Paul Harris Fellow Award

I only joined Rotary because a certain member of the Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise asked me along so many times that I thought it might keep her quiet if I turned up once! It was one of the best things I ever did.

It was not at all like I thought. My justification was that maybe I would get some good business contacts, and it was a morning club so it wouldn’t break into my day too much… My one visit turned into three and I eventually joined the Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise.

One day ten years later I found myself walking a marathon to raise funds for Hospice, along with about 20 of my Rotary colleagues and our partners. Anyone who has walked a marathon (it takes about 6 hours), knows that you have plenty of time to think about things.

It hit me as to what Rotary really meant to me.

* I was walking a marathon – Rotary had me doing things I never dreamed of doing.

* I was raising funds for a good cause – having fun (well sort of) and feeling really good about it.

* I had some special friends – as part of Rotary I felt part of a family, with companionship and unconditional support. Sometimes the fellowship would be at casual gatherings, often while fundraising for local charities, or in some cases we have gone as far as travelling the world together. In times of need the Rotary family was always there to pitch in, in any way they could without any strings attached.

* I had spent a year as the President of the club and had grown tremendously from the experience – each President serves for a year, but is then required to help the personal and leadership development of the incoming President.

* I have become a Paul Harris Fellow – recognition by my peers for my contribution to Rotary.

In short what hit me on that long walk was how much Rotary had become a significant contributor to my life satisfaction. Yes, Rotary is a commitment, but for me it has been a satisfying way to make a difference in my life and in that of others.

Thank you Sandy Hall for being so persistent!