Meetings

Georgetown Lions Club

Our history

It was a cold night that 6th of February, 1931, when 20 new Lions met at their inaugural meeting at the Georgetown Inn with their sponsors from the Downtown Toronto Lions Club. Special guest and presiding was Lion Joe Sheedy, commissioner of Lions Club International. The officers selected that night were Honorary President J.B. McKenzie, President W.V. Grant, 1st Vice President A.H. Feller, 2nd Vice President J.D. Kelly, and Secretary-Treasurer G.W. McLintock.

On Monday March 30, 1931, the new Lions Club hosted the sponsoring Toronto Downtown Lions Club as well as the new Brampton Lions Club sponsored by Georgetown.

The Toronto Lions Club President Stan Moss gave an inspiring talk on Lionism and presented a beautiful gavel to Georgetown Lions Charter President W.V. Grant. An official charter night dinner and dance was held on April 24, 1931.

That first year attempts to raise funds was fairly successful when the club sponsored an amateur boxing tournament in the arena. A street dance was organized and a draw was held for a new Chevrolet coach. On December 28, Georgetown Lions and businessmen entertained 700 children at a movie of “Huckleberry Finn” in the Georgetown Theatre.

1932     Two shows at the Gregory Theatre, featuring films and live entertainment by the Lions, collected canned food for distribution to the needy through the Georgetown Relief Committee. In June the Georgetown Lions became the first Canadian organization to present “White Canes” to blind people, with three guests attending a special dinner. A special dedication of the club’s new drinking fountain took place in front of Main Street’s Bank of Montreal.

1933     On December 22, a Christmas tree and torchlight parade, featuring the Lorne Scots, the Lions Boys Band and the fire brigade preceded Santa’s sleigh to a large Christmas tree at Main and Mill, where 500 youngsters received gift bags and candies.

1936     At their first Past Presidents Night, despite the depression, the club had provided $ 1,064 to the hospital, (not sure what hospital as Georgetown Hospital opened in 1961)  gave $ 338 to other community causes, allocated $ 272 to the Boys Band and spend $ 278 on Christmas trees and parades.

1937     The Lions sponsored the Georgetown Maple Leaf Midget Club and was honored as Ontario’s Little NHL champions at a special banquet.

1941     The Lions spearheaded a drive to aid the British child war victims.

1942     The Georgetown Lions Club set wheels in motion to purchase a lot on Water Street for

$ 150, it was the later site of the Georgetown Hydro Building. The club also sponsored a Boy Scout troop.

1943     During the height of the war, the club began building a salvage shed under the direction of Lion Dick Licata. Salvage materials such as old pots and pans were collected to aid the war effort.

1944     Lions helped a public health nurse with supplying eye glasses and dental work to needy children. A doll dressed in $ 1 bills was raffled for the British children’s war victim fund.

1945     Georgetown Lions spearheaded a successful drive to raise $ 2500 for the building fund of Sick Children’s Hospital.

1946     A wheelchair was purchased for a young boy in Hornby. Child welfare took high priority in Lions projects and on February 6 a skating exhibition and carnival was held in the arena with all funds going to welfare.

The Georgetown Girls Pipe Band became well known by Lions throughout the world in 1946, when they were invited by the 38 Lions Clubs of District A to march in the Parade at the International Convention held in Philadelphia.

The Georgetown Lions contributed $ 100 towards their expenses.

1947     The club held a garden party in June and unfortunately ran into bad weather $ 250 was spent on a concert party and fireworks. The club sponsored a local high school student in the Lions Effective Speaking Contest.

The lot purchased on Mill Street was turned over to the town as a parking lot. The club built four bicycle stands to aid the parking problem on Main Street.

1948     The club sponsored a Lions radio and cowboy show featuring modern and old-time dancing. Proceeds were designated for Teen Town Hall. On April 17 a Food for Britain Tag Day was held to aid pensioners and war veterans.

The club honoured the Ontario Intermediate “A” Hockey Champs, Georgetown Raiders with a banquet served by the Lions Ladies.

1949 The club constructed a judge’s stand at the fairgrounds for the Georgetown Agricultural Society. A booth at the fall fair netted the club $ 550.

1950     Georgetown Lions sponsored a yard beautification, with prizes presented in two groups, for owners and tenants. $ 1000 was allocated for the building and furnishing of playgrounds on Normandy Boulevard and Churchill Crescent. On July 4, the club undertook the building of the outdoor swimming pool as a major project.

