Horsham Rotary Club President, William Harmsworth, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for 2019, for his 35 years’ service as a magistrate and for over 50 years of voluntary work in the community.
It was in 1983, aged 35, that William became one of the youngest magistrates in Surrey and went on to sit on both the youth and adult benches at Redhill Magistrates’ Court. William, who retired from the bench last year, aged 70, built up a reputation of being a fair magistrate who earned great respect from both the defendants who came before him and his fellow colleagues.
William has also given many years of service to the Scouts, having been appointed as a Scout Adult Leader in 1966 after gaining his Queen’s Scouts Award. William has continued his involvement in the Scouts to the present day and is currently a member of his District Scout Council, as well as being a member of the Appointments Team. William has been awarded a forty year service Medal of Merit in recognition of his work in the Scout movement.
In 1996, William became a member of the Rotary Club of Redhill Reigate and Horley, which was at the time the youngest club in the Rotary District; the club grew to become an active and dominate part of the community. William became Club President in 2001 and subsequently was invited to join the Rotary District Team in 2005, being elected District Governor in 2012. Due to business commitments, William transferred his Rotary membership to Horsham, where he is currently the Club President, helping Horsham Rotary to continue to play a significant role within the Horsham community. Through his Scouting connections, William is a life member of the International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians and is actively involved in advancing the Scouts relationship with Rotary, locally, nationally, and internationally, to better their communities. William was particularly pleased to see the recent huge support from Horsham Scout Groups given to the Horsham Rotary Club Christmas collections, which raised nearly £6500; the money going to help the less fortunate in our community.
William also serves as an active member of his Parish Council. In addition, after suffering a stroke in 2003, he is an ambassador for the Stroke Association, giving talks to local groups about surviving a stroke and what steps individuals can take to help them understand how to prevent stroke occurring.
Horsham Rotary Club Secretary, Dave Smith, said: “We are delighted William has been deservedly recognised for his many years of unselfish devotion to his community with an MBE. The characteristics and dedication William has shown over the years mirrors the ethos of Rotary, and has been the major factor in the success he has enjoyed in his professional and voluntary activities.”