZ, Ross was involved with the St. Phillips Scout Group, Community School Committees and Friends of The Harvey Home (Handicapped Children).

He was a foundation member of the Rotary Club of Stokes Valley, a president and was given an Honorary membership when he left for PNG in 1978. On arrival in PNG, he joined the Rotary Club of Boroko and when they moved to Lae in 1980, joined the Rotary Club Of Lae.

Since being in Lae, he has been on the Management Board of the Lae International High School, Rotary Club of Lae and the PNG Cancer Relief Society. He was invited to be a member of the very first Angau Hospital Board of Management, served as the Deputy Chairman and then as the Chairman for the next ten years.
His involvement with Angau Hospital dates back to when he first arrived in Lae, 30 years ago.

With the help of Rotary, Angau Hospital and the New Zealand High Commission, he was the prime mover in the construction of a much needed duplex to house the staff from the Cancer Treatment Centre. Again with the help of Rotary in Lae, a Rotary Club in Canada, plus many business houses and individuals in Lae, he raised enough funds to build two Children’s Wards at Angau Hospital which were named as the Ross Humphries Wing.

His involvement in the PNG Cancer Relief Society goes back more than twenty years. He has been their president for more than ten years and just recently has handed over the president’s role to Terry Furphy of the IPI Group of Companies.
With his connections in Australia, Ross was able to help purchase a much needed Energy Source for the old Cobalt machine used in the treatment of Cancer. He organised and transported the radio active source from Nadzab to Lae and helped with the installation. The Source was flown up to PNG free of charge by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in Australia.

He wrote to the then Foreign Minister of Australia, Alexander Downer to see if AusAID would fund a feasibility study on Cancer and treatment in PNG. They did this and their findings and recommendations were adopted by the PNG Department of  Health. Their report was called “The Hidden Burden”.

Ross was involved with the White Water Rafting Accident on the Watut River where three Israeli’s were drowned. He helped in the recovery and was personally thanked by the Israeli Ambassador when he came up to PNG.

He has also been thanked by an Under Secretary of Defence for his role in the recovery after an American Team were involved in a Helicopter accident into the sea just north of Lae.

During his years in Rotary in PNG, he has been the Deputy District Governor responsible for Rotary in PNG and the Solomon Islands. He signed the initiation papers to start the building of the Kokoda Hospital, he supplied all the steel for both the Hospital and the War Museum. Ross worked on site during the course of the construction and was there to sign on behalf of Rotary International, the official transfer papers handing over the Rotary built Hospital to the Oro Provincial Government. The then Prime Minister from Australia, Paul Keating was there to do the official handing over.

Throughout his life with Rotary in Lae Ross Humphries has opened many health centres and school libraries in both the Oro and Morobe Provinces. When flood waters washed away a large part of the Butibum Settlement, he built a health centre from a shipping container and delivered it to the new Tent City at Taraka. The community used this health centre for many years afterwards.

In 2001 when the luxury ship the QE2 arrived in Lae, Ross met some Rotarians onboard and took them for a tour around Lae and naturally showed them Angau Hospital. Three months after they had returned to the United Kingdom, he receive a fax from one of the group wanting to know if she could raise some funds for Angau.

Ross agreed and Mrs. Audrey Gough raised around English pounds 25,000. Ross said that he could double that amount through Rotary Special Grants which turned her amount to over Pounds 50,000. When this was converted to PNG Kina it was worth K256,000. A quarter of a million! New equipment was purchased and then donated to the Accident and Emergency Department at Angau Hospital.

Ross and his recently departed wife Margaret have fostered PNG Children, paid for their education and taken them down to Australia for holidays. They have managed to send young heart patients down to Australia for life saving heart operations. He has also taken young Cancer patients to Camp Quality in Australia to attend Camp Quality Australia, attend their week- long camp with other young people that also suffer from that dreaded disease, Cancer.

Ross believes in the Rotary motto “Service Above Self”. As you will see, Ross’s commitment in helping others and humanity at large has covered a period of over 45 years. Although the majority of his community service has been to the Papua New Guinean community (where he has lived for 31 years), he has left an indelible mark on humanity with his compassion and energy in helping others who cannot help themselves.

