It was meant to be an interview with Moe Turaga and Lloyd Finnis about the Wantok Foundation and their charity work in the Solomons.
Instead, Moe and Lloyd were there to represent the Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak; and they were there to present 4BU’s Wide Bay Today Host Billy Healy with the Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Moe Turaga said it was an important Award. “The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition is The Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and education programmes and is named for our Founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with 3 business associates in 1905” said Moe. “Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation, which Billy’s clearly does.”
Billy Healy said he was honoured with his award. “Today I joined a Million other people as a recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow award. Thank you to all involved. Let me quote what the certificate says because it says how I feel. “The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. William “Billy” Healy is hereby named a Paul Harris Fellow in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.”
“What is Paul Harris Fellow? When a person is recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow, they are presented with a Certificate signed by the Rotary International President and the Chairman of the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, and a lapel pin and medallion. The contribution to The Rotary Foundation can be made in one sum or by cumulative giving over a number of years. Individuals can make a personal contribution or the contribution can be from a club, a company or business. Thank you, Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak,” said Billy .
Bundaberg Broadcasters’ General Manager Trish Mears was delighted to help coordinate the surprise. “When Lloyd and Moe first approached me about presenting Billy with this important humanitarian Award, I was delighted to help make it happen” said Trish.
In a highly organised operation, Trish concealed the other Rotary members in her office until the interview was underway and Moe sent her a text to enter the studio mid-interview. “Of course, we’d normally never go into the studio while Billy’s on air, but to see the look on his face when Moe announced the Award live on air was priceless,” said Trish. “We are very proud of the amazing job Billy does in the community.”
In his live presentation Moe summed up the work that Billy does. “Please accept our congratulations and sincere thanks for your commitment to our common goals of world understanding and peace. Mate today you stand with notables such as Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Prince Charles, Indira Gandhi, Luciano Pavarotti, King Hussein of Jordan, Pope John Paul II and about 950,000 Paul Harris Fellows worldwide.”