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Greetings from New Zealand. June 2006

Glenthorne Station.

You know this is a bit like writing to a big family, which of course is what 41 Club is all about, friendship and extending those friendships nationally and internationally.

It’s a cold miserable Sunday here; the forecast is for more snow and generally bad weather for the next few days. Snow usually is restricted to the mountains and higher parts of New Zealand but last Monday we had a big dump of very wet snow down to sea level over most of the South Island causing all sorts of problems and some people are still without power and phone.

Of course you are having lovely hot weather over there on the other side, such a shame and having to watch all that World Cup as well!!!

Every year since 1977 our old Round Table and now 41 Club, Tapawera (near Nelson at the top of the South Island) has held what we call our Safari Weekend at the end of February. In the early days this involved packing the whole family in the back of our farm trucks and heading off to the back country and camping in woolsheds etc. Now days it’s just the oldies and of course 4 wheel drive vehicles but we still head off for a weekend some where that is usually difficult for the majority of the population to get to. We have quite a few farmers in our club which means we have lots of contacts to enable us to go to these places.

This year we went beyond Lake Coleridge to a farm called Glenthorne Station which borders on to one of our mountain national parks, once there was a forest research station there and we used the buildings to stay in, no power but gas for cooking. Had a wonderful time, huge open spaces with no people, explored up and down rivers and hills, great weather, got up to 36 degrees C. and naturally terrific fellowship with our old friends.

There must be places for all 41 Clubs to go and spend time together, make it a yearly outing and really get to know each other.

At the beginning of May, Tina (my wife) and I went to meet the 41 Club in Perth, Australia. They have asked to affiliate with New Zealand as they are the only 41 Club in Australia (the rest of Australia has Apex and Apex 40 Clubs) and think that as New Zealand is their closest neighbour we would be more suitable than being affiliated to more distant countries.

Perth Chairman Mike Lines (left) and myself doing the old banner trick, it was their very last one and they have threatened to come and retrieve it!!

We have good friends in Adelaide who have been asking us to visit, they belong to Lions Club but we don’t hold that against them. We also have a son who lives in Fremantle so thought “there’s a drive in between that’s asking to be done and we will end up beside Perth”!!! Needless to say that’s what we did; drove around the coast line and across the Nullarbor Plain and over 5000km’s later we met a great gang of people who were delighted (they said) to see 41ers from New Zealand and we hope will come and visit us.

A fantastic trip, never boring even though there is so much straight road, the longest straight is 146.5kms, just some gentle undulations, the scenery changes gradually all the time, there is a surprising amount of wildlife, lots of photo stops and it was green all the way. We had expected desert but there has been rains over the last couple of years and being close to the Southern coast it catches that extra bit. We would recommend the drive to anyone.

Back home in time for the AGM here in Christchurch, as usual a great time had by all including Uwe Kerstan the now International President, he has got a lot of energy or is this his way of staying fit!!!

President Uwe dancing up a storm with Sue Ironside, one of the many school girls, theme was “Skool Daze”!!!

Check out our website: for the up coming tours to New Zealand over the next couple of years, see you here.

Yours in 41


Derek Johns
IRO New Zealand

Greetings from Amberley February 2007

I’ve been thinking (a rather dangerous thing for me to do) about the last 3 months and the fun and friendships we have shared all because of belonging to this, our Wonderful International Family, 41 Club.

Because of our travels and meeting new friends along the way, all connected in some way or another to 41 Club we have had guests from 4 different countries in less than 6 months, brilliant!

It has been a pleasure to be able to start to repay some of the amazing hospitality we have received while on tours and to show these travellers many of the different parts of our region that we particularly love.

In the middle of this month Dans and Dace Ciscakovs from Riga, Latvia arrived for 4 days at the end of their 3 week tour from Auckland down to Christchurch.

Alan & Sue Ironside (Christchurch) and Alan & Dawn Shuker (Timaru) who were with us on the 1st Scandinavian Tour and had met them came here for a dinner party full of hilarious memories.

We were able to show them even more back country roads, west into the hills where Tina was brought up and over to Akaroa via my rather long way round. Dace was heard to say that had Dans been driving they would not have been there. However we all survived and they really enjoyed the scenery, especially when the fog lifted and we came into sunshine!!!

Having dropped them off at the Airport we went back into Christchurch and picked up 2 Swedish girls, one of which was the sister of our host Patrik Nilsson at Stockholm in 2005, the girls had been backpacking around new Zealand for 6 weeks and were quite happy to stay with us and be looked after for a few days before going off on their next big adventure in Australia.

Great people all of them and they are all very welcome to return.

The YAP Tour (3rd to 31st March), we have no more than 3 coming from India and 1 from Germany, have a serious think about hosting these young people, you can only gain from having them. Mostly they are bright, cheerful, interested people who come from very different cultures and are keen to learn about ours.

Do you want to know more, the guidelines are on our website Or give me a call and I will do my best to help.

A busy life but what fun and experiences, thank you all and particularly 41 CLUB.

Derek & Tina Johns

Report from New Zealand for HYM Zambia August 2007

Greetings and best wishes from New Zealand to you all for a fantastic Pre Tour and a great meeting; all within the friendship and fellowship of our amazing 41 Club.

New Zealand currently has 17 Clubs including the one 41 Club in Perth, Australia, which has affiliated with us, we have around 400 members and are enjoying ourselves immensely.

Very few New Zealand 41Clubs continue to do projects and wives/partners join in most activities and social gatherings.

Because of the dwindling numbers of Round Tables and Round Tablers (which is probably due to lifestyle changes over the last 10 to 20 years) we are finding it difficult to attract many more younger members. We will continue to try.

