ELLSWORTH — Del Merrill, Laurence Fernald Jr. and Herbert T. Silsby II were honored as Paul Harris Fellows by the Rotary Club of Ellsworth on June 9.
Approximately 75 Rotarians attended the ceremony as well as other local business and civic leaders who have previously received the award.
The Paul Harris Fellow is named for the founder of Rotary International and has been given by Rotary clubs throughout the world for 50 years. Rotarians who donate $1,000 to support the programs of the Rotary Foundation can be recognized as fellows and Rotary clubs can also present the award to community leaders who epitomize the values and ideals of Rotary.
The Rotary Club of Ellsworth awarded its first Paul Harris Fellow in 1977, with 56 individuals receiving the honor through 2008.
Merrill was honored for his service to the community and the country. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, participating in the Battle of Iwo Jima and the postwar occupation of Japan. He has served in several capacities in the educational field, including nine years as president of Husson College. He recently retired as president of Merrill Blueberry Farms and currently is serving as co-chairman of the business gifts committee for the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital Emergency Department project.
Fernald was honored for his ongoing service, especially for his efforts in support of the annual Rotary Blueberry Pancake Breakfast. As a club member for 24 years, he has been a key volunteer at the breakfast. He retired as vice president of residential lending for Union Trust in 2008. Fernald is now working as the business manager for St. Joseph’s Church in Ellsworth.
Silsby received his second fellowship for his commitment to the Rotary Club of Ellsworth and his ongoing support to the Rotary Foundation. Herb has been a member of the Rotary Club of Ellsworth for 50 years and served as club secretary and co-chairman of the Rotary District Conference Committee in 1962-63. His career in law spanned almost four and a half decades, including 15 years as a justice of the Maine Superior Court.
His love of local history and the law are reflected in his writings, which include six books and his weekly column “Looking Backward,” which appeared in The Ellsworth American from 1996 through 2004.
The Rotary Club of Ellsworth was chartered in 1950 and currently has 67 members.
The club meets every Tuesday at China Hill beginning at 6 p.m.