Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died at Bedford Hospital on Tuesday, was a beacon of hope to so many. An inspiration, who shone brightly in the fog of a pandemic.
Last summer, the newly-knighted Captain Tom received a Paul Harris Fellowship, a recognition named after Rotary’s founder. The Fellowship was championed by Flitwick Vale Rotary Club, which is based closed to the family home in Bedfordshire.
And it was during that presentation ceremony that Captain Tom revealed that, besides belonging to Round Table in his home town of Keighley, Yorkshire, he had also once been a Rotarian.
The distinguished war hero was a member of March Rotary Club while working in Cambridgeshire as manager of a concrete company.
Speaking after being conferred with honorary membership of Flitwick Vale Rotary Club, Captain Tom said: “I have been well established with Rotary for a long period of time for which I have been absolutely thrilled and honoured to be a member.
“Now to become a member again is something which is absolutely special, as far as I am concerned.”
The distinguished war hero was a member of March Rotary Club while working in Cambridgeshire as manager of a concrete company.”
Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, who sat beside her father during the Paul Harris Fellowship presentation, was thrilled to see him receive the award.
Hannah appeared on an absorbing togetherTalks webinar last July to talk about her father, the magnitude of what he had achieved, and the media storm which had ensued.
Along with a video interview with Captain Tom, this was one of the most memorable togetherTalks from the first series of virtual events, organised by Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland.
— Captain Tom Moore (@captaintommoore) February 2, 2021
Nicki Scott, the togetherTalks’ host, who is also Rotary International’s Director-Elect and will be Leader of the Association for Rotary Great Britain & Ireland from July, remembers that memorable interview well.
She said: “Captain Tom was a pure delight. His infectious positive attitude and extraordinary resilience came across so strongly during our interviews with both himself directly and his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore on togetherTalks.
“He was a true inspiration for so many.
“It is so tragic to think that after such a full and extraordinary life Sir Tom was finally taken by COVID-19.
“Our hearts go out to his family and all those who’s lives he touched. Hopefully everyone will be comforted by the fact that his legacy will live on for years to come.”
Captain Tom was a pure delight. His infectious positive attitude and extraordinary resilience came across so strongly during our interviews.”
And Amanda Watkin, General Secretary of Rotary GB&I, also paid tribute to Captain Tom, the hero who gave us so much hope.
She said: “Captain Tom really is an inspiration to us all.
“His ability to connect with others in a heartfelt and humble manner has truly shown that whether a war-hero or everyday person, we can all make a difference with kindness and care winning the day.
“I am proud to know that Captain Tom was a member of Rotary and so very grateful that in his last year, Rotary was able to formally recognise the spirit and community action of this true gentleman.
“Captain Tom had 100 years of life experience to share, and he chose to share that with us all.
“Our sincere condolences go to his family at this difficult time.”
Tom Griffin, Rotary GBI President, said that Captain Tom would be greatly missed, and insisted he was the epitome of a Rotarian.
Tom said: “Captain Tom was an inspiration to the whole country last year, and a ray of light in a dark time. His determination to ‘do something’ demonstrated just what anyone can do to serve their fellow humans.
“I am delighted that Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland recognised Sir Tom last year in awarding him honorary membership and Paul Harris Fellowships. As a former Rotarian, Captain Tom epitomised Rotary’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’.”
The Queen is sending a private message of condolence to the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family at Windsor last year. Her thoughts and those of the Royal Family are with them. pic.twitter.com/nl1krvoUlW
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) February 2, 2021
Rotary International General Secretary, John Hewko, paid his tribute to Captain Tom. He said: “Today we must pay tribute to the outstanding work of Rotary members in all walks of life who have answered the call to fight the coronavirus pandemic, on the frontlines, in their communities, and through their clubs. None have embodied Rotary’s spirit of taking action to make lasting change more than Captain Sir Tom Moore, the centenarian who raised more than 32 million pounds for the U.K.’s National Health Service as it faced the deep crisis of the pandemic last spring by completing 100 laps of his garden. Captain Moore, a former Rotary member and honorary Paul Harris Fellow, passed away yesterday from COVID-19, but his memory will continue to inspire millions.”
At the end of the togetherTalks’ interview with Captain Tom, the man who became a national treasure and an inspirational fund-raiser, was asked what one life lesson he would pass onto today’s generation.
Captain Tom replied: “I think you must always consider that the future is going to be better.
“That if today is not a good day, then tomorrow is going to be a better day.
“I have always believed that tomorrow is going to be a good day. That’s what people should do. Things will get better.
“Never ever worry yourself to the state about how terrible things are because soon, and it will happen, things will get better.
“It always will.”