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service project - Rotary Club of Gately - East London

By Jason McDowel

A busy morning delivering 120kg of porridge and some second hand clothing and books to the COVID19 shelter in Southernwood and to Helping those in need. Then off to a quick meeting at St Michael's church for a potential community project in the Nahoon area.

Thank you to the Gately Rotary Club for the porridge and a generous couple in Vincent for the clothing and books. All these small acts of kindness add up and I feel privileged to be able to assist with administering them.
Gately Rotary donations     Gately Rotary donations
Gately Rotary donations     Gately Rotary donations

Collecting Wines from Cape winelands

Back from collecting wine in the Cape Winelands for our Rotary Clubs annual auction. We had a good time in a beautiful area of the country. The drought in the farming areas is quite heart breaking to see. Lands standing with failed crops. Just waiting for the winter rains. Let's pray they come.

None the less we had a positive response to our wine collection.

People are still generous despite their hardship.

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Medical Supplies

A fantastic Rotary initiative was realized last week when a container full of much needed medical supplies was received by the Rotary Club of Gately in East London South Africa! This is the epitome of team work by Rotarians and many others from around the world. Well done and congratulations to all concerned!

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Rotarians in Action

Rotarian Robbie Muzzell has been keeping busy, spreading the good word about Rotary and being of service to the greater community.

Recently he assisted the needy to obtain much-needed wheelchairs and walking aids - thanks to our Rotary Club of Gately’s warehouse project.

The equipment is part of the generous donation by the Wheelchair Foundation UK. In September 2018, a shipping container arrived at the East London Harbour –stocked with medical equipment – which included 54 electronic wheelchairs, 96 “push-type” wheelchairs, spares, walking sticks, crutches, walkers, bed rails, mattresses and children’s toys.

rotary wheelchair foundation gately rotary rotary2 Rotarians in action wheelchiar foundation rotary3 Rotarians in action wheelchiar foundation


Rotary Youth Leadership

Some 30kms from King Williams Town lies a tiny village called KwaShushu, where nothing much happens – save for the annual Easter rugby tournament.

With a population of just over 100 people, according to the last Census, KwaShushu is the quintessential story of rural life in the Eastern Cape – with poverty, unemployment and substance abuse rife within the community.

But one young man is determined to change that, one step at a time.

cancer walk 2 rotary gatelyAnd as the sun rose on the morning of the 16th December 2018, Abongile Zaza realised his dream as the residents and friends of KwaShushu B were preparing for a very important event.
The Rural Cancer Awareness Fun Walk and Run, in loving memory of his late mother, was a milestone in the leadership story of Abongile.

Abongile joined the Find Your Voice Rotary Leadership Programme in March 2018. Working as a technical assistant at Isringhausen, Abongile was encouraged by his line manager, Greg Thompson to apply for the leadership programme. When he looks back on that day, Abongile says:

“I was really not ready, like the timing was very bad for me because my mother was in and out of hospitals at that time. She was in the last stage of cancer. But on the application form they had a very powerful slogan which said “Find your voice” and that was exactly what I was looking for and I said Yes and I applied.”

He joined 21 other delegates on a crazy adventure that culminated 9 months later in the race that he organised in KwaShushu, supported by his leadership class of 2018. The rural areas are without adequate information to detect early warning signs of cancer that could save their lives. That is exactly why Abongile decided to organise the cancer awareness fun walk and run.

“In the process of trying to find my voice, I actually found myself, my vision and the purpose of life. It has now been 11 years shifting/drifting around trying to find myself, my vision.”

cancer walk Rural Cancer Awareness WalkExperience from The Rotary Leadership Programme suggests that successful leadership takes more than just skills from a course or a programme. Leaders need followers and for leaders to realise their potential, they require support on their journey of leadership. They need a platform, in the form of a network of caring people, that show up for them and contribute to their success. The Rotary Club of Gately and the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) Trust are committed to providing the network, the tools and the skills for young adults to not only meet the challenges of the future, but the immediate challenges facing our province.

