Every Wednesday at twelve-thirty there is one person you are likely to see at the Sertoma Arts Center on Millbrook Road, Frank Bouknight. It is his dedication to this club and all of its efforts that has made him such a mainstay in this organization. As one of the last remaining charter members of this club, he has been loyal to this club through the years with forty-six years of perfect attendance.
Frank, born in Memphis, TN, was a Rotarian in spirit from his teens. His father was invited to join Rotary when the family moved to Columbia in 1955 and he spent many of his teen years at Rotary meetings and projects. He attended Dreher High School and the University of South Carolina where he was a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Scouting service fraternity. One thing the two Franks have in common; a commitment to perfect attendance. But, this Frank is more than simply a ‘seat filler’.
He has been active in many areas within Rotary and in 2000 was president of the Millbrook Rotary Club, a club he joined as a charter member before returning to the club of his beginning. He was invited to join Rotary by his neighbor, Lyman Kiser to charter a new club in North Raleigh. Lyman would become the first president of the club that received its charter in 1967. Frank has not missed a week of Rotary since.
When asked what has been the most memorable moment in his Rotary life, he points to the singing that is done on a weekly basis as a great enjoyment. Of course, his lovely wife, Martha, an honorary member plays the piano every week. He also remembered a particular event that was of great interest to him; the 1987 Olympic Festival. The club handled parking for this event at Meredith College. He recalled it as a “good fellowship for all members”. He went on to report that he remains with the club after so many years because this club “has constantly had the best activities and projects ever”.
Frank expressed how important Rotary has been throughout his personal and professional life. He has attempted to run his business according to the principles of the Four Way Test. He keeps two books his father gave him many years ago and has tried to live his life according to the standards his father gave him and were laid out in these books; Adventures in Service and Service is my Business. These two books have helped guide him throughout his professional career and has been a driving force in his personal life.
You cannot have five years…let alone 46 years of perfect attendance if you did not have some wonderful opportunities for make-ups. Frank speaks warmly about his many makeup opportunities over the years. from the Rotary Club of East Wilmington who had made a badge for him because he had done so many makeups at that club to the Rotary club in Acapulco, Mexico who had a member translate for him as he did not speak Spanish. He recalls that the speaker for the meeting hadn’t shown up, so the meeting consisted of members telling their favorite jokes. “Instead of a flag for the makeup, they gave me a plaque of their cliff divers with the date of the makeup”, recalled Frank of his visit to this Mexico Rotary club.
Frank remains active in the club. He published the club newsletter a couple of years ago and just last year, invited the PLM Families to speak to our club. He then reached out to the board of directors to ask for a donation from the club that he would match dollar for dollar. As a Paul Harris Fellow many times over, he has been extremely generous with his time, talents and resources…an example of a great Rotarian.
As most fathers, Frank is very proud of his family. He and his wife, Martha have three daughters; Liese Faircloth and Louise Bauknight, who are twins and their youngest daughter, Lydia Martin. Liese is a CPA, Louise is a math teacher at Enloe High School and Lydia is an IT manager at Cisco. He has two son-in-laws, Dean Faircloth and Chris Martin and three grandchildren. Aaron and Elizabeth Faircloth are thirteen year old twins and their five-year old little sister is Emma Grace Faircloth. Emma Grace has been a guest of Frank and Martha to the club many times and the members adore her.