Mike Harrington Spier was presented with The Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary District Governor Nick Sillitoe and Club president Keith Brownlie at a recent Halstead Rotary Club dinner.
A Paul Harris Fellowship is the highest award that Rotary can present and is done so in recognition of outstanding work the recipient has done in service of the Rotary Foundation or in support of the local or international community.
Mike a former president of the Rotary Club of Halstead's friendship with a teacher helped secure a donation of £1.25 million to the Rotary Foundation UK.
Helen Ruddock, who passed away in 2015 aged 96, was so inspired by the work of the charity that she bequeathed her money to a fund which supports projects to provide clean water and sanitation.
Before making the donation, Helen’s only relationship to the foundation came through former president and pupil Mike Harrington-Spier, who showed her valuable work carried out by Rotary, both in the UK and throughout the world.
Mike, a former pupil of Helen’s and a long-standing friend, said: “Helen knew the value of money and how it could change the lives of so many people if used wisely.
“She knew the money was in safe hands with Rotary and that it would make l make a tremendous difference. Helen was thrifty and prudent with finances but so generous as person.
“During her long life she helped so many to fulfil their promise and it is typical of her that she wanted her legacy to help those families who suffer the most.
Mike was somewhat taken aback but equally delighted to receive the award.
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