The Service Above Self Award is considered Rotary International’s highest honor to bestow on a Rotarian. The purpose of this award is to recognize those individual Rotarians who have demonstrated exemplary humanitarian service, in any form and at any level, with emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.
The Rotary International Service Above Self Award was initiated in 1992 and is Rotary International's highest honour for individual Rotarians. A maximum of 150 recipients worldwide may be selected each year. No member from the Rotary Club of Belleville has received the award and there have only been eight recipients in District 7070. One notable recipient was Past RI President Wilf Wilkinson in 2005-06.
District Governor Mark Chipman, a virtual guest at the Rotary Club of Belleville’s Zoom meeting yesterday said, “It is my pleasure today, as Governor of District 7070 to inform you that William (Bill) MacKay, has been selected by the Rotary International Board of Directors to receive the 2020-21 Service Above Self Award.”
Governor Mark also advised the meeting that Bill’s nomination for this award was fully supported by:
  • Past Rotary International President Wilf Wilkinson
  • District 7070 Leadership Team
  • Rotary Club of Belleville President Tim McKinney
  • And kudos to Belleville Rotarian Vince Lynch for making this nomination happen
Bill MacKay joined the Rotary club of Mississauga-Dixie in 1980 as a Charter Member receiving his Charter Pin from his Dad, Past District Governor Bill MacKay Sr. In 1988 Bill relocated to Belleville and joined the Rotary Club of Belleville, where his father, W.R. MacKay, was Past President (1971/71) and Past District 7070 Governor (1977/78).
Rotary Positions
President, Mississauga Dixie - 1985/86
President, Rotary Club of Belleville - 1994/95
Governor, District 7070 - 2003/04
Trainer, District 7070 - 2004-2009
Club Secretary, Rotary Club of Belleville - 2014-2016
Representative, Council of Legislation, District 7070 - Current
During the Belleville Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary year Bill chaired the 2019/20 committee. He personally pursued getting Club and City of Belleville approval to construct a “Rotary Music Garden” and a “Rotary Fitness Park” in two city parks. Further, he took personal oversite in the tendering, purchase, and installation (by Club Members) of the equipment. Both projects have had tremendous response from the community and provide a lasting memorial to Rotary and the Club’s 100 years.
MacKay has served as Co-Chair of “Kids Against Hunger” committee. They annually organize 70-80 volunteers to assemble and package 18,000 family meal packs for local and international distribution.
He also volunteers for several “sweat equity” projects including:
  • “Easter Seals Camp Merrywood “project. This camp provides a weekly stay-in respite for physically challenged children. The project is an annual Belleville Rotary 2-day spring “sweat equity” event to get the camp ready for summer operation.
  • Manning the “Rotary Salvation Army Kettle”. Belleville Rotary commits to manning a Salvation Kettle for six weeks, comprised of six 2 hour shifts per Day.
  • In June 2007, Bill joined the two-week Rotary Post Hurricane Katrina restoration project in New Orleans. Organized by the Rotary Club of Berkley California, seventy-five Rotarians from across the USA and Canada joined to assist in the refurbishment of Warren Easton High School.
Bill is also Paul Harris Fellow +8 recipient.
MacKay is also active in the community. Bill and his wife Cory have made over 1700 face masks for the “Quinte Community Sewing for COVID” group. The masks are distributed to hospitals, retirement homes, long term care homes, schools and individuals. They also cut and bent over 8,000 wire nose pieces for the masks.
Bill is currently the Board President for “Hospice Quinte”. On September 9th, 2020, they broke ground on a new $9.5 M world class palliative care facility for the Quinte area set to open this Fall.
He was a founding Director for the “Quinte Children’s Foundation”. The Foundation “brings people and financial resources together to improve the quality of life for children and youth who are at risk” and has also served as a Director on the Belleville & District Chamber of Commerce.
Bill is always prepared to step up for community volunteer support needs, including:
  • “Canadian Cancer” volunteer training
  • “Operation Red Nose” volunteer driver. They operate throughout December and into New Years, driving partiers home in their own cars. In 2019 Operation Red Nose volunteers ensured that more than 2500 people were driven home safely, drove more than 37,000 km with more than 6000 volunteer hours committed to the cause.
  • Bill was a “Big Brother” to two “littles” for five years. “Big Brothers Big Sisters” is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth”
Governor Mark told the Club, “Bill has consistently demonstrated his willingness to step up and unselfishly give his time to contribute to both Rotary and Community needs. His skillset of organizational, interpersonal and delivery skills make him a valued contributor to any project.” Mark continued, “Fellow Rotarians and guests, please join me in congratulating Bill Mackay as the 2020-21 Service Above Self Award winner!!!!”