Sapphire for Don

Christmas Lunch also proved to be a great surprise for Don Woolford.  As the speeches, competitions and everything else had reached the end the President spoke of a member of the Club who had achieved such a great deal as a Rotarian that he was been awarded a Sapphire Paul Harris Fellowship.  To say the least Don was quite stunned when it was revealed that he was the Rotarian.  His nomination is shown below.

Don has been a Rotarian for 37 years (Malvern 1971 – 74, our club since 1985) and has been an enthusiastic member throughout being Club President for the year 1991-92.  He was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2000.

He was instrumental in establishing a brand new Rotary Club which would reflect the modern ethos of the then ‘New Town’ image of Telford, working tirelessly until, in 1992, Telford Town Centre Club was formed. Under his guidance, the Club reflected the latest thinking in the Rotary movement. It was initiated as a breakfast club and a concerted effort was made to introduce female members – something unusual for Rotary at that time. At it’s charter night the club got off to a flying start with 33 members, but later struggled with membership. Don was there to support them through that difficult period, attending meetings regularly and introducing a rota for members from Wellington Rotary Club to attend as well. The club is now thriving, celebrating it’s 25th Charter in 2017. Don is held in great esteem by the club. They regard him as their father figure and affectionately refer to him as The Godfather. He continues to support them.

Since receiving his PHF he has continued to be an active member of our Club. He was heavily involved with the introduction of our club magazine (Robabilia) overseeing it’s development to the hugely popular circulation that it is today. He has supported the Telford Tree of Light year on year, attending faithfully to count the money (in true Bank Manager style) at the ‘Blue Peter Club’ and sitting around the actual tree to promote it to the public. Don assists at any event that he can, just one example being his commitment to our annual Charity Golf Day. Furthermore, he has recently achieved the giddy heights of being appointed Deputy Musical Director.

The photoraphs show, from the top:  Don receiving his award from President Peter;  Don with President Elect Vic;  Don with President Elect Nick and Past president Frank of the Rotary Club of Telford Centre.

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