Ontario Lions clubs to celebrate their efforts

Who let the Lions loose in Cambridge last weekend? More than 500 Lions, representing 54 clubs within District A-15, southwest and central Ontario, held their annual convention at the Holiday Inn.

Sponsored by the Galt-Cambridge Lions Club, members celebrated their successes of helping others, while planning for major worldwide projects of the future. Their challenge for the year is “Dare to Dream in 2013”.

Dr. Daniel Ayim, a past-president of the Galt-Cambridge Club and now the district governor, accompanied by his wife Afua, hosted the large convention.

The keynote banquet speaker, Marvin Chambers, from Fillmore, Sask., is a director of the International Association of Lions Clubs. He is the only Canadian on the 34-member board.

“It doesn’t matter where you live,” said Chambers, “you can contribute along with other men and women to help in our many projects to assist the blind, the hard of hearing, the sick and the needy.”

He joked about his home community of Fillmore by saying, “There are 278 people living in Fillmore right now, and when my wife Lynne and I get home, there will be 280 people there.”

Mayor Doug Craig addressed the gathering at a luncheon and praised the Galt-Cambridge Lions Club for assisting many local groups, from children with vision problems to seniors with special needs. He stressed appreciation from the city and its citizens for the $265,000 the local club has donated to Cambridge Memorial Hospital.

Delegates were amazed with the professional skill and quality of eight-minute speeches given by several district young people who have won honours in the Lions Club’s public speaking contests. Some of the students spoke in French.

One of the Lions’ major projects is supplying dog guides through the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program. More than 2,000 dogs have been matched with people with vision impairment, the deaf and hard of hearing, epilepsy, autism and diabetic conditions.

Several recipients of the program were present with their dogs, and exhibited the great care and training of these very special animals.

Galt-Cambridge Lions Club member Don Gamble, 87, and his wife, Charlotte, were singled out for long-time service. Don has been a Lion for more than 61 years. He was a chartered member of the Granby Lions Club in Quebec, before moving to Cambridge in 1957 and transferring to the Cambridge Club.

Lions club dedicates Good Will Monument

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News

Lions club dedicates Good Will Monument“On February 8, 1950 the Canadian Sault Lions Club commemorated the relations which for a century and a half, have made a fortified border unnecessary, and to dedicate our countries to this relation henceforth.
The symbol of goodwill and mutual understanding existing between the Dominion of Canada and the Sault Ste. Marie, Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada. The geographical location of the Lions Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan defines this monument as a true beacon of International Good Will.
The dedication of this memorial is by the Lions Club of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, for and in behalf of the Lions Club of Canada: and the acceptance by the Lions club of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, is for and in behalf of the Lions Clubs of the United States, so that all may know that nations can live as peaceful and friendly neighbors without fortified borders.”

These were the words describing a monument placement at a ferry boat landing on the American side of the St. Mary’s River, some 61 years ago. Invitees to the event inaugurating the placement of this Good Will Monument, were Melvin Jones, founder of Lions International and Lions Clubs International President Walter C. Fisher of Queenstown, Ontario Canada.

With the construction of the International Bridge connecting the twin Saults, the ferry service was discontinued and somehow the monument was destroyed and the plaque was misplaced.

After 50 years, the plaque was discovered in a garage and Tom Brown and Bill Munsell, both Lions, made sure the plaque was cleaned and a re-dedication of the monument went into the planning stages.

The official commemoration ceremony took place on November 6, with over 80 in attendance.

Munsell, the Master of Ceremonies, introduced Lion and Mayor Tony Bosbous, along with former Sault, Ontario Mayor, Stephen Butland, SD 10, DG Jim Wash, 1st VDG A-5, Andy McRae, 2nd VDG Jerry Stephens, SD-10, Lion President Glenn Thompson, and Sault, Michigan KL Ron Beacom.

Each speaker praised the eternal link between our two nations and the monument was unveiled. The inscription on the monument for all visitors reads:

“Eternally linked through Lionism by a bond of international fellowship as infinite as the universe and as everlasting as time itself, the Lions of the Dominion of Canada dedicate this monument to the Lions of the United States of America as a symbol of good will and mutual understanding among all nations.”

After a first time visit to the new City Hall on the old Federal grounds, the crowd adjourned to the Cisler Center on the campus of Lake Superior State University and listened to a highly motivated speech given by Lion Chief “Buzz” Melton of Wyoming, Illinois. This charismatic former Fire Chief of Baltimore, captivated the audience with his “Do Something” speech, and comments.

The ceremonies continued as Buzz Melton met with Lions from Pickford, Drummond Island, and the Les Cheneaux Lions from Cedarville at noon on November 7. All Lions benefited as he continued his speaking engagements that evening at the Dafter Lions Club and the Fire Science students at LSSU the next day.

The celebration of the Sault Lions Club’s 76th anniversary was a success, with the Lions  re-dedication of the “Good Will Monument.”