Blyth Lions Club Celebrates 70th Anniversary
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Blyth Lions Club celebrated its 70th anniversary on Saturday, dedicating two new community benches and hosting hundreds of visitors at the Lions Park.
Lion John Stewart said to celebrate past anniversaries, the club has held events which are often open to Blyth Lions, as well as Lions from other communities. For the 70th anniversary, he said, the club wanted to involve the community for which it has done so much over the years.
Planning for the celebration, he said, began about three months ago, when some members of the club really started putting effort into the event.
It was important to the club, Stewart said, to involve the community, because the members have always been clear about whose money they’re investing back into the community.
“We look at it like we’re the banker of the community’s money,” Stewart said. “The community supports us and we hope we make good decisions.”
When the Lions host a fundraiser or a barbecue, that money is always re-invested into the community, Stewart said, it’s just a question of knowing the right project to support.
Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb and MPP Lisa Thompson both attended the event, as did a number of Lions Club past-presidents, including Donald Young (1960-61), Bill Hull (1964-65), Tom Cronin (1976-77), Keith Richmond (1977-78), Douwe Wilts (1980-81), Don Scrimgeour (1988-89) and Bev Blair (2008-09), among others.
Two benches were placed in the park. The first was a Lions bench that came as a result of deceased supporters of the club who had left some of their money to the Lions in their wills.
The bench placed at the park on Saturday was supported by the Oster and Richmond families, among others.
The second bench was a gift from last year’s reunion for S.S. #10, MacGowan’s School in East Wawanosh. The bench was a thank-you from the former students of the school, who held the reunion at the park.
Joe Hallahan, a member of the Lions, as well as Cheryl Cronin, a long-time supporter of the club, were both students at the school.
Stewart said it was good to see so many familiar faces at the celebration. Whether they be from within Blyth, from outlying communities like Londesborough or Belgrave, or past members of the club who no longer live in Huron County, he said the response to the event was tremendous.