The Blaxland High School presentation assembly on December 12 took on special meaning for the family of the late Paul Henningham OAM who died on December 2, 2018.
Lower Blue Mountains Rotary president John Van Der Meer presented the inaugural Dr Paul Henningham OAM M.A., Ph.D., Dip. Soc. Stud. Award for Excellence in Literacy to Year 11 Dux Sophie Connor.
Herbert Paul Henningham was a prolific author, newspaper editor, long serving editor of Rotary Down Under magazine, and dedicated student of English literature. He was a Rotarian for 63 years, Past Governor of District 9685, and leader of several Rotary International world committees.
Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Club Board of Directors moved some months ago to donate a perpetual award to Blaxland High in honour of Dr Henningham and recognising a brilliant literature student each year.
John Van Der Meer addressed the presentation evening on Dr Henningham's history and reasons for the club's donation, and the inaugural presentation was to Sophie in front of her family and members of Dr Henningham's family, including his wife Peggy.
Sophie Connor completed an outstanding year of study in 2019. Besides winning the first Paul Henningham Award for special achievement in Advanced English, other awards included:
- Western Sydney University Academic Access Award for exceptional academic results.
- Silver Gregory Blaxland Medal
- First in Ancient History, First in Physics, First in Visual Arts
- Special achievement in Chemistry.
- Award for outstanding school attendance
- Service to Student Representative Council
The Lower Blue Mountains Rotary group gathered to congratulation Sophie Connor at the end of the presentation evening.