This Week’s Meeting – 11 December 2017

We held our final weekly meeting for this year on Monday and began with some words from The Very Reverend Anne Mills, Dean of Auckland, Holy Trinity Cathedral.  (Anne replaced The Very Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore, who left our shores late last year to become the Archdeacon of Canterbury.)  Anne has now seen the completion and consecration of the Cathedral and is enjoying the newly refurbished premises and all it has to offer.  Anne’s Christmas message was to try and focus on non-material items, as the path to a better life and a better community is not about items that can be purchased, but about change from within and helping others where you can, and she hoped everyone would be able to make a non-material difference sometime during this Christmas period.
 
Our second 5 Minute Speaker was Pam Elgar, the Chief Executive of Make-A-Wish NZ, a charity that tries to make the wishes of children with critical health issues come true.  The aim of this organisation is to provide a little joy to sick children and their family and caregivers, at least for a while, so their thoughts can be about something nice for a change.  Wishes can take anywhere from six to eighteen months to deliver, with the child and those nearest and dearest to them being involved in the journey.  Make-A-Wish deals with many agencies and businesses, as well as having numerous volunteers on their books.  So, if you would like to support this amazing group of people, then please visit https://www.makeawish.org.nz/
 
Today’s key-note speaker was Janene Drapper, the Co-Founder of Farro Fresh Foods.  Janene began working life as an optometrist, but her heart just wasn’t in it, but she was very passionate about food.  Eventually Janene decided to leave optometry and open a specialised food shop with her husband, though neither of them had any experience in this industry.  Needless to say, the initial journey was founded on many mistakes, but with the help of Ray McVinnie and learning from these mistakes, they are now the owners of a very successful business.  Farro’s first shop was in Lunn Ave, when the only other shop nearby was Placemakers and there were no houses yet built at Stonefields and they were told it would never work.  Farro now has five stores around Auckland and their aim is to be a one-stop-shop, stocking as much NZ produce as possible and currently about twenty percent of their stock is sourced from overseas.  As well as Farro itself growing, this business has also allowed other local food producers to also grow their businesses.  Farro’s philosophy is to support NZ food artisans and they have done a wonderful job in meeting their aim.