Past District Governor

PDG, Lion Dr. James Loucks -*1933-2021*

PDG Dr. James H Loucks moved to St Marys in 1959 and joined the St. Marys Lions Club that year and later became President in 1968 and then on to District Governor of Lions District A-15 for 1984-85 District A-15 now consists of Three Regions and Six Zones and encompasses 52 Lions Clubs from Bayfield in the west to Guelph in the east, Atwood in the North to Ingersoll in the south.In 1945, the St. Marys Lions Club took over the operation of the St. Marys Golf Club

In 1960 Lion Dr. Jim became Chairman of the Lions Golf Operating Committee.

Through dances, chicken BBQs, etc., the club raised money to purchase a parcel of land that fronted on Queen St. East. During the next two years, the club raised more money through promissory notes, Membership, and Fund Raising to build the St. Marys Golf and Curling Club. 

As Lions Chairman, Lion Dr. Jim became President of the Golf and Curling Club and as such, for the next two years, he was the St. Marys Golf & Country Club representative on both the Ontario Golf and Ontario Curling Associations.


As a Lions member, Lion Dr. Jim became Secretary/Treasurer of the Opera House Foundation – The Lions Club arranged funding for that Restoration in the amount of 1.3 Million Dollars.

Most of the past 36 years, Lion Dr. Jim has served on the Planning Advisory Committee for the Town of St. Marys – twice as Chairman.

He also spent two years as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, getting such businesses as Woodridge-Inoac (now Intertec) to locate in town. He has also served as Chair of the Committee of Adjustment and two terms as the Trustee for the Town of St. Marys on the Perth County Board of Education.

During those years, he was still able to serve six years as an Elder of the St. Marys United Church. 

After over fifty years of Community Service, Lion Dr. Jim still serves as an active member of the St. Marys Lions Club today!

Past District Governor Lion Dr. Jim is a lifetime member of the St. Marys Lions Club. Along with his wife Donna, he has 6 sons, and has spoiling rights to 15 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter!


Past District Governor

PDG, Lion Karen McNeight

Lion Karen McNeight, along with her husband Lion Bill, is a member of the St. Marys Lions Club; together they have four children, two girls, and two boys. Karen is an employee with the Avon Maitland District School Board in the role of Special Education Software Trainer.

Lion Karen has been a Lion for eleven years, and during that time has made the journey to District Governor. In preparing for that role she attended the USA/Canada Forum in Peoria, Illinois; the Lions Summit in Brantford; the Senior Lions Leadership Institute in Oak Brook, Illinois; and the Faculty Development Institute in Calgary, Alberta.

Making a difference in the lives of others, and in the world in which we live, is what matters most.
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”. ~Author Unknown


Past International Director

PID, Lion Bruce Murray *1934-2017*

PID Lion Bruce E. Murray, of St. Marys, Ontario, Canada, served a two-year term as a director of The International Association of Lions Clubs after his election at the Association's 64th Convention held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, June 17-20, 1981.

Past Director Murray owns and operates a sales agency.
A Lion since 1965, Past Director Murray has held numerous positions within the
association, including club president, zone chairman, deputy district governor,
district governor, vice chairman of his Multiple District Council of Governors and
promotional chairman for his multiple districts.
He has received seven Extension Awards, the 100% District Governor Award, 14 district Governor's Appreciation Awards, five International President's Awards and is a Key Member. He is also a recipient of the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor the association gives to its members. Lion Bruce Murray founded Canada's first International Youth Camp and served for six years as its director. He is also the founder of the Lions Foundation of Canada.  Past Director Murray and his wife, Janis, have five children and four grandchildren.

