A founding member of Ballymoney Rotary Club has been honoured by his fellow Rotarians.
Mr. John Patton, a respected member of the community, became the twenty second recipient of the prestigious Jack Pinkerton Award last week.
The award is presented annually to a member of the local community in appreciation and recognition of their years of service to that community.
Mr. Patton clearly fits the bill having devoted much of his life to assisting others and contributing much to local society on a voluntary basis.
Born at Roseyards near Stranocum 80 years ago, Mr. Patton attended Kirkhills Primary School and then Dalriada Grammar. After passing his senior certificate he then moved to Queen’s University where he graduated in Civil Engineering.
He then worked for a time in Belfast before moving to Ballymoney Borough Council and, finally, the Northern Area Water Service as a civil engineer.
During his school and university days he developed a deep love of rugby and became a fully paid up member of what was described as “that dark and mysterious trio known as the front row.”
For more than 50 years Mr. Patton gave of his time helping propel the Club to the forefront of Ulster Ruby. He held many positions including club captain, President, Executive committee member and Trustee. He can be found every Saturday rain, hail or shine during the season supporting the players no matter what team.
Mr. Patton served as a school governor at Dalriada for ten years and, to date, he rarely misses a school play or concert. He has a deep sense of caring for others and to this end, he was hevily involved for many years as chairman of the Executive committee of Abbeyfield House, still visiting elderly residents on a weekly basis.
Mr. Patton also has strong links to the Rotary Club. As a member of the business community he was one of the founding members. He wa also President in 1968/69 and occupied many other positions. He is now a prominent member of Ballymoney Probus Club enjoying the company of many friends and work associates.
In recognition of the esteem he is held in the area, Mr. Patton was apppointed a Justice of the Peace and has sat as a magistrate in many juvenile courts.
Over the years, Mr. Patton has been involved with the North Antrim Horticultural Associaiton and as a loyal supporter of the Robinson Hospital.
Apart from his community work, Mr. Patton is a committed Christian and has served his local church, Roseyards, faithfully all his life.
With the unending support of his wife, Grace, and children, Ian and Helen, he has held every office in the church with great humility and organisational skills. His time devoted to pastoral visitation of the sick and elderly is second to none, fellow Rotarians were told during the presentation at the Rugby Club.