Tobias Ellwood PHF

On Thursday 21st February 2019 Honorary Member of Bournemouth East Cliff Rotary Club Tobias Ellwood was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow

Mr Mayor, guests and fellow members, it is my privilege this evening to confirm the election of our Honorary Member Tobias Ellwood as a Paul Harris Fellow. This is as many of you will know is the highest award in Rotary reserved for those who have demonstrated the true spirit of our mantra Service above Self.

It was back in 2005 that our club invited the newly elected Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East to join our club as an honorary member. Sometime later Tobias confided that he had accepted our invitation as he held Rotary in high regard following the assistance he received when, in 2002, he had to travel to Bali in the aftermath of the terrorist outrage which had tragically claimed the life of his brother Jonathan.

Since his election to honorary membership Tobias has kept in touch, and taken part in our events, whenever the demands of his family, constituents and Parliamentary duties have permitted.

Now we must fast forward to 22nd March 2017 when the appalling action of a deranged individual claimed the lives of 4 innocent people and injured many others on Westminster Bridge before the terrorist attacked PC Keith Palmer on duty outside the Palace of Westminster. It was at the time when the attack was underway, and many Members of Parliament and others were understandably urged to return to the safety of the building, that Tobias, ignoring his personal safety, went to the aid of PC Keith Palmer and did his utmost to save his life.

Sadly we have all become all too familiar with terrorist attacks but the images of the horror of that day and the sight of Tobias in the aftermath were destined to be brought back into focus when details of the inquest into the death of PC Palmer and the others emerged in September 2018

At that time the testaments from witnesses spoke so very highly of the actions taken by Tobias to try and save the life of PC Palmer, and I have to admit our association with him somehow brought the atrocity of terrorism closer to home.

Having consulted with my colleagues it was unanimously agreed that Tobias should be nominated for election as a Paul Harris Fellowship having demonstrated the very highest possible example of Service above Self.

So now Tobias I would like to present you with the two emblems of appreciation given to a Paul Harris Fellow, the certificate, and lapel pin. Please accept these together with our thanks for the courage you demonstrated and the example you set on that terrible day.