Devoted Tony is the pride of Lions
ACOMMUNITY stalwart has been recognised for more than three decades of service.
Tony Clarkson, from Accrington, has been a devoted and prominent member of the Accrington Lions group for 32 years and previously served as north west district governor.
The grandfather-of- seven has now been rewarded by the international association with their highest humanitarian award - the Melvin Jones Fellowship.
Tony, 66, said he was ‘delighted’ to receive the honour and said that the Lions has ‘become a way of life’ for both him and his family.
The former ambulance man played a key role in the Accrington Carnival and Christmas toy appeals while serving with the Accrington Lions, before becoming charter president of the newly former Hyndburn Centennial Lions Club earlier this year.
Tony said he originally joined the Lions in August 1985 to help a friend raise money for Children in Need and ‘never imagined’ that he would still be involved decades later.
He joked: “I think I’ve been committed, or as my wife says, ‘you should be committed’.
“At the time I joined the Lions I was an ambulance man and did a lot with regard to the medical aspect of Lionism.
“I have innovated and brought things in that are relevant to the district and have always wanted to support the district and community.
“A lot of the social life we’ve had is because of the Lions and a lot of friends we’ve met is because of Lions.
“It’s not just a charity, it’s a way of life, fun, fellowship, no matter where you go.”
Over the years Tony, who previously lived in Oswaldtwistle and ran his own medical supplies business in Church, has attended dozens of national and international conventions and has made friends with Lions members across the world.
One of his fondest memories is being inducted as the district governor in 1997 in Phildelphia by a supreme court judge.
He hopes to carry on serving in the Lions for as long as he can.
He said: “There are many times when you get to a point and think ‘what the hell am I doing this for?’. When I really get fed up I remember that I’m here for the community.
“No matter where we go in the world we can always go to Lions meetings.”
Hyndburn Centennial Lions Club president Tony Clarkson with the Melvin Jones Fellowship award in honour of his 32 years of service.