100 Lions roar on­wards

The Lions Club In­ter­na­tional has been cel­e­brat­ing a spe­cial an­niver­sary this year, helped by Nor­folk mem­bers

EDP Norfolk - - Charity - www.li­on­s105ea.com

IT WAS a cen­tury ago that a Chicago in­sur­ance sales­man started an or­gan­i­sa­tion that was to spread across the globe, bring­ing sup­port and ser­vice to mil­lions.

Melvin Jones’s vision reached Nor­folk in 1953, when the first Lions Club opened up in Great Yar­mouth, fol­lowed soon af­ter by oth­ers across the county. Now there are more than 20 clubs in Nor­folk, sup­port­ing their com­mu­ni­ties with fund-rais­ing and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

They have been mark­ing the in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion’s cen­te­nary in a range of ways; clubs in north east Nor­folk joined to­gether to fund equip­ment in the cancer wards at Queen Elizabeth Hos­pi­tal, Kings Lynn while Lions in the catch­ment area of the Nor­folk and Nor­wich Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal also joined to­gether to fund a sen­sory room and an ad­join­ing fam­ily room, at the NNUH, and Wroxham and Hove­ton Lions Club funded an in­flat­able ves­sel for Sea Palling vol­un­teer lifeboat.

Wy­mond­ham Lions Club, with the town coun­cil, have pro­vided two dec­o­ra­tive planters near the Wy­mond­ham Her­itage Mu­seum.

“We have also helped the cel­e­bra­tions na­tion­ally,” said Lion Jim Cawte, who has been co-or­di­nat­ing the cel­e­bra­tions in the east­ern re­gion. “For ex­am­ple we have sup­ported the Spe­cial Olympics in Sh­effield – we had 18 mem­bers there for a week as part of the na­tion­wide Lions sup­port.

“There will also be a na­tional con­cert in Leeds this month and Nor­folk mem­bers will be at­tend­ing that.”

Jim and his wife Jen­nifer made their own per­sonal con­tri­bu­tion when they took their re­stored ex-Royal Mail van, which pre­vi­ously did the rounds in South Nor­folk, on an eastwest chal­lenge from Low­est­oft Ness Point to St Davids Point in Pem­broke, raisng over £1,000 for Chapel Road School, At­tle­bor­ough.

Jim said that Nor­folk has a strong mem­ber­ship, but that they are al­ways de­lighted to see new faces at any of the clubs around the county.

If you’d like to get in­volved as a Lion or Li­on­ess there is a full list of county clubs on the Lions’ website.

Bot­tom left: Melvin Jones

Above: Jen­nifer and Jim Cawte

Be­low:Lions Club In­ter­na­tional logo from 1918 and the Lions Club cen­te­nary logo

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