The attached is a tribute to David Marshall that was read on 9 Mach 2021, at his memorial service held at St Michael's Church Sunninghill.
David joined the Rotary Club in October 2004 and by joining he also became a member of a worldwide organization - something that he was soon to feel passionate about. As far as David was concerned the ideals of the Rotary organization matched his own outlook on life.
David quickly settled down in the club and developed a keen interest in all that it does. He served on many of the club committees and chaired several, including, Club Service, International and Foundation. He was also the club secretary for a year – a tough job. In particular, it was as a highly proficient Treasurer for several years that many of us will be grateful for, as it’s the other tough job in the club.
David became club President in 2008/2009, something that he was very proud of and always appreciated the support that he had from members. For us to support David as President with his engaging sense of humour, commitment, hard work and attention to detail was not at all difficult – it was a pleasure. Interestingly, David always said that being President helped his self-confidence when speaking in public.
Most of us in the club have the “cold weather badge” for standing outside Waitrose Sunningdale on a blustery December day collecting money. Typically, David would try to get the last slot of the day (also the coldest) so that he could take the money home and count it. Otherwise, as we were packing up at the end of the day David would appear to collect the money. He did this for every bucket collection that we did when he was Treasurer. This was a regular feature of his caring about what he did, to try to do it correctly and easing the workload for others. Indeed, his knowledge of the Rotary rules and regulations became of immense value to the club and the way it is manged.
As Rotarians we all acknowledge that the support of our families is invaluable in all that we do because we see the family as so important to fostering community spirit at home and abroad. Eileen always supported David in his Rotary activities and events such as the annual Wheelbarrow Race through Sunninghill and you could see the lovely chemistry between them as they would look out for one another – “just checking you are okay?” At the Wheelbarrow race day, thousands of pounds are collected from different sources but also in a lot of different buckets. At the 2014 Race, it rained and rained and rained. The two of them took home buckets full of water and money. Dried the coins and notes, the later by placing them on radiators around the house. True to form, the following morning David announced how much we had collected.
A Paul Harris Fellowship award is a recognition by the Rotary Foundation that a particular Rotarian has made a significant contribution to Rotary. The recommendation comes from the club members and David was awarded one in 2009. He was very proud of it and it was a fitting tribute from an organization he cared deeply about.
David was constantly looking for ways to help others and give enjoyment to those around him. He had an in-built ability to ring you up, or email you, with a suggestion or plan just before you were about to ask that question. I know that when I was President, he was usually ahead of me and I am eternally grateful for his advice and wise counsel. I know that Jo as the current President feels exactly the same way.
David was always interacting with people, his engaging smile and sense of fun won many friends. Just a hint of a request for help and David was there with practical help and advice regardless of time and effort. He would often coordinate the club members attending the District Conference such that all their accommodation and meals were arranged. He really enjoyed doing things for others. He particularly liked fostering international relations and the Ambassadorial Scholars gave him the opportunity to do this. A group of these university scholars from all over the world studying at Oxford, and sponsored by Rotary, would spend the afternoon at the Ascot races and then go round to David and Eileen’s for an English afternoon tea before joining the club members in the evening for dinner. Ascot has a partner club in Ingelheim, and David was in regular contact with members there. This international outlook also included our Dutch partner club at Gulpen Vaals. Meeting up with all these international friends on club exchange visits is always great fun and David was in his element.
Today, is a sad day but nonetheless we can look back at the time we spent with David, remember his energy for life and his commitment to others. The Rotary motto is, “Service Above Self”, this was David exactly. He was a real Rotarian, a true friend and he will be remembered with great affection.
May he rest in peace.
© 2021 Rotary Club of Ascot
Club Number - 19227
Registered Charity Number - 1092176