Ser­vice above self

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By DENISE S. CAHILL

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d430779

David Gold­stone is a found­ing mem­ber of Ro­tary Craw­ley.

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