Posted on Nov 15, 2019
Lily Lee and Tng Chin Kok, from Calvary Victory Autistic Centre in Malaysia are the latest recipients of the Royce & Jean Abby Scholarship. They have just arrived in Perth to begin one month of additional specialised training in the care and empowerment of autistic children. They were special guests this week at the Rotary Club of Armadale.
Lily & her husband Chin Kok (CK to his friends) have been working with autistic children and young adults at Calvary Victory Autistic School in Malaysia since 1998. During that time, the late Rotarian Irvin Phillips visited the school many times, conducting specialised training for teachers, volunteers and parents. His wife Margaret, joined Irvin on a number of the visits. Lily spoke of how Irvin’s dedicated commitment to best practise in this difficult field was a great inspiration to everyone involved with the school. Although Irvin & Margaret undertook this project as part of the International project portfolio of the Rotary Club of Armadale, reporting regularly to the club, they did so at their own expense.
Past President Gail Sampson has worked hard behind the scenes, liaising with Past District Governor Terry Barritt, to secure this latest Abby Scholarship and bring our guests to Perth. The scholarship programme was set up by District Governors across Australia who served under the leadership of Rotary International President 1988-89, Royce Abbey, who was an Australian Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Essendon, Victoria.  Terry Barritt was one of those serving District Governors and has remained on the scholarship committee ever since.     
Scholarship Recipients benefit from the foresight of Past Rotary International President Royce Abbey
                     The Royce and Jean Abbey Endowed Fund and the Vocational Scholarship
In recognition of Royce Abbey’s year as World President, the District Governors of 1988/89 established the Royce & Jean Endowed Fund within The Rotary Foundation.  Royce and Jean Abbey decided that the Endowed Fund would finance agricultural and related scholarships to assist communities in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.  Applicants would spend up to three months in Australia undertaking practical training in his or her field assisted by funding of USD$10,000.
The Royce Abbey Award is available to Rotary Clubs wishing to recognise Rotarians showing enthusiasm and commitment to the Ideals of Rotary. By doing so the club contributes AUD$1,000 to the Royce and Jean Abbey Endowed Fund within The Rotary Foundation Permanent Fund.
The Rotary Club of Armadale recently enjoyed hosting Ishwar Dass from Mukti Mission in India, as an Abby Scholarship recipient. Dass spent 3-months observing and learning about organic farming/sustainable agriculture and rainwater harvesting, mentored by Frankland River farmer, Ron Watkins of Payneham Vale Farm. 
Our current Abby Scholarship recipients, Lily & CK, will spend most of their time in Perth in the good hands of Westcare Incorporated, an Australian Disability Enterprise (not-for-profit), providing quality employment and training for West Australians with disabilities since 1947.
Past President Irvin Phillips served on the Board of Westcare for a number of years and was highly respected for his insights into empowering autistic children as well as their parents and teachers. Before he passed away this year, Irvin began the process of negotiating a programme with Westcare that would see Lily & CK apply for an Abby Scholarship.  Past President Gail Samson worked with Irvin in the early stages of the application and passionately continued with it when Irvin was unable to continue. 
Whilst in Perth, our guests will also visit some other Rotary Clubs, including a visit to the Rotary Club of Kenwick.