The Lions Club was organized in 1949 by Roy Freeman, a representative of Lions International, and sponsored by Kamloops Central (now Brock Central) Lions Club. In its early years, the club was instrumental in leading the campaign to build the first indoor arena in Quesnel. This project filled a large void in wintertime activities for the town.

Charter Officers/Directors

Charter President - Jim Kinley, 1st VP - John Harvey, 2nd VP - Dr. Jarvis Tompkins, 3rd VP - H. Box, Secretary-Treasurer - Paul Werbecki, Lion Tamer - Les Bonar, Tail Twister - J. A. McMillan

Directors - William Griffith, Paul Gauthier, A. R. Limacher, Goeff. S. Burton

Other Charter Members were Leslie Cashman, W. J. Griffith, O. Issacson, Charles Keen, Albert Mill, Walter Redel, Fred Robb, Earl Sarsiat.

The club responds to many of the programs of Lions International, including Sight Conservation, Diabetes Awareness, International Understanding, Youth Outreach, and Youth Exchange. In Quesnel, assistance is also provided for family health care and support. In addition, other local organizations involved in similar activities are assisted through donations.

Membership in a Lions Club provides an opportunity for people of good will to serve their fellows. You enjoy the fellowship of some of the finest people in our city. You learn about your neighbours problems and lighten your own by sharing theirs. You learn the fun of working with others and directing their efforts through committee service.

If you are interested in Lions membership, contact any Lions Member that you know or phone the Membership Chair: Dennis Asher - 250-992-3593.

It is said that volunteerism produces it's own rewards. The feeling of satisfaction from knowing that by a few working together many in need are being assisted is sufficient reward. All volunteers know this, it's what keeps them involved. However, Lions Clubs are quick to recognize exceptional service to others, and the following  Quesnel members have been recognized by the

Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Charles Keen, now deceased. Charlie was a charter member and served his community well for many years as a Lion, and as a Mason. He was received into the fellowship in 1994. After he passed away, the club established a Bursary given annually in his name to a student who went beyond normal school activities by demonstrating a penchant to assist others. A Lion reviews the applicants and makes the selection.

Frank McKelvie, now deceased. Presented in 1994, entry to the fellowship recognized Frank's devotion to family. His tender care and affection to family members stricken by medical problems have impressed all that knew him. He was a shining example in this world of growing indifference to commitment.

Ron Silver, now deceased and greatly missed. Presented the award in 1996. He was a Lion for 53 years. Was the "Face" of the Lions club at the garage sales. He was also a District Governor and Zone Chairman.

Phil Vandervelde, a past member. Presented in 2002 in honour of this Lion's hard work in guiding the club in its financial affairs. In addition, going "beyond the box" to aid sight impaired golfers throughout Western Canada by coordinating two tournaments.

Jean Stimpson, a dedicated and hard working Lion. Presented in 2009 for always stepping up when there are things to do. Volunteers throughout the community in other various roles such as the Legion, Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, ESS, and I'm sure we've missed many others.

Dennis Asher, another dedicated Lion with many talents. Presented in 2009  for his many years serving in Lions. Also a volunteer firefighter for Barlow Creek. 

Morris Turner, now deceased. Morris helped many local people in his quiet way.

Len Van Aalst is another long time Lion that stepped up to help when we lost Ron Silver, (who did everything) Presented in 2018. Shares his knowledge with all new members and tries to make everyone welcome.

Dale Cowlin was also presented in 2018.Always working in the background, keeps things repaired, stores trucks and trailers for us. Most members that are new don't realize all the help he gives. Doesn't like being in the limelight.

Mitchell Vik, was presented  at Xmas 2018 specifically for his tireless energy and time he has dedicated to our Housing Project, despite running a business, serving on other boards in the community and now an elected Councillor.

In addition, Dennis Asher has been made a Life Member

Many programs are directed to youth  - Youth Exchange, Peace Poster contest, Lions Quest, support for the Lions Society of BC through direct donations to provide an annual campership for a handicapped youngster. As well, our medical aid committee's efforts are directed towards the needs of families. That committee has purchased four Insulin Pumps for youths suffering from Juvenile Diabetes.

Many smaller equipment items have been donated to G. R. Baker Memorial Hospital over the years. In 2007, the club raised $10,676 to provide funding for equipment for the new Chemo room at G R Baker Hospital. Also, in 2007, we had the opportunity to sponsor a Lions Quest workshop for 25 teachers and instructors at Voyageur School. This will be a tremendous benefit for the youth of our community.

Lions International main focus has been sight conservation since 1925 when Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become "Knights of the Blind". The Quesnel Club has taken up that challenge. In the past, we assisted the CNIB by fund raising for their programs. Our annual Journey for Sight Walkathon raised over $51,000 since 1991 as direct donation to CNIB. As well, in the past, we provided assistance to their fund raising by selling their raffle tickets and their cash calendars.

Fund raising for the club is from a variety of areas, such as a monthly garage sale from our stores at Maple Park (last Saturday of each month), mint sales, pull tabs collected and sold,  We are always on the lookout for additional opportunities and would welcome any suggestions.

We have continued our regular service activities in spite of supporting the Housing Society. This year will see the end of the Housing project as the tenants stated moving in after the New Year. We have worked hard to make the Garage Sale better. Please look at the Housing Society page to find the totals for donations and fund raising.




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