Posted by PDG Neville John

The Rotary world mourns the passing of Judith Durham AO and Paul Harris Fellow. Judith was a great Australian, generous with her time in caring for others and a friend of Rotary.

Judith was introduced to Rotary through the auspices of Judith's friend, Rotary Central Melbourne’s (RCM) Charter President Terry Cocks and member Michael Bromby. Notwithstanding her busy life, Judith became involved in Rotary activities such as adjudicating the promising young performers at the Victoria School of Arts. She gave her time freely including performing at the annual Paul Harris breakfasts attended by many Rotarians and friends from District 9800. She also attended fund-raising events in support of numerous community programs.

In 2006, Judith's involvement in Rotary youth programs was acknowledged by RCM with a Paul Harris Fellow recognition.  When asked about his memories of Judith, Terry Cocks said: “I had the good fortune of introducing Judith Durham to Rotary and our Club. She visited us on many occasions despite her busy commitments and was a genuine supporter of the ideals and objectives of Rotary. She possessed not only unique music talent but also a compassionate interest in people and their welfare. We were very pleased to have recognised Judith Durham as a Paul Harris Fellow”.
Michael Lapina, District Governor Nominee for District 9800 said: “I’m saddened that the musical world has lost our wonderful icon in Judith Durham. I recall the time she attended our Rotary Christmas Party in 2006, and we (along with her sister, Beverley) were able to sing one of her songs 'Morningtown Ride' for members and guests. That morning, my whole family was in attendance and I remember the love and care Judith showed towards Nina and the kids.  She left such an indelible mark in all our hearts. She also offered me some guidance, counsel and support when I returned to the stage with Victorian Opera and Opera Australia. She was a true inspiration, always willing to share her experience. I’ll miss her very much”.
The Rotary family acknowledges Judith as great mentor and leader and conveys our sincere condolences to her family.