‘Unsung hero’ awarded Rotary’s highest award

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Invercargill's Ken Bowie looks at his Paul Harris Fellow award presented to him by the Rotary Club of Invercargill. Photo: Petrina Wright

INVERCARGILL man Ken Bowie was surprised to receive Rotary’s highest honour last week.

Rotary Club of Invercargill members presented Mr Bowie with a Paul Harris Fellow for his tireless community work.

“I’m well aware of [the award’s] significance,” Mr Bowie said.

“For them to go outside Rotary [to give the award to a non-Rotarian] is a bit of an honour.”

He was very modest about the accolade.

“You are only one of a team, but I am on a few teams so I guess that’s what it’s about.”

The organisations Mr Bowie had been associated with over the years was numerous, so much so he struggled to list them all.

Some of groups included the Returned Services Association (RSA), Menzshed Invercargill, Southland Boys’ High School Old Boys, Southland Bowel Screening Programme, Otago Southland Cancer Society, Cancer consumer representative for the Southern District Health Board, Chamber Music NZ, Southland branch as well as serving on several school boards of trustees.

“I am usually asked [to join]. I seldom volunteer,” he said.

“[But] I have always tried to do my bit.”

Rotary Club of Invercargill president Ria Bond said the Paul Harris Fellow was not only awarded to Rotary members, but anyone who showed great leadership in their community.

Mr Bowie was an “unsung hero”, she said. He had been recognised not only for his strong leadership in the community, but also for his work advocating for men’s health, his commitment to humanitarian causes and service to his community.

“He is a really amazing community-focused man.”

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