Tony Whitford, right, listens to Peter Vician speak about him prior to accepting his Paul Harris Fellowship recognition.

A Paul Harris Fellowship recognition is the way the Rotary Foundation expresses appreciation for financial contributions made by members. Individual clubs can also decided to make a donation on behalf of a person in the community in order to honour them for their work.

At the last luncheon, three more Paul Harris recognitions were handed out to members, proudly adding to the growing list this fall at our Club.

Two categories of recognitions were handed out: first-time recipients who receive a certificate, subsequent recipients receive a pin imbedded with coloured stones signifying the number of times the person was honoured. These pins can be worn with pride, especially at district conferences.


Jan Larsson introduced Amrik Kanwal:

“The story of Amrik is very … intriguing,” began Larsson, noting it started in India, then Zambia, got married, had two sons and ended up in Yellowknife. But when the trained electrical engineer had difficulty moving his credentials across international boundaries, he ended up being a founder of the City Cab business, which is still in operation to this day.

Kanwal now runs the NWT office of Computers for Schools, which refurbishes computers so that they can be reused by schools, libraries, and non profit organizations across the territory. 

“Amrik does everything in his life to be a good person and a good citizen,” said Larsson. “He has been living up to Rotary standards, not only when he comes to meetings and events, but in his daily life.”

The recipient told the assembled Rotarians the Club “has completely changed my life.” Kanwal recalled he initially thought Rotary was for “not for ordinary people, but for rich people, business people,” but soon found out the membership is extremely diverse.

Club President Wayne Guy and Amrik Kanwal.


Peter Vician introduced Tony Whitford:

“When Paul Harris formed Rotary, his goal was to create a group of professional and business people for friendship and fellowship … and that’s what Tony has contributed: friendship and fellowship,” said Vician. “His company is always looked forward to at luncheons every Thursday.”

Whitford is a previous recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship and has 34 years of “service above self,” in the Club. During that time he was also busy in a few other roles. Those included: Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, a multi-term member of the Legislative Assembly, a member of the Assembly’s executive council, and also served as sergeant-at-arms.

Whitford was a justice of the peace and has presided over hundreds of weddings in this community.
“He exemplifies leadership, dedication and public service beyond anything that I could imagine,” said Vician. “Tony is always there to help on our projects.”

Whitford was a founding organizer of the Canadian Championship Dog Derby and worked on the major event for the Rotary Club for some 25 years. “I am so honoured to make this presentation to you on behalf of Rotary,” said Vician.

Club President Wayne Guy, Tony Whitford and Peter Vician.


Celestino Oh introduced Chris Wood:

“Chris has always been in the background working away,” said Oh, noting Wood served on the executive for a number of years.
“Chris always brings joviality to our meetings, you can always count on him for some humour — it sometimes lands, sometimes doesn’t,” joked Oh. “It brings some life to our meetings.”

Last year, Wood offered the Capitol Theatre where he is general manager for a screening of a movie as a fundraiser in conjunction with World Polio Day. 

“I’ve enjoyed my time with Rotary,” said Wood, a repeat Paul Harris recipient. “I’ve contributed to the Rotary Foundation as it’s a worthy cause and we know all the money is going out there and doing good work. 

“It’s one of the charities that you can count on; you don’t have to worry about what’s happening with your money.”

Wood said when he moved to Yellowknife about 12 years ago, he was looking for a service club “that actually did things in the community,” and found that in Rotary.

Club President Wayne Guy and Chris Wood.


And a few more photos:

Club President Wayne Guy and Tony Whitford.

Recipient Chris Wood speaks to the Club.

The head table, sparsely populated to adhere to public health pandemic orders.

Recipient Amrik Kanwal speaks to the Club.

Club President-Elect Celestino Oh takes a photo of Club President Wayne Guy and Chris Wood.

(Photos by Celestino Oh and James O'Connor.)