There are few organisations in Cromwell that have not benefited from the energy and efforts of Barbara Emmitt.

It seemed appropriate that Rotary club members hijacked the Old Cromwell Town annual meeting on Monday to present a Paul Harris Fellowship award to Ms Emmitt, who has been involved with the precinct for more than 14 years.

Ms Emmitt said she was completely surprised.

‘‘It was pretty amazing. They got me well and truly.’’

Cromwell Rotary Club president Bernie McKone said the Paul Harris Fellowship was the highest award given by Rotary to recognise someone who has gone over and above their duties in a Rotary or community capacity.

As well as the precinct, Ms Emmitt had been involved with the Cromwell Squash Club.

She was a founding member when games were played in Alexandra and was part of the committee which built the Cromwell complex.

She also had a long involvement with the Lake Dunstan Boat Club and was treasurer of the Cromwell Rowing Club for several years.

She assisted in many multisport events, including Cromwell and districts promotion group’s Cromwell Summer Series, Wanaka Challenges, Motatapu events, the South Island schools’ adventure races and the Central Otago primary schools’ triathlons.

Outside of sport, Ms Emmitt had been involved in organising the Cromwell and districts schools’ 150th reunion, the Clyde Dam reunion in 2001 and the Bannockburn town water supply group.

She also loved cats and fed five, twice a day, around Cromwell — two at the heritage precinct and one at each of the two Otago Polytechnic sites, as well as her own.

The Paul Harris Fellowship is named after the founder of Rotary.