Highest honours for Major Pat

Pat Charlesworth is presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship by David Ward, club president John McEachen and Milton Frary
Pat Charlesworth is presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship by David Ward, club president John McEachen and Milton Frary
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ENDEAVOUR Rotary celebrated its fifth birthday by presenting the club’s highest honour to one of its most “selfless” members.

A club birthday event was hosted at Sneaton Castle, where honorary club member Major Pat Charlesworth was presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship.

Mjr Charlesworth was a long-time volunteer for the Salvation Army and club president John McEachen said: “I know of no-one who deserves this award more than Pat Charlesworth. She has cheerfully embraced more humanitarian work than the rest of us together will achieve in our lifetime”

Until her retirement ‘Major Pat’, as she is fondly known in Whitby, had spent 37 years living among, and working with, the most disadvantaged people in the various areas in the UK to which she had been appointed.

That included a spell living in the middle of Belfast’s divided communities during the Northern Ireland troubles, where she reached out to both sides and attempted to bring physical and spiritual comfort to those in need.

Mr McEachen added that since returning to Whitby, Pat had continued to lead a selfless and unstinting life in the service of others, establishing a local bereavement counselling service which she calls ‘The Empty Chair’.

The Paul Harris Medal was presented by Past District Governor of Rotary, Milton Frary, who said that Pat’s life, in every respect, exemplified the essence of Rotary International’s motto, ‘Service Above Self’.

Mjr Charlesworth said that she was honoured to receive the award, but that she had done no more than her duty to God to make a positive contribution to people’s lives.

Also on show during the evening were the Esk Valley School Olympics t-shirts which have been sponsored by the Endeavour Rotary Club. The shirts, designed by a pupil from one of the schools, were worn by the children from the seven local primary schools that took part in the event (see page 80-81).

Following the meal Mr McEachen cut the club’s birthday cake and the celebration ended with a Ceilidh. The Northumbrian pipe music and dances were hosted by Tim and Jane Greaves of Littlebeck.