Rotarians Stephen and Elizabeth Dale have been recognised for their hard work and dedication to the local organisation each receiving a Paul Harris Fellow.
Married for 33 years, Stephen and Elizabeth moved to the Bundaberg Region in 2004 and were both heavily involved in junior sports while raising their three children.
It was a decade later, after their children had left home, they decided to continue to contribute to the local community and support a service club.
Elizabeth inadvertently realised her passion for helping others when she joined members of Bundaberg West Rotary to assist with the relief efforts after the Bundaberg floods of 2013.
“It was then that she met members of the club and saw the great work that was done in the community and led her to joining the club later,” Stephen said.
“We both joined Bundaberg West Rotary together in 2015 after deciding that we would like to contribute to a service club after our children had left home.
“Bundaberg West and Bundaberg East Rotary clubs merged in July last year to form Bundaberg Central Rotary Club.”
Elizabeth and Stephen find time to help others
Elizabeth, a medical scientist with QML Pathology, and Stephen, assistant director with Catholic Education supporting schools in Bundaberg, Gladstone, Monto and Biloela, both find time to contribute to local Rotary in many ways.
Elizabeth has been on the board of Bundaberg West Rotary Club since joining, acting as secretary and treasurer of the club. She is assistant treasurer of Bundaberg Central, and this year will take on the role of club administration.
While Stephen has been youth director for Bundaberg West and Bundaberg Central serving as trustee of the Garnett Buss Bursary; organising participants for the Rotary National Youth Science Forum and he helped with organisation and adjudication of high school debating.
It was Stephen’s enjoyment of cycling that led him to take part in the bicycle ride, Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC), which then inspired him to join Rotary.
“In 2014, because I enjoyed cycling, the ROMAC ride was a way of enjoying a testing ride while also raising money to support people in need,” Stephen said.
“It opened my eyes to great people and the great work of Rotary.
“Some amazing work is done through ROMAC to bring children with severe medical needs to Australia for treatment.
“In 2016 I decided to challenge myself to ride 505km in 24 hours which was an amazing experience.”
The couple said they were delighted to receive the Paul Harris Fellow.
The recognition is awarded to Rotarians, and others, that have shown that they are prepared to go that extra mile in support of people in need.
“Receiving the Paul Harris Fellow recognition is very humbling and a great honour,” Stephen said.
“It is tribute to the work that so many Rotarians contribute to our community.
“It is a great privilege to know that with the awarding of each Paul Harris fellow, $1000US is provided to the Rotary Foundation which is utilised for humanitarian works throughout the world.”
Stephen said programs such as eradication of polio, provision of clean water and shelter boxes that are deployed in time of natural disasters are just some of the things supported by the Rotary Foundation.