BRISBANE – The late Terry Shelley was both a successful businessman in Papua New Guinea and a generous philanthropist.
He dedicated his working life to the welfare of the people of the Highlands and was always one of the first to contribute when PNG Attitude and other organisations initiated projects to benefit the ordinary folk of PNG.
Two years ago he worked with me on a massive undertaking to provide library books and related materials for dozens of schools in the Chimbu Province.
This was where Terry had started his career in the 1960s as a cooperatives officer and where he was a familiar figure for the rest of his life as an entrepreneur and benefactor.
A few weeks ago, Wes Nichols, the international director of the Rotary Club of Toowong in Brisbane, visited Goroka to present Terry’s son, Joe, representing his late father, with the Paul Harris Fellow award and medallion.
This prestigious award marked the Rotary Club’s recognition of a man who was a true humanitarian and an adopted son of Papua New Guinea.
The award was presented at the Pacific Gardens Hotel before an audience including John and Cynthia Leahy, members of the Goroka Rotary Club and others from the Shelley family including Joe’s wife Catherine and daughter Sandra. Terry’s widow, Lyn, was unable to be there.
The citation that came with the award stated that the Paul Harris Fellowship was presented in appreciation of Terry's "tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world" and was signed by the president of Rotary International, John Kenny.