Monday, October 14, 2019

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On Wednesday evening, 27th March, Benoni Aurora Rotary Club held its annual Paul Harris Awards evening. It was well attended and the decor, ambiance, fellowship was superb!

There were 4 nominees. Namely:

Colin Du Bruin (Sapphire pin): nominated by Grace Van Zyl;
Rosie Van Olst: nominated by Cheryl Kindon;
Ann Du Bruin: nominated by Gail Wilson;

Wayne Duvenhage: nominated by Ray Booth.

All nominations are measured against the criteria as approved by the board.

WAYNE DUVENHAGE

Wayne’s community initiatives have been:

  • Building a Media Centre at Motheong Primary School at Atteridgeville
  • Planting of trees Thutuka Primary School in Thembisa
  • Raising funds for the Jumping Kids Project which makes prosthetics for children and enables mobility in their lives
  • Raising funds for Hope School
  • Co-founder of Driving Ambitions, a driving school with specially adapted vehicles and training requirements – dedicated for the disabled community
  • Channelling carbon offset funds toward the Basa Magogo eductation project, which reduces emissions and costs related to heating in impoverished communities.
  • Launching South Africa’s first Carbon Neutral Corporate programme in 200

Wayne has always been a service above self person and always lived his life with honesty and integrity.

Ladies and Gentleman, it is with a great deal of pride that Benoni Aurora is awarding Wayne the Paul Harris in recognition of his unwavering and unselfish commitment to serving his fellow South Africans.

Rotarian Ray Booth


COLIN DE BRUIN (Recipient of a Saphire Pin)

He was very popular amongst his peers and had many friends.  He is very believable as he always talks with such conviction.  His siblings didn’t seem to grasp this… a story that I’m told is that he said to his sister “Jump out of the tree, don’t worry we’re holding the blanket” trusting that this was true she jumped and needless to say landed on the ground with a hard thud.  Typically, he was able to blame someone for not doing what they were supposed to do.

He met his soul-mate, Anne and fell in love at the tender age of 16, they are still in love and married today.  True to his nature, the love of his love also supports his rugby team with great gusto – just proves on how convincing he is.

He started his career at Hullets Aluminium in Pietermaritzburg and later on joined the family business.  He and his wife have been blessed with 2 wonderful children and 4 grandchildren.  He is a family man and will drop everything and drive miles to assist anyone in his family if they were in need or to assist them with a project.  We as Rotarians have also experienced that this selflessness doesn’t stop with his family.

Continuing his handyman skills into adulthood, the family always asks for his advice when something needs to be repaired or purchased.

Over the years he has been involved in many things, he never talks about what he does or his achievements. I’ve come to know and respect this quality… quietly getting on with the job.  He has served as chairman for Eastern Transvaal Junior football for 18 years and true to his nature gave his all.  He has served as chairman and is currently on the board of the Fairleads Methodist Home for more than ten years.

He takes his Rotary commitment very seriously and is a past president, past assistant district governor and has headed up most committees.  His true passion lies in helping others in need, which needless to say has seen him be very involved in the Ann’s monthly food collection for many years.  Always making sure the trailer is there to transport the food, turning his garage into a grocery store while the food is packed, and making sure that the food is taken/delivered to the various charities.

For the past 2 years he has headed up our major fundraising event, Winex.  Although a ‘well oiled’ event his vision and innovation has taken this event to even greater heights raising over R400 000 over the past 2 years.  There is a tremendous amount of planning and labour that goes into the event of which he is at the forefront.  On his post every day and is the first to arrive and the last to leave.

Every February he puts out a plea for marshals for the Ride for Sight cycle race, and expects us to report for duty at an ungodly hour, and of all days a Sunday morning! When you arrive he is there (in his shorts  in sometimes freezing temperatures!) to equip you with your map, flag and bib as well as strict instructions!  After the race he personally goes to each marshal point to thank you and collect the flags and bibs.

He often gets involved in various projects to provide transport as is no different with the Spring Walk.  Whenever I need something done, collected, delivered my fist point of call is to him.  He is never too busy to help.

We also have a special message from Past District Governor, Hennie De Bruin "I am so proud of you Colin.  While you occasionally drive me crazy, I admire your drive, your way of getting things done and for always being available. I am lucky and very pleased to have you as my brother."

