WELL-KNOWN and highly respected Winton resident John McHugh has been awarded the highest Lions Club honour.
Known to many as Chub, Mr McHugh has a long history of involvement in Winton and the surrounding communities throughout the decades.
He was awarded The Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust, New Zealand, Life Membership, by Lions district governor elect Pam Fiveash, of Gore, at the Winton Lions Club annual changeover dinner in Winton last month.
Mrs Fiveash said there were 44 Lions clubs throughout New Zealand, with 1300 members.
Established in 1917 in the United States, the Winton club was set up in 1964 with 75 names on the charter — 57 years later the community service club was still thriving.
Married to Nancy, Mr McHugh had been a Lion almost 30 years and was awarded the life membership ‘‘in recognition of his service to the Winton community at large as a Lion’’ and beyond, Winton Lions Club publicity officer Juon Schoen said.
Upholding the Lion motto, We Serve (Kia Manaaki), his citation states… ‘‘John is a very popular and well-known identity, not only in Winton, but in the province at large.
‘‘He has made his mark for 28 years, with his wife Nancy, as proprietors of the Winton Middle Pub.
‘‘He also has been involved in the hospitality industry at a national level, chair of the Winton Community Board, board member of the Borland Lodge Charitable Trust, supported the Tour of Southland (cycling), Midlands Rugby Club and tirelessly promoted Winton in many ways.
‘‘John and Nancy have welcomed the Lions Club into their Middle Pub as a focal point for their meetings.
‘‘John is honoured by the Winton Lions Club with The Lloyd Morgan Charitable Trust Life Membership for his unselfish commitment to our club, having served in various leadership roles over the years and his total commitment to the principals of Lions
‘‘John presently serves as our popular Tail Twister and as the chair of our convention 2023 project.’’
The only New Zealander to be elected as the organisation’s International President, Mr Morgan took up the reins in July 1979 at the International Convention in Montreal, Canada.
It had been the custom, at the end of an International President’s year, for the president to be presented with the keys of a new car.
However, when it was his turn, Mr Morgan said he did not want any gift. Instead, the money which would have been used to buy a vehicle was used to set up a charitable trust in his name.
New Zealand clubs donated the initial capital of more than $36,000 and the trust was presented to Mr Morgan at the International Convention in Chicago in 1980 at the end of his presidency.
The Life Award was the highest honour in Lions and was available to all Lions and members of their families and, at the discretion of the trustees, other people whose contributions to Lions deserved special recognition.
Each awardee was given a certificate and lapel pin and a donation of $600 was donated by the club to the trust.
A donation of $10,000 to the Whanake House Charitable Trust, in Invercargill, towards the building of a gym at its premises was also acknowledged during the evening.