Service earns a fellowship
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.’’