Sydney Rotarian killed in Mumbai attacks
Sydney Rotarian Doug Markell was among those killed in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Sydney
Rotarians in Sydney, Australia, are mourning the tragic loss of Doug Markell, 71, who was among more than 170 people killed in the terrorist attacks in and around Mumbai, India, on 26 November.
Markell, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Sydney, New South Wales, was vacationing in India with his wife, Alison, when attackers laid siege to the Taj Mahal hotel where they were staying. Markell was fatally shot by gunmen as he attempted to escape the hotel with his wife, who was injured by the gunfire. She is reported to be recovering at the Australian Embassy in Mumbai.
In a solemn and emotional meeting on 2 December, Patricia Harrison, president of the Sydney club, read condolences from other Rotarians and a letter from his family to grief-stricken club members.
"We're deeply hurt and shocked that such a wonderful man was taken from us in such a dreadful way," Harrison says. "Doug was such a kind and generous man. He always had a smile on his face. We are going to miss him greatly."
Markell, a Rotarian since 1983, was the managing director and owner of Zions Systems, an office supply company. A merchant banker and successful businessman, he was nearing retirement.
He was also a committed community activist and served as councilor for Woollahra, an eastern suburb of Sydney from 1991 to 1995. His service included a year as deputy mayor.
Harrison said Markell will be remembered for his unwavering commitment to helping others.
"He was the epitome of Service Above Self," says Harrison. "There aren't enough people like him around."
Harrison said the Sydney club will initiate an ongoing project named in Markell's honor.
The club has received many e-mails from Rotarians worldwide expressing their condolences.
"Doug was the man who ensured that my engagement with members was efficient and consistent," says Chris Joscelyne, a past president of the club, in an e-mail to club members. "He was a dedicated Rotarian who worked behind the scenes to ensure the success of community service projects, never seeking any kind of acknowledgment from his peers, while making practical and generous contributions of his time and money."
Manjit S. Sawhney, a past district governor from New Delhi, says Markell was "a hallmark of a true Rotarian."
"Our heart goes out to all the families who have lost their near and dear ones," Sawhney says in an e-mail to the club. "We, from the Rotary Club of Delhi South Metropolitan and District 3010, are with you in this hour of grief."