Cobram Lions Club had a special presentation to make last Tuesday evening to acknowledge one of its longest servants.
John Artavilla, who has been involved with the Lions Club for more than 50 years, was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship — one of the highest recognitions the club can present.
Mr Artavilla received the award for his long-term commitment to Cobram, having had a hand in a number of major projects around town including the establishment of Federation Park.
Mr Artavilla said he was honoured to receive the recognition for his service to the community.
“It was such a surprise, the time has gone so quickly, I didn’t realise I had been (with the Lions Club) for so long,” he said.
“I am so proud, when you enjoy your time it gets away from you.
“Cobram helped me so much when I came here (from Italy in 1959) and this is me paying back to the community.”
Mr Artavilla believes it is important for people to give back to their community and he hopes new members join the organistation.
“It is very important to give back,” he said.
“The best thing is to always give back to your town.
“It is really great, but we used to have 40 or so members and now we are struggling a bit.
“I encourage people to join not for yourself but for your community.”
The club was able to welcome its newest member at the meeting in Ebony Lowrie, who joins Cobram Lions Club after being a part of the Murray Leos program.