Bill Ashman Testimonial Dinner

September 1 2014

The world was a very different place back in 1959 to what it is today. However, in December of that year, a young Bendigo man was set to join a new Rotary Club. The Rotary Club of Bendigo South and Bill Ashman’s career as a Rotarian had begun.

So it was fitting that over 54 years later, Bill’s life and dedication to ‘Service Above Self’ was recognised at a recent testimonial dinner by current and past members of the Rotary Club of Bendigo South, as well as by friends, family and other notable figures from throughout Bill’s life.

Answering life’s vocational call throughout the classification of Accounting Services, Bill not only crunched numbers throughout the day at work, but also for his local Uniting Church congregation, the Eaglehawk golf club and the Rotary Club. Several guest speakers and friends of Bill’srepresenting these organisations spoke of his involvement throughout the course of the testimonial dinner. It was interesting for all present to hear of Bill’s achievements in family, work andbusiness. Several of Bill’s children and grandchildren were present on Thursday night; so too was wife Verna, who was also acknowledged for many years of service to her family and the Bendigo community.

A pre-recorded interview between Bill Ashman and past Rotarian, Laurie O’Farrell, was also shown at the testimonial dinner, where Bill recalled his involvement in the Rotary Club of Bendigo South in his own words. One Rotary project that stood out for Bill was going out to a members farm to bail hay to fundraise money for the Rotary club.

The night concluded with Rotarian, Bill Ashman, being recognised with a double sapphire Paul Harris Fellow recognition for his commitment over 55 years to the motto of Service Above Self, which included 46 years as the club’s financial auditor. Bills wife, Verna Ashman was also recognised with a Paul Harris Fellow recognition for support to Bill and years of community work in her own right, delivering meals on wheels, as well as many other worthy pursuits.

With over 70 people in attendance on the night, the Bill Ashman testimonial dinner was a very large success. It was fitting for Bill’s service to the club to be recognised the way in which it began, as the theme for the night was 1959. This involved members donning the attire of the 1950s, music from the era as well as running the meeting as it would have been at that time.

All money raised on the night will be directed to the Rotary Foundation, an organisation for which Bill has long been a supporter.

The Rotary Club of Bendigo South is proud to acknowledge Bill Ashman as our sole remaining charter member from 1959, and we hope that Bill can long be associated with the club for a long time to come.

See the full coverage at the Bendigo Advertiser.

Matthew Scott
Director of Club Communications