Rotary District Governor, Ed Duryea, shared with the Rotary Club of Bluffton some events that helped shape his life. At age 10, Ed would visit his bed ridden grandmother at a nursing home. After spending time with the aging who knew their time was limited, he soon noticed so many of them were sad for what they had not accomplished in their life. It was then Ed decided “I’m not going to reach the end of my life living with regrets”.


In 1975 Ed was asked by 3 Star General George Forsythe to join the Beaufort Rotary Club. Ed felt this was his “opportunity to half way make something out of his life and make his life count”. Ed served as club President 1978-79 and in 1980 was a founding member of the Sea Island Rotary Club. He is a major donor, Ten Star Rotarian, a member of the Paul Harris Society and the Bequest Society. Ed is also an RLI graduate and was a polio NID volunteer to Nigeria. He also obtained his RN degree to utilize during his short mission trips.

Ed has experienced actual peaceful moments thru service above self and has achieved many goals by implementing the 4-way test into his every day life. On July 4th 1990, Ed and his son were shuttling children to and from a sand bar. The boat flipped throwing them overboard. His son was struck in the head and the face by the boats propeller. While holding his severally injured son and screaming for help he thought, “this may kill my son.” Thankfully, people heard his cries for help and rescued them from the water where an ambulance was waiting at the dock. Ed’s son was transported to MUSC and went into surgery. While sitting in the waiting room Ed looked around and saw how many Rotarians were there to support him, at that exact moment Ed felt at peace, realizing his Rotary family had in fact become family and felt his heart ache.


In January 2009 while volunteering in Nigeria, Ed noticed his first night that a lot of adults and children with many calluses on them, were living and begging on the streets. He was told that they are polio survivors. The volunteering required Ed to administer the polio vaccine to children. Seeing the content smiles on the mother faces, knowing their children would not suffer with polio and have to live and beg in the streets, again Ed felt at peace.


Ed’s character was put to a test, when he was asked for his opinion on a financial matter, by a fellow Rotarian.  The answer he gave followed the four way test guidelines which proved Ed’s honest and caring character.  The fellow Rotarian was proud of Ed’s answer and eventually sold his company to Ed. Ed felt at peace again and realized his living by Rotary standards has given him many blessings in return. And, for the next 24 years, the company under Ed's guidance was the recruit uniform tailoring contractor for Paris Island Marine Base.


In addition to his involvement with the Rotary, Ed has been active in his church and numerous community organizations including 20 years on the State Ethics Commission. He is a graduate of Texas A & M and the University of Oklahoma. Ed lives in Beaufort with his wife of 38 years, Cindy, and they have two grown children- both of whom are Rotarians. Ed is retired from the Air Force and has served as city manager of Beaufort, general manager of the Beaufort–Jasper Water Sewer Authority.


Ed said that there is not one day that goes by that he does not mentally thank General Forsythe for bringing him into the Rotary family. Ed feels “as Rotarians we want to help people, we want to change the world and we do not care who gets credit for it”.


In closing, Ed shared a quote by John Wesley “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. “