1951     The club sponsored the $ 50,000 Planters Peanut Float in town and all persons donating to the collection box received a package of peanuts. The sale netted $ 800, which supported such projects as the Lions stay-at-home camp, tonsil operations and eye glasses for the needy.

The club sponsored the organization of the Erin Lions Club, with Lion Don Barrager receiving an Extension Award for his excellent work.

The stay-at-home camp had an enrolment of 413, and ran for two weeks at a cost of $ 1069.

Over 1000 bags of candy and fruit were distributed to children at the annual Christmas tree parade.

1952     The club netted just over $ 600 on their second annual peanut day. A raffle for a boat and motor netted the club $ 725.

1953     The club sponsored a winter jamboree and carnival in the arena on February 20. Prizes were presented for various skating races and costumes. Net profit $ 200. Over $ 800 was netted on the third annual peanut day.

1954     The club donated $ 500 to the Ontario hurricane victim’s fund. A raffle for a boat raised another $ 300. Recommendation was made to build the new outdoor swimming pool on the Lions Club lot.

1955     Georgetown’s Bob Goldham of the Detroit Red Wings was made an honourary member of Lions International on Bob Goldham Night at Detroit Olympia. Georgetown’s mayor Lion Jack Armstrong made the presentation.

The official campaign to raise funds for the new pool began under the guidance of Lion Dick Licata. Funds were raised from a comic baseball game against the Rotary Club, a tug of war with the Georgetown fireman and a country music night.

1956     By January the pool campaign had raised a total of $ 28,177 or 56% of the objective. The club celebrated its 25th anniversary in February. A monster bingo was held in the arena netting $ 1,000 and a special open house was held at the pool with price tags on all equipment so that the 500 people who attended would know how their money was spent.

1957     A profit of $ 600 was realized from a draw for a freezer full of frozen food. In September the club voted unanimously to sponsor and guide the Georgetown Girls pipe Band. A jamboree and draw held in October netted a profit of $ 3,000 for the pool fund, leaving a balance of $ 4,000.

1958     In January the club donated a further $ 1,200 to the pool fund, and in June a cheque for $ 2,800 was turned over to the pool committee as final payment of the $ 50,000 project. The pool opened for business on June 21. The official opening of the pool took place on August 16th, with bands, swimming and diving exhibitions. Over 1200 people were present with Gus Ryder (Marilyn Bell’s coach) as guest of honour.

1959     The club put on a drive to collect eyeglasses which were sent to CARE. They presented the Girls Pipe Band with new jackets. A challenge hockey game with the Kinsman netted $ 200 for the hospital fund.

1960     Georgetown District Hospital Fund received a $ 2,500 first cheque donation as part of a $ 12,500 pledge. The club prepared and delivered Christmas hampers to needy families. The second annual rodeo was held in the Georgetown Park. The club sponsored the new Acton Lions Club.

1961     The year started with the annual jamboree held in conjunction with the reopening of the rebuilt Main Street. The club tried a new venture, operating a monthly newspaper bingo. The first one netted a profit of $ 160. A monthly suit draw also proved profitable. A successful campaign for the CNIB brought in donations in excess of $ 850. The club also paid $ 1675 toward the Georgetown District Hospital Fund and donated $ 350 to furnish a therapy room at the North Halton School for Retarded Children

1962     The annual jamboree and car draw saw below average returns so the club turned to a 200 club draw as a fund raiser. A $ 25 a plate dinner was very successful, enabling the club to pay a further $ 1,000 to the hospital fund.

1963     The club hosted the annual zone golf tournament attended by 66 golfers. Eye glasses were purchased for three local residents. A profit of $ 2,000 was realized from the 200 club draw, which was donated to the hospital fund. In April the club found time to plant trees and shrubs around the hospital. A pledge was also made to sponsor three students at United Nations seminars.

1964     The club sponsored chuck wagon races at the fairgrounds in September with a net profit of $ 250. The Lions annual CNIB campaign netted $ 1,085. A further $ 250 was presented to the hospital.

1965     The final installment of $1,550 was paid to the hospital in September. The club donated$ 300 to the Lake Joseph Holiday Centre for the Blind. A new cub pack was sponsored in Georgetown.

1966     A large parade organized by the Lions celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Little NHL in Georgetown. Attending were Georgetown’s Bob Goldham, King Clancy of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jim Roberts of the Montreal Canadians and Ron Stewart of the Boston Bruins. Some 325 guests assembled in the arena and were treated to a banquet and awards. The club donated $ 250 to the Georgetown Public Library of history books.

1967 The club hosted a millionaire’s night in the Legion Hall in October netting $ 250. A very successful Grey Cup draw netted $ 1,350 and a draw on a Skidoo netted $ 660.