Highlights Of the St. Marys Lions Club   

(as submitted by PDG Lion Dr. Jim H. Loucks)
  • April 1940 – chartered with 45 members
  • International President Karl Sorrick visited our Club
  • Very active in purchasing War Savings Stamps
  • Donated to Lions British Child War Victims
  • Revived local Golf Club
  • Constructed and supervised an open-air rink
  • Organized Juvenile Base Ball League
During the early forties, Lions work involved helping the War Effort – purchasing savings stamps, etc. financed by penny carnivals
After WW2 – the St. Marys Lions Club undertook the operation of the St. Marys Golf Club, operating it until 1964.
The Lions Club bought the property – supervised the construction and arranged the financing for the building of the Club House for the St. Marys Golf and Curling Club which was opened in 1963. One year later it was sold to the Members for $1.00
  • Donated to Winnipeg Flood Fund
  • Continued to operate Golf Club. Held annual chicken barbeques to raise funds
  • Pledged $15,000 to build a new Arena on Water St. S.
  • Christmas baskets to community and Christmas gifts to local boys serving in the Armed Forces.
  • Sponsored Forestry Club and Junior Farmers Club
  • Prizes for marching at local fair – to Brownies, Girl Guides, and Boy Scouts.
In the 1950s the St. Marys Lions Club volunteered labour and $15,000.00 to build the “old” arena on Water St. South. Later, when the new arena and Community Center (in the early ’70s) was being built, the St. Marys Lions Club contributed $40,000.00, which was matched by a Wintario Grant – The Lions being the single largest contributor of $80,000.00 (now with the building of the Pyramid Center, the St. Marys Lions Club donated $15,000 with the pledge of another $10,000.00 (to be paid off soon - as of March 17, 2011)
A funny story about the old Arena on water street south…One of the major fundraisers for the Lions was the 24th of May weekend. This consisted of a Saturday Auction – at the old arena/Pee-Wee Ball tournament/Saturday Night Dance at the old arena/Sunday a steak BBQ (900 served)/bathtub races/then on Monday a Soap Box Derby down Queen Street and Monday Night, Fireworks at Wildwood.
Everything was organized and set, but one week prior to the event the Provincial Government condemned the old arena for “snow load”
(this was in May!!)
No exceptions were allowed – thank goodness for Hutton’s Garages!!
Some will remember the Chicken BBQ’s at the old Golf Course – 20-foot cement block pit – charcoal – several crates containing dozen half chickens which had to be turned by hand…..If you were smart, you found out which way the wind was blowing before it was your turn to turn over the chickens!
The snowmobile races – sometimes with and sometimes without snow!
The Santa Claus parade first sponsored by the Lions Club-with at least 10 large floats for a place in Guelph – they had to be assembled the night before and disassembled the day after!!
The BBQs and corn roast at Dave Stevens Pond – The cleanup party the next day….
We sponsored a Club in Cass City, Michigan – many memorable trips to visit by motor home thanks to Lloyd McLean!
  • Golf Club – bought the property, Lion Dr. Martin Humphries supervised the construction (Kintore Box Lion John Chandler contractor)and arranged financing for building the St. Marys Golf & Curling Club (President Lion Dr. Jim Loucks)  This opened in 1963. In 1964 it was sold to the Golf and Curling Club members for $1.00
  • Continued with Annual Car Draws, Turkey Bingos, and Santa Claus parades.
  • Annual EyeSight Service at the Schools (check for those needing further attention)
  • Continued to support the local Fair.
  • Began annual Steakburger booths
In the 1960s, we were the First Lions Club to organize an “EyeSight Survey” for all Grade 7 students as well as Grade 9 Students

  • Sponsored the Cass City Lions Club, Michigan USA – with whom friendship continues today during Interclub visits
  • Offered for service for (successful) election Lion Bruce Murray as District Governor a member of the St. Marys Lions Club who was our fourth District Governor to serve
  • 1975 hosted Canada’s only Bruce Murray Youth Camp with 30 youths attending. The camp is still operating successfully today.
  • Pledged $75,000.00 over 7 years to the new Arena & Community Centre
  • Held annual Grade 8 proficiency contests
  • Began annual 24th of May Victoria Day Weekend Celebrations over 3 days – auction, ball tournament, dance steak barbeque (once serving 900), bathtub races (2 sank) soapbox derby, culminating in fireworks (1300 cars viewing)
  • Began our annual International Pancake breakfasts – still serving today!
  • Continued to serve the community – Lincoln’s hockey, Police Bike Rodeo. Youth Camp, Jaws of Life, Easter Bunnies, Optimism Place


 St. Marys Lions Club .......the year???? 

