A new Rotary dawn

WINNING IN SERVICE: Bev Radue, Delene Hawkins, Dave Hawkins and Heather Howard were recipients of the Rotary honour awards at the Rotary Port Alfred induction dinner last week Picture: LEBOGANG TLOU

ELEGANCE and camaraderie were on high display at the 32nd induction dinner of Rotary Port Alfred, held at the Port Alfred River and Ski-boat club last week.

Dave Hawkins was once more inducted as the president of Rotary Port Alfred, for his second consecutive term. In his speech, Hawkins spoke about all the social opportunities which were seized by Rotary, including a talk regarding the once prominent Grahamstown to Port Alfred railway line, a talk about Alzheimer’s Disease, a local recycling project, and an annual swimathon to raise funds to fight polio.

Most events having been enthusiastically supported by Rotary members as well as non-members in the community.

[pullquote]“Many people came to our talk by Jessica Pitchford promoting her book Blood on their hands. If you remember, that talk was very well supported,” Hawkins said.[/pullquote]

“Danny Wepener and Hennie Marais addressed us on local issues, items of interest; and our Christmas dinner at the Wharf Street was enjoyed by everyone in a relaxed atmosphere with beautiful decorations, and Heather Howard’s magic touch with a special verse with some fun and games. It was such a lovely and relaxed event,” he continued.

“Sadly, we lost two members – Elaine Fitzgerald, who left for Florida, and Ettienne Mouton – whose work keeps him out of town most of the time.

“Our Purejoy project initiated by Martin Allison and Bev Radue ran smoothly thanks to every member doing their shifts, and I’m sure that team will run it again this year. Delene’s High Tea was a great success which brought in a lot of funds, as was our bargain hunt, where Rotarians and friends donated goods for us to sell at the open day market; these projects are worth repeating again in the New Year.”

Hawkins was inducted by the governor of Rotary district 9370, Bruce Steele-Gray, who is undertaking a Rotary friendship trip to Turkey with his wife Pippa.

The evening was ushered along most fashionably by teacher and Rotarian Julie Beer, who presided as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. After a toast to South Africa, followed by a toast to Rotary International and the Rotarian prayer, those attending enjoyed a relishing starter of crunchy fish Gujongs, which was followed by a toast to the Rotary Anns and the past presidents roll call and toast delivered by Rotary Port Alfred secretary Heather Howard.

There was an award ceremony afterwards, before which Rotary officially welcomed Roy and Carol Oliver to the Port Alfred family of Rotarians. Delene Hawkins was awarded the Honours Attendance Award for her unyielding service to Rotary Port Alfred, and for her unfailing service to our community. Heather Howard was awarded the Wandelstok Jurie Wessels Senior Trophy for Community Service for the work she does around the clock for the district’s Rotary initiative. Bev Radue was awarded both the Tunny Cowley Trophy for Rotarian of the Year as well as the President’s Award after working extremely hard in getting the Rotary accounts up to date especially.

After the awards ceremony, a delightful main course of roast chicken pieces and roast pork were served with crispy potatoes and an assortment of vegetables before Hawkins was once more inducted as president or the organisation, and his wife Delene handed over the Rotary Anns president’s medallion to Pat Whitfield.

Dessert was served in the form of a delectable chocolate mousse and cream. The evening ended with the customary Rotary’s Four-way Test, challenging each member to remember to never stop being the best that they can be for the communities they raise together as a family grouping of people.

Rotary is an international organisation of people who work towards the betterment of their communities, especially in times of difficulty. The District 9370 Rotary, which includes members from Alexandria, Kenton-on-Sea, Bathurst, Grahamstown and Port Alfred, recently raised R736 000 towards generating aid for those who suffered severe losses during the Knysna fires two weeks ago, and this – according to president Dave Hawkins – was done in only a week.