About the John Ilott Charitable Trust

A small fund was established in 1960 by Wellington businessman and philanthropist, the late Sir John Ilott.  It was substantially increased by his son and daughter, the late Mr J V (Jack) Ilott, and the late Mrs Suzanne McKellar.  Now an incorporated philanthropic Charitable Trust, with a capital base of approximately $3 million, the Trust makes small annual grants, generally in the range of $1,000 – $5,000, up to a total of around $160,000. 

After the death of Sir John in 1973, management of the Trust passed to his son, Jack Ilott, who ran the Trust virtually single-handedly for more than 25 years.  A bachelor with no relatives in NZ, Jack reached an Agreement with the Rotary Club of Wellington (of which Sir John and Jack had both been Presidents) that after his [1999] death, the Rotary Club President, President-Elect, and Immediate Past-President would serve as Ilott Trustees committed to implement the family’s vision. 

This arrangement continues to this day, with the following 2022-2023 officer-bearers of the Rotary Club of Wellington currently serving as Ilott Trustees:

Julie Haggie – RCW President (Chair)
Derek Gill – RCW Immediate Past-President
Roger Blakeley – RCW President-Elect

To minimise the potential discontinuity in governance caused by Trustees serving just one, three-year term, they are supported by an Advisory Committee of five senior Rotarians who may serve two, five-year terms.  While the Trustees retain authority, the Advisory Committee investigates and makes recommendations to the Trustees on matters referred to it.

The Trustees have a duty to grow Trust capital to increase income available for philanthropic use.  To this end, the Trust currently uses Forsyth Barr (Wellington) to actively manage the $3 million investment portfolio within guidelines set by the Trustees.

While advised by the Funds Manager, the Trustees are ultimately accountable for financial oversight.