LUNCHEON - 30TH OCTOBER 2013
Topic 2013-14 Sir John Reid Community Service Award
Awardee: Margi Haartsen
Chairperson Tom Crampton
The Rotary Club of Melbourne awards the Sir John Reid Community Service Award annually to a person in the Victorian community whose community service is judged to be worthy of special notice. The Award honours the contribution to the Club of Sir John Reid, a Past President, Paul Harris Fellow, recipient of the Vocational Service Award and member of the Club from 1936 to 1984.
In 1987 the Club with then President John Edmonds, commissioned sculptor Michael Meszaros to create a Community Service Award plaque in Sir John’s honour.
The Artist writes “Community service is largely concerned with helping the old, the young, the sick and the unemployed. People in these four categories are constrained and limited by their circumstances. The plaque design shows these four areas enclosed by a wall, but with an open door with perspective lines running out through it to a rising sun. The door has been opened by a hand which belongs to the recipient of the award. The wall is the limitations, the door is the release from those limitations and the lines leading to the sun are the new opportunities. The hand makes it all happen”.
This year’s recipient will be Margi Haartsen for her outstanding service to the community.
Synopsis Of The Meeting
Last Wednesday the 30th was the luncheon to present the Sir John Reid Community Service Award for 2014. As you may recall, the award is made to honour someone devoted to community for a lengthy period and which has been undertaken without remuneration. The awardee is normally not a Rotarian nor previously recognised for their work.
Margi Haartsen has been a dedicated volunteer for nearly three decades. When Open Doors commenced operations in 1984 as a crisis counselling service in the Ringwood region, Margi applied for one of the first volunteer counsellor training courses. Since that first training course, Margi has been a dedicated and tireless volunteer; counselling weekly, attending monthly training, and since 2004 has been an important part of the counselling team at healing retreat weekends, three times a year.
In addition, for almost as many years she has been helping to enrich the marriages of many couples. She has conducted over 80 marriage preparation courses in conjunction with her husband John. If that isn’t enough, Margi has been holding marriage enrichment seminars for groups of 4 to 10 couples for nearly 20 years at locations across Victoria.
Recently, Margi volunteered her services with Hope Builders International. Last year she visited a city in Uganda at her own expense to help improve living standards for the disadvantaged.
Clearly, Margi is a dedicated, tireless, and passionate volunteer. She has touched the lives of many and has made the world a better place from her compassion, empathy and willingness to make a positive difference to people’s lives.
Sir John Reid’s daughter Margaret Ross, and two of his granddaughters, Elizabeth McKenzie and Kay McKenzie represented their mother, Jean Hadges, Margaret’s sister who could not be with us to support this important legacy, now more than a quarter of a century in the making.
Many thanks to the entire Community Welfare Committee for their assistance to make this year’s Sir John Reid Community Service Award such a great success.