Prestigious award recognises Rotary work of dedicated couple

TWO stalwarts have been honoured with the prestigious Paul Harris Award in recognition of their work for Oldham Metro Rotary Club.

Con and Dot Kelly have been heavily involved over the years with club life and activities, especially with the Choral Speaking Festival, which is now in its 35th year.

The couple, from Royton, managed the admin of the festival for 12 years, including coordinating typically 25 local schools, up to 50 choirs and 2,000 pupils, over three days.

Dot and Con Kelly

The award, which is named after the founder of the Rotary organisation Paul P. Harris, has very high standing in Rotary circles and is granted only after being considerable consideration.

Paul Harris founded the first Club to introduce business professionals to meet, exchange ideas, make meaningful contacts and generate friendships.

Over time, it has become a worldwide association with considerable emphasis on humanitarian service.

Meanwhile, October started well for the club under the leadership of new President Garvin Crabtree, who takes on the chains of office for a third time after the retirement of John Cockcroft.

With the help of club members, he plotted the next three months of Rotary business and social events, working around Covid limitations.

The club’s meetings are being held on Zoom which has enabled them to continue their routine of regular meetings and guest speakers.

October’s guests were Joann Hitchens, NW Regional Manager at Papyrus, a charity involved in young people’s welfare and emotional crisis moments and life protection.

The club has decided to help support this very worthwhile cause through the provision of leaflets and posters promoting the Papyrus Help Line in several Oldham senior schools.

The second speaker was Joy Clark, head of Oak Trust, which is a group of schools in Chadderton, who talked about ‘Coping with pandemic in school’.

A social saw members enjoy a chocolate eat, treat and taste evening. There was also a 60s Quiz night, which proved a good laugh and a great success.

On the community action side of life, the club has donated £500 to the local Handyman Group and another £320 to youth club Mahdlo for their Families in Need initiative.

Last month they also decided to support Shoe Aid Charity who are trying to combat shoe poverty. The club donated £100 towards their van running costs and are currently gathering old but fair condition shoes to donate, along with the help of Emmaus Mossley.

Internationally, the Lend With Care project, led by Rotary colleague Frank Murphy, has supported six more entrepreneurs striving to start new businesses and eventually become self-sufficient.

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