Club Installs Larry Kirby as Honorary Member and Paul Harris Fellow


Rotarian Police Chief Rick Smith (right) congratulates Larry Kirby.

The Wakefield Rotary Club installed Mr. Larry Kirby as an Honorary Member and Paul Harris Fellow at its awards dinner last week. An author, Mr. Kirby is a two-time guest speaker at the club, where he spoke about his experiences on Iwo Jima and amphibious landings on numerous Pacific islands as a Marine in World War II. He returned several times and attended many of the clubs fundraisers and fellowship events. Kirby noted, “The first time I came to speak at the club, I felt welcome and that made me comfortable speaking about my experiences, some of which I haven’t spoken about in a long time.”

Wakefield Rotarian Mark Curley noted, “He opened up his heart and went back to the most horrific years of his life. He shared these painful life and death experiences with us which I cannot imagine was easy to do.” In fact, during his presentations to the club, Kirby recounted multiple experiences that left marks on his memory. Curley recounted, “Larry took us back to when he was a scout and his best friend died in his arms. We saw him liberating the Guamanians from the Japanese and we could see the emotion in his eyes when he recalled a Guamanian woman kissing his muddy boot in gratitude for freeing her, her family and many others.”

For these and many other acts during his service to this country, the club installed Kirby as an Honorary Member who clearly defines the Rotary motto of “service above self.” Additionally, the club awarded Kirby with a Paul Harris Fellowship, a recognition given to those who demonstrate commitment to humanitarian service.