Fred wins top Rotary fellowship
From selling raffle tickets and Christmas puddings to highlighting areas of the world that most would never dream of, let alone visit, Fred Barrett has spent more than 20 years serving the Matamata community through Rotary.
Last week at the club’s annual change of officers evening, Mr Barrett’s 23-year contribution to Rotary was recognised when he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. The award, named after the founder of Rotary, is given to those whose lives exemplify the objectives of Rotary.
‘‘This really is a huge surprise,’’ Mr Barrett told fellow Rotarians at the dinner. ‘‘I would not have counted myself worthy but thank you. I was invited to join this club in 1988 and have enjoyed every minute of it since.’’
Newly-elected club president Eric Muckle said Mr Barrett had been chosen for the award because he demonstrated in his life a commitment to helping others.
‘‘Fred was president of our club in the 2003-2004 Rotary year and has held directorships on several other occasions. He has also been involved with the Rotary District Exchange Committee for a number of years preparing young students for exchanges overseas,’’ Mr Muckle said.
‘‘Several years ago, Fred undertook to sell raffle tickets in Rotary clubs throughout the District, helping the club to raise more than $7000 for a Rotary programme which brings sick children from developing countries to Australia and New Zealand for life-changing or life-saving operations.’’
Mr Barrett’s ‘‘adventure’’ with Rotary began in 1960 when aged 20 he was a Rotary Exchange student to Norway. He worked his passage to Norway on a cargo ship and for the return leg he drove overland from London to Calcutta, Mr Muckle said.
Since those days, Mr Barrett has travelled extensively through Eastern Asia, the Middle East and farflung parts of the world. After each trip, he willingly shares his experiences and sells DVDs of the adventures with proceeds to Rotary. Mr Barrett has also been involved in setting up the Taurima Trust Hostel in Hamilton for first-year university students, he has chaired the Matamata Christian Businessmen’s Association and is a director of Longview Trust.
‘‘His enthusiasm for Rotary has not waned over the years,’’ Mr Muckle said. Lucy Kranenburg is feeling proud and relieved after all her hard work leading the ball committee paid off with a splendid occasion last week. Lucy loves design and organising things so organising this function was right up her alley. Lucy has one of the lead roles in the School Production of Quixote and is enjoying playing her character who is feisty and thinks she owns the school.