The Paul Harris Fellowship Award is "In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world."


Roseann Norton, Recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award 2006:  

Roseanne Morissette's address is detailed below:

"It is my pleasure to introduce Roseann Norton, former Executive Director of the Victorian Order of Nurses Niagara Branch, who has demonstrated 'Service Above Self' in helping our community to be a better place.


Roseann has dedicated 38 years of her life to caring for the lives of Niagara's residents. 

In 1968, while attending the
University of Alberta, Roseann received a bursary from the VON to pay for her schooling. In exchange for the funding, Roseann had to work for the agency for one year. Roseann was 25 years old when she started on contract for the VON as an occupational health nurse at a glass factory in Medicine Hat, Alta. A year later, fate brought her to St. Catharines.


Through the years, Roseann has worked in many areas of health care:

- She was the respiratory nurse for Niagara, developing a program to help patients suffering from chronic respiratory illness to live as independently as possible in the community.

- She helped create a program for new mothers in their homes.

- She worked on Palliative Care and Dialysis programs; and helped a fellow VON nurse establish a program for patients with Parkinson's disease.   


From the position of staff nurse, Roseann became a team leader, supervisor, nurse manager, and, in 1991, was appointed to the position of Executive Director of VON Niagara Branch. Roseann retired from the VON in the spring of this year.


In a recent newspaper article, Roseann acknowledged that she has had the privilege to work with 'fantastic staff and wonderful people' in the community. She has served on various committees, hospital committees, and the Niagara District Health Council. Most recently, Roseann's community involvement included working with the Town of Fort Erie to develop a community health clinic, which features a nurse practitioner to offer care for children as well as individuals without a family doctor.


Roseann has loved her career in community nursing. She notes that in visiting patients in their homes, you become part of the family. And there is tremendous satisfaction in helping someone recover and move towards independence. Roseann also refers to the staff she worked alongside of as family. Roseann has two former colleagues and members of her extended family here today - Sue Arnold and Marlene Slepkov.


I had the privilege of working for Roseann Norton and the VON from 1994 to 1997. At the time, I knew little of home health care and community nursing. Roseann was a wonderful mentor, and the experience of working for a charitable, not-for-profit organization changed my life.


While VON is the largest visiting nursing agency in Canada, many branches, such as VON Niagara, have had their share of ups and downs over the years. In 2004, VON Niagara lost a visiting nursing contract with the CCAC, which almost caused the branch to close. I was serving on the VON board at the time, and I will always remember Roseann's leadership, strength of character, and courage through that difficult period. 


Before retiring, Roseann continued to develop new programs for VON, which recently was awarded a contract from McMaster University to conduct a research study called CHAP for Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program.


Roseann is married to Andrew Norton. Their home is in Welland, and they have two children. Roseann's daughter, Chantalle, is here today.


Roseann, you have touched the lives of so many people throughout your career - patients and their families, staff members, health care professionals, the nursing community, and Niagara's residents. Through your core values in preserving the dignity of human life, and your courage and character as a leader and mentor, you have demonstrated Rotary's motto of Service Above Self. You embody the true spirit of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, and you are so deserving of this honour." 

Howard and Wendy Staff, Recipients of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award 2006:  

June Manning's address is detailed below:

"It gives me great pleasure to present to our club two members of our community that Rotary would like to thank and show appreciation for their involvement in the community and support in our Rotary events. W
endy and Howard Staff -who have been joined to-day by their family to help us celebrate this occasion - their son Drew, daughter-in-law Dana, and their daughter Sue Ann.


Howard and Wendy have a grape farm which has been in the family for over two hundred years. It continues to be a family business with total family involvement. Wendy assists Howard running the business of the farm, Drew assists in the working of the farm, and Sue Anne is a wine master extraordinaire.


Wendy has many community accomplishments:


May Court: Past President and Honourary President of our local club. Secretary to the Association of May Court Clubs of Canada. Chair of the Hospice Gala Committee for two years and member on the committee for six years. This has been a first joint community venture between Rotary South and the May Court Club.       

United Way
: Served on the Board of Directors.


Brock University: Member of the Senate and the Board of Governors.


Child Advocacy Association: Member of the Board.


Mountainview United Church and her own Anglican Church in Jordon: Member of the choir. 


Howard has many community accomplishments:

Family Farm: The Farm has been in the Staff Family in Niagara for 200 years. Howard has worked tirelessly to advance the grape industry in the Niagara region.


Grape Growers: Past Chair of the Grape Growers Association. Grape King of Niagara.


Heavy Equipment: Pledged to dig the foundation of the new Hospice Centre. Ground breaking ceremony is Friday June 23, 2006.


Escarpment Commission: Appointed Chair of this commission by the provincial government.


Volunteer Fire Fighter: Jordon Fire Fighters for over 20 years. Drew, his son, is also a volunteer Fire Fighter in Jordon.  This alone is a monumental contribution to the community.  We thank you both for the sacrifices you have made and for always being there to keep our communities safe in adverse times.


Rotary South Gala: Assisting our club in the Annual Gala to raise funds in the live auction.


Wendy and Howard are always together supporting any charity that needs assistance in our community. Rotary South would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and thank you both by presenting you with the Paul Harris Award!"