Helensville Lions celebrated the 100th birthday of their-long serving member John Old at their August meeting with the time-honoured birthday cake baked by caterer Barb Ross, the signing of the birthday card and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday to You”.
The many photos taken were made into a collage, which, with a second cake, kindly baked by Barb (the first one having been demolished) were transported to Rawene for the birthday celebrations proper.
John Old joined Te Awamutu Lions as a charter member in 1961. When he and wife Joyce moved to Helensville in 1967 to manage the ANZ Bank he transferred to Helensville Club. In 1969 the Mayor of Helensville was tragically killed in a railway accident and John was instrumental in raising funds to provide the town with a much needed Ambulance Station, which was officially opened by the Governor-General Sir Arthur Porritt. After an upgrade of the Ambulance Station in 2010 , John assisted Prime Minister John Key at the official opening. John was zone chairman in 1974 and 1987, became a Melvin Jones Fellow in 1988 and was made a Life Member of Lions Clubs International in 2001.
On Sunday September 8, ten of John’s Lions friends, complete with the second cake, the birthday card and the collage of photos, journeyed north in a minibus to join the celebrations in the Masonic Hotel in Rawene with many of John’s friends and family and representatives from Opononi Lions Club. MC Lion Dennis Cummings from Helensville introduced the proceedings by relaying birthday greetings from The Queen, Governor-General, Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs and from John’s host of friends. He extolled John’s many attributes both in and outside of Lions, to which John responded graciously. After a sumptuous lunch, to the enjoyment of all, John was seen to dance a little jig whilst “Happy Birthday” was sung once again. A great occasion to honour a fine old gentleman.
Above: The Helensville cake. Right: John cuts his Rawene cake, asisted by daughter Adrienne.