Posted by Michael Crowe on Feb 15, 2018
Members of the Rotary Club of Port Fairy were deeply saddened at the passing of Past President and Paul Harris Fellow (Sapphire Pin) Colwyn Martin on 5 January 2018. 
Col was a club member for 27 years and was the Club's oldest member. Many Rotarians from Port Fairy and neighbouring clubs attended the farewell service at St Johns Church Port Fairy.  The Rotary Peace Choir sang at the service and Rotary Club and RSL members formed a guard of honour after the service. 
Col Martin had a long and colourful life.  He was born in 1914 at Williamstown where his family worked in shipping on Port Phillip Bay.  At 15 he commenced employment as a deckhand, which led to a career in the British Merchant Navy.  In this role he was one of the first Australians to come under enemy fire at the outbreak of World War Two.  He married his wife Elsie in Manchester during a bombing blitz, and they moved to Australia soon after the war, where they raised two daughters while Col worked at the Port of Melbourne.  Elsie passed away in 1972.
After retiring from work Col moved to Port Fairy and joined the Rotary Club of Port Fairy in 1990.
Col was a dedicated servant of Rotary.  He served as Club President in 2001, and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship in 2009.  He was also awarded a Sapphire Pin in June 2014 on the occasion of his 100th birthday. 
Over the years, Col sold an untold number of raffle tickets for the club, supervised many working bees and was a regular worker on the gates of the Port Fairy Folk Festival.  He operated the Club’s stamp collection project, which sees stamps collected and sent overseas as a fundraiser for Rotary.
Perhaps his most famous duty was in leading the Grace and Loyal toast at the start of the Club’s weekly dinner meetings. He also enjoyed attending the changeover dinners at nearby clubs.  In latter years Col got great joy from being presented with a cake on his birthday.
In recent times Col was a regular visitor to Sydney, and on these occasions he would visit many local Rotary clubs, coming home with an impressive list of make-up visits. 
The Rotary Club of Port Fairy will always remember Colwyn Martin.