Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 17


Posted Feb. 6

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Updcated 10:30 p.m., April 30)
Navan Lions celebrate 65 years of service to the community

By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star

Outgoing Navan Lions Club president Christine MacPherson is joined by incoming president John Geiger, and John Lyster, one of the lomgest serving members of the club. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The Navan Lions Club celebrated its 65th anniversary on Saturday with a special dinner at the Navan Curling Club attended by fellow members from chapters across Eastern Ontario, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais, and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack.

The Navan chapter of the international service club was founded in 1952 by a small group of community leaders who shared a strong sense of civic duty.

Two of the founding members were Morris Bradley and his son Lorne. Morris owned and operated J.T. Bradley's Country Convenience Store and Lorne was the founder of the ML Bradley school bus company.

Morris' second son Ross joined the Lions Club in 1960 and is the chapter's longest serving member along with John Lyster.

Braldey joined out of allegiance to his father and brother and also because he saw first-hand the work the chapter had done in the community during the first eight years.

"I guess you could say I was born into it," jokes Ross who has served three one-year terms as chapter president in 1963-64, 1974-75 and 1994-95.

Among the many projects the chapter has helped make possible over the past 65 years are the construction of the Navan Arena, not once, but twice. They helped raise money for the original arena which was opened in 1953, and then raised even more money after the building was destroyed by fire just two years later.

During the 1970s the club's members helped fund the installation of artificial ice in the arena with a $10,000 donation, and in the 1980s they helped raise money for some much needed renovations after the building was structurally condemned.

Along the way the Navan Lions Club has raised money to buy hockey sweaters for local teams; installed the first road signs in the village; sponsored square dance groups, minor hockey teams, and Boy Scout and Girl Guide troops; purchased fencing and flood lights for the ball diamond; created a bursary for local students; provided thousands of volunteer hours for the Navan Fair; and helped procure equipment for the local fire station.

The one accomplishment Ross Bradley is most proud of is the Lion Club's ability to raise $50,000 towards the construction of the Navan Curling Club in 1991.

"I am really quite proud of every single one of our accomplishments, but the one that is closest to my heart is the curling club," said Bradley who is an avid curler and a huge fan of the game.

When the curling club underwent an expansion in 2009, the chapter was given a permanent home and a meeting space, called appropriately enough, The Lion's Den.

Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais was among the guests of honour at the anniversary dinner. Since first getting elected to Ottawa city councillor in 2010, Blais has seen first-hand the impact the Lions Club and other organizations like the Navan Women's Institute and the Navan Community Association have had on the community.

"The service clubs are at the heart of everything that happens in the village," said Blais. "They're really the engine that drives the community events; that drives the spirit and makes Navan the best little place to live in Ottawa."

Current president Christine McPherson joined the club in 2005 and is one of only three women to serve in that role. The others are Miza Davie and Margaret MacNeill.

Besides being Navan chapter president, MacPherson is also chair of the District A4 vision committee. In 1917, Helen Keller called on Lions Clubs International to become the "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then, Lions Club members have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.

Here in Ottawa, the Lions Clubs hold regular vision care clinics at area schools in cooperation with the Canadian Council for the Blind. As vision chair, MacPherson helps organize the clinics.

"We've been to 20 schools since September," said MacPherson. "We do the pre-screening and then send them on to the optometrist who does the health tests."

According to the statistics, only 14 per cent of children see an optometrist before their frist day of school. Depending on the school, the mobile clinics identify vision issues in as many as 30 per cent of the students.

The Lions Clubs have been lobbying to make vision testing mandatory for children along with vaccinations.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)


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