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50 Years of Lions Service on the Coast

50 Years of Lions Service on the Coast

The Sunshine Coast Lions Club celebrated their 50th year of service to the region’s people last weekend with events at their Sechelt hall.

The dinner and dance on Saturday night attracted nearly a hundred of their present and former members, Past President and Director Al Hailey said.

“We had a great time and it was good to see so most of our (35) current and many of our former members come out to get together,” Hailey said.

The Club had a lot of work to do to get a hold of a number of past members who had moved away, he explained.

“We spent a year and a half planning this,” the Lions Director shared, “the nice thing was getting to talk to former members,” he said.

It was a big reward to hear they are still active Lions Club members in their present communities and to see district governors from other regions along with long-time former member, Gordy Hall.

Following a Power Point show of many pictures from the Club’s history, he said there were also presentations from other members, and visitors from as far away as Virden Manitoba.

“(Long-time members,) Garry Foxall and Cal Hansen talked about the history of the Sechelt Lions and the projects we’ve worked on,” Hailey noted.

And what a history it has been, by all accounts. Including work in the early days and throughout the years, and building the tennis courts at Hacket Park, they have been key in helping to support the needs of St. Mary’s Hospital. Lions were major backers in funding the purchase of a CAT scanner for the hospital a few years ago.

“We partner with Sunshine Coast Community Services and the school district for the Imagination Library,” the Lion notes, as well as fixing up and loaning mobility scooters to people who need them. They recently helped to build an accessible viewing platform for Mission Point Park and to fix the meeting hall there.

“Our biggest achievement is what we’ve done with Green Court Supportive Housing,” Hailey expressed.

He said that the initiative to provide low-cost and seniors housing started many years back with two brothers, Allan and Ken Green, who built ten living units initially, and expanded it over time.

“But then they were getting older and asked the Lions Club to take it over,” he recalls. They originally built the Lions Hall for the use of Green Court also, Hailey adds.

Since the early 1980s they added more units and then in 2012 the Jack Nelson Annex was completed as a 65 unit building for supportive housing.

“Jack Nelson, (a Lions Club charter member) was a huge contributor to the Lions,” Hailey noted.

On Sunday the Sunshine Coast Lions Club had an open house at Green Court and invited the public to the hall to view their photo scrapbooks and memorabilia, as well as talk to the members about the history and special events they are always busy organizing. They presently put on pancake breakfasts for various events, hold meat draws and tailgate sales every second Sunday.

“All our members are very active,” Hailey says with pride, “we all give back and follow the Lions Club motto, We Serve.”

Apryl Veld

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