1967 On September 23 the club asked town council for permission to take over certain lands with the object of building a park. A draw was held in conjunction with the annual Grey Cup, netting $1,275. The Christmas welfare baskets committee headed by Walter Gray was distributed to 44 needy families.

1968 In August a contract was let for $ 8,670 for the construction of two tennis courts. The club’s first attempt at a Bavarian Beer Garden in February realized a profit of $ 200. In March the club hosted the regional effective speaking semi-finals.

1969 The third annual beer garden showed a profit of $ 1,800. The Lions sponsored the newly formed Georgetown Lioness Club and presented them with a new gong and gavel. A lightbulb sale was held with the assistance of the Boy Scouts. An all out effort was made on behalf of Lion Fred Zorge in his campaign for District Governor. Efforts were rewarded with his election at the Multiple District Convention.

1970 With Fred Zorge’s election, all Lions were kept busy with club visitations. The new Lions park on Delrex was well established with tennis courts complete and new sod laid. T.V. Bingo was inaugurated and proved to be a very popular weekly attraction, with more than 1,000 cards sold some weeks. $ 6,503 was also approved that year for the purchase of a new heart monitor machine for the hospital

1971 The Lions Park was completed in the summer and a final payment was made in January. Lion Sam Arrigo and others formed a Leo club for boys and girls age 15 to 21 interested in community service. The first annual Citizen of the Year dinner and dance was held February 23 with Peggy Treahy the first to be so honored.

1972 The club took 97 underprivileged children on a visit to the African Safari. A colour TV was presented to the senior citizens. The club also purchased a new car for the VON. The club proceeded with plans to build new changerooms for the outdoor Lions Pool with an attached Lions Hall. Citizens of the Year were the Georgetown Volunteer Fire Department.

1973 Work commenced on the new change rooms and Lions Hall at the pool in September. Initial work consisted of demolition of the old wooden building. Projects to raise money also had to be implemented. A beer tent was set up at the International Plowing Match held just south of Georgetown. Other fund-raising projects got into full swing including the old stand-bys, Grey Cup and Stanley Cup draws. A new lottery chaired by Lion Ed Hretchka was also established at $ 80 per ticket and proved very popular. Reverend Peter Barrow was Georgetown’s Citizen of the Year.

1974The club put in many hours building the new change rooms and hall, which were opened for the summer swimming season. Total cost exceeded $ 100,000 and was paid off in three years. The first $ 80 lottery netted $ 21,265. Citizen of the Year were members of the Georgetown Volunteer Ambulance Service.

1975 The club pledged $ 15,000 for repairs to the arena. The Georgetown Lions lost one of their most loyal and dedicated member in October when Dick Licata passed away, ending 44 years of service. The annual Grey Cup draw netted $ 1,327. Connie Nieuwhof was Georgetown’s Citizen of the Year.

1976 The club donated $ 1,800 towards a Recording-Resusci-Anne for the Volunteer Ambulance Service. The annual Stanley Cup draw netted a profit of $ 1,116. $ 300 was donated to sponsorship a minor league baseball team. A mortgage burning took place after final payment . A mortgage burning took place after final payment for the $ 100.000 Lions Hall and change rooms. Senior Citizens were entertained at an euchre night. Saturday morning breakfasts were initiated for the parents and players in the early morning minor leagues.

1977 Lion Walter Gray was Georgetown Citizen of the Year. The International Bantam Hockey sponsorship was assumed by the Lions. A campaign “Eyes for the Needy” in conjunction with McDonald’s was held during May. Purpose was to collect used eye glasses. A group of Lions and their families spent a very enjoyable week-end in May cleaning up the Earlcourt Children’s Camp for the emotionally disturbed, near Peterborough. The first windfall dance held in June netted a profit of $ 1,250.

1978 Twenty-eight visually handicapped residents were entertained at a Lions dinner meeting. The popular hockey breakfast continues on Saturday mornings during the winter and although the profits were small, Lions enjoyed serving the public on these very cold occasions.

1979 Members were kept very busy on club visitations with our governor, Lion Ron Lacey a member of the Georgetown club. Many members travelled to Lions Camp Dorset for dialysis patients. They put in more than 100 hours building new cottages. The memory of Dick Licata was honored in renaming the Georgetown Lions Pool, the Dick Licata Memorial Pool.

