As Quota International of Rotorua turns 40, two long-term members say the club has given them the opportunity to give back to the local community.

A lunch will be held on Sunday at the Sudima Hotel to celebrate its charter exactly 40 years before.

Founded in 1919 Quota is an international service organisation that links members of all ages, occupations and nationalities in a worldwide network of service and friendship.

Barbara Cumming, 76, was one of the first members of the Rotorua branch.


Returning to Rotorua after being part of Quota while living and working in Fiji, Mrs Cumming said she heard on the breakfast news in 1977 about a club to be chartered here.

"The club has gone from strength to strength over the years."

Her work has included setting up a junior Quota club at Rotorua Girls' High School.

She said the girls had taken part in many fundraising events, including a mufti day to raise funds for Hearing House in Auckland, an organisation which assists anyone with hearing impediments, and bringing canned goods and gifts for children and mothers at the local women's refuge.

"My heart is in Quota and I do a lot for it. The reason I joined was it was a way of giving back to the community in a broader sense than an individual ... [Quota] is a big part of my life and it will continue to be."

Betty Milligan, 81, had been acknowledged internationally by Quota International Inc as Rotorua's Volunteer of the Year 2017. She said her certificate will be presented at the lunch on Sunday.

"I was delighted. It almost seems as if I've received it for all the work and effort over the years. I've really enjoyed being with Quota and have travelled extensively to meetings in conferences in India, the Philippines and India."

Ms Milligan, the current secretary, was introduced to Quota 38 years ago by her friend Mrs Cumming.

She said major fundraisers in the 1990s, the hospice Christmas memory tree and initiating the mahjong tournament were some of her fondest memories.

"Giving back is a big part. [Quota] has given me confidence and assurance. I've met lots of people and enjoyed doing it. I've learnt computer skills and I send out the monthly newsletter."

Ms Milligan said she had enjoyed the lead-up to the 40th anniversary celebrations as she had been in contact with past members she had not heard from in 20 years.

At the lunch she would present the last 15 years of the history of the club.

Jill Muriwai, president of Quota International of Rotorua, said the majority of members would attend the luncheon, including members from Whakatane, Optiki and Auckland clubs.

She commended the work of Mrs Cumming and Mrs Milligan. "They are huge part of Quota."