Rotarian Grace van Zyl

ROSIE VAN OLST

It is indeed a real pleasure and an honour for me to stand here and introduce this Paul Harris Fellow Nominee. This special lady was born and educated in Benoni. She attended St Dunstan’s Primary school then went on to matriculate at Benoni High. After matriculating our nominee enrolled at JCE and 4 FUN years later graduated with a higher teacher’s diploma.

Our nominee is a gracious lady, with a smiling face, someone with a zest for life, great energy and enthusiasm for all that she does. She shares her life with her special husband, her darling Mum and her two very successful children, their spouses and her beautiful grandchildren. Our nominee is the most caring person I know. Always remembers birthdays, anniversaries, not only of Rotarians and Ann’s but of her huge circle of family and friends.

Our nominee is a veteran of some thirty years in Community Service in our city. Firstly as the wife of a Round Tabler and later as the wife of a Rotarian. Other then her passion for life our nominee has a passion for teaching. She was a dedicated teacher who loved her job and above all loved her pupils. She continually inspired them to do the very best they could, making each and every one feel they were special. This love for imparting knowledge to children led our nominee to take over the running of the Strive Program 4 year ago.

Strive is not just an 11 week commitment to mentoring an under achieving learner for our nominee, but it is month’s of planning and preparation. The manual has been re-written 3 times after fed back from leaders
and mentors. Learners are selected and interviewed for suitability. The successful applicants are then paired with a mentor. A meeting is arranged for the two to meet with the parents. New mentors receive training from our nominee. During the 11 weeks, continuous information and feedback is shared. Study skill talks are arranged and job shadowing is the highlight of the program. This program changes the lives of all these students. It is a very
worthwhile Rotary program and would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of our new Paul Harris Fellow ROSIE VAN OLST.

Rotary Ann, Cheryl Kindon


ANN DU BRUIN

"All the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of one small candle." I believe we have this small candle in our midst in Benoni Aurora.

This incredibly dedicated person is very involved in the club. It gives me great pleasure to tell you about this Paul
Harris awardee.

The person is an immigrant from the last outpost of the British Empire or “Sharks” territory and was a keen hockey player. She is a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She has a brother and sister and is the youngest in the family. According to her family she has many interests the main one being sleeping. However she also enjoys
knitting, reading and helping others.

If I was a betting man I would now take a bet that very few members of the club know how much work is done for "others less fortunate than our selves" by this hardworking “backroom girl”. When looking at the criteria for nominating someone for a Paul Harris award I noticed that the candidate had to fulfil at least 4 out of the 5 criteria. This candidate does this and more!

I am thrilled to now reveal this quiet determined dynamo to you and to tell you about her work as a Rotary Ann.

Ann has been a Rotary Ann for more than 15 years, she is hardly ever in the limelight but is always available to step in and help. Ann du Bruin the co-ordinator of the monthly grocery collection. Ann begs, phones and cajoles people to assist with the collection of groceries for the recipients of the food boxes. She puts up all the advertising banners, arranges trolleys, puts up umbrellas and ensures that the trailer has a parking spot
right at the door to Pick ’n Pay. Once the 4 hours for collection are over and the helpers hand in their aprons, the helper who draws the short straw has to go into Pick ‘n Pay to buy groceries with the cash donations received from members of the public.

Now the next stage in the process begins, all the groceries are packed into packets and transferred into the trailer. Ann then takes the trailer home and turns her garage into a warehouse, where Colin has made packing tables for the groceries. All the groceries are unpacked again and sorted. Ann has managed to convince a box manufacturing company to donate boxes to the Anns and they are made up and Ann and her merry band of helpers pack these boxes with the groceries and mark and seal them. The boxes are now ready for distribution to the various recipients. All this is done very early on the Sunday morning after the collection.

How is this for a sustainable project? Ann has been co-ordinating it for more than 5 years and before this she assisted the Late Barbara Walker. This project has realised approximately ½ million rand’s worth of foodstuffs over the past 5 years and has assisted in feeding many hungry mouths. Ann is also involved in “Ride for Sight”, Fairleads and Winex.

Last year she convinced friends, family and work colleagues to knit beanies for the Rotary District Project and knitted 100 of these beanies herself. The total number knitted by her group was over 300. The Aurora Anns received a certificate from the District Governor’s Ann for their contribution to her district project.

Ann was a football fanatic but has been converted to Rugby by the men in her family who are “Sharks” supporters. She is still involved in football as she works for the Eastern League Football Association.

Rotarian Gail Wilson