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LAST MEETING: Lt. Colonel Roger Earp - Military Life with the Army in Afghanistan
Roger shared what it was like to be part of New Zealand's Army Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan.  After giving a brief personal background: Duntroon, army life, PNG and East Timor (an MNZM, a happy marriage and 5 children) he answered the questions of why, where, what, how much, and what myths concerning NZ's involvement in Afghanistan 2001 - 2021.
He explained how NZ, having kept out of Iraq joined the international effort in Afghanistan after 9/11 to support the Afghan government beset by war lords, the Taliban, and more recently ISIS. Initially NZ sent the SAS and gained great credit for their professionalism (and where Willie Apiata earned a Victoria Cross).  This contribution was supplemented in 2003 by a PRT, Provincial Reconstruction Team, based in Bamyan Province to help the local Hazara people rebuild their lives. The climate was harsh, extreme heat during the day and -25C at night.  120 NZ soldiers would be there at any one time, on a 6-month rotation and over the 20 years ten soldiers lost their lives.
More recently NZ forces have been posted to the Afghanistan Army Officer Academy on the edge of the capital city Kabul.  They Kiwis lived in a compound next door to the officer academy and a military university, surrounded by a 9m wall. Logistics were provided primarily by the UK and Australia.  They were not allowed out of the compound other than to mentor the Afghan Instructors and met few other Afghans other than their pupils and the translators. It was encouraging to see some signs of progress among the Afghanis and by the end of the period there were females attending the Officer Academy, in complete contrast to the days when the Taliban were in charge. Road transport was by Australian Bushmaster or Black Hawk helicopters because of the perpetual dangers of IEDs.
Roger showed real sympathy for the ordinary Afghan people and fears for their safety once the foreign forces have pulled out – a fear vindicated by recent news of explosions outside two schools. He was upset by some of the media reporting, particularly the myth that the NZ’ers left vast quantities of unexploded ammunition on a number of ranges in Bamyan when they withdrew. In fact they had gone to significant lengths to ensure that any live ammunition was cleared previously and are currently repeating this task. There was also a myth that they had killed unarmed civilians. The outcome of the investigation into this incident reported that there had been no wrongful civilian deaths but that the Defence Minister and the public had been misled about what had occurred.
Thank you Roger for a very honest account of what was obviously a very difficult, sometimes very satisfying and occasionally a very frustrating experience.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
Tree planting on Hutt Riverbank - alternative date
May 22, 2021
Membership Meeting
May 24, 2021
Collection for Te Omanga Hospice
May 29, 2021
Te Omanga Hospice collection
The Warehouse
May 29, 2021
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New Satellite Group?
7 Reasons Young (and Young-ish) People Should Join Rotary
How to Log-in
Rotary in General
District 9940 Website
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Important Rotary Documents
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Risk Management Document
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Bulletin Editor
Brian Klee

General Notices:






* Youthline Newsletter: It's a pleasure to see in their latest Newsletter acknowledgement of our Walk for Mental Health event - see HERE.

* Wine Tasting Evening - 5:30pm, Friday, 4th June: This is another fundraising event and we are aiming on 95 tickets being sold, so bring along family, friends and other Rotarians.  The charge is $30 per person and you can register by clicking on HERE.




















* Wellington Rotary's 100th Birthday Function - Monday 24th May: They are celebrating their centenary at a special Centennial Dinner at the Banquet Hall, at Parliament. It will be hosted by The Hon Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister and an honorary member of their club.- RSVP by Thursday 13 May. For further details, click HERE.

Plus: Volunteers are also required on both 24th and 25th at Te Papa - can you help?

* IYM Quiz Event - 6pm, Thursday, 27th May:  If you would like to enter a team , or join another, further details are HERE.

* RNZWCS Newsletter: To view this interesting Newsletter, click HERE

* Funds Raised: Sergeant's Session - $88.70

Parting Thought: 
"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” ~ Harry S Truman

The Power of Positivity

Rostered Duties & Responsibilities:

Please study and plan ahead, especially if you are on duty to write a Bulletin Contribution.  A reminder that it's also your responsibility to find a replacement if you are unable to fulfill your duty.
Eastern Hutt Rotary e-Bulletin
     We meet at Avalon Pavilion, Taita Drive entrance, Mondays, at 5:55 pm 
Visitors and prospective members always welcome.  
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