Rotarians marked Paul Harris Fellowship Night with 2 inductees
The Rotary Club of Orangeville celebrated the annual Paul Harris Fellowship Night last Thursday, May 23 by selecting two new recipients of the award.
The club’s Paul Harris Fellowship Selection Committee arranged for the evening. Under the Chairmanship of Bob Burnside, the committee consisted of Keith Hunter, John Russell and Peter Parkinson – a stellar group of Rotarians representing over 200 years of Service Above Self in the club.
Keith Hunter opened the evening and gave a brief history of the Award, the Rotary Foundation, and noted the donation to the Rotary Foundation of $1,000 (US) earned the club the honour of awarding a Paul Harris Fellowship. Since 1974, The Rotary Club of Orangeville has awarded some 60 medals, 40 to Rotary Members and 20 to community individuals. The primary reason for selection for an award is that the individual chosen should have lived by the Rotary motto, Service Above Self, and made outstanding contributions in Community Service.
Peter Parkinson made the first presentation, to Rotarian Cherryl Harvey. Cherryl was delighted to have her son, sister and best friend present to share the evening with her. Peter outlined Cherryl’s background, education and work history in the field of banking. In his usual presentation style, Peter compared bankers and lawyers most humorously. Cherryl was club president during the formative year of Ribfest, and was chosen Rotarian of the Year, introduced more “fun” into the meetings in her year, and always ended each meeting with a joke. She also served on the 2012 board of directors for Theatre Orangeville.
Bob Burnside made the second presentation to community leader Larry Kurtz, who was pleased to have his father, wife and other family members present to share his special evening. Bob explained that Larry’s family came from the Highway 7 area between Brampton and Guelph, attended high school in Acton, and then went to Sheridan College briefly before embarking on a career in woodworking, starting with a move to Orangeville in 1982 and the establishment of Kurtz Millwork in 1990. Larry is a skilled craftsman in millwork of an historic nature, specifically Victorian.
Larry’s interest in music, in particular blues and jazz, saw him spearhead, using his own funds, a Festival in 2003 that had some 2,000 patrons attend the one-day event. In 2004, the Town provided some funds and the event drew some 5,000 patrons.
Every year since has seen the Blues & Jazz Festival get bigger and better; in 2012 the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival had 160 volunteers, 33,000 patrons, and an annual budget of $200,000.
This year’s festival is next weekend with free music in some 22 venues, a wide variety of musicians and, for the first time, a feature area for local musicians to perform. In addition to his woodworking business and his Festival passion, Larry volunteers in the community by providing music days in local schools to introduce students to music.