Kinsale Lions Club Make Unique Presentation Writes J.J Hurley
The Kinsale Lions Club recently presented one of their longest serving members – Mr. Garry Fitzsimons, with the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.
The presentation is made to those members who have made an exemplary contribution not just to their club but also to the greater community in which they reside in.
Since Garry and Ann Fitzsimons arrived, with their young family, Shane, Paula, David and Barry in 1975, the former Newry natives, have immersed themselves in the town’s community.
An accountant by profession, he established a very successful practice in the city with his partner Sean O’ Flynn, before opening a branch office in Kinsale.
However, it was his involvement within the community that earned him huge respect. Initially in scouting circles, where he was responsible for establishing not just a scout troop but also a mixed venturer group, which was far ahead of its time in the early ‘80s.
A keen golfer and member of Kinsale Golf Club, he held a number of officerships in the club, where he was also at the vanguard of encouraging young people to take up the “small -ball game” .
Having always advocated inclusiveness of all members in society, in 2004 he played a huge part in welcoming the Palestinian team to Kinsale as chairman of the town’s special olympics’ committee.
In fact both Ann and Garry still remain in contact with some of the team members, who later participated in the games in Dublin.
Having long become assimilated into the town’s fabric, Garry has played a leading role in the town’s current success as a popular tourist destination, particularly as chairman of the town’s chamber of tourism, a driving force behind the food forum and a number of other successful initiatives.
A gifted baritone , he is a member of the Carmelite Friary Choir and previously tread the boards with the town’s operatic society.
Presenting the award on behalf of the local Lions Club Mr Richard Ennos said: “It is my privilege on behalf of our club and the wider Lions International Community to award Garry the highest Lions Award. “Garry has been a stalwart in our Club and in our community for over 20 years.” He also paid tribute to his wife Ann, pointing out: “Behind every and any successful man – stands a strong, supportive and understanding partner.”
Garry’s name will now be listed at the Lions International Headquarters in Chicago, Ironically around the block from where his son, Barry, works.