Ballymoney Rotary Club was unanimous in awarding the 2014 Jack Pinkerton Endeavour Award to their esteemed Past President David Robinson.
The award, created in honour of the Founding President of Ballymoney Rotary Club, the late Jack Pinkerton, is usually presented annually to a member of the public or organisation to recognise outstanding service to the community of Ballymoney and district.
It has never before been awarded to a serving Rotarian but this year the Rotary Club deemed that this award should reflect the dedicated service given to his community by David Robinson.
David is well-known in North Antrim for his personality and firm handshake. His personal charm, wit, attention to detail, unique networking ability, honest business ethic and determination to complete projects, have all contributed to his valued and selfless service on behalf of others.
David, known fondly as “Fred”, has served the Robinson Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees for 41 years, latterly as President since 1996. He has lobbied the Health Service tirelessly to maintain and develop inpatient and community services at the Robinson Hospital site.
He leads a Board of Trustees which is responsible for investing Endowment Funds donated by David’s great-uncle, Samuel Robinson, whose vision and generosity enabled building of the Robinson Memorial Hospital completed in 1933.
These funds along with endowments provided by other local donors, now total over £2m, the interest of which is used in partnership with the Northern Trust to develop health care at the Robinson Hospital site.
David’s current ambition is to see the completion of a Day Care Unit at the Robinson to complement the inpatient Rehabilitation and Palliative care services. He has been instrumental in collecting funds to build a specialised modern Palliative Care wing dedicated to excellent inpatient care and family bereavement support at the Robinson Hospital.
In his professional role as a Funeral Director over the past 30 years, David has also served the local community. He is well known for attending personally to as much business as possible, at any time of the day or night, and he takes few planned holidays. His empathetic support and attention to detail have gained him cross community respect and gratitude.
Finally, this award recognised David’s contribution to Ballymoney Rugby Club. He served as Club Captain for two years from 1974, as their president from 1999-2003 and played 324 matches for the Club.
David would be the first to recognise that many others in the Club have contributed to its successes and its respected position in Ulster rugby.
However, he has been recognised as: “the individual who must take most credit for pushing it towards greater things…and a respected stature in Ulster rugby.”
He has provided role model, inspiration and encouragement for many younger players, many of whom have gone further to Ulster and Irish representation and is ever busy fostering links with and sponsorship from local businesses.
The Rugby Club itself provides a vital social hub for the town of Ballymoney and David can often be witnessed welcoming guests and adding to camaraderie as an excellent ambassador for Ballymoney in general.
Although David spent much of his career commuting to work internationally in textile commerce, he was determined to travel home as often as possible to maintain family life and give close support to his community.
David would be the first to pay tribute to the invaluable support provided by his wife, Helen, who continues to support him in his busy semi-retirement.