Although as Lions we take our responsibilities for service to the community seriously, we do not take ourselves so seriously. In fact our meetings are, more often than not, reasonably informal and we do take pleasure in our work.
However, it is not all work and no play as we do meet outside of the Lions structure. We come together to play skittles combined with a buffet and a highlight of the year is to have a nice supper in Bridport before going to the Christmas pantomime at the start of February. In December we have our annual Christmas lunch and it should be said that all of these events are open to partners and spouses. Indeed, three times a year we have a Partners dinner meeting in order that our better halves can see what we do and discuss, as well as keep in touch with the group as a whole. Some of our ‘partners’ find this sufficiently stimulating to become ‘friends’ of the Lions which means, whilst not becoming full members, they do willingly give up some time to help members to man stalls, prepare items for sale, etc.
We also join forces with the other clubs in our zone for a skittles and supper evening once a year and there are various lunches that can be attended at zone and district level. The highlight of the year in this respect is the Charter Anniversary when each club holds a grand lunch or dinner to mark the granting of their charter within the Lions organisation. This is always well attended, not just by the club’s members and partners but also by members of other clubs.
Sunday, 12 April saw the Bridport Lions lunching at Highlands End to celebrate their 42nd anniversary. Joining them was the Mayor, Councillor Maggie Ray together with Councillor Martin Ray and members of Lions clubs from Dorset, Hampshire, Devon and Somerset.
The club President, Peter Garlick, reported another successful year of fundraising and distribution of monies to many local causes and people in need of assistance. Two Lions members had particular cause to celebrate, receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship award for dedicated service, named after the founder of the Lions movement in 1917. Peter Bonner and Don Morley are seen here being congratulated by the 2nd Vice District Governor, David Taylor.
The entertainment this year was provided by students at the Sir John Colfox School who reprised part of their song and dance performance at this year’s Be Your Best Rock Challenge held in the Bournemouth Pavilion in March. The club had contributed towards the cost of the students’ competing against seven other schools and is about raising awareness of the many dangers for young people, drugs and alcohol being just two. This is a global competition and winners of local events go forward to the next stage with the opportunity of overseas venues and international acclaim.
The school was also praised for the fact that seventy pupils are currently progressing towards their Young Leaders in Service award, which is recognition by Lions clubs worldwide of youngsters who carry out community service on a regular basis and are already demonstrating the values held dear by Lion members.