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New blood, fresh energy: Rotaract Rarotonga welcomes new executive team

Friday 22 December 2023 | Written by Candice Luke | Published in Local, National

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New blood, fresh energy: Rotaract Rarotonga welcomes new executive team
Rotaract Rarotonga’s new executive members are ready to serve the island and beyond in 2024. PHOTO: ROTARACT FACEBOOK PAGE/23122114

Rotaract Rarotonga held its first annual general meeting (AGM) post-Covid on Wednesday, electing a new executive team after the “major success” of Christmas in the Park last week.

Byron Brown, the outgoing president of Rotaract, reflected on his time with the non-governmental organisation (NGO) and welcomed the incoming team for 2024.

“I’m very excited for the new exective that’s on board, bringing new blood and new energy,” Brown said.

Some of the new team members felt empowered to join the club after the success of this year’s Christmas in the Park, which spread Christmas cheer to a crowd of 1500.

“We were struggling for the last few years. I feel good knowing there’s a new group, some who haven’t been involved in Rotaract before Christmas in the Park but are willing to give their time to help out the community.”

Brown joined the NGO right before the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the world.

The team back then stayed true to their motto: “Service Above Self”.

“During Covid time we did rounds of pizzas to help out where we could. It was a great experience. I’ve made alot of friends through Rotaract and the events we’ve run.”

But members were lost over time as Covid forced them to move on and leave the country.

The pandemic also delayed the AGM for years as “it didn’t feel right without a good membership drive” but Christmas in the Park has breathed new life into the club that serves communities across the Cook Islands.

Outgoing executive Daniel Fisher (aka Taniera) joined the club in 2015. Brown presented him with a trophy in appreciation of his service.

“He’s been a steady rock and heart of the Rotaract group. He’s departing after nine years. I’m sad to see him go but he has done his time, happy to pass on the torch.”

Brown leaves the new executive with strong connections and relationships with Rotaract Oceania, a regional body of Rotaract clubs including other Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia.

He is heading to New Zealand to live but will continue networking on behalf of the club here in Rarotonga.

Incoming president Toru Nooroa is a long serving member of Rotaract.

“I am honestly honoured and grateful to accept this role, it’s been a few years and I am looking forward to another challenge for serving our community,” Nooroa said.

“My aspiration for 2024 is to build our connection with the Rotary and to keep supporting our commitment with our community such as a Christmas in the Park, Autism Blue Day. I hope throughout the year my executive team and I can spread enough fun and inspiration for future members. Service Above Self.”

The club await confirmation to start a sandfly trap trial in Mitiaro and Aitutaki in the new year.

Brown said the new team is in good hands. “I’d like to thank our Rotary Club who supports Rotaract, the business who support with sponsorship, previous members, and to the new executive. The finances are in a good place and I look forward to what they do in the next year.”

Rotaract Rarotonga 2024 Executive: President: Toru Nooroa, Vice President: Rashneel Kumar, Secretary: Gabriella Napa, Treasurer: Dorinda Sitiveni, Sargent of Arms: Marisha Hickes, Shane Marcus, Vaineritua Koteka.