Front row: L-R -  Robyn Colman,  Ken Brown, Bruce Cowan, Bill Rovers, Mike? Dave Stevens, Al Bennett

2- L-R Alan McLean, Bob Lindsay, Vic Richardson, Hal Thompson, PDG - Dr. Jim Loucks, Bob Fulcher, Pat Arnold

3- L-R Tom Skinner, Larry Ford, Tony Winters, Roy Blanshard, Frank Peppers, Harold May

4- L-R  Robin Coleman, Dr. Ellis Scott,  PID - Bruce Murray, Grant Cookson, Dave Webb, Bud Riordan

  • 1982 - International President Kay Murakami made an official visit to our club
  • Home club of International Director Bruce Murray
  • Supported the International Director from Canada in his founding of Lions Foundation of Canada. Seeing-eye dogs, hearing ear dogs and special skill dogs continue to change the lives of those in need.
  • Home club of District Governor Dr. Jim Loucks
  • 1.3 million undertaking – saved the Opera House. 20 members pledged $15,000.00 each and restored the building that had been unused and deteriorating since 1974. Lions Clubs Internationals recognized this Passion to Serve and included the story in their advertising
In the 1980’s the restoration of the Opera House – a 1.3 million dollar undertaking by 20 Lions. The grand opening with Governor-General Madam Sauve` in attendance was a truly grand event!

January 1981 - paying off the last $40,000.00 to the St. Marys Arena - L-R - Lions Dick McPherson,   John Pelizzari, Bud Riordan,  Gord Youlton,  Dr. Scott  Ken Storey,  Grant Cookson

  • Held 2 hot air “Balloon Festivals” Lucky draw winners received a free ride. Lots of activities for adults and children at the event.
  • Donated $4,000 towards the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Donated $15,000 towards the Walk Way. Today walkers can investigate our beautiful “Stonetown” going for miles on our finished trails.
  • Developed our pride and joy – The St. Marys Lions Park ($30-$40 thousand purchases)
  • In the 1990’s we purchased the land for the LIONS PARK for $35,000.00 and a $15,000 contribution to the Grand Trunk Walkway to connect all parts of the walkway. In the building of the $10,000.00 park pavilion and lighting, we also contributed $7,000.00 for the Christmas theme lighting for the park.
  •  Almost 35 years ago, the St. Marys Lions hosted the first International Youth Camp at Wildwood – some 30 youths from all over the world attended
  • We have hosted 5 District Conventions, using facilities in Stratford.
  • We also gave $4,000.00 “seed money” to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for the baseball diamonds.
  •  We are working on our 31st Annual International Breakfast, held each year on the last Sunday in October (this year 2011 – October 30th)
  • Many other projects have been done by the members of the St. Marys Lions Club over the years, some with recognition and some without…..
  • The Friendship Center has received a $5,000.00 donation, purchased “Jaws of Life” and continually contribute to the Mobility Bus.
  • We have been able to assist many people in need and many who are far less fortunate than us.

We should all be proud of the now 70 years of Service by the St. Marys Lions Club.

