Posted on Aug 25, 2019
I am Stew Wadey and have been married to Margaret since 1979. Through tragic circumstances we became legal guardians for three young pre-teen girls in 1989 who are all are now mums with their own families. Our own two boys David and Philip were born over the next three years. After operating dairy farming businesses in the Tokoroa and Putaruru we moved to our Hinuera dairy farm in 2000. 
We have always been involved in our communities. I was a scout leader for nine years and recognised with the Chief Scouts Recommendation. I also spent nine years on the Te Waotu School Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2000. The community honoured my contribution with a brass plaque with our family name at that school!
I had a role with the New Zealand Dairy industry communication to dairy farmers in the South Waikato for seven years and in 1999 I was involved in a proposed revamp of our dairy processing industry. I spent fifteen years as an elected local leader of the farmers lobby organisation, Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc. and was the Waikato Provincial President from 2008 to 2011. I was humbled to be made a Life Member upon retirement in 2017.
It was in 1970, aged 19 years, that I came to New Zealand from Coventry, UK as a £10 (ten pound) POME. I met a fellow immigrant on that journey, an Irish lad named David ‘Paddy’ Latham. Our friendship lasted and when I moved to Matamata Paddy, a very proud Rotarian, was adamant that I should join Rotary. When my commitments to represent farming families ceased, I made a presentation to his club, Rotary Matamata, and soon afterwards became a member. It is a great sadness to me that Paddy’s untimely passing soon after meant that we never worked together on a project in our community. 
My most special moment in Rotary thus far, has to be being presented with the 2019 President’s ‘Service Above Self Award’. Being involved in Rotary projects gives me great satisfaction. On the local scene the skateboard park rates as my number one, our Stanley Farm Lane walkway and the Peria Road Memorial Grove (a native tree plantation to commemorate the centenary of WW1) number two and the Kauri Grove on Burwood Road. On the global scene, Rotary’s commitment to End Polio Now, is right up there amongst the many worldwide humanitarian projects, in which we strive for good outcomes. 
I promote being a member of Rotary first of all as being part of a team that achieves, who step forward; not backwards. Our community appreciates the efforts of Rotarians and we in turn appreciate the great support we receive from them. An example of this was the 2008 Swimarathon to raise funds for End Polio Now. The community gathered at 1am for a sponsored swim and to participate in a world record event. Our small town raised $20,000, the most of any other Rotary club in the world! Rotary aims and aspirations will evolve, as we head into the future.