A COMMUNITY stalwart could be a UK record-breaker after giving 79 years of service to the Boys’ Brigade.
Ken Lea, 89, is still going strong as the Captain of the 9th Company Boys’ Brigade in Westoe.
“He is definitely the longest serving member in Shields battalion and possibly in the country.”
He started when he was seven when he joined a section of the branch called the Life Boys.
He worked his way up the ranks to become the captain 45 years ago, and he is still in the post today.
Ken, from South Shields, has given such good service he has been nominated for a Best of South Tyneside award in the lifetime contribution category.
The nomination for him said: “He is definitely the longest-serving member in Shields battalion and possibly in the country.”
When he was told he was in the running for honours, Ken said: “I am flabbergasted. I do it because I have always done it and because I love it.”
Ken, a former ship’s instrument maker with the North Shields-based nautical equipment firm Lilley & Gillie, retired from work in 1991.
But he still kept going with the Boys’ Brigade and heads a branch which meets every Friday at Westoe Methodist Church, from 6pm for the junior section and 6.30pm for the company section.
Ken, who is married to Edith, 83, is a father of two, grandfather of six and great-grandfather of two.
He also becomes the latest entrant in our competition, which is attracting strong contenders for the awards, but we want many more between now and the deadline of Friday, April 10.
The awards will culminate in a glittering finals night at the Quality Hotel on June 25.
To nominate, fill in the form in today’s paper or enter online HERE.