Wayne has been president for seven of his 27 total years as a Lions member.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
On July 1, 2020, Wayne Bent ended his third term as president and passed the torch to Lion Jim Scala. We wish Jim success in his new role and will introduce him in a future column. Meanwhile, we’d like to shine a light on the many years of exemplary service Wayne has, and continues to, commit to the Westport Lions.
President Wayne Bent could have been selected Lion of the Year for the past four years because of his outstanding commitment to the Westport Lions Club. He wasn’t because the president chooses that honour, and Wayne, being a humble person, would never pick himself. But like most presidents, he is one of the hardest working members of the club.
The president is the chief executive officer of the club and presides over all board and club meetings and attends all zone meetings. The president, along with the chairpersons, makes sure all committees function properly and reports progress in a timely fashion. Wayne lets everyone have their say; he is open to suggestions and supports members’ projects. His experience and history with the club helps us all make informed decisions. Often, President Wayne ends up doing the small but time-consuming jobs that no one volunteers to do, like making calls or taking the garbage out after a meeting.
Wayne is the only Westport Lions Club member since 1946 to have been president three times. Wayne’s first term ran from 1999 until 2001, his second term from 2006 until 2007 and his recent term from 2016 until the end of June 2020. In total, Wayne has been president for seven of his 27 total years as a Lions member. There have been very few years when Wayne has not been on the executive as either director, past- or vice-president.
One of Wayne’s most memorable times as a Lion is when a group of Lion members, accompanied by Santa Claus, visited a young lady in the hospital. She had recently had major surgery to correct problems with her neck and spine. “She had a halo on—she was so thrilled to see us and Santa Claus,” said Wayne. Another task Wayne enjoys doing is presenting cheques to people or organizations that receive financial contributions from the club. “They are always so appreciative,” says Wayne.
Wayne has been instrumental in making sure that donations to the Westport Lions stay in our community. For example, he has taken the initiative to help local residents who have fallen on tough times, he has spearheaded the organization of free luncheons for seniors, and bought Christmas gifts for local children instead of sending the money to a county organization to be redistributed. President Wayne balances his commitment to Westport and area residents with an understanding of the big picture—he’s also committed to the goals of Lions International.
Always humble, Wayne says it’s the membership that makes the club run so smoothly. He points to great team efforts to organize the Santa Claus parade, mobility vans and maintain the beach property.
The smooth operation of the club is a testament to Wayne’s personal attributes. He treats everyone honestly, fairly and equally, and always does what he thinks is best for the club. He works tirelessly to move our club forward, for example, he has always encouraged women to join, which adds another positive dimension to our club.
Wayne understands that being a Lion cannot be all work. He has organized several trips to the Gananoque theatre and encouraged visitations with other clubs.
Wayne perfectly exemplifies the values of Lionism by working tirelessly to make our wonderful community even better. We thank Wayne Bent for his service.