‘Lofty’ Bunyon is new President of Tonbridge Lions Club
12th July 2019
TONBRIDGE Lions Club have inaugurated their 70th President, Keith ‘Lofty’ Bunyon. His predecessor Tom Simmons presented him with the chain of office in a luncheon at Bewl Water.
Mr Bunyon, 59, has lived in Tonbridge since he was eight years old, having moved from London in 1968. He remembers how the town and the surrounding area were devastated by floods in September that year.
He attended Woodlands Junior School and then Tunbridge Wells Tech, now Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, where he has been chairman of TWGSB Alumni.
Keith was a keen cricketer and captained the school’s first XI and also played for Tonbridge Ramblers Juniors before having to retire at the age of 23 due to a back problem.
After leaving school he joined the department store Chiesmans in Tunbridge Wells and became the company’s youngest ever manager.
While working in retail he met his wife of 35 years, Joan. They have one son James, an actor, dancer and singer who lives in Cologne, Germany.
Mr Bunyon then became a self-employed double-glazing salesman alongside specialist furnishings. He is now a consultant for home improvement with over 36 years experience.
His nickname came from his early years as a Scout leader, and he has been active in the Tonbridge Scout movement for almost 50 years.
For many years he performed duties as Parade Commander for both the annual Scout & Guide St George’s Day parade and the town’s Remembrance Day parade.
Since joining the Lions in 2008 he has chaired the Carnival committee. His favourite event is the club’s annual It’s A Knockout for local special needs people held at The Angel Centre when he acts as master of ceremonies.
Mr Bunyon said: “It is an absolute honour to be trusted to represent the oldest and one of the largest Lions clubs in the country in its 70th year.
“I am looking forward to meeting many special and interesting people in my year as President.”