1980 This year continues to be extremely busy for all Lions as they prepare for the club’s golden anniversary. The club this year voted to spend $ 4,000 toward the purchase of a new time clock in the Gordon Alcott arena. To raise this money, the Saturday morning hockey breakfast has been revived after a year’s absence, with excellent public response. The Lions planted 25 Silver Maple trees in Joseph Gibbons Lions Park.

1981 Lion Fred Zorge was honoured with a Life Membership in the Georgetown Lions Club at a dinner in his honour on March 2, 1982. The club purchased a special sight apparatus for a ten year old girl whose sight was impaired. Entertained 88 senior citizens at a Georgetown Little Theatre production of Dr. Kekyl and Mr. Hyde at the Cultural Center.

1982 The club donated $ 10,000 to build and furnish an efficiency unit at Dialysis Camp Dorset. They also donated $ 1,300 to the Georgetown Library for large print books. They got involved in collecting used eyeglass and cleaning, grading and packaging for distribution to Third World Countries.

1983 Purchased benches to be installed on the hills on Guelph and Main Street for the use of senior citizens. Purchased a $ 1,700 slide for the Dick Licata Pool. Donated $ 360 to the Georgetown Library for their sign language program. They pledged $ 30,000 to the Bennett Health Care Center. Donated $ 2,500 to the Seeing Eye dog training facility of the Lions Foundation of Canada.

1984 The Georgetown Girls Pipe Band was supported with a cheque in the amount of $ 1,500 towards their trip to Scotland. The Chronic Disease Foundation, spearheaded by Lion Tony Degabriel was given $ 200 towards charter expenses. Sponsored a local blind/deaf boy to a vacation at Lake Joseph. Lion Dan Boyle was elected District Governor of our district.

1985 Donated $ 2,800 to the Canine Vision program of the Lions Foundation of Canada. Purchased three talking book players for the Library. Almost $ 800 was raised during Drug Awareness Week and was turned over to the Georgetown Drug Abuse Committee.

1985 The Lions and Lioness Clubs donated $ 5,000 and $ 1,000 respectively towards the building of a walkway across a low gully connecting cabins with the central part of the camp.  In July ten members traveled to Dorset to work on this project. The weekend was officially baptized the “Deer Fly and Beer” weekend. The deer flies were of the “bird size” variety. The hard working Lions were forced to frequently inoculate themselves with the aforementioned liquid medication. After taking a great deal of this anti bug medication, one member became so enthusiastic that he completely destroyed the diving board at the swimming pool.

1987  The club donated $ 7,000 towards an Activan to be used in the community. They raised nearly $ 9,000 through the Crazy Boat race for this project. Club members and wives visited the Lions Foundation of Canada in Oakville and presented a cheque for $ 2,500.

1988 The Georgetown Open Door program received a donation of $ 1,000. The Georgetown Lions Club sponsored the District A-11 Lions convention. Donated $ 2,000 to the Chronic Skin Disease Foundation. Donated $ 1,000 to Halton Homecare for the Physically Handicapped towards the installation of a chair lift in a van.

1989 The club funded $ 1,500 for a chairlift installed in the home of a Georgetown family whose son was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. Twenty five club members were presented with Life Memberships in the Lions Foundation of Canada. Donated $ 300 to Georgetown’s new Precision Skating Club. Donated $ 323 to the Georgetown Brownies for the purchase of tents

1990 The Georgetown Agricultural Society was given $ 20,000 towards the building of a new exhibit building at the fairgrounds. Also donated $ 3,000 towards the installation of lights at Ball Field Batting Cage. Provided financial assistance of $ 500 each to two Georgetown High School girls selected for a world tour with the Up With People Organization.  

1991 Many Lions assisted the Georgetown Girls Pipe band with the 50th Anniversary Tattoo, and attended the civic reception the following night.

1992 The club presented their annual scholarships to two deserving high school students. They also donated two patient analgesia units to the Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

1993 The secretary recorded that the tailtwister collected an amazing $ 11.26 in fines and further surprised the members present by telling a “good” joke. The Halton Hills Library was helped with the acquisition of a Robotron text reader.

1994 St.John’s Ambulance was assisted in acquiring a newer ambulance. The club supported the Lions Foundation of Canada expansion in Oakville with a $ 25,000 donation. The money was raised by organizing two successful golf tournaments held at the Lions Head Golf Course.

1995 Lois Fraser was selected as the Citizen of the Year. Her Georgetown Children’s Choir serenaded her during the jam packed dinner hosted by our club. In February the club celebrated its 65 anniversary with a dinner at the Lions Hall. District Governor Fred Zorge complimented his club members on the redecorating and refurbishing of our hall.

