A founder member of the Kinsale and District Lions Club has been honoured with the highest award achievable in Lionism, ‘The Melvin Jones Fellowship Award’.
Club president Alice de la Cour said the club was proud to present the award to Ted Whitaker at a special evening at St Catherine’s Cultural Centre in Summercove, Kinsale.
Lions Clubs International recognises outstanding individuals by with the award that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones.
This fellowship award is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.
“Ted’s contribution to his community and outside of his community is to be commended,” Ms de la Cour said. “It was only right and fitting that he should be presented with this award.
“His support to all areas of our club is invaluable, you can find him anywhere, outside SuperValu collecting for our Christmas food appeal in December, or out standing on a golf course for hours during our annual fundraising golf event, ensuring teams get their timing right for their game.
“Ted is probably one of the kindest and most respected people and he has made such a difference to the lives of so many people, both locally, nationally, and internationally in his support of charitable causes.”
The club usually holds its meetings in the Trident Hotel, Kinsale but organisers decided the centre was the right venue for the awards presentation.
“All of us at the club wanted to honour him with this award and the only way we could ensure that we could spring the surprise was to tell him that we were launching our annual golf event and introducing the new sponsor, Kinsale Spirit Co,” Ms de la Cour said.
“Ted is one of the trustees of St Catherine’s Cultural Centre. We knew that he would come to St Catherine’s to ensure that we were all well taken care of, and, under no circumstances, miss the meeting. It was the best-kept secret.”
Mr Whitaker’s wife, Marjorie, was a surprise guest for the presentation
“On behalf of all of us at the Kinsale and District Lions Club, we would like to again extend our congratulations to Ted,” Ms de la Cour added. “A truly worthy recipient of this prestigious award, we are truly blessed to have him in our club, he is a great source of inspiration to all of us.”