In his final presentation, after the completion of the course, Abongile says

“Special thanks to facilitator Guy Rich for not forcing me to talk, you’ve been awesome. To Marc Morrel for rescuing me and Rooks Moodley for empowering me to chase my vision even though it was so big. To Chris Ettmayr, my mentor, thanks for the guidelines and support. And to my workplace sponsor/mentor Greg Thompson, thanks for this wonderful opportunity. And thank you to Gately Rotary & Rotarians.”

The 7 month course forms part of the greater Find Your Voice Project – in which two critical aspects of leadership are measured. The first is individual growth of the delegates, through assessment of cutting edge leadership methodologies known as Leadership Fluencies. The second is the number of initiatives led by these young people, either in their respective businesses, or in the community.

Although Abongile is committed to this journey, he realises it is not going to be without obstacles. “Now I know what I want to be, but I have to give myself a chance to go back to school, I need to invest in me, unfortunately I can’t quit work so I’ll have to do it part time,” he says.

cancer walk 3 Rural Cancer Awareness Walk

As he joins the newly established Alumni Group under the leadership of Rotaractor Nitesh Harry from the Class of 2017, we hope to continue to strengthen the support base. We are continually looking for leaders in the East London community who are willing to mentor the young adults that are selected for the programme. Abongile’s Rotary mentor, Chris Ettmayr reflects on how rewarding mentoring is . “It’s been a real privilege for me to be involved in Abongile’s time on this programme and he has given us inspiration, instead of us just imparting knowledge to him. He had some challenges that he has handled in a very mature manner and now with the new leadership skills and techniques that he has picked up from this course, I am sure that he will thrive to even greater heights. Abongile is self-motivated, which made it very easy for him to take up new opportunities. I am very keen to see where he moves from here onwards as a solid alumni of the course and a leader in his respective areas of business and home life.”

When Winter Rose take to the field, to represent KwaShushu village, at the rugby tournament over the Easter weekend, Abongile will not only be rooting for this local team. He will also use his voice to raise awareness about cancer.

“Nothing much happens in my village except for the Easter rugby tournament. That's another reason why I chose to organise the cancer awareness fun run around December. Most people didn't understand the idea behind it and wanted to see how it would turn out. The next one will be even bigger,”says Abongile.

Steering Committee meeting for the ECD project

Rotarians hard at work. Seen here at the Steering Committee meeting for the ECD Early Childhood Development project today. From Rotary Club of Gately is 2nd from left Rtn Robbie Muzzle, n ext to Hilton Williams, Rtn Piet Bosch next to Caroll Warmberg the MD of ITEC and across the table Rtn Luke Baisley from East London Rotary Club and 2nd from the right is Rtn Lauren Brady.

ECD group early childhood development gately rotary.


Tree of Joy

Well its almost that time of the year! The time of giving and as Rotarians our motto "Service above self" becomes even more applicable.

tree of joy roatary gately internationalSo we would like to see all our members embrace this very worthy cause and to spread the love! From 19th November till 17th December the Tree of Joy will be operational at Vincent Park Shopping Centre. So make sure you play your part and make a difference in someones world.

Welcome to Gately Rotary

The Gately has 50 members, some of whom have been members for over 40 years, and some for less than 1 year, with ages spanning six decades. It is a melting pot of wisdom, experience, youthful energy and ambition – all aiming to Make a Difference in Our World. With a variety of backgrounds, the Club is enriched by a wide range of knowledge, expertise and capabilities. Having been established nearly 50 years ago, its character is built on many layers of annual efforts and achievements.

