AFTER a two-year term, outgoing Port Alfred Lions Club president Norman Elliott handed over the reins to Francois de Klerk at an induction dinner at Harry B’s recently.
Elliott said it had been a privilege to work with Lions for the past two years. Port Alfred Lions presently have 17 members, 10 of who attended a mid-year conference in Graaff-Reinet.
“It’s been a busy year as a club. We’ve achieved what we set out to do,” Elliott said.
Among their projects has been doing the catering at the annual Night Bowls competition at the Kowie Bowling Club, through which they raised R12 800 which they donated to Port Alfred High School for the pool project.
Port Alfred Lions made shoebox Christmas presents which they donated to the needy and sold 60 cases of their famous Lions Christmas cakes to raise money for community projects. Elliott credited June Turner for being the best seller of cakes.
“One of the biggest things Lions do is Operation Brightsight. During the course of the past year 24 people were tested and 18 people received glasses. It’s amazing how people react when they receive glasses and their vision improves,” Elliott said.
He said local optometrist DM Radue also donated glasses to needy people out of his own pocket.
Lions also held free diabetes and blood pressure tests for people, with 259 having a sugar test and 137 a blood pressure test.
“We also partnered with Rotary to restore the Toposcope in Bathurst. It’s part of our heritage. It’s going to cost a lot of money, but we’re committed,” Elliott said.
Lions also hold a monthly trivia evening run by Lloyd Stephenson, who also does another quiz for the residents of Sunset Park retirement village.
Lions donated six heated blankets to the NSRI for use in rescue callouts.
Awards for 100% attendance were given to Rob Brunette, Francois de Klerk, Ilana de Klerk, Lorenda de Klerk, Dirk de Vos, Lucinda de Vos, John Dell, Nico Muller, Mike Newlands, Max Stander, Lloyd Stephenson, Gail Turner and Neville Williamson.
John Dell was named Lion of the year.
In his induction speech, Francois de Klerk said: “It’s a great honour to be inducted as Lion president. I’d like to thank Norman for what I’ve learned from him over the past few years. Thank you to the members for electing me.
“You join a service organisation because you want to, not because you have to,” he said.
He said Lions would continue with the programmes and projects from the previous year, and would strive to make meetings interesting, to attract new members and retain current members.
The board for the year are: past president Norman Elliott, vice-president Rob Brunette, secretary/treasurer Lloyd Stephenson, membership Mike Newlands, Lion tamer John Dell and fellowship Dirk de Vos.