A STALWART of St Just Royal British Legion, who has served as club and branch president for the past 17 years, has been honoured with lifetime membership of the organisation.
Bernard Rees, 89, has been involved with the club and branch since 1974 and received the honour from Cornwall chairman Lieutenant- Commander Clive Rawson in St Just on Saturday.
Mr Rees, appointed MBE in 2008 and previously given a Gold Badge by the legion, is only the second member at St Just to receive the accolade.
"It's something I didn't really expect at first," he said.
"I was very pleasantly surprised and I thought it was really nice."
Mr Rees grew up in Swansea and served in the British Army from 1944 to 1979, mostly in the Welch Regiment. His wartime service included a posting to India, and he moved to St Just in 1972, where he was a town councillor for 22 years.
Branch chairman Alf Nevitt said Bernard had exerted a positive influence on the Legion. "I think it's impossible for the clubs to run without people like Bernard," he said. "He's a great asset."
Lifetime membership is awarded to Legion members who have given at least ten years' "meritorious and conspicuous" service and who already hold a Gold Badge.
They receive full rights without having to pay subscription fees.
Speaking at the event, Lieutenant-Commander Rawson said the legion was very appreciative of all the work Mr Rees had done.
Mr Rees thanked Mr Nevitt for organising the event.