Member News

Member Calendar

 
Nov. 5,2014 @ 7:30 pm
Board Meeting 
Trinity Lutheran Church (746 Colborne St.)
 
Nov. 13,2014 @ 7:30 pm
Regular Club Meeting
Trinity Lutheran Church (746 Colborne St.)
Dinner at 6:30 
 
Nov. 27,2014 @ 6:30 pm
Regular Club Meeting
Trinity Lutheran Church (746 Colborne St.)
 
Dec. 3,2014 @ 7:30 pm
Board Meeting 
Trinity Lutheran Church (746 Colborne St.)
 
Dec. 11,2014 @ 6:30 pm
Guest Night 
Trissa's Restaurant 4014 Dundas St. E. London
 
 

 
 
 

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London Central
Lions Club

History

It's Great to be a Lion

The London Central Lions Club formed in June 1921, and is the third oldest club in Canada. The Club was sponsored by the Windsor Club, which made Lions an international service club. The history of the Central Clubs first six years of existence has been lost as the Clubs reporting to the Chicago headquarters did not commence until 1927. 

A quick scan of the reports from that date forward contains the proof of the Lions dedication to charitable causes. The blind have been entertained and bowling teams have been sponsored during the ensuing years. Glasses were supplied and repaired for children and adults. Hospital patients and orphans have been taken for car rides, supplied with Christmas gifts, Boy Scout troops financed, and the Air Cadet Squadron at South Collegiate supported by the Lions. How did the Club raise the money for our welfare work at that time? Bingo was not allowed. Here are a few of the successful ventures; boxing matches, concerts, donkey baseball. During the depression the Club sponsored successful clothing, china, silverware and furniture drives. Many families on relief benefitted from the efforts of the Club. The great London flood of 1937 caused the Club to organize benefits for the victims. They sponsored three nights of Roman baseball whatever that was. They also started peanut sales which was carried on annually for a number of years. 

The club started its annual feather party at Christmas time in 1938. These parties were held in the old Masonic Hall that stood on Queens Avenue where the entrance to London Life now stands. During the war the Club supported the Military Services by providing cigarettes to the men overseas and, ping-pong tables for the Army at Queens Park. For the Navy we supplied pool tables at their club rooms. The Club did this while maintaining the usual contributions of eye glasses, bottles of cod liver oil to various schools and providing transportation for blood donors. During 1944 the Club held a tag day for the welfare fund and raised $1500; Feather Party $600; Peanut Drive $850. A Stag at Dreamland in Dorchester raised $1200.

Donations were made to British Child War Victims, Community Chest Aid to Russia, Canadian Red Cross , and glasses and repairs to glasses of indigent children. The Club physically dug and installed a wading pool at the Protestant Childrens Home as well as providing money to the home. 

In 1949, the Club held the first Monster Bingo In the Bathurst St. Arena at Christmas. The law would not allow money as prizes, so we had fowl. This bingo cleared $1200 for the Club. We followed this with a Valentine Bingo, but London was not ready for monster bingos and we lost money. We tried various locations but we finally gave up until the four local clubs started bingo giving money as prizes. Then it proved a money raiser for all the clubs. 

We have furnished the hospitals with many machines, with an expenditure of well over $100,000. We have provided money for rooms at the Blind Institute, the Childrens Day Care, cars to Victorian Order of Nurses, pledged money to Y.M.C.A.-Y.W.C.A. Building Fund. 

The Club was approached by then Mayor Gordon Stronach asking if we would be interested in buying and operating the little steam train at Spnngbank Park. This train had been operating since 1921 and Jim Kennedy the owner was selling it to people who wanted to remove it from London. Gordon Thompson of Supertest Petroleum did not want the train to be moved and was willing to help finance the purchase. So we came to an agreement with Mr. Kennedy and the London Central Lions Club became the owner and operator of a steam train in 1966. A brass plate was attached to the coal car displaying the Supertest company name. We operated the train until 1990 when it was donated to the P.U.C. 

Lions is not all work, as we have conventions to attend and as an offshoot of the train we decided to make a float to put in the London Santa Claus Parade. The first was a flat bed truck with the engine and one car mounted on it. Kids sat in the car and we won a prize. Lion Boris Melnyk thought this a good idea and formed a committee to build a proper float A small tractor was bought and a mock-up of the train mounted on the tractor. Then a float was made that the tractor pulled. This float appeared in many parades, including the Grey Cup Parade. 

A single person could not do much In the way of charity, but a group such as the Lions can accomplish miracles. This Club has raised and returned to the City of London in charitable works over eight million dollars in its over 80 years of existence. How can anyone with a charitable heart, not join a service club and accomplish what this Club has done? If you have a friend who would be a good Lion why not ask him to share the fun and fellowship of our organization