Time for Janet Fitzgerald to take a well earned bow

Hibiscus & Bays Local Board deputy chair Janet Fitzgerald, top, and Edwin Munro receive their prestigious Paul Harris awards for service to the community from Governor of Rotary District 9910, Jerry Norman. Edwin’s had the addition of five sapphires, which makes this an extremely rare award.

The presentation of her Paul Harris award at Whangaparaoa Rotary’s Community Award evening came as a big surprise to one of the recipients, Janet Fitzgerald.

The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board deputy chair said she almost didn’t attend the function, on January 24 at the Hibiscus Coast Community RSA.

She says chair Julia Parfitt talked her into it, as she was in on the plan.

“Then they were describing the achievements of the next recipient and I thought ‘that sounds like me!” Janet says.

The prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Award is given to people who have carried out extraordinary service. For Janet, this includes her roles as Justice of the Peace, RSA Welfare Officer and on both Rodney District Council and the local board.

Not someone who seeks the limelight, helping the community comes as naturally as breathing to Janet, who says she “just wants to get on with it”.

When it was her time to take a bow and receive an award, she says it was very emotional. “While I can still stand, I’ll be doing community work,” she told the assembled guests.

Other recipients were Franz Geutz, a foundation member of Coastguard Hibiscus, and Edwin Munro.

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