Posted by George Wilson

George Wilson share's his gratitude and thoughts on receiving the Bert McCollum Trophy celebrating him as our "Outstanding Rotarian of the Year" at Changeover in June. Click on the 'read more' link to hear in George's words what this Trophy means to him and learn a little about the wonderful project that sparked the inception of this Trophy.


This Trophy so revered by members yet so feared for the burden of the Silver Polishing marathon required (prior to handing it back for presentation each year) was presented to me for the third time in my 43 years of being a member of Rotary. I am honoured to have been singled out for this award in the knowledge that it really represents the true value of all members and what we do as a collective, joining together for the good of the Community, so thank you all.
This Silver Bowl was first presented to the esteemed Ken Green at the end of President Burt McCollum's year in 1981.  It represented 'The Outstanding Rotarian of the Year' and well deserved it was! The efforts of Ken in all aspects of the Fundraising and Building of the New Ambulance Station next to the Hawkins Centre in Papakura was truly outstanding!

His team included Rob Bursma, who drew at least five sets of plans, Barry Hobman (AKA Bob the Builder), myself as the Marketing and Promotional person and then really, all of the Club Members and Partners who manned the phones for the Telephone Appeal in the process of raising the targeted $200,000.00. We also did envelope drops as far as Manurewa and the fundraising was so successful that not only could we build the station but we also paid for a completely fitted out  Life Support Ambulance.

Coming back to the criteria for an individual to be selected for this award and that it it is a reflection of individual and perhaps exceptional effort for the immediate year passed; it must be remembered that our individual efforts in any one year vary from year to year and must play second fiddle to both our Family and Work commitment. In this I am grateful to both my very patient wife Lyn and my Business Partner Graham Payne. Both individuals made it possible for me to perform this year and I sincerely thank them both.

Please be reminded that this award really is the result of our entire team and the huge effort that you make to the total achievements of our vibrant club, one that I believe punches well above its weight in most respects. One person therefore is but a small cog in the Wheel. 

At the presentation on the Changeover night, I looked to my left at the table that Graham and Deb Viall were sitting alongside my old Shell Dealer friend Bill Matheson and those wonderful Motorcycle people. It  struck me that without their efforts we could not achieve many of the Charitable projects that we do and for that we are grateful to them all. What hit me like a Bolt of Lightning was that Graham with his special gift of foresight, had empowered a team of specialists to pull our Motorcycle Show together and in doing so had formed our first informal " Friends of Rotary Team". Lets all hope that we capture this forward thinking and build on it for the overall health of Rotary and its future. Thank you Graham Viall, you have set the way and it is further proof that everyone has played their part in our Club's success.