It is with great sadness that Worthing Lions announce that John Sayles passed into higher service in April 2023. He held many offices within the Club and was President in both 1997 and 2008. He was also a member of Frome Lions Club before joining Worthing.     

A typical example of his passion to help people in need was when he attended Frome Lions Club, where he heard about a four year old terminally ill girl who wanted to realise her dream of meeting her hero Anneka Rice who was the star of a TV programme at the time called Treasurer Hunt. John was never afraid to approach people whether they were managing directors of international companies or just a person who needed help, and although the television series had finished, he contacted the company and managed to arrange a meeting with Anneka Rice. He also contacted Westland Helicopters who gladly took the little girl up in a helicopter trip just like Anneka did in the TV programme. Sadly, the little girl passed away shortly afterwards - but it was John who made her dream come true. 

John usually volunteered to be on Worthing’s Welfare Committee, because he knew that was where he could give the greatest help to as many people as possible, and the cakes that he and his wife Doris baked over many years were legendary throughout the District. 

He always attended Worthing’s Festivals and was often seen standing in the town centre at Christmas, collection bucket in hand chatting to the Christmas shoppers. 

If John had a catchphrase, it was ‘keep smiling’ which he frequently used at the end of his conversations. 

As a result of his tireless work for the Club he was awarded the MJF which was well deserved, and he was so proud of it that it was placed on his coffin together with the Lions drape. 

We miss his determination, passionate enthusiasm but most of all lots of smiles and a life of dedicated service to the community through Lionism and send our condolences to his family and friends.