The award came following the veteran journalist's multiple nominations evidenced in a letter dated 10th February, 2020 and signed by Rotarian Bibi Bagshew, on behalf of the Planning Committee tasked with the itinerary for the 2020 Rotary International Day.
In conferring the award, Rotarian Arinze Akupue, President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, said, aside the litany of nominations from notable Nigerians, the club took into account the numerous contributions of Elder Lawson Hayford to humanity, peace building and community development and found him worthy of the honor.
Mr Arinze Akupue then used the occasion to state that Rotary is an international service organization whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian Services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. He added that Rotary Club was a secular organization opened to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender or political preference.
Commenting, Sotonye Oruwari Nwachukwu the Immediate past President of Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway commended the choice & pedigree of Elder Hayford in view of his many years of journalism excellence describing him as an icon of development and voice of the people.
On the part of the awardee, Elder Lawson Heyford, who was represented by Ukandi Akpekwu Imbufe, Head, Port Harcourt Office, Peoples 93.1, expressed delight at the recognition, which he described as deserving and overdue as he thanked the Rotary Club Port Harcourt Gateway for the gesture. Elder Hayford reaffirmed his commitment and passion to service in humanitarianism and looks forward to partnering with the club in future endeavors.