THE Torquay Rotary community has farewelled long-time member Mary Elliott, who passed away earlier this month.
Ms Elliott, 85, was the first female Rotarian in District 9780 (which covers clubs in western Victoria and part of South Australia) and the first female president (in 1997/1998) of the Rotary Club of Torquay.
She was a former chair of Rotary District 9870’s organ donor awareness sub-committee, which has been promoting the issue since 2001.
Ms Elliott was particularly active in Torquay and surrounds during campaigns such as DonateLife Week – the national week of awareness about organ and tissue donation – and “Santa for a Day”, Transplant Australia’s push for people to join the Australian National Donor Register.
She also received the Surf Coast Shire’s Citizen of the Year Award in 2008.
Torquay Rotarians formed a guard of honour at Ms Elliott’s funeral, held on Friday, and Rotarians Maggie Isom and Chris Sim acted as celebrant and prepared a presentation on Ms Elliott’s Rotary experience, respectively.
Rotary Club of Torquay president Gaynor Scholes paid further tribute at the club’s meeting at the Lions Village on Monday night.
“It’s obviously been a very, very sad week for all of us,” she said.
“She was our Honourary Member, which is the greatest accolade you can give to a Rotarian.
“She passed away a day after our 30th anniversary (held at Bellbrae Estate on May 5)… may she rest in peace, we will all think of her.”