Lion's Heart: Allan receives prestigious award

A member who has served the Lions Club of Whyalla for 14 years has received one of the most prestigious awards the club has to offer.

Allan Smith was presented with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award by Past President and mentor Greg Byrne at the Whyalla Lions Christmas Dinner recently held at the Roopena Football Club.

The award is presented by the Lions Club International Foundation and is the highest form of recognition the club offers. It emobdies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.

Mr Smith is one of only five members of the Whyalla Lions Club to receive the award during the club's 55-year history, with the previous winners being Past Presidents George Sloan, Bill Theologou, Max Easton and Mr Byrne.

Allan is well-known in the community and has been involved with a number of high profile projects that are still ongoing including Carols in the Park, Whyalla Show Catering, Christmas Pageant Catering and much more.

He has also worked tirelessly with the support of a dedicated team to revive the Whyalla Road Safety Centre, which offers road safety education training for children in Whyalla and the region.

Mr Smith has held virtually every club position, some many times over, and has served on the District Cabinet on several occasions.

After receiving the award, Allan described Mr Byrne as a mentor and someone he strived to emulate in the way he volunteered for Lions.

"I knew I could never live up to the standards he set but I tried to keep the club going for his benefit after he left," he said.

"It's a huge honour to receive this award, I never thought I would get one of these."

Mr Smith had only positive words for his time at the Whyalla Lions Club.

"It's been hard work and I thoroughly enjoy it, it's an outlet that allows you to meet new people and have a bit of fun," he said.

"I've been recognised more so than I ever thought because I don't do this for recognition, I just do it to help the community."

In November Allan won a National Children's Week Award in recognition of his work with children through Lions with the Scouts and Girl Guides, which join in the club's national tree-planting day each year.