Witney Lions Club.
It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of Lion Bill at the age of 82 after a long battle against cancer.
Bill joined Lions in 2002 and had been a very active and committed Lion for nearly 20 years. He spent the majority of his time on the Fundraising team where he come up with good, sensible ideas for raising funds and was at his happiest, actually going out and getting involved with projects and people. A very “hands on” Lion. He was not one to talk much at meetings, but any contribution he made was well thought out and to the point. He was not afraid to voice his opinion if he thought we were not following something through correctly – or not supporting an idea which, to him, showed merit. If Bill backed a course of action, other members would know it was worthwhile.
Bill became President twice, in 2006 and 2018 – a gentle but very capable hand at the tiller. He was also one of our representatives on the joint (with Rotary, R.T. and the ATC) Witney Carnival Committee for many years. He was at one point the Chair of that committee. In later years he stepped back from a full role on that committee, but was always willing to offer advice and guidance, especially on organising and finding suitable arena events and acts – his speciality. He was always one of the first to arrive on The Leys on the day of the Carnival, and one of the last to leave.
Bill came into his own as one of the best Father Christmas’ we have ever had. His clear and gentle voice was ideal for talking to the children and he would spend so much time talking to, and showing interest in every child who came out to see him that he would often be so far behind the sleigh on the street collections that we would have to keep stopping to allow him to catch up.
He was an excellent ambassador for the Club, especially at open social events or at presentations as he would always ensure that he talked to everyone, putting them at ease and showing a real interest in what they had to say. He was also our wreath laying representative at the annual Remembrance Day Service, and always arranged for the purchase and collection of the wreath – just one more commitment he quietly and modestly got on with.
Bill will be sadly missed, both as a committed Witney Lion, as a genuinely kind and caring person, and as a good friend. Our deepest condolences go to his two daughters and their families and to his partner Kathie.