A local stalwart has been recognised for his efforts as a Rotarian.

Kevin Henderson recently celebrated 50 years of service and received a life membership of the Rotary Club of Balclutha.

Mr Henderson joined Rotary in 1973 after his father had died, who was also a rotarian.

‘‘I had been to a few sons’ and daughters’ nights when my father was in Rotary and it interested me,’’ Mr Henderson said.

‘‘Back then it used to be men only, dressed in suits and ties.’’

He served as president of the club in the 1988-89 year and received the Paul Harris Fellowship in 2007 — one of Rotary’s highest honours.

He was the youngest Rotarian for ‘‘quite a few years’’ when he joined.

Mr Henderson has been part of various groups and projects in the area. He has helped update the kitchen in Tautuku in conjunction with Milton Rotary Club, tidied up the old cemetery in Balclutha, planted shrubs along the green by PGG Wrightson, contributed to introducing the flying fox in Balclutha, helped out in working bees and many more projects.

‘‘I thoroughly enjoy serving the community.’’

‘‘It gives me great satisfaction to know I’ve helped out in the area and when I look back on what I’ve helped to achieve I am quite proud.’’

He remembers big projects many years ago including picking up beer bottles from homes in the district and taking them to the railway station, where they would be taken away on railway wagons.

‘‘That used to raise a lot of money, but died a natural death in more modern times.’’

He has also contributed to raising thousands of dollars over the years for local community groups including schools, projects and organisations.

Mr Henderson was proud to receive the 50 years’ certificate and the life membership.

‘‘That means there are two of us now who have the life membership — myself and Cliff Gray, as other recipients have passed.’’

He was thankful to the lifelong friends he had made within the club and was pleased he could continue serving the community.

The Rotary Club of Balclutha organised a special event to celebrate Mr Henderson’s achievement.