The Rotary Club of Fort Myers wishes Paul Herring, its oldest member, a happy birthday as he turns 97 on Jan. 23. The milestone is even more impressive considering 2017 is also Herring’s 64th year as a member of the club. Proudly wearing badge #1, he still makes it a point to attend every meeting and support the club’s community service projects and fundraisers.
Born in Tifton, Ga. In 1920, Herring attended South Georgia College and then the University of Georgia. With World War II looming, he left the university in 1941 to join the Army Air Corps. In the fall of 1943 he became the pilot of a crew that flew a new B-17 across the North Atlantic to become an airman in the 8th Air Force during the saturation bombing of Europe. The crew was downed on their 15th mission in March 1944 over occupied Belgium. Herring was hidden by members of the Belgian Resistance until that September, when the Allies liberated the region.
Herring has been active in advocacy on behalf of his profession as a commercial fisherman, serving as past president of Southeastern Fisheries (1976-77) and for decades earning the respect of his peers by working with fishery councils and legislatures to protect their interests. He joined Rotary Club of Fort Myers in 1953. Up until the age of 91, he still delivered a Thursday route for Meals-on-Wheels.
President Victoria Stephan said, “Paul’s enthusiasm and easy smile are infectious. He is an inspiration for all of us, living the Rotarian motto ‘Service Above Self’ as a way of life that brings a greater sense of purpose to our activities and evidently a great amount of personal satisfaction and longevity!”
About Rotary Club of Fort Myers
The Rotary Club of Fort Myers, Inc. is the first, oldest and largest of the 54 clubs in Southwest Florida. Chartered in 1922, it is a leadership organization composed of local business, professional and civic leaders who are united in providing humanitarian service locally and throughout the world, embracing the highest ethical standards to build goodwill and peace. For more information, contact (239) 332-8158 or visit www.rotaryfortmyers.org.