“Just magic” is how Jean Young describes being awarded a top New Zealand Lions Club honour.
The Gore Pakeke Lions Club member was recognised with the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust life membership on Thursday night for her services to the club.
Life membership is the highest honour available through the trust.
New Zealander Lloyd Morgan was international president of the group in 1979 and the trust was formed in his honour to help clubs fund projects.
Mrs Young said she had no idea she would receive the award at the club’s tea meeting.
“I went in my old clothes with my jacket on.
“Do you think I knew it was coming?
“I could have been standing there in [my] finery but it was just magic, just magic,” Mrs Young said.
Her daughter, Bronwyn Glass, had been invited to the meeting, which Mrs Young thought was a little unusual, and when member Doug Dixey asked her to come to the front she was reluctant to go.
Then the announcement was made.
“I was speechless.
“My mouth was open but nothing came out.
“It was pure magic, just pure magic but I have loved it. I’ve loved my life with the Lions,” she said.
When Mrs Young started going to the club with her late husband, Peter, in 1989 there were no female members but women could accompany their partners.
After he died, she carried on going to the meetings and in 2002 was one of the first women to be allowed to join the club in their own right.
While not everyone was in agreement about allowing women into the club, the women’s contribution was valued, Mrs Young said.