The Rotary Club of Petone

Having Fun, Doing Good

A very warm welcome to the Rotary Club of Petone - Petone is nestled on the northern shore of Wellington Harbour in New Zealand. 

The Rotary Club of Petone was established in 1951 and continues to assist, contribute and lead in many projects across the community and overseas. 

Enjoy your experience here and as you will see, there are numerous opportunities to be involved in working together for the benefit of all in our own and other communities. Join us at Caffiend (Jackson Street, Petone) on Tuesday nights - we meet at 5.30 for a 6.00pm start but let us know in advance so we can confirm catering numbers.  

Latest News

DG Visit & Welcome Kevin

In a ram-jammed-packed evening with a full-house on deck, Kevin Harris was inducted as our newest member. Kevin comes from a health background and will introduce himself to the club in the next couple of weeks.

It was very fortuitous that the evening also brought the 2020-21 District Governor, Gillian Jones to visit. Gillian spoke of the upcoming year, her hopes and aspirations as well as several ideas and projects for us to consider. Gillian met with the Board after the main meeting and we were able to talk in more detail about our direction etc.

KEVIN DG MICHELLE MURRAYThe evening started with a talk from Dr. Rob Murdoch, Gen Mgr Research at NIWA.  Rob has a specialist interest in oceanography and marine ecology. He has an interest in projects associated with the Southern Ocean, aquaculture, oil and gas exploration and marine conservation. He is heavily involved with key stakeholders and Rob has overseen the operation of the research vessels since 1999. A great talk.

Murray & Michelle - Joint Presidents 2020

We 're not sure if it's a first but Joint Members Murray and Michelle are now Joint Presidents for the 2020 Year.

In a very relaxed changeover ceremony, Stephen Fitzjohn handed over the chains to Murray and Michelle and they then set about laying out their plans for the next 12 months....It's going to be a busy and exciting year. Thank you Stephen for leading us through what has been a challenging and difficult time.

Welcome to Chris, Laura and Campbell

Newest members Chris Nicholls along with Campbell and Laura Barry were welcomed into the club last night.

Chris is a lawyer and has very strong connections to Petone through its sporting history. Mark, "Ginger" and "Doc" Nicholls were All Blacks in the 1920's and their sister Dulcie was a national tennis champion in the same era. Chris has been involved in a number of community projects and was on the Board of Trustees at Hutt Valley High School. 

Induct Chris Laura CampbellLike Chris, Laura is also a lawyer while Campbell (who also has a law background) is a local Hutt City Councillor. Laura and Campbell were recently married and have volunteered for the past 3-4 years at the Petone Fair...Laura has brought her Dad, John along to help as well. Laura and Campbell live in Wainuiomata and work on this side of the hill. Campbell will be contesting the Mayoralty race at the upcoming local body elections.

Together Laura and Campbell will be our latest joint members.

Welcome Chris, Laura and Campbell. We hope you enjoy being a part of Petone Rotary and we look forward to having fun, helping people.

Mr Petone - Roy Hewson

(Extracted and abridged from

Known fondly as "Mr Petone," Petone Rotary Honorary Member Roy Hewson died on the day a book by that name was published by the Petone Historical Society. The society was just one of many organisations Roy started in Petone.

"What made him special was his value system, his integrity and mana. He got the respect of people and always worked hard for his community."

Author and friend Nik Zangouropoulos​ said "such was his influence in Petone, it was not hard to be impressed by Hewson."

After graduating from Teachers College in 1950, he celebrated by marrying Joan.

His teaching career began as a "probationary assistant" at Petone Central before moving on to a number of other schools in the Hutt, Wairarapa and Wellington.

After nine years as principal at Dyer St, he took up the position of principal at Petone Central. With a roll of over 400, Hewson was not required to teach and it was there that he crafted his reputation as an educator with vision.

The school had a wide mix of ethnic groups and Zangouropoulos, who was a student, recalls how Hewson "stamped his mana and personality" on the school to the benefit of all.

In the 1970s he became involved in the Labour Party and was elected to the Petone Borough Council staying on the council until Petone amalgamated with Lower Hutt in 1989 and for a time was deputy mayor.

Over 40 years, Roy was involved with or started a huge range of organisations including the Petone Planning Action Group, Petone Community House, the local historical society, the Jackson St Programme, Keep Petone Beautiful and the Walk of Champions.

Roy always had an immense interest in sport and as a proud Petone-ite he identified that more than 200 locals that had represented New Zealand.

A book soon followed and Roy backed that up by starting the Walk of Champions with plaques on Jackson St commemorating Petone's sporting heroes.

He was particularly pleased, when one of the people honoured was his son, Allan.

At 87, he wrote his last book, The Cradle of Champions, on the development of sport in Petone.

Roy moved into the Bob Scott Village, which carries the name of many famous Petone All Blacks, with his beloved Joan. Fittingly, he moved into the Hewson Wing.

Among those who paid tribute to Hewson at his funeral at the Petone Rugby Club was former All Black captain Andy Leslie.

He praised Hewson as a man who helped generations of Petone youngsters.

But his passion for Petone is what made the biggest impression on Leslie.

"There is a saying that if you cut a real Petone man, he will bleed blue (the colour of Petone rugby). Well if you cut Roy Hewson, you would find the bluest blood possible."

*Roy William Hewson, ONZM, JP, born October 6, 1930, died  May 8, 2019. He is survived by Joan and their children,Trish, Allan and Kevin.

We will certainly miss you Roy.

Deja-vu...Caffiend Return

Our meetings have recently returned to Caffiend following a short stint at the Petone Workingmens Club.

We'd like to thank President Jim Hogg, Club Manager Aaron Kirby and all the staff at the PWMC for their hospitality and generosity in providing us with a meeting point over the last 6 months and allowing us access to their venue and has been very much appreciated.

Caffiend was our gathering point for a number of years and our return has been welcomed by all members. The venue is somewhat more cosy and the seating and table arrangement gives a more intimate feeling encouraging a lot more conversation as was evidenced on Tuesday night

We'll probably be feeling our way for a couple of weeks but Tuesday's format seemed to work well with Levi taking our orders and then helping Rose prepare the meals while the guest speaker "did his thing" immediately after the meeting opened.

I think all agreed that the meals were exceptional.

Please let us know if you're coming along (for catering) to get a feel for what we do - more hands-on projects in our community are being planned and our existing projects can always do with new sets of eyes and ideas.

Hutt River Trail - Ross Hardie

Past President and Honorary member Ross Hardie recently passed away. Ross will be very fondly remembered and sadly missed.

Recent speaker Ross Jackson spoke with us about the Hutt River Trail sending us the attachment and the following reflection.

"Ron Wilson who collectively brought together all the Presidents of Hutt Valley Rotary Clubs and encouraged their involvement and support. Each Club was allocated a reach of the Hutt River and were asked to provide a quick report on suitable areas for improvement. Ross Hardie, who I note sadly passed away last week, attended the early meetings held in Ron's office and was always very positive and proactive. Ross was the first to do his ''homework' and did a field trip with another club member and prepared the attached photographic report. If you look out on the site now, virtually all his recommendations pertaining to the trail have been implemented. Some were quite challenging to fund and implement but all are now incredibly well used."