Rotary honours two for selfless service
Communities and clubs need people Gwen Kirkwood and Barry Mckey.
That is according to Rotary district 9930 governor Raewyn Kirkman who was in Matamata last week to present the duo with awards for service to the town over many years.
Mr Mckey has been a member of the Rotary Club of Matamata for almost 40 years and before that was a member of the Jaycees Club in town.
He was recognised for his service with a sapphire pin to his original Paul Harris Fellow award, becoming just the third Matamata Rotarian to receive this award twice.
‘‘This has really blown me away,’’ Mr Mckey said. ‘‘It is a huge honour. It is the fellowship of Rotary that keeps me coming back.’’
Mr Mckey now lives in Tauranga but travels back to Matamata every week for Rotary and to undertake other community service with organisations like the Matamata Historical Society.
He has held many positions in Rotary and was club president in 1997 and 1998 which he noted as a highlight of his time in the organisation.
The club also recognised Mrs Kirkwood for her outstanding service to Matamata over more than 60 years.
Mrs Kirkwood was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal some years ago for her work with the Waikato Branch of IHC, having spent more than 40 years on the local fundraising committee.
For almost four decades she organised the annual house-to-house appeals in town and helped with staffing the local Matamata Community Board Opportunity Shop.
She has also worked with Save the Children, the Matamata Friendship Committee, Meals on Wheels, Care and Craft, the National Council of Women, Samaritans, and the Mata-
like mata Christmas Choir.
‘‘I am very humbled to be recognised like this,’’ Mrs Kirkwood said.
‘‘All the things I have done have been done in conjunction with a lot of other people and they deserve recognition as well.
‘‘So I am accepting this Paul Harris Fellow award on behalf of all these people,’’ Mrs Kirkwood said. ‘‘Rotary does wonderful work in our community.’’
Matamata Rotary president Eric Muckle said both recipients were worthy of the recognition.
‘‘Gwen is an inspiration to people with her service-above-self attitude which is Rotary’s ideal and that is what makes communities run,’’ Mr Muckle said.
‘‘And Barry is a solid club man with a heart for Rotary and the community. He is interested in history and a wide variety of community-inspired projects and he is a vital member of our club.’’
Rotarian Barry Mckey is presented with a sapphire pin to his Paul Harris Fellow Award by Rotary district 9930 governor Raewyn Kirkman.
Moment to remember: