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Staying connected in Opotiki
Opotiki News, Bay of Plenty  14 Dec 2017
General News - Page 4 - 389 words - ID 887446756 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 316.00cm2

SVEN CARLSSON PAUL Harris Fellowship recipient and former Opotiki College principal Andrew Taylor says Rotary and the college both provide ways to connect with the larger world.

Mr Taylor was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship on November 20, in recognition of his service to the community.

A Paul Harris Fellowship is the highest award a Rotarian can achieve.

"It came out of the blue and it was neat to receive it," Mr Taylor said.

When Mr Taylor left his position at the college he went from working with 500 people to being alone at his orchard, with his wife having died some years before.

"I joined Rotary because I felt it was important to be part of a group of like-minded people in the community," he said.

"I have really enjoyed having remained in the community after my retirement." Mr Taylor said he had followed many of his former students going on to make their mark on the world.

"I still get called Sir and Mr T," he said.

"Kids are often better prepared having lived in Opotiki." In part, this was due to children here having a wider range of people in their peer group.

"In a smaller school, students can also participate in a wider range of activities," Mr Taylor said.

"Culturally, the students are also very aware of bi-culturalism." Opotiki Rotary president Carol Wheeler said a Paul Harris Fellowship was also granted to former deputy mayor Selby Fisher at Easter, two weeks before he died.

"Selby Fisher was a Rotarian for 26 years, a past president as well as serving on district committees," she said.

"As the chairman of Whakatohea Aquaculture he was a major contributor to developing the mussel industry in Opotiki." Engaging in activities ANDREW Taylor came to Opotiki in 1984.

He worked as deputy principal at the college.

He was Opotiki College princ ipal from 1993 to 2002.

Over the years he has been involved with the Opotiki Surf Lifesaving Club, Kiwi Can, AFS Student Exchange, Rotary, the Opotiki Mental Health Centre, the Opotiki Cycling Group and Kiwifruit Vine Health.

Mr Taylor has been a full-time orchardist since retiring from the college principal's position.

The first block of kiwifruit was planted in 1987.

Caption Text:
>ANDREW Taylor said the trick to staying connected is engaging in a variety of activities. Photo Sven Carlsson OB4073-01

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