Immediate Past District Governor Keith Owens was thrilled to acknowledge David Garland of Rotary Tauranga as District 9930’s Rotarian of the Year for the 2016/17 year. 
David was not present at the District Changeover so the award was kept under wraps until the first suitable occasion.
Due to health issues and a treatment programme, Dave’s attendance at Rotary has been less frequent over recent months. 
However, all was set up to finally present the award to him on Wednesday 26 July and it read:
With thanks and in recognition of the many good things you do in the community.
This award specifically recognises your contributions to meeting the challenges and
successfully completing the District’s first Rotary Foundation Global Grant project
under current criteria. This project equipped an ophthalmology clinic on board
the Marine Reach ship Pacific Hope and will be there to service the medical
needs of people in the Pacific Islands for many years to come.
It is not only Rotary that has benefitted from Dave’s enthusiasm over many years.  He is also very active in the Probus organisation. 
Dave took a leading role in managing Rotary Tauranga’s ophthalmology clinic project during the latter part of 2016 with the clinic being officially opened in February.  There were a number of processing challenges along the way but Dave treated every hurdle as something he had to get over.  In addition to the financial involvement of The Rotary Foundation and District 9930, the project involved the support of a major domestic contributor plus the offshore support from two sister clubs – the Rotary clubs of Kasaoka (Japan) and Broadbeach (Queensland).  Keith acknowledged Dave’s drive and enthusiasm were critical components to the success of the project.
We mention Dave is not unaccustomed to receiving accolades.  Last November he was one of nine Western Bay of Plenty locals who were awarded regional Kiwibank Local Hero of the Year medals in recognition of his valuable contributions to our community.