Almost speechless after speech

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 12:00 03/12/2013

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Steve Williams never expected his speech to the Palmerston North Rotarians to end in a rare commemoration for his work keeping the city safe.

The Palmerston North City Council SafeCity Host trustee was stunned after receiving the Paul Harris Fellowship yesterday - a surprise everyone knew about but him.

Mr Williams was a founding member of the SafeCity trust in 1997, which funds "hosts" to assist police every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

The award Mr Williams received is one of the highest in Rotary, and usually given to members.

"Certainly, I had no idea about this, I'm not even sure if my wife knew, it was kept so secret," he said. "The selfless giving of Rotarians, that's what hit me the most, because I know a lot of these people and I've often thought I should be in Rotary but I just don't have time.

"So to be acknowledged by them is an honour, because of their selflessness and what they do for the community - I was blown away."

Mr Williams said he would take away the fellowship and make sure its significance was appreciated by all the SafeCity partners.

Since 1997 the Palmerston North club had presented four awards to members of the community, club president Lyn Gregg said.

"Normally they are given out to Rotarians who have done outstanding work," she said.

"It's beyond just being a good member, they have done something extraordinary within Rotary or within the community that makes them even more than a loyal member."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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