1996 The club continued their annual support of the Halton Hills Library with a $ 2,000 donation to purchase “Talking Books”. The first walk in support of Canine Vision dogs raised $ 1,300 with 18 walkers participating.

1997 Lions went out to distribute miniature Canadian flags to first graders in eleven local schools. “Project Pride” continues to be one of the most exciting local service projects. Lion Chief El Lloyd attended the Lions Club International convention in Birmingham, England. He bivouacked a t the Leamington Spa Hotel and was entertained by the mayor of Leamington with “tea and crumpets”.

1998The Georgetown Memorial Hospital received financing from our club for an electronic router which links the Georgetown Campus with Peel Memorial hospital. A $ 15.000 was presented to the president of the Georgetown Memorial Hospital Foundation. Paul Armstrong was selected as the Citizen of the Year.

1999 Lion Tom Colton was elected to District Governor of our district. He is the fifth District Governor elected from the Georgetown Lions Club. In total six Lions from our club have served our district. During Tom Colton’s stewardship the groundwork was laid to merge District A-11 with District A-7. The members also committed themselves to the Town of Halton Hills for the expansion of Alcott Arena and the new recreational centre in south Georgetown.

2000 Our club went through a period of turmoil with lengthy discussions on the merit of inviting women to join Lions and our club in particular. With the loss of membership of all service clubs in North America, the need to consolidate by merging districts, it became clear that even our club was affected. Heated and emotional arguments were the order of the day at some of the directors meetings.

2001 In the spring of this year Anne Berko was the first lady to join our club as a full member. She was followed very shortly thereafter by Betty Dickson. Others followed and the club carried on as if the arguments never occurred.

2002 The club decided to support the “Dreams Take flight” project. Local children were sponsored to participate in a one day flight and visit to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, accompanied by one of our members. At one of our meetings the usual Convention Draw was held by its chair Mark Rush. The prizes, three bottles of wine, were won by three members sitting almost side by side. The rest of the members was very vocal and demanded a Royal Commission be set up to investigate the circumstances of this “unusual” occurrence. They immediately obtained the services of a lawyer, guess who? Yes Mark Rush.

2003 The same resident lawyer participated in marathons in Ottawa, Toronto and the big one in Boston, Massachusetts. A prominent member let off steam and castigated the membership for its poor performance with the Grey Cup ticket draw. We all have to participate he exclaimed. He also confessed that he had not been in favour of accepting ladies into the club, but he had been proven wrong and graciously complimented our female members on doing a great job. The club also completed the $75K commitment with the presentation of a final payment of a $ 15,000 cheque towards the Gellert Recreation Centre.

2004 The Georgetown Lions handed the gavel to our first female Lion Chief Marg Wilson. Donations were made to the summer camps, Dorset, Maple Leaf, Lake Joseph, Balleleo and Camp Kirk. Big Brothers and Big Sisters were financially supported as was the annual Dreams Take Flight.

2005 Our 75th anniversary was celebrated in February with a dinner/dance at the new Gellert centre. It was sold out but due to poor weather conditions we had a number of no shows. Our guest speaker Reverend Mark Curtis gave a wonderful presentation and entertained those present with his rendition of some well known vocal artist.

2006 On Tuesday February 6th our club was hosting the annual winners of our Santa Parade entrees. Plaques and appreciation for their hard work to make this annual affair a wonderful outing for literally thousands of kids in our community. This is especially true since the parade now takes place in the early evening. A number of members attended the 25th anniversary of our neighbouring  club Huttonville. Lion Jim Wilson was elected District Governor of our A-711district. He is the seventh Lion from our club to serve in that capacity

2007 Two young ladies, one the daughter of our Past President Ivan Dumancic, Melissa, and her friend Jacqueline Empringham were financially supported by our club for their volunteering in East Africa. They spent three months in Tanzania teaching English and working at an orphanage. They encountered enormous obstacles but persevered and found that starting with only eight students it quickly grew to more than 130 students. It is heart wrenching to hear of the poverty and enormous challenges facing this part of the world.

2008 On Tuesday March 31st our club hosted their annual Citizen of the Year Award Dinner. Under chair Doug Penrice the dinner this year was a huge success. When the recipient Dr. Jeff Sutherland was announced our hall was very quickly deemed to small and the dinner was moved to St.George’s Anglican Church. The overflow crowd was treated to a great dinner and a presentation to the enormously popular choice Dr. Jeff Sutherland. Moving tributes were made by colleagues and nurses of our local Georgetown Memorial Hospital. It was one of the best and most successful local events organized by our club.  

 

 

 

 

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