Reporter: Colin Henrys
Date online: 22 December 2012
Jeff Lawton, President of Rotary Club of Middleton presenting the Paul Harris Award to Peter Hayward
A charitable Middleton volunteer has been honoured for his tireless work on international projects with a prestigious Rotary Club award.
Peter Hayward, a member and past-president of the Rotary Club of Middleton, received the Paul Harris Award at the club’s Christmas Address.
Named after Rotary International’s founder, the award is one of the highest accolades a Rotarian can receive, and Peter admitted it came as a huge surprise.
“The award is a great, great honour and a total shock,” he said.
“I virtually had tears in my eyes when it was announced - it was such a surprise.”
Peter, who joined the Middleton club in 2004 and served as president in 2007-08, is heavily involved in charity projects overseas.
His award citation listed the many committee roles he has performed at Middleton and outlined the projects he has worked on as a Rotarian.
Such projects include the building of a bridge across the dangerous Nithi River between the villages of Kajuki and Mutino in Kenya.
In his role as chairman of the International Committee, a position he has held since 2006, he is also currently working on an irrigation project in an East African country.
Peter explained the project was his main focus, and vowed to continue the work already started.
“That is what I am working towards at the moment,” he said. “As I said to people on the night, my work is only half done.”
The project involves digging wells in Kenya, which is done by placing rocks in the ground to gather rain water, building a wall around it and then digging a tank to collect it in.
“When you have been to Kenya and see the people, you realise how much they need,” Peter said.
“That’s why I got involved in Rotary - to help others. I am relatively successful, and I wanted to be able to give something to others too.”
Jeff Lawton, who is Middleton Rotary President this year, said Peter’s commitment was a huge factor in the award.
“[Peter is] always involved with club activities and generally he is the first to volunteer,” he said.
“[He is] a superb Rotarian.”