Whilst we do from time to time scatter as a group to other clubs, there is another reason we visited Oswestry Borderlands so soon after our last visit.
President John said, ‘Some time ago the Rotary Club of Wellington was apathetic towards getting involved with District 1210 and it didn’t get involved in District competitions. The Wellington Club has changed and now gets involved in the District competitions including those that involve students. We support at least two, often more, participants in our district’s RYLA and we have encouraged our local schools and colleges to regularly put forward candidates for competitions such as Young Chef and Young Innovator. A past member of our club made great efforts to persuade the club of the benefits of supporting students in these activities.
The good partnership with schools and colleges that we have now stems from the work this member did in establishing the initial relationships. With his background in education he understood how schools and colleges worked and the time constraints staff had but he could also demonstrate the benefits they would gain from enhancing their curriculum and developing links with the community. At a later point, that member was also instrumental in developing and getting the Wellington Club to accept a scheme to make a Higher Education award each year. This is given to students about to leave local colleges to allow them to enhance their study by the provision of extra equipment to use with their course. This award has been used to purchase an embellishing machine for a fashion design student and a dry suit for someone going on to study marine biology. Not only did he work within our club to get members to appreciate the value of such support, he is one of the few within our club that have worked on a district committee, helping to develop and support the work of the District with young people.
Following the foresight of that member, I am pleased to say we very active in Youth Support today. The member that changed things is in this room tonight. He was also President of our Club in 2013-14. The Paul Harris Fellowship was created in 1957 to recognise appreciation for the substantial contribution made by Rotarians and others. It gives me great pleasure to ask Rotarian Peter Martin to come forward and receive a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition by the Rotary Club of Wellington of your service to Rotary which has truly been “Service above Self”.”