Remembering Lion Jack Porter

Published 9:33 am Friday, June 26, 2009

He leaves a void in our lives and in the Columbus Lions Club that cannot be filled. Jack, with his enthusiastic grin and ready wit, served the club in many capacities over the years, including President and Tail Twister. He installed new Lions with appropriate and inspiring ceremony. Lion Jack was chairman of the Lions committee that lit and maintained the Cross on Tryon Peak, recently coordinating a total rebuilding of the structure in order to make it more weather resistant. He was heartbroken when the present owners of the communication tower removed the Cross and destroyed it.Lion Jack obtained the carnations and led the sales effort every Mother&squo;s Day. He also invited his fellow Lions in recent years to a celebration of Christmas at Tryon Estates, where he resided with his loving wife, Fern. He considered those activities a &dquo;labor of love&dquo; (his words). He liked to carry one side of the banner pole in the Columbus Christmas Parade, always bringing extra Santa hats for other Lions to wear. He led in decorating Lion Chuck Trevathan&squo;s trailer as a &dquo;float&dquo; for the parade.John Hamlin Porter was born in Salem MA in 1922, graduating from its High School in 1939. Jack earned a BS in Chemistry from Tufts University, entering the Army upon graduation in 1943. He served in the 94th Infantry Division in Europe, rising from Pvt. to M/Sgt while on active duty. He was awarded a Bronze Star medal and later received a direct commission as 1st Lieutenant in Reserves in 1946.Jack played drums while in school, and enjoyed oil and watercolor painting for the rest of his life. During school vacations Jack was a guide and &dquo;gopher&dquo; at the famous House of Seven Gables in Salem, where he met an amazing cross section of visitors from all over the world. He was employed during his working career by only two leather companies that served the same customers, and the second one sent him all over the world as their Director of International Division. His &dquo;territory&dquo; then included the British Isles, most of Europe, Cuba and Colombia. He commented that the only place he was ever criminally accosted was in Bogota, where two thieves tried for his wallet but wound up with only his &dquo;BRAND NEW 4-dollar digital wrist watch!&dquo;Jack had so many pins and awards on his Lion vest that it took two of us to help him put it on! Jack PorterHis work with Lions was recognized in one of the &dquo;outstanding volunteer&dquo; ads by Bank of America. He exemplified the Lion motto &dquo;We Serve&dquo; for more than half a century. Bon voyage, Jack.

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