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Published on July 21st, 2019 | by The Town Crier


Keith Bunyon becomes new President of Tonbridge Lions Club

On Sunday 23rd June Keith “Lofty” Bunyon was inaugurated as the seventieth President of Tonbridge Lions Club.  Outgoing President, Tom Simmons, presented Keith with the chain of office at a luncheon at the Boat House Bistro, Bewl Water, Lamberhurst.

Born in Haringey, North London Keith was 8 yrs old when his parents and two sisters moved to north Tonbridge in February 1968. He remembers well how September that year saw Tonbridge and the surrounding area devastated by floods. He attended Woodlands Junior School and then Tunbridge Wells Tech, now TWGSB where over many years since leaving he has been a committee member and on occasions Chairman of TWGSB Alumni.

Keith enjoys his cricket, was captain of the school’s first eleven and also played for Tonbridge Ramblers Juniors on the racecourse sports ground. At weekends in the late 70’s & early 80’s he played for Tonbridge’s Sunday team and also mid-week for Tonbridge Trade.
His active participation in cricket was cut short at the age of just 23yrs due to a back problem.

Straight from school he joined department store Chiesmans of Tunbridge Wells as a trainee manager, progressing quickly to become the company’s youngest ever department manager.  At the first opportunity he moved to manage the larger more specialised Soft Furnishings Dept at the Gravesend store where he met his wife of 35 years, Joan. They have one son James, an actor, dancer & singer who lives in Cologne, Germany.

 In 1983 Keith made the brave decision to become self-employed selling “double-glazing” alongside specialist furnishings and in the very early years, wedding photography. He is still self-employed as a sales consultant in the home improvement industry with over 36 years experience and a reputation for professional advice & service.
His nickname “Lofty” came from his early years as a Scout Leader.  He has been active in Tonbridge Scouting for nearly 50 years, as a member of Cubs, Scouts & Venture Scouts and now as an adult leader for over 40 years.  Keith’s parents were involved in the past and now along with Keith, his two sisters and brother-in-laws are all still active in Scouting & Guiding in the town. The family have given over 150 years of combined service to the young people of Tonbridge.  Keith has been seen over many years performing duties as Parade Commander for both the annual Scout & Guide St. George’s Day Parade and the Town’s Remembrance Day Parade.


Keith and Joan were Friends of Tonbridge Lions for a couple of years before Keith joined as a member in 2008 and he has played a full and active part in the Club’s many and varied service & fundraising activities.  He has chaired the Summer Carnival Committee on numerous occasions, can often be seen on traffic-marshal duties and lists his favourite day of the year as the club’s annual It’s A Knockout for local special needs schools and organisations held at The Angel Centre when he says he has the best job, being the MC.

Keith says 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 and is looking forward to meeting many special & interesting people during his year as President.

 Photo – Outgoing President, Lion Tom Simmons, congratulates the incoming Lion President Keith Bunyon.

John Ruck

Press Officer

37 Ridgeway Crescent


TN10 4NR

Tel 01732 351711

E-mail:  john.ruck@btinternet.com

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