Harry Corscadden Award
The Harry Corscadden Award for Outstanding Service to the Club is a Club Award first introduced by President Brian Clements at the Club Assembly 20 June 2011.
Introducing the Award, President Brian stated that Harry Corscadden was an outstanding member of this Club who joined in 1959. He died in his 101st year having been a member for nearly fifty years and was responsible for setting up Harmony Community Trust and Glebe House. Quietly dignified and hardworking he was the epitome of all that is good within Rotary (see below).
The Corscadden family are delighted to have the Outstanding Service Award in the name of Harry Corscadden and, very generously, have funded the Award for 5years. click on image to enlarge
The Harry Corscadden Award for Outstanding Service to the Club 2012 has been awarded to Club members Rtns David Brennan and Dick Thornton for their outstanding collection of spectacles for Vision Aid Overseas for many years culminating with the collection of over 100,000 spectacles for the District 1160 Centenary Spectacles Project not only by the end of the 100th year of Rotary in Ireland but before it even began!
The Award was announced at the Handover Meeting on 2 July at the Royal Belfast Golf Club President Adrian said: "The Harry Corscadden Award is a very personal award sponsored by the Corscadden family to be given in honour of Harry who was an esteemed Past President of the Club and a recipient of a Paul Harris Sapphire award for his service to Rotary at a Club gala dinner to celebrate his 100th birthday. I can only reflect with humility on Harry’s dedication and hard work to establish Harmony Community Trust and Glebe House which is a tribute to his memory. I was privileged to know him and those of us who heard him speak and reflect on his involvement with the Club over the years at his birthday celebration could do nothing but admire his life of service above self and his humility and humour.
It is therefore an award which we on Council do not give lightly as we try to seek a worthy recipient who we feel shares Harry’s ideals and high ethical standards. This year, as with last year’s recipient, we had no trouble in identifying a worthy candidate within our Club and as there are two recipients, an additional 2011/12 award has been specially commissioned. Achieving the Centenary Spectacles target was down to the hard work and dedication of these members and I know that if Harry Corscadden was speaking to us this evening he would have spoken with great pride of their achievement and endorsed their work in the service of others."
RIBI Presisdent John Minhinick presented the award to Rtn Dick Thornton (2nd right) on his visit to the Club 30 July 2012, Rtn David Brennan had received his at the handover meeting.
President Brian presented the inaugural Award to Jenny Boyd (wife of PP David). "Most of you will have seen some of her work, you certainly have not seen all of it. She is tirelessly working on the website, tirelessly working on the the weekly report and never to anything that I have asked her to do has she not said 'Brian with pleasure'. It gives me great pleasure to ask Alistair Corscadden to present the trophy."
Presenting the inscribed glass trophy PP Alastair Corscadden said how pleased the family of Harry were to be associated with it and congratulated the very worthy recipient. Jenny Boyd, accepting the Award sincerely thanked the Club for the honour and the Corscadden family for the trophy, noting it was particularly special having the Harry Corscadden name.
PP Dr Harry Corscadden LLd 1907 - 2008
A thoughtful and caring man greatly respected by all fortunate enough to know him and by many who never met him.
Harry Corscadden was born in Dromad, Co Leitrim on 4th May 1907, and lived in Mohill until 1922, when at the outbreak of the civil war in Ireland, his father, who had been the crown solicitor in Co. Leitrim, was forced to leave his home. Moving North, the family stayed for a while in Belfast whilst his father sought work, eventually joining a law practice in Ballymoney. He later became the Chief Crown Solicitor in Northern Ireland and was awarded a C.B.E.
Harry went to Portora Royal School in Enniskillen where he was a brilliant student, winning a Junior Scholarship in 1923. His name appears on the honours board in the school on the same panel as other notable men including Henry Francis Lyte, author of some well known hymns including ‘Abide With Me’ and Oscar Wilde, (whose name reputedly is in brighter gold lettering as it was in turn removed and then reinstated depending upon his public acceptance). Also on the scholarship board is Harry’s contemporary at Portora ~ Samuel Beckett. Harry also enjoyed his sport at school and played for the rugby team. He claimed he once had the job of marking Frank Hewitt the only international to play for Ireland whilst still at school! After taking his degree at Trinity College, Dublin in 1928 Harry joined J K Currie & Son, a firm of solicitors in Ballymena. In 1931 he gained the silver medal and first place in the final examination of the Incorporated Law Society and in the same year was awarded his doctorate in Law. But failing to get an assurance of a future partnership in the firm he left and took up a post in the Civil Service, where he met and eventually married Joyce Wolf.
In 1940, taking a reduction in salary, he joined the Ulster Bank as assistant solicitor, becoming a director in 1953 and senior managing director from 1964 until his retirement in 1973. Outside the bank Harry played an active role in the community becoming involved in a large number of organisations. At various times he has served the community as Chairman of the Northern Ireland branch of the Institute of Directors and chairman of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. He also was a member of the Police Authority in Northern Ireland, the Post Office Users Council, The Marriage Guidance Council, The General Health Services Board and also served on the General, and other Synods of the Church of Ireland.
When he was about 7 or 8 he was asked what he would like to be when he grew up and he answered ‘A solicitor and a Mason’, which he achieved at an early stage (and only just in that order!) thus starting a long involvement with the Masonic Order, rising to a high degree, and remaining active until his death.
In 1959 Harry was introduced to Rotary by Dr George Little when he joined the Rotary Club of Belfast. He became President of the Club in 1973-74 at the height of the troubles and was instrumental in the establishment of the Harmony Community Trust, one of the first of the organisations in Northern Ireland to bring together young people from the different communities. This was a project very close to Harry’s heart and he kept an ongoing interest in the work of the Trust and was a frequent visitor, the last time being in September 2008. (for further information on Harmony Community Trust and Harry’s involvement see here).
He remained to the end of his life a very active and interested honorary member of the Club, attending the Christmas Lunch meeting less than a week before his death.
Harry was a Paul Harris Fellow and for his ongoing commitment to Rotary he was awarded an addition of a Sapphire pin, presented by District Governor Howard Caskie, on the occasion of his 100th birthday celebrations. He is the only member that the Club has awarded a Sapphire Paul Harris fellowship.
Harry died on 21st December 2008 - he is sadly missed.