Although he was involved in aiding major disaster relief (Rabaul Volcano,Aitape Tsunami and Earthquake victims), his on-going commitment to work tirelessly at ground level with providing essential health or educational support to people in areas that need it most is where his heart is at.

Ross has always lent a hand where it needed to be lent and has diligently fundraised and generated awareness for causes which seem to be forgotten by others. He has joined (and been asked to join) numerous boards so he can give more back to the community.

His compassion to serve his fellow man drives him to extend himself beyond the expected. Anyone can say they belong to a club or an organisation but it is the effort, determination and vision to see a better world for the disadvantaged which fuels his passion.

He is associated with Rotary, Cancer Relief and other community organizations in an effort to leverage their positions within the community to highlight causes which are often voiceless on their own. He has been an active member of Rotary (a voluntary organisation) close to 40 years which makes him one of the longest serving Rotarians in Papua New Guinea.

Not that long service should be any criteria for any kind of recognition, but during this period of time he has held the highest position in Rotary in PNG and President on three (3) separate occasions and has been honoured by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow; twice (which is quite rare in Rotary), for services to the community and world understanding. The Paul Harris Fellow is an award which is given in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world. It is without a doubt the pinnacle of Rotary’s awards and is only ever awarded to very special people who make substantial contributions.

His commitment to contributing to his community has led to his involvement with Angau Hospital in Lae, Papua New Guinea 20 years ago and he was part of the very first management board for Angau Hospital, building wards and much needed hospital buildings and equipment. Through Rotary and the hospital he has been involved with the PNG Cancer Relief Society and is one of their longest serving members. He has been the National President of the Society for the past 10 years.

In recognition of his commitment to helping others he has received various acknowledgments from the governments of Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand and personally thanked by the Government of Israel (for his individual help with victims of a tragic white water rafting disaster) and the United States Department of Defense (for on-going assistance to American Service men and women). The late Bill Skate CMG MP, as well, has honoured Ross personally with a Silver Bird of Paradise in recognition of his community work in Papua New Guinea.

The service that he has given to the community of Papua New Guinea is totally voluntary.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

Categories
Rotary International News

Weekly Update – 12 November 2010

2010

November is Rotary Foundation Month. Your support of the Annual Programs Fund through the Every Rotarian, Every Year initiative makes it possible for The Rotary Foundation to continue its work of Doing Good in the World.

 

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

Categories
Service Project Reports

Girl with bone disease needs help

2010

Photo of Beckey YamaneaBy BOLA NOHO

BECKEY Yamanea is a 19 year-old Grade 11 student at the Wabag Secondary School in Enga province. She is a promising young Engan lass and was in full swing in her studies but fell sick while at her school early this year.

The student was referred to Mambisanda Hospital but was later referred to the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) in March. According to her doctors the initial clinical symptoms indicated that Ms Yamanea was suffering from leukaemia – cancer of the blood cells. A bone-marrow biopsy, an examination conducted for leukaemia, a nasty disease in which the bone-marrow produces too many white blood cells was ruled out. But she was diagnosed as having aplastic anaemia, unlike leukaemia is a blood disorder in which the bone-marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells.

In other words Ms Yamanea’s bone-marrow stem cells were damaged and unable to produce enough new blood cells. This is a serious and life threatening illness and there is no treatment for such disease available for cure except bone-marrow transplantation, replacing the diseased bone-marrow with new bone-marrow cells from a donor in PNG hospitals.

Ms Yamanea is currently undergoing multiple blood transfusions which are not the cure but supportive treatment to relieve signs and symptoms by providing blood cells to her bone-marrow which her body is unable to produce. The teenager’s only hope of cure is to have bone-marrow transplantation. This can only be conducted in overseas hospitals and is a costly exercise.

She has a long way to live but this can only be achieved through successful bone-marrow transplantation. However, her family are unable to meet her medical fees and other costs required abroad for this operation. She is therefore appealing to those Good Samaritans out there to help her with financial assistance so that her hope to live can be made possible and realized.

