Ser­vice earns a fel­low­ship

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVID HULME

Giv­ing comes easy for Richard Met­calfe and it is his gen­eros­ity in both time and fi­nances which saw the Ro­tary Club of Mata­mata recog­nise his ded­i­ca­tion to ser­vice above self with a Paul Har­ris Fel­low award last week.

Six years ago, Mr Met­calfe sug­gested the club visit the Walsh Me­mo­rial Fly­ing School for its first meet­ing of the year, a tra­di­tion which has con­tin­ued, so it was ap­pro­pri­ate that the club could present the award to him at the Fly­ing School last week.

A former Royal New Zealand Air Force pi­lot and mil­i­tary at­tache to Sin­ga­pore and Thai­land, Mr Met­calfe and his wife Carol moved to Mata­mata 17 years ago and it was not long be­fore he joined the district’s Ro­tary club.

In his 16 years with the club, he has held two di­rec­tor­ships, be­ing vice- pres­i­dent and pres­i­dent, sec­re­tary and sergeant-at-arms.

He was also a prime ini­tia­tor of the club’s Ap­ple Pie fundrais­ing evening in 2001, which raised $10,000 for the vic­tims of the 9/11 ter­ror at­tacks in the United States.

Richard and Carol have al­ways opened their home for var­ied fundrais­ing ef­forts over the years and have been driv­ing forces be­hind the club’s sup­port of Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional’s pro­grammes to get aid to dis­as­ter-hit re­gions around the world.

Ro­tary Club of Mata­mata pres­i­dent Graeme Guil­ford said Mr Met­calfe was a val­ued mem­ber of the club and truly de­serv­ing of the recog­ni­tion for not only the hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice un­der­taken but also the fi­nan­cial sup­port of Ro­tary in­ter­na­tion­ally.

‘‘ This award is as much about Carol and her in­put,’’ Mr Guil­ford said. ‘‘ They are both fully com­mit­ted to the ideals of Ro­tary and sup­port Ro­tary projects when­ever they can.

‘‘It is a great plea­sure to be able to recog­nise this con­tri­bu­tion.’’

Mr Met­calfe said he was hugely sur­prised to re­ceive the ac­co­lade and he en­cour­aged his fel­low Ro­tar­i­ans to con­tinue to sup­port the Ro­tary Foun­da­tion’s work when they could.

‘‘I think it (the Paul Har­ris recog­ni­tion) is as much for com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties and sup­port of Ro­tary lo­cally as it is for fundrais­ing for Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional,’’ he said.

‘‘The global reach of Ro­tary is prob­a­bly the rea­son that most of us have joined this great or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­ter­na­tion­ally it does a huge amount of work, par­tic­u­larly with the Po­lio Plus cam­paign (a Ro­tary In­ter­na­tion­aldriven world­wide ef­fort to erad­i­cate po­lio from the planet).

‘‘ I com­mend th­ese ideals to you all and ask that you con­tinue to give what you can to Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional so it can carry on with this amaz­ing work.’’

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