PA Lions Club celebrates 10 years of service

John Dell was inducted for a second term as president of the Lions Club of Port Alfred at the 10th anniversary of the club celebrated at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club recently.

STERLING SERVICE: Port Alfred Lions Club president John Dell, left, was inducted for a second term by council chairperson Brian van der Decken at a luncheon at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club last Saturday Picture: JON HOUZET

Past council chairperson Mike Newlands acted as MC and welcomed guests who included Lions council chairperson Brian van der Decken, representatives of the Port Alfred Rotary Club, Round Table and other Lions clubs.

Charter president of the Port Alfred Lions Club, Rob Brunette, gave the toast to Lions International and Van der Decken gave the reply. He said there were 48,000 Lions clubs throughout the world, comprising 1.4-million members.

The message from the Lions International president is “service from the heart”, Van der Decken said.

“Lions International congratulates the Port Alfred Lions Club on 10 years of service and many more.”

Past presidents of the Lions Club were all invited to light candles for their year or two years as president. They included Brunette, Lloyd Stephenson, Nico Muller (who could not attend), Norman Elliott, Francois de Klerk and John Dell.

MARKING 10 YEARS: The charter members of the Port Alfred Lions Club who are still members, from left, Norman Elliott, Dennis White, Gail Turner, Mike Newlands, John Dell, Rob Brunette and Neville Williamson Picture: JON HOUZET

In his valedictory speech, Dell said the past year had been strange for everyone and covid had changed their lives.

“Although we got the feeling during the past year that we had not achieved much, there were quite a few projects that we were successful with,” he said.

In July 2020, the Lions provided face masks to the staff of various care centres at retirement villages, and supported Loaves and Fishes and Round Table with food parcels.

They also provided the SPCA with blankets and food, as well as books for the SPCA thrift shop.

A group of Lions went to Makhanda to hand over nine pairs of spectacles to children at the Kuyasa Special Needs School.

“This is where we met Justin du Plooy who is now our transfer member. Here too we met Alec Mckerrow, who has joined our club and has become an absolute asset as our new secretary,” Dell said.

Lions donated funds to a local school for a classroom to be painted, and donated teddy bears to the Port Alfred Primary School.

They supported the Bathurst Show committee by buying bumper stickers from them and distributing them.

“The NSRI needed their rescue vehicle’s suspension replaced and through Dirk [de Vos] we donated towards that. Various other items were donated to the NSRI,” Dell said.

Lions also donated funds to Multi Security to erect another security camera which proved to be helpful in identifying and arresting criminals.

Four wheelchairs were handed over to Damant Lodge which were serviced and repaired by Rowell Smith, Mark Denson donated two more chairs to the club.

Lions also recently donated water to Damant Lodge to help fill new tanks they had installed during the water crisis.

They transported shelving that had been donated to Retreat 2 Eden animal sanctuary.

Members also helped with the Uitenhage Lion Motorcycle Rally at the Bathurst Showgrounds, helped Hospice with their golf day, and sponsored a hole at the SPCA golf day. They also donated towards a roof at the SPCA.

“We sold all our Christmas cakes well before Christmas. This is Lion Mike’s [Newlands] baby and he has made us proud,” Dell said.

Lions also held a diabetes awareness day, offering free screening.

They contributed R5,000 to Huis Diaz for them to purchase equipment and another R5,000 to Loaves and Fishes for Christmas shoebox presents. Forty-eight Christmas cakes were included.

“We are supporting the golf academy [for development golfers]. We have just recently built another clubhouse for them and further alterations are being done,” he said.

Lions now share the Round Table clubhouse with Tablers and Dell said it was a win-win for both clubs.

One of Lions’ ongoing projects is a monthly river clean-up aboard Denson’s barge, Integrity.

“We recently purchased trees for Arbor Day and are planting them in suitably chosen areas,” Dell said.

 

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