On New Year’s Day Dr Ivan Howie GP, and rural nurse specialists Leonie Howie and Adele Robertson of the Great Barrier Island Community Health Centre were each awarded with the Paul Harris Fellow award.
Ivan Howie has provided medical services to the Barrier for 35 years. Initially this care was from the back of his motor cycle, later from a tiny caravan on his front lawn. For many years he was the only doctor. Leonie joined him as his  practice nurse and wife three years later and about the same time Adele started work as a public health nurse in the north of the island. Both nurses are highly skilled specialist rural nurses.
It soon became obvious that the quality of care provided from a small caravan with little equipment was not adequate for the island community’s needs. Ivan would sometimes find himself holding a torch in his teeth while he stitched  someone up at night. There was no equipment that mainland GPs and nurses would take for granted. The three of them then engaged with the local community to set up a Community Health Trust, fundraised and lobbied the Auckland Health Board for a better solution. In 1990 the Community Health Centre was opened and has gone from strength to strength since. It is immediately obvious how dedicated Ivan, Leonie and Adele are to the island community, working tirelessly to provide a high standard of medical and nursing care, day and night, year in year out, always with compassion and a deep affection for the community they are part of. They provide a level of care and commitment that is highly respected by their peers. Within the Auckland hospital service they refer to they are known for their thorough medical management.

These outstanding individuals exemplify the ideals of the Rotary Foundation, and the East Coast Bays Rotary on Auckland’s North Shore has been honoured to put their names forward for this award.