In a surprise addition to the Tree of Light Presentation Evening, President John announced to all those gathered to celebrate the success of the Tree of Light campaign that he wished to make another presentation.
He said, “Before we formally conclude this evening’s event we are going off script, or should I say I am taking you off the Committee Chairman’s script. The Rotary organisation was formed in 1905. It was the vision of a Chicago attorney Paul Harris. It started off as a club where people with diverse interests could exchange ideas and form meaningful relationships. It is now a worldwide service organisation. In 1957, our founder’s name was used when the Paul Harris Fellowship was established to recognise appreciation for the substantial contributions made by Rotarians and others.
This evening’s chairman Peter has been a member of the Rotary Club of Wellington since February 2006 and soon after joining he was an active participant in the work of the Club. He took on the responsibilities of our Youth Committee Chairmanship and developed the relationships with local schools and colleges, encouraging their involvement in many of the national competitions run by our national Rotary organisation. In 2008 he joined the Tree of Light committee as one of Wellington’s representatives and quickly took on additional responsibilities – maintenance of the Tree of Light Website since 2009, helping with the database administration – taking on full responsibility in 2011. He became a Trustee of the Telford & District Trust Fund charity in 2012 and took on the chairmanship of the organising committee ahead of the 2013 Tree of Light. He has advanced the Tree of Light organisation by training data inputters, co-ordinating the production of a procedural handbook (which has been of benefit to other Rotary Clubs planning a Tree of Light for their communities) and introduced the ability to submit names to be remembered and make a donation online using PayPal.
A few moments ago, I indicated that the Paul Harris Fellowship award is a recognition of substantial contributions made by people, not necessarily Rotarians, to their community. I am sure everyone will agree that the significant contribution made by Peter Seaward to both the Tree of Light and the work of the Rotary Club of Wellington makes him a worthy recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.”
President John then invested Peter as a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his service to Rotary and the Community which has truly been “Service above Self”.