Murray Aberle of the St. Jacobs Lions Club has been awarded the Lions Club International Foundation’s highest honour, the Melvin Jones Fellowship for his more than 35 years of service. During the club’s year-end meeting June 16, Aberle received the award, much to his surprise. “I had no idea,” laughed 78-year-old Aberle while sitting at the kitchen table in his home just outside of Elmira. “I didn’t know anything about it!” The fellowship – named after the founder of Lions Clubs International – is given in recognition of a commitment to humanitarian service and qualities such as generosity, compassion and a concern for the less-fortunate.
The fellowship is not awarded annually, and is only given when a worthy recipient is found.
“It’s the kind of thing within the Lions that we want to recognize, people who are working hard to serve and make life better for other people, and not expecting a thing in return,” said new club president Dennis
Lougheed. “He just does it as part of his nature.”
In addition to serving with the Lions for more than three decades, Aberle has also made a name for himself throughout the community by serving on township council and as a member of the committee of adjustment for more than 10 years.
“He is a man who doesn’t just sit back and let things happen,” continued Lougheed. “He believes in being a participant, even if it’s merely attending meetings and keeping himself aware.”
Aberle was humbled by the award, but very grateful as well.
“You get involved and I always think there are others who do more than I do, but I guess maybe if you add up all the years, I have done a bit,” he said.
“It is an honour.”
Aberle was presented a plaque, a lapel pin and a congratulatory letter from District A15 governor Todd Wilson.
At the same meeting, the Lions Club also elected their new committee, a list that includes Bill Cummings, Juergen Lamers, Phil Hacock, Shane Silverberg, Dennis Lougheed, David Weber, Dirk van der Gulik, Orville Kocher, Ross Ruppel and Mike Leacy.