Ron Hargest says joining Rotary was one of the best things he has done.
As a farmer at the time, when dairy cows and his church were his only interests, Rotary helped him grow from a shy country boy to the man he was today, Mr Hargest said.
For 44 years through Rotary, he volunteered to deliver for the meals on wheels service until two years ago.
“I stopped only because a leg injury from years ago became too much for me to be getting in and out of the car,” Mr Hargest said.
The beauty of delivering the meals over the years was that he made many friends.
“There has been people I have met over the years, then I was taking them their meals.”
There was no time to stop and chat during meal deliveries, he said.
“Some days we were delivering up to 16 meals, so time was of the essence.”
But friendships were made and Mr Hargest would pop back later for a chat and cup of tea.
“For me it was all about meeting the people over the years.
“It wasn’t a big deal. It fitted into our lifestyle as we were dairy farmers and free around lunchtime.”
It seemed that, around Eastern Southland, once you met people you ended up friends for life, he said.
“Rotary has been a great club for me to be a member.
“Meals on wheels? You just don’t know. I may need them myself one day.”