In the June 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours, three Johnsonville Lions – Marlene Batten, Eric Batten and Robert Mayo – were awarded Queen’s Service Medals (QSMs) in recognition of their services to the community.
Marlene was previously a charter member of the Johnsonville Lioness Club which chartered in 1986. When the Lioness Club reformed as a Lions Club (Onslow), she joined a barbershop chorus for many years, then later joined the Johnsonville Lions Club and served as chairman of the programmes committee for two years. Over this time she organised regular community ballroom dances which continued for six years (a lot of supper sandwiches were made during these years!).
She has been a member of the North Wellington Festival Committee since 2000 and was responsible for initiating the annual Johnsonville Lions Christmas Parade which she organised for 11 years.
“Every time the parade would start off it would bring tears to my eyes because it's a culmination of a year's hard work” she said. The parade has grown to be the largest community Christmas parade in the Wellington region, attracting a crowd of around 12,000 every year.
Marlene recently resigned from the Lions Club. She was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for many years, and for 10 years has been a volunteer driver and baker for Johnsonville Care and Craft. She was awarded a North Wellington Voluntary Service Award in 2007. Marlene is currently Vice President of the Johnsonville North Probus Club.
Eric has been involved in the Johnsonville community since the late 1970s. He was a member of the Lions Club of New Plymouth from 1970 to 1977 and was president in 1976-77. He has been a member of the Lions Club of Johnsonville since 1977 and has served in every office in the Club including president and auditor.
He has been a member of the Johnsonville Community Centre Management Committee since 1995, serving 12 years as deputy chairman and has been chairman for the past four years. He has been treasurer of the North Wellington Festival Committee since 2005 and has helped organise the annual Johnsonville Christmas parade. Eric was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels for 10 years and group leader and treasurer of the Johnsonville Scout Group from 1993 to 2008.
In 1999 he received a Melvin Jones Fellowship. Eric received a North Wellington Voluntary Service Award in 2005 and the Scouts New Zealand Bronze Tiki medal in 2010.
Robert Mayo has been involved with numerous charitable organisations in the Wellington region. He is a past vice-president of Diabetes Wellington and manager of the organisation’s street appeal. He is vice-president of the Johnsonville RSA and immediate past president of the Johnsonville Lions Club, having been a member for 20 years. He is a trustee of the Johnsonville Lions Charitable Trust and a member of the North Wellington Awards Committee.
He has been a member of the Room At The Inn Committee since 1995 and is an organiser and cook for the Room At The Inn annual Christmas meal. He was a member of the Ngaio School Parent Teacher Association in the 1990s. He was chairman and treasurer of the After School Care Committee and was involved in organising school galas and the school’s 90th anniversary celebrations in 1998. Robert has been involved with the Wellington People's Resource Centre, the Aro Valley Community Centre and Riding for the Disabled and has supported the Compassion Centre Soup Kitchen and the Wellington Night Shelter.
Robert has also worked with the Cancer Society, Mary Potter Hospice and the Foundation of the Blind and has been involved in street collections for the Westpac Rescue helicopter and Wellington Free Ambulance. Robert is a Friend of the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust. He received a North Wellington Voluntary Service Award in 2010, an RSA Merit Award in 2008 and a Wellington City Good Citizen Award in 1993.
Johnsonville Lions Club's current secretary, Lillian Deverill, has also recently received a North Wellington Voluntary Service Award for 30 years of service to the community. The award was presented by local MP Peter Dunne.