Burgess Hill Lions: award for longstanding member Tony Parris

A longstanding member of Burgess Hill District Lions Club has received an award from Burgess Hill Town Council to celebrate his 30 years of service to the community.

Tony Parris, 80, was presented with the award at the council meeting on Wednesday (July 21).

“Burgess Hill District Lions has given me everything I wanted out of membership of the Lions,” said Tony, who is now planning to reduce his involvement with the club.

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“I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30 years involvement and would recommend it to anyone who wants to give something back to society and make lifelong friends,” he added.

Burgess Hill Town Mayor Anne Eves with Tony Parris and his wife Val. Picture: Burgess Hill Town Council.

Burgess Hill town mayor Anne Eves said it was a privilege to give Tony his award.

She said: “The Town Council wanted to acknowledge Tony’s great contribution as a Lion over 30 years, helping make the world a better place for others in many different ways.”

Tony joined the Lions in Croydon in 1991 when he worked as a PR manager for Royal Mail and his wife Val joined soon after.

One of the first Lions events Tony took part in was a bike ride to Arnhem, Holland, on a post office bicycle.

He also took part in walking to Arnhem in relay and became involved in an aid run to Romania.

When Tony and Val moved to Burgess Hill, they first joined the Haywards Heath branch of the Lions because the Burgess Hill branch did not accept women at the time.

But since joining the Burgess Hill Lions, Tony has been club president twice, as well as zone chairman and region chairman.

His other roles have involved membership, fundraising, organising concerts for older residents and organising charity meals in Sussex restaurants.

He has also been on four aid trips to Belarus and has raised thousands for good causes in the UK and abroad.

To find out more about the Burgess Hill Lions visit www.bhdlions.co.uk.