Ro­tar­ian hum­bled by award

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVID HULME

Putting the needs of those less for­tu­nate first has led Mata­mata Ro­tar­ian Eric Muckle to be recog­nised as a Paul Har­ris Fel­low.

The award was pre­sented to Muckle dur­ing the Ro­tary Club of Mata­mata’s an­nual change-over din­ner ear­lier this month.

Paul Har­ris was the founder of Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional, a world­wide ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tion which has more than 1.2 mil­lion mem­bers in 189 coun­tries.

While shocked and hum­bled by the recog­ni­tion, Muckle was quick to point out that all mem­bers play a vi­tal role in how the club func­tions.

‘‘I think Mata­mata Ro­tary has the com­mu­nity at heart and I be­lieve the things we all do are for the good of ev­ery­one – both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.’’

Muckle un­der­took a trip to Nepal to work with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity and while he was over there he vis­ited sev­eral projects to which Mata­mata Ro­tary had con­trib­uted.

‘‘It was very touch­ing to see what kind of a dif­fer­ence our small fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion could make in the lives of young people in a coun­try less for­tu­nate than our own,’’ Muckle said.

‘‘We vis­ited a school where 350 chil­dren had ba­si­cally no toi­let fa­cil­i­ties prior to as­sis­tance be­ing given and thanks to Ro­tar­i­ans, not just from Mata­mata but around the world, a new toi­let block was built for that school.’’

While in Nepal, Muckle also vis­ited a sec­ondary school, where more than 1100 stu­dents were be­ing taught in a school with just three class­rooms. This visit in­spired an­other project which Mata­mata Ro­tar­i­ans got in­volved with.

‘‘I have been re­ally proud of our [ Mata­mata Ro­tary’s] ef­forts in Nepal and it is re­ally very hum­bling to know that you have man­aged to do some­thing to help the ed­u­ca­tion of chil­dren in the world’s fifth poor­est coun­try.’’

Muckle was pres­i­dent of the club in 2011-2012 and has played leading roles in sev­eral projects in­clud­ing the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Ro­tary Skate Park, the pur­chase of a de­fib­ril­la­tor for Mata­mata Col­lege and a scrap metal drive.

As well as his work with Ro­tary, Muckle is an el­der at the Mata­mata Union Par­ish.

Ro­tary Club of Mata­mata im­me­di­ate past pres­i­dent Eric Tan­ner said Muckle was a very de­serv­ing re­cip­i­ent of the award.

‘‘Eric [Muckle] is al­ways will­ing to un­der­take any task and led the club in the ex­tremely suc­cess­ful Swimarathon in 2012 which saw the Mata­mata com­mu­nity raise $20,000 for Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional’s End Polio Now cam­paign.

‘‘Un­der his lead­er­ship, Mata­mata club raised the sin­gle largest amount of the 120 par­tic­i­pat­ing clubs world­wide,’’ Tan­ner said.

‘‘ He al­ways en­sures that projects he un­der­takes are com­pleted to a high stan­dard and he is al­ways will­ing to help with what­ever the club is do­ing.’’

Photo: DAVID HULME

RECOG­NISED: Mata­mata Ro­tar­ian Eric Muckle has been recog­nised as a Paul Har­ris Fel­low.

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