Many of the members of the Lions Club of Morpeth have willingly given years of service to the community.
Sometimes, however, certain members go above and beyond their ‘call of duty’.
In these instances, it gives the club an opportunity to present an award in recognition of their outstanding service and support for the area.
It was, therefore, felt by the members that Lions Robin Cooper and Den Gray fell into this category.
And the recent Meet The Lions event provided an ideal opportunity to make the awards.
In this way, it brought to the attention of all of the guests just how much the club appreciates and values these two dedicated members.
Robin Cooper has, for many years, been a link for the club to the county’s Youth Support team.
As a result of this role, he has stored numerous items of furniture and household goods that have been given to families in need.
Additionally, Christmas in his house has been like a Santa’s Grotto due to him, and many other Lions families, collecting toys for distribution to children who were likely to receive little else in the way of presents.
Needless to say, ‘behind every great man there is a great woman’.
In Robin’s case it is his wife Joan, whose efforts over the years have also been greatly appreciated. Her support for Robin in these activities, and of course his ‘normal’ Lions involvements, cannot be over-emphasised.
The club, therefore, decided that Robin should be honoured with a Bert Mason Humanitarian Award.
This honour is the highest UK-based Lions’ award that can be bestowed on a member.
The award itself is purchased from members’ own contributions, leaving the club’s important charity funds intact.
It was with great pleasure that Past President Margaret Trewick made the presentation to a “gob-smacked” Robin at the Meet The Lions event.
And Joan was not left out, with a bouquet of flowers being presented to her in recognition of her incredible support of the work.
Robin said: “None of this would have been possible without the backing of the club and its fund-raising activities.
“You have trusted my judgement to help these families.
“Joan has been a major factor and worker right from the word go.
“I hope that we will be able to carry on helping folk and, of course, their children, but of necessity, this will be on a smaller scale.”
The next presentation in the form of an Honorary Membership was to an equally surprised Den Gray.
Den has been a member of the club for 36 years and always given unstinting support for the Lions’ events and activities.
It was during his time as a member that he met his wife Ann, who also received flowers.
In this instance current Lion President Richard Nash presided over the honours.