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JAYCEE: Developers of People, BuildersOf Community
By Graham Butterworth, Susan Butterworth

Hardback, 2007, 293pages, excellent condition

In its heyday from the 1940s to the 1980s, New Zealand Jaycee was one of the liveliest service organisations in the country. Its members were indeed both 'developers of people' and 'builders of communities'. The organisationa??s impressive contribution to the social infrastructure of New Zealand after World War II is well known. Every community had amenities built or aided by the Jaycees. Its role in training leaders in politics, local government and business is less well known but many an MP and mayor learned public speaking and meeting procedure in a Jaycee chapter. Jaycee was also an international movement that looked to foster world peace through democracy, trade and international brotherhood. New Zealand Jaycees boxed far above their weight in the international body, taking a strong lead in the Asia-Pacific region. But, like the whole voluntary sector throughout the western world, Jaycee lost ground as new forces in society and the economy invaded its niche. By century's end the decline in social capital and social cohesion emerged as a worldwide concern. As the New Zealand movement celebrates its 75th anniversary it faces reinventing itself in this new situation. This book makes an important contribution to New Zealand history and the international study of service organisations. Hitherto the major service clubs have been below historians' radar, taken for granted until they began to decline. Jaycee is a candid study of the forces that first encouraged and then weakened the voluntary sector. At the beginning of the 21st century New Zealand needs to know how to revive the vibrant community engagement that was one of our greatest assets.

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