At an elegant ceremony on 22 January a Paul Harris award, which exemplifies selfless service to the community, was handed over to representatives of each of the Garden Route SPCA (GR SPCA), the George Fire Department and the Garden Route District Municipality fire-fighters who battled the fires and look care of animals during and after the widespread fires that began in October 2018.
George Rotary President Frances Feig opened the proceedings and said she was delighted that the heads of all of the nominated honourees wanted the award to be bestowed upon every staff member in their organisation and not just to the people on the front lines.
“After the devastating fires in the Southern Cape last year, it was decided to reward a few individuals that had done something really special. We approached the two fire departments, Garden Route & George Fire and the SPCA. In all three cases we were informed that nominating individuals was not in any way possible as everyone, including the admin staff had done their bit, and walked the extra mile to fight this devastating catastrophe,” said the summary of the event that Rotary posted on their website.
After the audience was treated to presentations by representatives of the fire departments and the GR SPCA, President Frances Feig and the club’s Vocational Services Director Phoebus Minkner handed over the certificates. “This award should be displayed with pride and honour,” the President said in her address.
Rotary International is the only organisation of its kind that acknowledges vocational excellence. They have active projects throughout the year that exemplify their mission to better society through friendship in business and uplifting the youth.
“The GR SPCA is honoured to have been given this award,” said management committee chairperson Wendy Jones. “Thank you Rotary for recognising the bravery and determination of our staff who entered areas under threat from the numerous fires and again after fires that had been extinguished. They put their lives in danger on many occasions, refusing to stop looking for animals that were in danger or had been injured, trapped or left without a natural food source after the fires,” she added. “These people make a formidable team and every staff member from the excellent co-ordination by General Manager Frieda Jansen van Rensburg to the Inspectorate, animal carers, admin staff, theatre and clinic staff, Education Unit members and reception staff was fully involved. The committee is extremely proud of them all,” she concluded.