By Stacey Heaney
MEMBERS of the Lisburn Lions Club, past and pre-sent, will be joining together to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with a special dinner in Lisburn Golf Club on December 3.
Lisburn Lions were formed on December 4, 1965, and members will be celebrating four decades of service to the community at the event.
The club is part of Lions International, a world-wide voluntary community service organisation which has over 44,500 clubs in 180 countries, comprising of more than 1,400,000 members, making it the largest organisation of its kind in the world.
And during their 40 years in Lisburn the Lions have raised considerable amounts of money for charity as well as carrying out valuable service projects.
The twelve members of the club strive constantly to help make life easier for those in need. Among the initiatives they currently organise are providing personal alarms to vulnerable residents, setting up and supporting a talking newspaper for the blind in the borough and organising tea parties, outings and concerts for senior citizens.
Lions member, Bill Wright said: "I get so much from helping other people that it's a pleasure, not a chore."
Lions members give their time voluntarily to provide any service they can to aid the community. Members subscribe to all administration costs of the club and all monies collected or donated by the general public are used solely for charity.
Bill said: "Lisburn Lions Club are constantly amazed at the generosity of the people of Lisburn and their sup-port for what we are trying to achieve. The Lions once more wish to say 'Thank You Lisburn for everything'."
The Lisburn Lions have also had a long association with Thompson House Hospital, having purchased three minibuses for the Hospital's use during the 1960s and 70s.
Today, the club take patients on an outing each August, as well as helping with the Open Day and Christmas Fayre and holding a Carol Service to which they bring residents from local residential homes to enjoy the carols and meet the patients.
The Lions have given so much of their time and energy throughout the past forty years to help the citizens of Lisburn who need it most, and it's something the members past and present would do again.
Bill said: "I am coming up to 71 now but I hope younger people in the Lisburn area, whose families have grown up and who have the time to spare can join the Lions to help continue our work.
"We are always looking for new members. We recently got our first lady member, Margaret Campbell, and we would be delighted for both men and women to join us.
"We don't have to give a lot of time, and yet we are able to do so much good. We are ordinary people doing what we can and I hope it will continue for another forty years."
The Lions meet on the first and third Thursday of each month at 8pm in Distil, Bachelors Walk, Lisburn.
If anyone would like to join the Lions Club or wants to have more information about the organisation they can contact either Jim Henry on 9260 2444 or Bill Wright on 9269 9990.