Hazen Price recognized for his 95th birthday, seven decades in Rotary

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg paid tribute to its longest-serving member last week though he was a little taken aback at being the centre of attention.

“I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to live up to the expectations,” quipped Hazen Price, as he addressed fellow Rotarians and guests last Wednesday night at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

The Rotary Club of Amherstburg presented a special celebration in Price’s honour as Price has now been a Rotarian for 70 years. He also was honoured for his 95th birthday, which actually arrived last Saturday.

Despite honours from dignitaries and fellow Rotarians, Price remained humble and said after the celebration that he was “very embarrassed to say the least.” He said he has always enjoyed the fellowship within the club.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Rotary Club and I probably wouldn’t be here as long if I didn’t,” he said.

Councillor Leo Meloche (right) presents Hazen Price with recognition on behalf of the Town of Amherstburg. Price has been in the Rotary Club 70 years and just turned 95-years-old.

Price pointed out the saving of the Park House Museum as one of his major accomplishments, though his name has also been attached to the Gibson Gallery, Gibb House, John R. Park Homestead and a second pensioner’s cottage. The progress made to eradicate polio is another accomplishment Price has seen in his years in Rotary.

There have been changes to the club itself in his seven decades, Price noted. When he started, women were not allowed to be members. Attendance was also important early on, as regular meeting attendance was required but that has since been relaxed.

Price said he was the young member of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg when he first joined.

“Ol’ Doc Hutchinson Sr. came to the farm and asked if I would consider joining,” he recalled. “I was 20 years younger than everyone else.”

Despite being in an uncomfortable position as the guest of honour, Price said he was grateful for the kind thoughts and gifts.

“I appreciate their thoughts about the work I’ve done,” he said. “It’s really nice to be appreciated.”

Patti Hayes, outreach and community assistant with Essex MPP Taras Natyshak’s office, represented both Natyshak and Essex MP Tracey Ramsey.

“Your volunteerism is an inspiration to everyone,” said Hayes.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt (right) bestows praise on Hazen Price April 25. Price just turned 95-years-old and has been a Rotarian for 70 years.

Councillor Leo Meloche, representing the Town of Amherstburg, said he researched what it means to be a Rotarian, with his research concluding that “being a Rotarian is a way of life and can be a satisfying lifelong adventure for those who are willing to give of themselves to enjoy and benefit from all that Rotary has to offer.”

Meloche added that “Hazen Price truly exemplifies what a Rotarian is.”

Police chief Tim Berthiaume thanked Price “for all that you do” and said many don’t realize how much the Rotary Club accomplishes in the community. Price was presented a “Chief’s Award of Excellence” with Berthiaume stating that Price would have earned such recognition 50 years ago.

Assistant Rotary District Governor Peggy Little also thanked Price for his accomplishments and for his dedication with past District Governor Neil McBeth pointing out Price was one of the first people he met in Rotary.

“It is because of dedicated members like you that we are Rotarians making a difference,” said McBeth.

Laura George, a past president of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, pointed out that a $100 donation was made to the Park House in Price’s honour. She called Price her biggest supporter and that when she was deciding whether or not Rotary was for her, Price gave her helpful advice.

“You have a very special place in my heart,” George told Price.

Rotary Club of Amherstburg president Dan Hunt also had kind words for Price.

“He is a very special man,” said Hunt.

Comments are closed.