Amherst Rotary recognizes long-time community volunteers with the club’s highest honor

AMHERST – Over 35 years, Wayne and Evelyn Bishop have provided foster homes for more than 60 young children.

The Amherst couple were recognized Thursday, July 14, along with longtime community volunteer Lisa Emery, by the Rotary Club of Amherst with their Community Paul Harris Fellowship Award, named in honor of Rotary’s founder.

“We are truly honored to receive this award. When we were called about it, we really weren’t sure if we wanted the recognition because there are so many wonderful things being done in our community by so many people,” Wayne said after the presentation.

The July 14 awards show was the first in-person presentation since before the pandemic. Ray Coulson, curator of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum, was recognized by the club in February 2020.

The Bishops received the 2022 award during the ceremony, while Emery received the 2021 award.

The award is given annually to a non-Rotarian member of the community who, over a period of years, has demonstrated leadership and volunteerism in the spirit of the ideals and motto of Rotary and its Four-Test.

Emery, who served on Amherst City Council from 2012-2016 and was re-elected in 2020, said it was an honor to be recognized by an organization that does so much for the community and Camp Tidnish, owned by the club and operated by Easter Seals. provide a summer camping experience for children and adults with physical and intellectual difficulties.

“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by a group that does so much for the community. I know there’s a long list of things I do, but just being here and learning about the work Rotary does and how Camp Tidnish makes a difference is so special,” Emery said.

In addition to being foster parents, Bishops have a long list of community involvement, including Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, Legion, Kidney Foundation, Cumberland County Museum and Archives, and Amherst Ramblers, and Christmas Cheer (presided over by Evelyn for 14 years) and the Amherst Food Bank.

Wayne served as a city councilor and deputy mayor for several years.

Emery, the daughter of former Mayor Ray Emery and his wife Betty, is very active with CFTA – Tantramar Community Radio, where she is station manager and has served on the board of directors. She has served on numerous city councils and committees as a city councillor, but has also worked as a children’s advocate through the former Family and Children’s Services, Cumberland Child Advocacy and the Cumberland Child and Youth Foundation as well as the Community Garden Project, Amherst Armories Plus Society and the Cumberland County Museum and Archives, Zonta and the Cumberland Health Care Foundation.

Rotarian Morris Haugg said the Amherst club began presenting the Paul Harris Community Fellowship Award 25 years ago to honor and thank someone in the Amherst area. The award has traditionally been presented at the club’s anniversary dinner in the spring, but due to COVID things have been shelved.

Past recipients of the award include Frank Allen, for his work with the Syrian Refugee Project and Amherst First Baptist Church; Ron Bickle, for his work with CFTA, Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church and Westcumb Amateur Radio Club; Vicki Daley, for her work with the Cumberland Health Care Auxiliaries and Art ‘Sonny’ Foster and Gerry Cormier of Little League Baseball.

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