Sharon Smid was the Guest Speaker at the Club's 22 August meeting
Sharon works with the Cromwell Newcomers Group.  Her husband and 18-month-old twins arrived in Cromwell in 1991 for the commissioning of the Clyde Dam. Getting involved with the community was a way to meet others.
By 2015, Cromwell was one of the fastest growing towns in New Zealand. Many of the new arrivals were living here but commuting for work or both parents needed to work. This had Sharon reflecting on the community and how people met others, as they transitioned to retirement or arrived from a new country.
It can be challenging, as we dance around language interpretations, religion, cultural upbringings and kiwi slang. We need to remember to speak a little slower and avoid using too much slang when we invite people for whom English isn’t their first language into our conversations.
Sharon has a great team within the Newcomers family that help run events that provide opportunity for social connection. She would like to run a “Round the World” pot luck and quiz night in the near future.
Newcomers are self-funded and they look forward to working collaboratively with other organisations such as Rotary to celebrate and respect the diversity of our community.
Following her talk Sharon was surprised to receive a Paul Harris Fellow award for her community work. This is the highest award given by Rotary International to recognise outstanding service by a member of the community.