Bac­calieu Lions Club top club in Eastern New­found­land

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA nmercer@cb­n­co­pass.cal

The early morn­ing of April 11 was a hec­tic one in the Town of Bay de Verde.

An in­tense fire was lev­el­ing the town’s fish plant and dis­plac­ing hun­dreds of the town’s res­i­dents.

Just af­ter 7:30 a.m., the call came in to the Bac­calieu Lions Club — based in Old Per­li­can — for aid. Im­me­di­ately, Michael Foote, his fa­ther David and oth­ers sprung to ac­tion and headed to their north­ern neigh­bours. One mem­ber was in Clarke’s Beach when the call came in.

They’d pre­pared for dis­as­ters, but noth­ing re­ally like what the club saw in Bay de Verde.

The club started work on a boiler of soup, picked up wa­ter and made sure the town’s peo­ple and the fire­fight­ers were well taken care of.

“We had the man power. We made a cou­ple of phone calls,” said club sec­re­tary Michael Foote. “We were a hub more so, and just went from there. We said we had to get mov­ing and we hit the ground run­ning.”

The Bac­calieu club’s quick re­sponse to the Bay de Verde fire, cou­pled with the work it does in the com­mu­nity an­nu­ally, was one of the main rea­sons it was named the Eastern dis­trict’s top club for 2015-2016.

“The dis­trict gov­er­nor said, ‘It’s ac­tu­ally amaz­ing how quick you guys were able to do some­thing that no­body re­ally plans for,’” said Michael. “You plan for a ma­jor power out­age, but when it comes to a large fire like that with so many res­i­dents dis­placed, no­body is re­ally set up for some­thing like that.”

The club re­ceived their award at the dis­trict’s fall con­ven­tion held Oct. 21-23 in Marys­town. Foote was also named the top sec­re­tary for the dis­trict.

The 35-mem­ber Bac­calieu club beat out 53 oth­ers to claim the award.

“We were quite sur­prised,” said Foote. “It’s a good feat to get. It makes you feel a lot of pride.”

It’s not strange to find an event hap­pen­ing at the Lions Club build­ing in Old Per­li­can. In the past they’ve held fish sales, ben­e­fit dances, a Shave for the Brave and a host of other events for the com­mu­nity. Each year, they host a series of pub­lic speak­ing events at the lo­cal schools.

It’s a good feat to get. It makes you feel a lot of pride Michael Foote

Just re­cently they hosted a Red Shoe Walk for the first time. It raises funds for Ron­ald McDonald House.

Michael said they don’t do it for recog­ni­tion, in­stead be­cause of a de­sire to help the re­gion with what­ever they can.

“To me, (the award) will strive me to do more,” he said. “We can’t thank the area enough for what they do for us.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Bac­calieu Lions Club in Old Per­li­can was re­cently rec­og­nized as the eastern dis­trict’s top club for 2015-2016. They re­ceived the award at the fall con­ven­tion held in Marys­town Oct. 21-23. A num­ber of mem­bers were there to re­ceive the award. They are: front (l-r) — Ber­nice Jen­ner and Tracy Foote; back — Ash­ley Bar­rett, Melita Foote, Jim Bar­rett, Joann Bar­rett, Michael Foote, Nikki An­drews, Dave Foote, Lloyd An­drews and Randy Driscoll.

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