10:30 p.m., April 30)
Lions celebrate 65 years of service to the community
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
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
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.
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.
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.
second son Ross joined the Lions Club in 1960 and is the
chapter's longest serving member along with John Lyster.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
Lions Clubs have been lobbying to make vision testing
mandatory for children along with vaccinations.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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