Service above self
DAVID Goldstone often talks and writes about himself in the third person.
It is the Crawley resident’s way of avoiding credit for his many achievements.
“This is a beautiful story, a story about young people, a story about creativity, a story about innovation, a success story of the 21st century, a modern story” is how Mr Goldstone starts when he recalls how Rotary of Crawley, shortened to ROC, started.
The 79-year-old, who is moving to Melbourne with Hannah, his wife of 47 years, was among eight people who in 2010 founded the club that has an average membership age of 40 and where women make up half of the members.
“There were two parts to that dream… the first was to accommodate young people and the second part of the dream was the idea of creating a scholarship for young people aged 20-25 who couldn’t afford a hamburger a week, let alone $30 each week for a Rotary breakfast,” Mr Goldstone said.
“The scholarship was definitely the most successful part of our program.”
Every year ROC gives about 20 university students $5000 so they can join the club and make a difference.
It has paid off with the last four Young West Australian of the Year winners – Tim Lefroy ( 2014), Michael Sheldrick ( 2013), Holly Ransom (2012) and Akram Azimi (2011) – hailing from the club.
“We must be doing something right,” Mr Goldstone said.
The Rotarian joined the order 45 years ago, first at the Rotary Club of East Perth and then Rotary Club of Matilda Bay, where he organised the Subiaco Craft and Community Fair for five years.
Mr Goldstone said fundraising came easy to him and he never accepted no for an answer.
His strength and determination came from battling polio 57 years ago. He was diagnosed just days from his 21st birthday and survived when many did not.
“I am blessed to have pushed that barrier for 58 years,” Mr Goldstone, who has spoken publically about his experience only once, said.
In 2011, Michael Sheldrick approached the Rotarian in the lead-up to his bid to convince then Prime Minister Julia Gillard to pledge $50 million to his global End of Polio campaign. Over coffee, Mr Sheldrick asked Mr Goldstone to speak in front of 1000 world delegates about polio.
After first refusing, Mr Goldstone later agreed but shared his experience in the third person, only revealing at the end that he was not sharing his friend’s experience but his own.
David Goldstone is a founding member of Rotary Crawley.