​​                     Lloydminster Lions Club ​

In December of 1949, a Canadian was the President of Lions International, Lion President Walter C. Fisher of St. Catherines, Ontario. He signed a document Granting a group of 62 men from Lloydminster permission to form a club and call themselves Lions.

On February 13th, 1950 with the attendance of their sponsoring Club from Unity, the Lions Club of Lloydminster held their Charter nite and became official. Our first President was a gentleman by the name of Fred Demaer. This group of men became a fierce force in volunteering. The Local Lions have always been among the first to realize a need in the community.

They published the first local telephone directory in 1951. This directory was published for seven years and only came to an end with a couple of letters from the Alberta Attorney General (Something about copy right infringement). But the result was we now have more local phone directories. In 1953 the Lions held Lloydminster’s first home raffle. They sold 3000 tickets at $5 each and gave away a house that is still standing today on 50th Street west. The funds made on this project were used to build the Lions Park and Playground on Highway 16.

In the following years they have either provided funds or rolled up their sleeves and provided manual labor for the building of 4 more parks in the growing city of Lloydminster. In 1953 there was no band taught in schools and the Lions Club started up the Lloydminster Lions Band under the direction of Bob Bourassa. This band continued for many years until Lloyd Public School introduced band into their curriculum. One of the fundraisers used to help fund these projects was a boat, motor and trailer raffle which they did for several years.

The 60’s saw the Club donate $2500 to the building of a Home for the Blind in Saskatoon. That was the beginning of the Fall Supper for the Sight Impaired which we continue to this year. They organized and ran bowling for the blind in Lloydminster for most of the sixties. 1966 the Lions introduced the free pancake breakfast on parade day of the annual fair. After that we have been called on to cook pancakes for all kinds of special events and this lead to 20 years of pancake breakfasts for Minor Hockey Week. In the 60’s it was the first time we helped out at the Blood Donor Clinics and that continued until last year which was the last of the Saskatchewan Donor Clinics to be held in Lloydminster.

In this decade one of the most exciting fundraisers started was the TV bingo. 1962 the Cub sponsored the new Lionels in Lloyd. They were mostly the wives of the Lion members and worked very closely with them on their projects. The 70’s saw the Club delivering the big seasonal catalogues for both Sears and Eatons. In the fall they went door to door selling nuts and in the spring it was chocolate bunnies. Selling nuts ended in the 80’s and the bunnies we stopped selling in the early 2000’s. This decade saw the club purchase the very first jaws of life which gave the fledgling Rescue Squad a big boost. They also purchased a lift for the handicapped to get into the outdoor pool. They held an arena bingo in the Civic Centre where a young lady by the name of Sandra Wolf won the $5000 grand prize. She used that money to go to university and became a great teacher here in the city. This is the decade the Crown & Anchor booth at the Exhibition started and continues to now.

1975 the Lloyd Lions hosted their 2nd convention and were very proud to have Grant McEwen as the guest speaker. They also went to Saskatoon for a convention and met the Right Honorable John G DiefenBaker. In 1980 we saw the beginning of a second Lions Club. In the 19 years of their activity the Alberta based Lloydminster Breakfast Lions Club left their own mark on the community. They built the gazebo at the Dr. Cooke Nursing Home, bought the very first Fetal Heart Monitor for the Hospital. They were a major supporter of the Home Care Program when it was first launched. Probably the biggest most far reaching project that was taken on in our city was shared by both clubs under the leadership of Lion Ray Tatro was Lions Quest.

In July 1986 the Lions paid for 2 teachers, Al Popoff and Wendy Huard to attend a workshop. That fall they put on a workshop for grade 7 & 8 Public school Division teachers. We paid for the wookshop and all classroom supplies to be used by these teachers. Lions Quest gave the teachers the tools to teach our youth important life skills, such as solving problems without violence, communicating effectively, taking responsibility and learning to appreciate differences. The program also instills basic civil values such as honesty, respect for parents and service to the community. It also teaches age appropriate ways to recognize and say no to negative influences. In 1997 the Catholic School Division in Lloydminster joined in. This project went from a $2000 budget shared by 2 clubs to one club paying almost $20,000 in our last year involved. In 25 years we trained 4 instructors, funded the training of 400 teachers and have purchased the materials used in all classrooms from K – 8 today. We are very proud of the fact that both school divisions have recognized the value of this program and with the blessing of the Department of Education it is now in the curriculums of these two divisions and using our teachers experiences with the program it is slowly being integrated into all Saskatchewan schools. It’s not a project on our table but some of the materials still carry the Lion logo. The 90’s saw another exciting shared venture with the Alberta Club.

