Tributes to leading Billingshurst resident Stan Stevens

Tributes are being paid to leading Billingshurst resident Stan Stevens.

Thursday, 19th November 2020, 12:41 pm

Stan, who died on October 29, was a driving force behind a number of organisations in the village and was founder of Billingshurst Lions whose members describe him as ‘inspirational and a caring human being.’

A Lions spokesman said: “Throughout his life Stan made a significant contribution, not only to Billingshurst & District Lions, but also in the wider community, as a governor at Billingshurst Junior School, at the Community Centre and Sports and Social club.

“Already a member of Lions, Stan was a founder member of East Grinstead Lions in 1968. Moving to Billingshurst in 1973, he instigated the formation of Billingshurst Lions, recruiting members and becoming the first president, as he was on five other occasions.

Stan Stevens

“He was very much the driving force in its growth and especially in raising funds.

“Most funds were raised at local fetes, with proceeds given to the organisers; he arranged Race Nights, with Stan efficiently running the tote, and a ‘Caledonion Market’, a type of auction/jumble sale at the Weald School when Stan would occasionally sleep outside at night guarding the items on display in the field.

“Members have recalled Billingshurst Firework nights he orchestrated, making torches for a torchlight procession through the village to a field along Daux Road, he and members building the bonfire during October.

“Stan organised the firework display and then lit them, often to the delight of over 2,000 onlookers.

Stan Stevens at the Chartering of Billingshurst Lions

“Another member recalls Stan with his wife Pam, taking 20 children on sailing camps at Chichester, organised with the headmaster of Billingshurst Junior School, Ken Thyer, along with others.

“Stan was a competent sailor and played a full part in setting up camp. He and Pam carried on even after their own children had left the school.

“Stan recovered from a horrific road accident a few years ago, which caused him to slow down. But, always supported by Pam, he remained a committed Lion and in recognition of his dedication Stan was awarded a Melvyn Jones Fellowship in 2016 after 50 years service, the highest accolade bestowed on only few Lions worldwide.

“Stan always made potential new members welcome, being the first person going to speak to them.

“He was a true friend with a good word for everybody, always kind, considerate and thoughtful, as well as having the knack of getting to the heart of any issue.

“Billingshurst Lions Club was all the richer for having Stan as a member. It is all the poorer now he has gone.

“We’ll all miss you Stan!”