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My oh Mai! Top Rotary award for our girl

Bowing respectfully to President Tokita, Mai prepares to receive the Paul Harris Fellowship

Not for nothing is Rotary properly called Rotary International. The organisation which was started by Chicago lawyer Paul Harris in 1905 now has more than a million members spread across every country or territory.

Making connections — and giving service — across the world is one of the principal aims of Rotarians. Novus was delighted to have as a constant visitor between the summer of 2018 and December 2019 Mai Tsumura, visiting doctoral researcher at Leicester University.

Her participation in the life of the club and her energetic eagerness to participate in service projects immediately endeared her to club members.

We were sorry to say farewell when she returned to Japan, taking with her our best wishes to her family and to the Rotary Club of Nishinomiya-Ebisu, near Kobe, which had sponsored her 18 months in Leicester.

Imagine our joy when we received from Mai a report and photos of her receiving from new President Tokita a Paul Harris Fellow — the highest Rotary award, named in honour of its founder.

This is what Mai wrote: “At the meeting, I was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow on behalf of Nishinomoya Ebisu Rotary Club. They acknowledged my role as connecting the two countries and clubs, and I am very much honoured to receive this fellowship. I have taken this award as the will of the club members to commit to contributing to society, and I have renewed my passion to become a person who embraces the same will and pass it on to the next generation.

“Please keep in touch as there’s no distance in spirits, even though we’re physically far!”

Novus members are looking forward to seeing Main when she returns to the English department at Leicester University for her viva, the final step to her being awarded her doctorate.

Novus members agree that their first experience of helping an overseas student settle into Leicester was an entirely happy one and it should not be the last.

Mai Tsumura with President Tokita

Last edited: 00:15 on Friday, 31.07.2020