Prestigious Rotary award for Upper Ballinderry man

BBC presenter and producer Richard Yarr, originally from Upper Ballinderry and organist at Christ Church Lisburn for 25 years, has been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International.

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 11:58 am
Kevin O’Hara (Assistant Governor, Rotary Ireland), George Pigott (President, Comber Rotary) and Richard Yarr

It is the highest honour which the organisation can present, bearing the name of Rotary’s founder.

The prestigious award recognises outstanding contributions, exemplifying the highest ideal in Rotary, of placing Service Before Self.

The Paul Harris Fellowship is most frequently awarded to Rotary members, but Richard joins a small group of non-Rotarians from Northern Ireland to have been given the Fellowship. These include Dame Mary Peters, Baroness May Blood, Frank Carson and Rev. Dr Harold Good.

Richard has been an adjudicator and advisor for the Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year Competition, run by Comber Rotary, for 15 years. He was appointed Patron of the Competition in 2015 and the Fellowship cites his tireless support of young musicians on Rotary’s behalf.

Richard said: “This is a unexpected honour and I’m delighted to join such a special list of past recipients.

“I’ve been hugely impressed by the commitment of Rotary to young musicians here and by their ethos more generally.

“The Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year is a prized accolade and I look forward to supporting the team for many years to come”

George Pigott, President of Comber Rotary said: “Richard has been an inspired Patron of the Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year Competition.

“He has helped us develop considerably and his energy is always focussed on what’s best for the young performers.

“This is the very finest way we can acknowledge Richard’s unstinting support and all that he contributes more widely to music in Northern Ireland.”