History of the Goulds Lions Club
By Lion Gerald Hutchings PDG, March 1, 2011
Our club was chartered on March 18, 1976. This was the vision of Lion Ron Whitten who came from Labrador, where he was a Lion, and wanted to start a Lions Club in Goulds. He went to a few clubs in this area, but it was the St. John’s Lions Club who was the sponsoring club and Lion Bob Miller was the Guiding Lion. Lion Ron has served as president twice, and served as a District Governor on the district level. He is a life member and still is active today.
We started with the required twenty members and for years we maintained an average of sixteen members. Then a young Lion at that time, Gordon Warford started a membership drive that increased our membership, adding younger members to our club. When Lions International approved women to join, we increased our membership and added new strength to our club. Two women Lions have served as presidents as to this date.
We have lived in four dens over the years. The first was in an old house across from Bidgoods Plaza, this house has since been torn down, the second was at what was once the basement of town hall, which is the library today, the third was in the plaza where Marie’s Convenience store is now located and finally where we are today above the Paint Shop in Bidgoods Plaza.
We have always been involved with Lionism at the Club, Zone, Regional, District and International levels. Lions from this Club have been Deputy District Governors, Zone Chairpersons, Regional Chairpersons, Cabinet Secretary Treasurer, and two District Governors - Lion Ron Whitten and Lion Gerald Hutchings. Other Lions from this Club have served as Chairpersons of various Cabinet Committees. We sponsored a Lioness Club, Leo Club and Goulds Scouts. Our ability to organize and be involved in both District and Multiple District Conventions is well known. We are renowned for our fantastic tail twisting.
Our ability to fundraise has been outstanding. This is due to our members being innovative and creative, the fun and fellowship working together and of course the work we put into it. Some of the fundraisers we have been involved are as follows:
Selling tickets on everything from Cabbage Patch dolls, when nobody else could get them; selling Nevada tickets at our Drive-In Bingo; putting Nevada tickets in the stores from Goulds to Trepassey; selling tickets on a snowmobile that we towed from Goulds to the mall during the winter months; setting up a toll gate on the main road and stopping vehicles to collect toll money; involved with the Lions-VOCM Radio Bingo; Community Birthday Calendar; from having a Bingo tent at the Regatta to selling Nevada tickets and having a goods wheel there; to our biggest fundraiser, our Lions Drive-In Bingo.
One of our first projects was to help provide money to purchase the first fire truck for Goulds and later fully purchase a communication system for them. We continually support and are committed to our community. This involves our youth i.e. Minor Hockey, Girl Guides, Hoopsters, Schools, Janeway Children’s Hospital, Christmas Parade, Speak-Off Competition, Scouts, Scholarships and paying travel costs for athletic and leadership programs. The only St. John Ambulance Brigade in Canada formed and continually supported by an organization is the one we have here in Goulds. Two examples of our humanitarian service, we have sent a woman to visit her son who was injured in the United States and sent a dying woman to visit her sister in Halifax. There are many more. We have invested over a hundred thousand dollars to build and maintain the Goulds Lions Arena and seventy-five thousand dollars more towards the Goulds Recreation Center and Bidgoods Park.
On the District level, we support the Lion Max Simms Memorial Camp, Hospitals, Heart and Stroke, Sight Conservation and Working with the Blind, Leo Program, Environment, Hearing and Speech and many others. On the National level, we supported the Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Blood Services. We sponsored two Guide Dogs at our own Lions Foundation of Canada and have 100 % Life Membership. On the International level, we support the Peace Poster Contest, Lions Alert, Campaign Sight First 11, Lions Quest, and our Lions Clubs International Foundation.
Goulds Lions exemplify the Lions motto of “WE SERVE”.