A veteran Market Harborough Rotarian is thrilled after being awarded a top accolade celebrating his many years of outstanding service.
Les Dodd was surprised and delighted to be handed the Paul Harris Fellowship at Market Harborough Rotary Club’s annual dinner, held by Zoom, to celebrate its birthday.
President Gillian Bindley said: “I consider that the presentation of the award to Rotarian Leslie Dodd will be a means of showing our gratitude for his willing dedicated service to the objectives of the Rotary Movement.”
A Rotarian since 2002, former teacher Les has twice been president of the club – in 2009-10 and again in 2015-16.
“He has led the club’s work on youth activities for many years.
“During this time he has visited many local schools.
“Les has been persistent in maintaining connections with schools, especially in organising competitions such as Young Musician, Young Writer and Young Scientist,” said a Rotary Club spokeswoman.
“He initiated and project managed the presentation in 2020 of a 'Rotary Peace Pole', now installed in the grounds of Great Bowden Academy.
“All our local primary schools have received a copy of the illustrated book 'The Lost Words' and he has managed the awards to pupils of ‘Rotary Stars’ over many years.”
Before retiring, Les was Head of Learning Resources at Robert Smyth Academy after teaching at the town’s Burnmill Road school from 1974 to 2005.
“He is very well known in Market Harborough for his performances at Harborough Theatre and for his activities at St Dionysius Church and with U3A walking groups,” added the club spokeswoman.
The Paul Harris Award is named after the founder of Rotary International, Paul Harris.
He formed the first Rotary Club in America some 113 years ago in 1908.
“The award is given by club members to recognise outstanding contributions to the purposes of Rotary - Service above Self,” said the spokeswoman.
“At our Market Harborough club we make the award a surprise to the recipient - so Les had no warning that he was being honoured.”