Any contributions can be deposited directly into Andrew Yamanea T/F Beckey Yamanea’s Account number: 10002213096 at Bank South Pacific (BSP) Waigani Branch or pledges for financial assistance can call Andrew Yamanea on telephone number: 3259051/ Bmobile 76938332, Digicel 71002900,Mark Ipu on Bmobile 76880391 or Luke Kulimbao on Bmobile76858841.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

Categories
Rotary International News

Weekly Update – 22 October 2010

2010

Rotary and its global polio eradication partners have made significant progress in ridding the world of the disease. But the work is not done. In honor of World Polio Day, 24 October, Rotarians can help build awareness by downloading public service announcements from the “This Close” campaign.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

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Rotary International News

Weekly Update – 8 October 2010

2010

In the October issue of The Rotarian, you’ll find 10 reasons to visit New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, plus ways you can volunteer while you’re there for the convention.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

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Rotary International News

Weekly Update – 15 October 2010

2010

District 6450 (Illinois, USA) combines classroom activities and outdoor exercises to develop leadership skills in high school students during its three-day Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

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Fundraiser Tidings

Photos from the 2010 Annual Charity Golf Day

2010

The Rotary Club of Lae held its Annual Charity Social Golf Day on Independence Day and photos from this fun day been posted and are available for

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

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Club News From the President's Desk

Celebrating 50 Years of Service to the Lae Community

2010

In this, our 50th year, it seems appropriate that we launch a website that will allow all our members and supporters to see, in real time, what the club has been up to and what it has planned, for our continuing service to the community.

The Rotary Club of Lae has had a very busy 50th year with continuing implementation of rain water tanks to the settlement areas bordering Lae, the commencement of our “Adopt a Village” campaign to assist in the Rotary Against Malaria effort and significant financial support to the local Cancer Foundation. Coupled with a number of smaller support efforts and the continuing Donations in Kind containers from Australia it has been a very busy year.

One of our ongoing challenges has been continuity of membership within the club. Rotarians in Lae are mostly contracted business people within the community and as such tend to travel extensively throughout PNG and many leave PNG at the expiration of their contract.

This is not a new phenomenon, but it does make management and communication within the club on ongoing challenge for all members.

This new website, so graciously put together by Rotarian Robert Schilt, will give all of us within the club a much better medium of contact for all members whilst also making us available to Rotarians and supporters throughout our district and Internationally.

The needs in Papua New Guinea are many, and with the country on the cusp of a development boom, support for the local communities has become even more important, so that we can help Papua New Guineans reap the benefits of the forthcoming developments in the years ahead.

It is with pleasure that I am witnessing the development of the Rotary Club of Lae website during my term as President.

Kind Regards to all.

Steve McNeilly
President – Rotary Club of Lae.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

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Fundraiser Tidings

Annual Charity Golf Day

2010

The Rotary Club of Lae will be holding its Annual Charity Social Golf Day on Independence Day, Thursday, 16 September 2010, at the Lae Golf Club.

We are pleased to invite you to partner us in the 2010 Rotary Club of Lae Annual Charity Golf Day in order to raise funds for our selected community projects which encompass a range of beneficial initiatives in the Health, Education and Social welfare spheres.

Your company is invited to participate in the event by sponsoring your own corporate team for K500. The details for this 4-ball Ambrose event are as per the attached sheet / nomination form.

We greatly appreciate your support in working with us to provide care to the people of Morobe Province. Your participation is very important to us, however if you are personally unable to participate, we would be very grateful for any contribution or donation that your company is able to make.

Please indicate your interest in supporting our Golf day by completing and returning the attached nomination form by fax or email to any of the Rotarians listed on the team nomination form. Our fax number is 475 7493.

We look forward to your support and participation.

Photos from the 2010 Charity Golf Day

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.

Categories
Fundraiser Tidings

Annual Black Tie Ball

2010

The club hosts an annual fundraising Black Tie Ball every year. In 2010 it was held at the Lae International Hotel on Saturday August 7 and has been decided that funds raised from the ball will go towards purchasing the equipment needed by police for their work. Club Past president Chris Wakelin said: “This event is a fantastic way of treating customers, staff, or just yourselves and friends to a fabulous night out. Entertainment is by the well known Tumbuna Track Studio Band and your meals, beer, wine and soft drinks are included.” Mr Wakelin said proceeds from this Black Tie Ball will go towards community projects including police tactical equipment, water filtration systems and educational support.

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With more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

Copyright © 2020 Rotary Club of Lae.