Tireless Simcoe musician receives top Rotary award

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The Rotary Club of Simcoe has recognized an accomplished local musician with one of its highest honours.

The club’s latest Paul Harris Fellowship was awarded on the weekend to Ian Madge of Simcoe, a familiar face on the local music scene for many years.

“Ian’s father before him and Ian now provides, sets up and operates the sound system for the Remembrance services at the Carillon Tower,” the Rotary Club said in a news release. “He has voluntarily composed, directed and played at Simcoe Lions Club and Simcoe Little Theatre productions over the years.”

Madge is the long-serving organist and choir director at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Simcoe. He was presented with the Fellowship during services Sunday at the church.

The Rotary Club says Madge has been instrumental during the pandemic in helping St. Paul’s move its services on-line for parishioners who have been worshipping in their homes for the past year.

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“Ian has been organist and choir director here for decades, and, under current COVID-19 restrictions, spends countless hours producing the hymn and anthem arrangements in such a form to accommodate these live-stream broadcasts,” the news release says.

The Rotary fellowship is named after Chicago attorney Paul Harris (1868-1947), founder of the movement that went on to become Rotary International and its associated affiliates.

Rotary clubs earn the right to award a Paul Harris Fellow after contributing $1,000 in the name of the recipient toward Rotary International programs around the world.

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