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Posted: January 17, 2009 7:03 p.m.

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Local Lion given highest honor

Michelle Kim/

Faithful service: Robert Firth stands with the plaque naming him a Melvin Jones Fellow in his home.

When Robert Firth moved to Georgia to escape the icy winters of the Midwest for his retirement years, he wanted to become more involved in community activities.

Over the last decade or so, Firth has made himself an invaluable part of the Social Circle community through his work as former Treasurer of the Social Circle Lion’s club and former President of the local AARP chapter.

Firth was recently honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow for his 13 years of dedication to the Social Circle Lions’ Club.

Firth, with his experience as an accountant and business college professor, helped write the constitutional bylaws for the club and set up a system to keep the records in a professional manner. In fact, it was his work as Treasurer that ensured the club would be able to give the $1,000 donation for the award.

Firth explained the club must donate $1,000 to Lions’ Club International before awarding the Jones Fellowship, which is named after the Lions’ Club founder and one of the highest honors a Lion can receive. The money goes to help those with sight problems in third-world countries, research for the visually impaired, and helping flood victims.

Little did he suspect he would be the one eventually receiving the award. The other club officers were able to keep it a surprise because Firth was no longer involved in the day-to-day operations.

Firth, one of the oldest members of the club at 87, is only one of a handful of Social Circle members to receive this award in the last dozen years or so.

Now that he is easing back his schedule, he spends his free time at home with is wife, reading and collecting miniature cars. He recently had to stop buying cars because he ran out of space to keep them.

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