Charity Dinner with Georgina & Caroline Evers-Swindell

OLYMPIC ROWING CHAMPIONS, ATHENS, 2004

Caroline & Georgina with their cousin, Taradale Rotarian Elani Zachary

Held in the Pettigrew Green Arena, on the 11th November 2004, this was another stunning triumph for a Kevyn Moore lead team, now skilled at staging large scale events to raise funds for charity. In this case the celebrity guests were the Evers-Swindell twins, Georgina and Caroline, Olympic rowing champions in the Women’s Double Sculls recently in Athens, and 431 people paid $130 each to attend, dine, and listen to a skilled presentation by the Twins about their rowing career and the race that brought them the gold medal.

It wasn’t long before the place was buzzing and a full projection of the Olympic highlights played on the background screen. A special welcome was extended to fellow Olympians, Nathan Twaddle (Bob’s grandson), rowing finalist in the Men’s Pairs, and Jason Stewart, semi-finalist in the 800m.

The Arena ready for dining

The meal was superb, and tactfully interrupted after the entree, so that the Twins could give their presentation.  Before they started, a video of the now famous race was played to a rapt audience who watched them row to glory, backed by ABBA belting out their great “Winner Takes it All” ballad. One nearby lady was heard to say it made her hair stand on end, and that appeared to be the feeling of all guests, who burst into spontaneous applause at the finish.

After the meal there was further time to relax before the Auction of memorabilia started. Simon Tremain took the stand as auctioneer and amazingly coerced over $19,000 out of the audience. The prize item, a framed signed Olympic shirt donated by the Twins, went for over $3000. And as a cameo performance, Mark Read stepped up to auction off, for over $1000, an orthopaedic walking support, signed by the twins.

Kevin Atkinson, Chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital

At the end President John Aikman was able to announce an interim profit of $35,000, and he was followed by Kevin Atkinson, Chairman of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital Board, who announced the Board had approved a $ for $ grant, so the Trust Fund to be established to commemorate the late Dr Oliver Smales, will start with at least $70,000.

 

Since the Dinner, the final figures for the night,

show a profit of $44,500,

so with the contribution from the Hawkes' Bay DHB, the

Dr. Oliver Smales Memorial Trust will start with $89,000.

Bob Twaddle & Nathan Twaddle

President John Aikman announces an interim profit of $35,000

Mark Read swings into action, extracting $1000 for a signed walking stick

Kevyn can't believe the bids!


Historic Footnote:

The twins spoke to the Club in October 1996, being invited by Mark Read. The Bulletin records:

"Mark Read introduced Caroline & Georgina, 17 year-old twins who represented NZ at the World Junior Rowing Champs in Scotland. Chris has a considerable sporting history himself (Munich 8) and describes himself as their "minder and motivator".

"Caroline began rowing first and showed considerable natural skill, particularly in single and double sculls, where she won everything, even against much older women. She represented NZ in the coxless 4's in Poland, living on bananas and bottled water to avoid getting sick. Her enjoyment finally encouraged Georgina to give it a try and she has gone from novice to a national representative in a very short time. After beating Australia 2-1 in a test series, they were selected for the World Championships. After 3 week in England, they went to Scotland for the Champs, but feel that they 'goofed' in the semi-finals through inexperience."

At the Beijing Olympic Games 2008 Georgina and Caroline defended their Olympic title in the double sculls, defeating the Germans by just 1/100th of a second. They immediately announced their retirement from rowing.

On the evening of the Club's 50th year celebrations, both women were awarded a Paul Harris Medal in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

In December 2008, Caroline married a fellow rower, Carl Meyer and two months later, Georgina married Sam Earl, also a fellow rower.