There cannot be many Rotarians who receive the same prestigious award twice whilst a member of the same club. However, Bill Wake, a member of Amble and Warkworth Rotary Club for 50 years, is one of the select band to have been awarded two Paul Harris Fellowship Awards.
The award is named after Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary in 1905, and Rotarians designate a Paul Harris Fellow as “someone whose life has demonstrated a shared purpose with the objectives of the Rotary Foundation”.
Bill has been a Rotarian since 1967. He opened his first chemist shop in Red Row in 1951, and later moved the premises to the Hadston Precinct. He became a Rotarian to give something back to the local community, which had been so supportive to his business.
During his time in Rotary, Bill has held a number of posts. He was president from 1980/81 and was secretary for 16 years. At a recent meeting Bill was presented with a certificate to mark his 50 years in Rotary.
He said: “I am very proud and honoured to receive this certificate. I’ve found that my experience in Rotary has been very fulfilling as I’ve been involved in community projects and fund-raising for many excellent and worthwhile causes, both local and international. I have also made a lot of good friends, and have many fond memories.”
The certificate was presented by retiring club president Stephen Kerry, himself a Rotarian for 30 years.
He said: “Presenting this certificate to Bill has been the highlight of my year as president. He has been an outstanding Rotarian who has certainly lived up to Rotary’s motto ‘Service before Self’.