Club awards life membership

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Bill Batt stands with some of the Lions Club pennants he has collected over the course of his membership.

MAKAREWA Lions Club member Bill Batt was recently made a life member of the club.

He was officially recognised as a life member at the 50th Charter Anniversary of the Makarewa Lions Club on November 18.

Club president Alan Wild said it was a rare honour which few Lions members received.

Mr Batt said he joined the club in 1989 and had since held every official position in the club except secretary.

He had been president five times, a Lloyd Morgan Lions Club Charitable Trust trustee for four years and had served on the Lions district cabinet (the governing body for all Lions clubs in the district) for 15 years.

In 2003, he received the Melvin Jones Award for recognition of his services to the organisation.

Mr Batt had also been heavily involved with the club’s charitable work, delivering fruit trays to the elderly in the community for 15 years.

This was “a goodwill thing”, but he enjoyed the social side of it too, he said.

“You do a different area each year so you get to know the different people in the area.”

Mr Batt had also helped out with the club’s firewood sales operation, which has been raising money for various charities in the Southland community for more than 20 years.

Mr Batt was modest about his involvement in the club’s community work over the years.

“I don’t do Lions for recognition. I do it because I enjoy it. I’m very passionate about Lions.”

Another aspect of the club’s community work was helping local children and as part of this, 19 years ago, the club started the James Hargest Leo Club (effectively a junior Lions club).

The James Hargest Leo Club, scheduled to have its 20th anniversary next year, had become the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere with more than 200 members.

In the 28 years he had been a Lions club member, he had a 100% attendance rate, he said.

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