In 1993 the Border City Lions hosted the first Lions Telethon. It ran for 8 years and show cased local talent and kept the community informed and involved in the Lion projects and their many beneficiaries. In the 90’s we paid for a the building of the Kiosk at the Lloydminster Cemetary, a $10,000 donation to the Alberta Summer Games, Donations to the Leisure Centre, the Vic Juba Theatre and many more.

In 1998 we were honored by the Saskatchewan Eye Bank for delivering more corneas to Saskatoon than any other club or agency. For 12 years the Lloydminster Lions Club members made these deliveries at any time of the day or night for 12 years before alternative transportation was arranged.

In 1993 we saw the end of the Lloydminster Lionels as they joined the men’s club. 1999 saw the end of the Border City Lions as their members joined the Lloydminster Lions. In the 2000’s we saw more of the same great stuff. We hosted a convention in 2000 with the always inspiring Judge Brian Stevenson as our guest speaker. There was another convention in 2012 the first year our district held their convention in the fall. We also saw 8 years of the BBR. With the help of Lions International we purchased a Phaco-emulsification unit that was used by Dr Kutzner at the Lloydminster Hospital for cornea surgeries. When that unit became obsolete in our hospital, it was sent to Central America where it is still being used today. Over the 65 years and with the help of 2 Lions Clubs and the Lionels we have given to our community close to a million dollars. Some of the recipients have been Minor Hockey, Minor Ball, Youth Soccer, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Handivan Society, Sexual Assault Centre and Interval Home, Men’s Shelter, Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, Bea Fisher Foundation, L.A.B.I.S., the different senior homes, the Thorpe Recovery Centre, Lloydminster Association for Community Living, and 4 wheel chairs for different centres in the community like the Lloydmall. A half of our donations have gone to the healthcare of our citizens to areas like Lloydminster Hospital, Lloydminster Regional Health Foundation, Twin Rivers Health Foundation, Pediatric Diabetes Fund and of course part of that million is the over $30,000 to the CNIB. Over and above the organizations we’ve given to are the services and monies we have provided to individuals and families in need. The one all the old guys like to bring up is the house they finished building for their fellow Lion Dick Bird when he was diagnosed with cancer in 1956. The club has given for prosthetic eyes to airfare for a trip to Toronto for open heart surgery, living expenses while a little one is in hospital a long ways from home, tools and gadgets to help sight impaired children at school, wheelchair ramps, and registrations for special camps like diabetes and camp HE HO HA. The fundraising has many different forms as well with building granary floors, selling Grey Cup Pool tickets, Lion mints, and those previously mentioned and lots more that have been forgotten along the way. The Club takes pride in the fact that they have been able to expand the scope of Lionism by sponsoring new clubs. In 1964 the club co-sponsored the Dewberry Lions, 1979 it was the Marshall Lions and in 1982 it was the Blackfoot Lions. A number of local members also served at the District Level. Lion Peter Sleight has been District Governor while Lions Vic Juba, Reg Summers-Gill and Sandy Hill have been Deputy District Governors, Lion Blaine Ross was Regional Director, and Last but not least Lion Nick was an unconventional District Governor in 2012-13.

Fellowship is an important part of the Club with some of the past fun activities being toboggan parties at “slaughter hill”, golf tournaments, “Peoples Court”, fashion shows, and camping. The campouts would include competitions like fish derbies, cherry pit spitting (Lion Bob Scott always won), making sure everyone went into the lake at least once with Lion Sandy being the biggest challenge. Then there was the zone golf and curling, the hot potato and visitations. Who can forget the fun the night Dr Glenn Weir was made the citizen of the year and the Turtleford Lions dropped in to deliver us a goat.

After more than 65 years all the past Lions, the present Lions and the future Lions have a great deal of history to be proud of! 

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