It is with great regret that The Lions Club of Billericay announce the passing of our great friend and long term member Ray Deane. Losing such a dedicated and irreplaceable member will be very difficult for the club.
Ray’s passion for helping others was evident in his early years of National Service, where he served as a medic, working alongside the Gurkhas in the Far East. The majority of his working life was at National Westminster Bank where he maintained his community spirit and was a major force behind the Mayflower Corps marching band before joining the Lions in June 1985.
He was club president in 1992/93 and again in 2012/13, being the first member to serve twice. For the majority of the rest of his time in the club he served as a Committee Chairmen and made a major contribution to our community services achievements. He was also very active at district level, serving as a District Chairperson and on the MD105EA Cabinet in various capacities from 2007 to 2010.
Ray was instrumental in the establishment of the twinning between our Billericay club and Lions clubs in Germany and Belgium. One of our main community service events, the Triparte International Disabled Swimming Gala, would probably never have happened without him. As the main planner and organiser, he attended most galas since they were first held back in 1992. The gala is a significant achievement with participants from three countries held every two years in Billericay, Voreifel (Germany) and Bruxelles Royale on a rotational basis.
He also made a significant contribution to disabled sports with Essex County Council and countrywide with the Lions. This involved the setting up of disabled galas throughout the whole of MD105 and organising swimming events for the British Special Olympics.
Ray was a sterling member of our club and, although a stickler for the rules, was always keen to be involved and guide members on various matters. His knowledge of our organisation was second to none and was invaluable on many occasions.
Ray, along with his wife Mary, were the first members of the club to receive the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. The award, named after Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs International, is only presented to members who have achieved an exceptional level of humanitarian service to communities on behalf of the Lions over many years.