Beacon editor, city recreation director recognized with Rotary distinctions


Oliver Brady, outgoing president of the Warwick Rotary Club named John Howell as the 2023-2024 Rotarian of the Year at the club’s Thursday meeting at Chelo’s on Thursday.

Brady said he selected Howell, publisher emeritus and editor of the Warwick Beacon, because of his commitment to put  the Warwick community first and making it a better place.

“If you go into Rotary International, we have our guiding principles, and service above self is above all,” Brady said. “John displays all of those qualities. He’s done a lot for the club, and he’s done it for a good number of years.

Howell’s experience writing about club events and helping advertise community fundraisers, Brady said, were also factors in his selection. Brady also noted that Howell had helped set up speakers for Rotary Club meetings, which has included Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Seth Magaziner and Rhode Island Airport Corporation CEO and president Iftikhar Ahmad, among others.

“He’s basically the conduit between the Rotary Club and the community,” Brady said. “He contributes a lot of time, lot of articles, lot of photos, and then he comes to most meetings and pretty much every event.”

Throughout his time at the Rotary Club, which spans 54 years, Howell was named the co-Rotarian of the year in 1998-1999 alongside Daniel Pendergast, Jr.  That year Howell was responsible for helping find a location for the Warwick Rotary Camping and Trailer Show, which was a major fundraiser for the club and local charities.

“John has been consistently wonderful throughout the years,” Brady said.

Brady also recognized another member, Warwick Parks and Recreation director Beverly Wiley. She was recognized for her contributions as a newer member of the club.

Brady said he picked Wiley, who has been with the club for around two years, because of her dedication to the club and city.

“She’s been a really great new member,” Brady said. “She attends almost all the meetings, she’s on the board already- she really stepped up.”

Wiley said that she was shocked that she received an honor from the club so soon after joining, but was happy to accept the award.

“I was very surprised,” Wiley said. “I joined Rotary a couple of years ago and I’m enjoying the camaraderie with everyone and the work that they do… we do a lot of great things and I’ve enjoyed it.”


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