YFC AGM 2011: Lionel Hill's emotional departure

YOUNG Farmers were on their feet as Lionel Hill MBE stepped down today as president of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs.

In a somewhat emotional AGM, members cheered and clapped at various times during Sunday Morning at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. In his closing speech, Mr Hill was in tears as he shared his parting thoughts over the last five years at the helm of the biggest youth organisation in the country.  

Mr Hill – affectionately known by members as ‘Lionel the Legend’ – has enjoyed an extremely successful five terms as president and has travelled the length and breadth of the country visiting clubs and counties at competitions, social events and official engagements.

The married father of two has continually been praised for his work with grass roots members and, as a result, has made thousands of friends along the way who regard him with the utmost respect and warmth.

Minutes into the AGM – which took place – on Sunday morning, the motion to elect Matt Baker as the new president was passed but members clapped and cheered at the legacy Lionel leaves behind.

Later on in the AGM members then elected Lionel Hill to be a Life Vice President in recognition of his services to NFYFC and the YFC Federations.

It was no surprise the vote was unanimous as he accepted the new accolade and paid tribute to many of the key people he had worked with – from clubs to national office staff to family, friends and external supporters.

“It has been an incredible journey I just hope I have fulfilled member’s wishes. I am officially the luckiest old age pensioner in the world.

“How many people of my age can say they have increased their circle of friends by hundreds? A good friend of mine told me as long as you stay around young people there will always be laughter, enjoyment and looking forward. If you stay around old people you will just get more miserable by the day.”

“I have loved being a YFC member, the fun, pleasure and the laughter it brings. God bless this organisation and may it survive for years to come.”

.Check out our video interview with Lionel at this year’s AGM.

With such a large following of fans, perhaps these recent comments on Lionel Hill’s MBE appreciation society can sum up why the President of NFYFC will be so much missed when he steps down after five years at the helm.

Faye Clayton posted: It was great to see Lionel Hill cutting up the dancefloor as ‘Captain of HMS YFC’ at Northern Area last weekend in Whitby

Melanie Purcell remembered ‘Dancing to GLC knee deep in mud at Royal Welsh with Lionel was amazing!!

Cat Cameron remarked: ‘This man is a legend. I love you Lionel.’

Thomas Bradshaw observed: ‘He was all over the ladies at Shropshire chairman’s ball!’

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