I rise to pay tribute to Paul Henningham, OAM who died at his home in Springwood this week at the age of 98. Herbert Paul Henningham was born in 1921 and was raised in rural New South Wales. After military service in World War II he worked as a social worker, publisher, journalist and social historian. Rotary was one of his big loves. In 1955 he joined Rotary, first in Marrickville and then as a charter member of the Newtown club before moving to the Blue Mountains.
I saw him most recently at the Lower Blue Mountains 50th anniversary. Paul was the district governor. He was a Paul Harris Fellow and the founding editor of Rotary Down Under. He was also the author of several biographies and histories, including the history of the first 75 years of Rotary in Australia. At his death he was still working on another project. I'm the proud owner of a copy of his book I, Jane Austen: A Re-creation in Rime Royal Based on the Letters of Jane Austen, Her Novels and the Comments of Her Biographers .
Paul was a lovely, gentle soul. He was wise, thoughtful and engaged in the world. He wrote to me reluctantly to request a Saluting Their Service certificate. He said, 'It is with extreme reluctance, but at the insistence of the family, that I submit the enclosed for your consideration. As I tremble on the brink of advanced senility, another certificate is not what I most need for reassurance.' I was very pleased to present him with that in 2016. My thoughts are with Peggy and their family.