Helen Donoghue with a typical humble "why me" look receiving a Paul Harris (Founder of Rotary) Award for her wonderful contribution to the Clubs activities and the Community at large from President Gavin Green.
The Citation for Helens Award was presented by David Fels and this is included under Read More below.
Helen Donoghue – Paul Harris Fellow Award.

Good evening to President Gavin, President-elect Madeleine, members, and guests. 

When I was asked if I would give the citation for our PH fellow tonight, I felt a sense of privilege and honour, so it gives me great pleasure to be standing here tonight to give the citation for this PH Award. They are a person in this club who I admire and respect for their dedication, dependability, and most importantly for always being happy and smiling when I see them.

It is traditional in our club to keep everyone guessing as to the identity of the awardee so I will follow that tradition, but I think you will figure it out fairly quickly.
Clue one – they are not a club member but the partner of a member and as most of our members are male it is safe to assume that it is a woman. The member joined our club 25 years ago so is a long serving member who has been very active in our club fulfilling many roles with great distinction including President and several director roles, and his wife proves the age-old truism that behind every good man there is an even better woman. 
Clue two – they are not native NZ’ers having moved here in 1988, however they have made NZ their home and I admire them for their support of all things NZ, but at the same time maintaining links to their birth country. 
Clue three – they have two children who both live overseas, and two teenage grandchildren who obviously also live overseas. 
Clue four – if you haven’t guessed by now will know in a moment when I say that the awardee is a wonderful person who has been the most brilliant mother to many of the younger generation that have been associated with our club, and that without her our club would not have had the benefit of these amazing young people that have added so much to the culture, history and indeed the essence of our club. 

It must now be obvious that the PH awardee tonight is Helen Donoghue. Garry has been a member of our club for over 25 years and joined at about the same time that I did, consequently I have known Helen and Garry since the very beginning of my Rotary life. The hospitality that they offer when you visit their home is well-known, I have always enjoyed Garry’s company and count him as a close friend, but Helen is the one I most look forward to seeing when I am invited to their place and not just because she is a great cook but also because her positivity and humour has never lagged. 

This was however put to a very stern test between 2009-2013 when Garry decided to do a 100,000 km road trip around NZ and Australia in a moderately sized camper van that lasted over 3 years. Helen being the loyal wife that she is supported Garry wholeheartedly throughout the venture and I know they both enjoyed many unforgettable life changing experiences, met many interesting people, and overcame many challenges along the way. You can find out more about this adventure on Garry’s travelogue website www.bustout.co.nz which details the many different towns, villages, cities, and points of interest that they visited in their travels. I recently spent 8 days in a camper van in the South Island and my already sincere admiration for her endurance and stability increased by quite some measure. 

Helen’s Rotary activities have included being host mother for numerous IYE students and other exchange programs, and along with Garry also volunteered to be “Camp Mum and Dad” for over 100 young adults when our club managed the RYLA project a few years ago. In fact, I think that “Mother” is the most appropriate way to convey her personality and attitude towards the world and the people in it, her caring, generosity and genuineness is evident in her manner and when you speak to her you cannot help but feel the warmth of her personality.
Currently, her Rotary responsibilities include managing the rosters for the Blood Bank when it comes to our area and cajoling enough members to give their time to fill in the required number of hours and days on her roster. 
She also gives many hours helping with the Book Fair sorting and selling books which as we all know is the club’s major fundraiser. 

Helen is also active in many areas of the community, I am not familiar with all of them however I am sure that they have all enjoyed the benefits of their association with a person who is a “doer”, is infinitely positive, does not hesitate to put her hand up when a job needs to be done, and doesn’t have a bad word to say about anybody.

Regarding their family, their daughter Tanya and her husband live in Thailand with their two children, Axel and Zara, they are devoted grandparents and are missing spending time with Axel and Zara but like everyone else will need to be patient until less restricted international travel can commence.

Their son Alan lives in America with his wife and of course similar problems are restricting their time with them.

Their family also includes an “honorary” daughter who lives in Tauranga with her two children. Helen and Garry are often in Tauranga fulfilling grandparent roles with her children and offering any other support that is needed from time to time.

In closing I am confident that we can look forward to Helen and Garry’s continued involvement in our club’s activities, and she will continue with the many other interests that Helen enjoys contributing to elsewhere in the community. As a club, and personally, I believe that we are lucky to be able to call them our friends and I sincerely hope that this will be the case for many years to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our newest Paul Harris Fellow – Helen Donoghue.