Currently we are busy trying to catch up with previous members that have drifted off for one reason or another and are having some success.

Have a look at our website there is a wealth of information there thanks to our Webmaster and Tours Officer Peter Butchart. There is lots of history, tours, photos and a good map showing the location of our Clubs with links to contact each one. You will also note we have at last been able to bring Australia down to size!

If any of you are thinking of travelling this way you can be sure of a warm welcome, give me a call, e-mail or letter and we will see what we can do for you.

Looking forward to catching up with lots of you next year when we tour Eastern Europe.

Derek Johns

Some rambling thoughts from the South Pacific. January 2008

I was just thinking on how different it must be in the Northern hemisphere; Today here it’s 33degrees C with a hot, strong, dry Nor-West wind which is sucking the last little amounts of water from the parched soil. Unless irrigated the farms and gardens are now browned off, summers dry has hit early and it looks like we will have a major drought. Here in Amberley we only had 15 inches of rain (375mm) last year, the average is 23 inches (575mm) and our little swamp fed stream is about dry and not much chance for decent rains till April or May.

You guys on the other side are just past midwinter with rain and snow still coming.

Christmas and the Festive season here are summer time with Christmas dinner often being a picnic on the beach or at some holiday place and hot weather food now replacing the old huge traditional roast turkey, ham, plum pudding etc., I still look forward to that but the better halves (wives) are trying to make us eat less and more healthy food.

After having all our 4 Grandchildren here in the morning to open presents (No. 5, Estella arrived on Boxing Day) we went to a gathering of Tina’s family at her oldest brother’s farm.

50 of us sat down outside for Christmas lunch at 3pm and didn’t finish desert till after 7pm, a wonderful family affair with children running, laughing and swimming and the adults enjoying the time to catch up and relax.

Funny how that sounds like 41 Club, old friendships maintained, new ones formed; locally, nationally and internationally; what could be better.

Most of our members have spent many years in Round Table raising money and doing working bees for charities, once evicted by that age thing many have gone on to join Rotary or similar service clubs and are still doing great deeds.

Our 41 Club AGM is more of a reunion of friends than a meeting or convention where wives and partners come to all activities as they are the ones who have allowed us to do so much while in Round Table and we now want to share our good times with them.

Most of our local 41 Club meetings are also shared with our better halves as social events and now we do very little business apart from working out where our next meeting will be held.

One of our Christchurch 41 club members is the Project Engineer for the new ocean outfall for Christchurch’s waste water and just prior to Christmas took us for a Sunday cruise on Lyttelton Harbour to see what they are doing, a beautiful day and lots of food, fun etc.

Back in August we went on a 41 Club NZ Tour around the bottom half of Western Australia, a great trip indeed; Started in Perth with a meal with the Perth 41 Club then went east to the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie, south to Esperance, west along the beautiful coastline to Cape Leuwin and then north to end up back in Perth; 15 days and a lot of kilometres with 17 Kiwi’s and 1 Aussie in 2 vans which we drove ourselves. A huge country but lots of different things to see, just quite a long way apart!!!!

Well must go and see what needs watering; hopefully there is a change tonight and a little drop of rain, won’t be much but will make things look better for a short while.

Derek Johns

Once upon a time in a far away country on the other side of the world - June 2008

Aotearoa, (the long white cloud) New Zealand, Godzone call it what you will is a small country with about 4.25 million people settled around 150 years ago by mainly people of UK descent and since then from many other places so we are now quite a melting pot of cultures including our indigenous Maori and many other Pacific nations.

Back in the good old days, around the 70’s and early 80’s there was a vibrant Round Table movement here and we had many Conventions with in excess of 1000 people attending, all was well in the world, we were young and dedicated.

In those days our shops traded 5 days a week with many closing at 5p.m., 6 or 6.30 on a Friday night and the 6 o’clock swill at the pubs was a thing of the past.

Carefree days I guess you might say.

This meant that the weekends were free to do service work like projects and still have time for families, sport etc.

Then some bright spark came along with the idea that everyone needed to be able to shop every day and weekend trading came along, (there are shops open every day apart from Christmas day and Easter Sunday and some of our bigger supermarkets are now open 24/7).

Suddenly there were less hours to be able to do voluntary work and both partners were working to pay for all the stuff that seems to be so necessary these days (we used to be able to get by without or buy second hand when we could afford things). Now there seems to be only time left for self, family and sport.

We now have a “me first” mentality, especially in our younger people in the cities and the only Round Tables left are in far smaller and/or more isolated towns.

Round Table New Zealand has only 140 members left and in most of the Clubs the ones left are of 41 Club age who are struggling to keep Round Table alive.

However we have a very lively 41 Club of around 400 members who are constantly trying to find more Ex Tablers to add to our ranks, having a great time with our old friendships, travelling to far places and making so many more friends. The flip side of that is we welcome guests and delight in being able to show them “Our Place” so please make New Zealand a “Must See” on that all important list for life.

We no longer do projects or fund raising, most of us worked tirelessly for Round Table and having achieved the magical 41 were relieved to be able to rest and recuperate. Our wives/partners join with us on most activities as they are the ones who have made it possible for the work we were able to do while in Round Table.

After all the Aim of 41 Club is to Unite, Maintain and Promote Friendships among Ex Tablers wherever and what a big family we are.

Our AGM’s are really just a big reunion of old mates and I guess that’s the same everywhere, we had around 80 at our one in Oamaru at the beginning of the month with a theme of “Rugby, Racing and Beer “ (Kiwi values at their best) and a wonderful weekend was had by all. That’s another story!!!!

Now off to bed children, story time is over.

Derek Johns