Posted by David Gledhill
Barry's was meant to be a small "life and times" on "Why I joined Rotary", but when the planned main speaker did not arrive Barry's turned out to be the main, indeed only, talk.
 
Barry and Diane came to settle in NZ last November after an amazing career that spanned the world.  He was born to be peripatetic: born in Newcastle (a Geordie) he was moved with his family to Bahrein, then later sent back to a boarding school near Durham. After school he worked for Nylon Spinners but he wanted to work overseas and so joined Cable and Wireless.
 
After 18 months in London he, newly married to Diane, was posted to Malta, then two years later to Port Sudan where he particularly enjoyed snorkeling in the Red Sea.  His firm sent him back to England for a while and then to Jamaica for three years after which it was back to England again, then Hong Kong for seven years then back to England to work for Mercury Communications to be in charge of video conferencing.
 
Then out to Rhiad, just at the time of Mr Bush's Desert Storm. Surviving an attack by a returning Patriot missile Barry was sent back to England and then to the Caribbean for two years, followed by a return to Britain, and then to the Philippines for two then back to U.K. to be in charge of Y2K preparations after which he took early retirement.
 
Barry had fulfilled his wish of wanting to work overseas (with periodic returns to England for training in new developments), but as a result had few real long-term  friends, and after settling in New Zealand knew very few people, except fortuitously, Colin Alford.  The other reason for joining Rotary was a heart rending experience Diane had encountered while doing voluntary work at an orphanage in the Philippines.  
 
Among the many orphans, there was one case in particular that illustrated the difficulties so many children faced.  A very young boy made he and his family's income by leaping onto buses and selling flowers to the passengers.  One day he fell asleep on the bus and when he awoke he was a long way away.  He was lost, and was never able to find his family and ended up in the orphanage.  Rotary provides an opportunity to help make the world a better place.
 
As Anne Abbott remarked while thanking Barry Littlefair, so often the most interesting talks come from our own members.  Welcome to our club, Barry, and thank you for a most interesting talk.
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