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Life’s not a movie for this celebrity

Life’s not a movie for this celebrity

A world recognised celebrity will slip into New Zealand on July 1 for a whirlwind week of meetings and greetings.

More than 10,000 New Zealanders have been awaiting his arrival from the United States.

Around 1.2 million more people throughout the world want to see or hear about him in the next 11 months.

No, he hasn’t got a Hollywood address. In fact, his real home address is Pakuranga, Auckland. But for the next year Bill Boyd and his wife Lorna, will be living and working out of an apartment in Evanston, Chicago.

The reason for his celebrity status and a year long jetset lifestyle is Bill Boyd has just been elected as the Rotary International President – the first New Zealander to hold the post since 1959.

As President he becomes the very active head of an organisation that covers 166 countries. It’s not the kind of job that sees him put a gong on his chest and rubber stamp meaningful, but soon redundant reports.

Mr Boyd and Lorna will travel to sites where Rotary has helped carry out mass inoculations to help rid the world of the Polio virus; to third world countries where getting clean water from tanks or wells is vital for survival; and to others where programmes are helping people farm or work their way out of poverty or prostitution.

A Rotarian since 1971, first in the Wellington South club then Pakuranga, Mr Boyd has done the hard yards in the lead up to becoming President, including being a director and international treasurer 1999-2000. He knows what to expect and has already visited places like Pakistan to witness first hand the devastation caused by the earthquake there and how Rotary is helping.

In his former life Mr Boyd was a general manager of Gordon and Gotch (NZ) Ltd and a key personality in the New Zealand magazine industry. He remains an active consultant to three international magazines. He also is a certified rugby referee and blew the whistle on games for 30 years.

But on his latest experience, Mr Boyd says he is both honoured and humble to represent such a dynamic organisation and he and Lorna are proud to be doing it as New Zealanders.

While in New Zealand Mr Boyd will help induct his son-in-law as President of the Rotary Club of Heretaunga in Wellington. Rotary tends to draw in families, like that of the blonde-headed boy in the TV ad asked of what there is only one and answers ‘me’.

When Mr Boyd asked permission to use the ad during his international talks the boy’s family was delighted. The boy’s grandfather had been a Rotary District Governor.


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