The functioning of the Club is influenced by the passions of its members, the guidance of Rotary International and the needs of the society that we live in. Rotary International is close to succeeding in eliminating Polio around the world. Our Club raises funding to support the Global Polio project, as well as our own major projects are aimed at raising the standards of vital Early Childhood Development, enabling young people to Find Their Voices as Leaders, supporting the establishment of Safety Nets for Abused and Vulnerable Women and Children and the warehousing and distribution of medical equipment, groceries and various materials to people in need. Each year, the Club also donates funds to organisations which are serving needy people in society.

Funding for these projects is sourced from our highly successful wine auction and other wine-related functions, ever more popular polio fun-run, the East London’s bi-annual harbour festival, growth on a Gately Trust fund, various bequests and funds shared by the Rotary International Foundation.

All of the considerable efforts of members is done voluntarily, who are often supported, also voluntarily, by the spouses and partners of members.

An important component of the Club’s service is youth development, which is achieved through support of a number of school Rotary Interact Clubs and a Rotaract Club for young people who have finished school.

Worldwide "End Polio" campaign

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.


In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children. Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries. In addition, Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by donor governments to contribute more than $7.2 billion to the effort.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, formed in 1988, is a public-private partnership that includes Rotary, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and governments of the world. Rotary’s focus is advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and awarenessbuilding. 

Polio Today 

Today, there are only three countries that have never stopped transmission of the wild poliovirus: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Less than 75 polio cases were confirmed worldwide in 2015, which is a reduction of more than 99.9 percent since the 1980s, when the world saw about 1,000 cases per day.


The polio cases represented by the remaining one percent are the most difficult to prevent, due to factors including geographical isolation, poor public infrastructure, armed conflict and cultural barriers. Until polio is eradicated, all countries remain at risk of outbreaks.

Ensuring Success

Every dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication will be matched two-to-one by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation up to $35 million a year through 2018. These funds help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding.

Rotary in Action

More than one million Rotary members have donated their time and personal resources to end polio. Every year, hundreds of Rotary members work side-by-side with health workers to vaccinate children in polio-affected countries. Rotary Members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute mass communication tools to reach people in areas isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. Rotary members also recruit fellow volunteers, assist with transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support. 

‘This Close’ Campaign

Rotary has a growing roster of public figures and celebrities participating in its “This Close” public awareness campaign, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation; actresses Kristen Bell and Archie Panjabi; WWE superstar John Cena; supermodel Isabeli Fontana; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; action movie star Jackie Chan; boxing great Manny Pacquiao; pop star Psy; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; conservationist Jane Goodall; premier violinist Itzhak Perlman; Grammy Award winners A.R. Rahman; Angelique Kidjo and Ziggy Marley; and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan. These ambassadors help educate the public about polio through public service announcements, social media and public appearances.

Youth and Leadership Development


Interact is a programme for High School age youth. Gately rotary sponsors interact clubs at Alphendale High, Grens High, Kusile Comprehensive and Stirling High.

Part of the Interact support is funding the following programmes: 

  • District Youth Leadership Camp for 8 learners (2 from each club) over 4 days
  • Soup kitchen sponsorship for each club
  • 1 day “Find Your Voice” Leadership event for 80 learners who are invited from all the Interact clubs in East London area.


Gately Rotaract programme is for young adults from 18-30 years. Rotaract operates as a Rotary partner and the two clubs collaborate and work together in projects.

The Gately Rotaract club is very vibrant and full of energy. Find them on Facebook.

Leadership Programmes

Find Your Voice
The "Find Your Voice programme" is run for Rotaract aged young adults over a period of 7 months. Twenty young adults from diverse backgrounds and vocations are taken through a rigorous leadership programme over 7 months. Each participant is carefully selected, and is required to attend all contact sessions (1 day per month), and submit a portfolio of evidence at the end of the program. Funding for this programme is provided by the Leadership Development Trust.

Masithethe Peer Counselling 
This project is aimed at equipping learners to assist their peers who might find themselves in crisis and guide them to professional help. 40 learners attend a rigorous 2 week Peer Counselling training run by Masithethe (formerly Life Line) in East London.

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