The Westport Lions Club celebrated the 65th anniversary of their charter at Legion 542 Friday night, with about 80 members, spouses, supporters and dignitaries in attendance.
After speeches and congratulations from governments and other Lions clubs, zone and the district, the evening wrapped up with a surprise for long-time supporter Lucille Bresee.
The club presented her with a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award for more than 50 years of reporting on Westport Lions Club activities.
“I don’t think I’ve done enough to deserve it.
“I thought they thanked me by co-operating with me,” she said of the Lions getting their information to her.
“I really appreciate the Lions, they have treated me so well.
“There was never a Ladies Night where Don and I weren’t a guest.
“Don was always a supporter of the club as well,” she said of her late husband.
Lucille got her start as a ‘stringer’ for the Kingston Whig-Standard in 1954, back when they had bureaus in Gananoque and Napanee.
“The district editors were Bill Fitzell and Warren Stanton of Elgin, who left this world way too young,” she said.
She also wrote for the Recorder & Times, Perth Courier and the Ottawa Citizen over the years.
She has also written for a host of local organizations over the years including churches, seniors’ clubs and municipalities.
“We were paid by the inch. We had to cut every clipping and hand them in each month – that’s how you got paid,” she said.
“The Whig asked me to do a feature on Billy Boss, a war correspondent who had just returned to the area.
“He was very helpful.
He said, “If you went and got any training, you’d lose what you have.
“You would lose that homespun touch of telling things,” Boss told her.
“Bill Fitzell told me “just let on you know what you are doing”.
“I’ve been fooling them pretty good for the last 50 years,” she said.
Lucille, now 87, still writes long hand, with pen and paper.
“I just love to write.
“I enjoyed going to do interviews and bring it home to the kitchen table at the farm and form my article.
“I just had this great desire to write, she said.