  • Membership – from the years 2000 – 2006 – more than doubled!
  • The low point was 1999 with only 14 members. Currently, we are 31- talk about Passion to Excel! We decided that International would have our support in their membership drives and we succeeded (3 more potential members for this year!)
  • October 29, 2006, was the date for our 31st Annual International Breakfast.
  • Attendance ranges from 150-to 225. There is always great fun and fellowship as we serve our fellow Lions.
  • This summer the International Youth Camp will celebrate 26 years. Our club continues financial support.
  • Last summer we hosted youth from Ireland and one from Spain. Mutually, what a wonderful experience! They were even cooking hamburgers at our First Annual Flea Market at our Lions Park.
Enjoying our Lions Park is our Highlight of the 2000’s “Clean Up” parties in good weather and bad, brought the members together, and even got “helpers” to join. For the community, annual activities include Flea Market, Fish Fry, Car Show, Christmas lights (at Lions Park) – and just a beautiful location to enjoy our town. For our club steak barbeques are the first sign of spring!
  • This is the second year our club has been active in the Peace Poster contest. Our club went on to win the District A15 competition and then we went on to win the Multiple District competition. Wow!
  • Our immediate Past President Karen McNeight is now Zone chair and running for Region Chair. We are 100% behind Karen and we know her quest won’t stop here. The participation of our club at Conventions is always good. With the added excitement of these campaigns for office, it is great! Speaking of Conventions – The St. Marys Lions Club has hosted five District Conventions. Each undertaking was very successful and a profit realized. Under the guidance of Lion Dr. Jim, once again we excelled!
  • Club involvement with chocolate Easter Bunnies began in the 1980s and continues today. We sell them in our community and we distribute them to clubs in A-15 for their own fundraising. Lion Bruce has kept us moving on this through the years and the 2011 Bunny campaign will begin in a few weeks.
 Recent Donations Activities
  • Fair Board Parade & Beer Tent
  • “Track Lift” for local youth Fair Breakfast
  • Effective speaking BX 93 Dances (canceled)
  • Mobility Bus International Breakfast(last Sunday in October)
  • Lions Foundation of Canada Santa Claus Parade (Lions originally started)
  • Peace Poster Winner Beef and Karaoke Dinner
  • Lake Joseph Camp for Blind Canadian Flag Project in Schools
  • 2 wheelchair purchases Bingo (TV now)
  • Teddy Bear Reunion (assistance) Koats for Kids
  • Students-Dominican Research Kettles for Salvation Army (manned)
  • Lions Club International Foundation Meals On Wheels (delivery)
  • Adult Learning Program CNIB “crocuses”
  • Healing Garden (London Hospital) A-15 Convention (hosted)
  • Camp Dorset: Camp for families of Kidney Dialysis) MDA Convention
  • Breakfast Program
  • Club Visitations Program
  • Youth Camp International Host Region Rally
  • 4-H Youth (hosting Youth Exchange) through International Youth Camp)
  • Sight First (campaign) Meals at Youth Camp (sponsor)
  • Dog Guide Van (for Lions Foundation Donation) Visits with our District Officers
  •  Home club  of past District Governor, Karen McNeight, PID Lion Burce Murray, and PDG Dr. Jim Loucks
  • Formed the St.Marys LEO Club in September 2008.
 It was difficult to highlight our projects over the years. So many worthwhile
fun events were excluded. However, two common denominators that shone through research was our Passion to Serve and our Passion to Enjoy
Thank you for considering the St. Marys Lions Club!!

2008-2018  - The Club continues to sponsor under the reins of Lion Raymond and PDG Lion Karen. The St. Marys LEO Club 2008-2018 meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at the St.Marys DCVI in the cafeteria at 7:00 p.m. They are busy working and helping the community with their various projects throughout the year.


2013 – Annual Toll Bridge Proceeds to St. Marys Skate Park

2014 – Annual Toll  Bridge proceeds to St. Marys Library and St. Marys Museum.

Supported Festive Light Display Sponsorship

2015 – Annual Toll Bridge proceeds benefit town – recent donation for the revitalization of Cadzo Park

For the last three years, our club has sponsored 2 local “underprivileged children” to the Lions Camp for Kids at Lake Nipissing - working with the principal of the Little Falls school to make that decision.

Purchased glasses for two local individuals 

Celebrated 75 years of serving our St. Marys Community June 20, 2015

Hosted the 50 years of service for PID (Past International Director Bruce Murray) along with 75 years of serving St. Marys Community

Supported Festive Light Display Sponsorship

The St.Marys  Lions now have an Annual Toll Bridge to raise money. Last year (2011) proceeds went to a local teen for a cornea transplant operation.  This year (2012) the proceeds went to the St Marys Skate Park.
Our third annual Car Show/Craft show went off without a hitch this year despite the construction on Water Street and the rerouted traffic through the flats.
This year the International Breakfast is moved to another area and for the first time in many years, St.Marys is not holding this event at the PRC.


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