Ayr Businessman Gus Iannotti Wins Rotary’s Highest Award
Dr Jimmy Begg paid tribute to this year’s recipient of the coveted Paul Harris Fellowship award by the Rotary Club of Ayr. Gus Iannotti was praised for his unassuming modesty, hiding an unstinting generosity. Jimmy added there are some in Ayr Rotary Club who prefer to remain almost anonymous, who shy away from votes of thanks, and the responsibility of any council office, or convenorships and don’t fish, curl, swim, play golf or bridge and yet work continuously behind the scenes to honour the pledge of Rotary, “Service Above Self.” Gus epitomises this very quality.
Without his enthusiastic long-term commitment and involvement in all Ayr Rotary’s major projects – Shelterbox, Poppy Scotland, the Coastal Path, the annual Golf Day when £0000’s are raised for local charities, outings for Young Carers, and latterly (Dr) Neil Beattie’s inspired project, the highly successful ‘Message in a Bottle’, most of them would not have succeeded so smoothly had it not been for Gus’s great generosity, both in monetary terms and in the donation of goods and storage space, courtesy of Iannotti Bros.
Therefore in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Rotary and the Community, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Ayr, President Douglas Haddow, presented Gus Iannotti with a Paul Harris Fellowship award.
This presentation took place during Ayr Rotary’s annual Christmas party at the Savoy Park Hotel, where a packed function suite were entertained by harpist Meredith McCrindle and violinist Milla Crann, much to the delight of the large audience. Raffles and other awards ensured a busy and enjoyable evening which was hosted by President Douglas Haddow
Paul Harris was a lawyer in Chicago and in 1905, he organised the first Rotary Club “in fellowship and friendship” with three of his clients, Silvester Schele, Gustavus Loehr, and Hiram Shorey. His initial goal was to create a club of professional and business men for friendship and fellowship. Early on, he realised that Rotary needed a greater purpose. While he served as president of the Chicago Rotary Club in 1907, the club initiated its first public service project, the construction of public toilets in Chicago. This step transformed Rotary into the world’s first Service Club.
Harris had great ambitions for the growth of Rotary, and very early in the organisation’s history new clubs were started, first on the west coast, and then all over the US and in Europe.