Rotary service awards abound

Sophie Warner and Dave Hawes

The Rotary Club of Somerset West celebrated its 64th year of service to the community, last Monday evening with its annual charter dinner.

Chartered in 1955, it is the second oldest Rotary club in the Helderberg Basin, and one of the very few Rotary clubs in the country which owns its own clubhouse.

It was a festive occasion, which the club used to make a string of awards to members of the community who have distinguished themselves with their respective community service initiatives, living out the Rotary motto of “service above self”.

The awards were conferred by club president, Dave Hawes, and he took the trouble to read out each citation, which details the nature of the recipient’s contribution to the community.

Freya Brett received a Rotary International community service award for her dedication and commitment over many years for introducing nature conservation and fostering a love of nature in the young from local schools, through the Helderberg ECO-Schools project which funds school excursions to the Helderberg Nature Reserve.

Elizabeth Naomi Ferreira received a Rotary International community service award for her dedication over more than twelve years to bettering the lives and futures of abandoned children through the Tereo School for Street Children and Children at Risk, in Somerset West.

Bevan Sylvester received a Rotary International community service award for his dedication and commitment in introducing music to the community as a medium to promote understanding and peace, as evidenced by his organising of the annual “Carols by Candlelight” concert at Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West.

Fiona Walker, who is a member of Rotary Somerset West, was confirmed a Paul Harris Fellow for her exceptional leadership and guidance to the community and through playing a leading role in eight major community projects.

Sophia Warner was confirmed a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of her founding The Pebbles Project 2004, which has grown to serving 1 600 children on over 50 farms in the Cape Winelands, providing early childhood development, after school clubs, school leaver guidance, daily learner feeding, primary health care, parent workshops, social work and substance abuse programmes.