The Rotary Club of Benalla would like to mark the passing of Neil McQualter and acknowledge his 59 years of service to the community as a member of the club.
Neil joined the Rotary Club in 1959 aged 33, at which point many of the current members were young children and several of the younger members were not yet born.
During his time with the club he served on most Rotary committees and was treasurer in 1976/77.
Outside Rotary Neil was involved with other organisations, such as the Small Business Association and on various boards, including the Benalla Hospital Board.
He received a ‘‘Service to the Community Award’’ in 1977 and was inducted as a Paul Harris Fellow in 1988 for service to International Understanding.
Neil then became a Paul Harris Benefactor in 1996 and was awarded a Paul Harris Sapphire pin for his ongoing support of the Rotary International Foundation, which funds a range of initiatives, such as the eradication of Polio worldwide.
Neil lists one of his most memorable Rotary experiences as being the friendship he formed with a Japanese Exchange student, Yuriko, who came to Benalla in 1967.
She returned in 1972 and their friendship continued with Neil visiting Japan in 1983 and again in 1993.
When asked what made him come to Rotary every week, Neil replied that Rotary was part of his life and he enjoyed the fellowship, mixing with people and listening to the guest speakers.
Vale Neil, 59 years a Rotarian.