Gore Bay-Western Manitoulin Lions Club to celebrate 40th anniversary of incorporation

GORE BAY—The Gore Bay-Western Manitoulin Lions Club will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in October.

“The roots of the Lions Club go back to the fall of 1981,” said Lion Norm Morrell. “Paul Schutz, who had been working at Manitoulin Transport and had been a former Lion, past Lion president and regional chair of the Lions from Durham, came up with the original idea of having a Lions Club in Gore Bay. Jim Murphy, who was a member of the Waters club in Sudbury and Paul had got to know each other through Manitoulin Transport. They agreed the town of Gore Bay needed a Lions Club.”

“So, a public meeting was held at Charles C. McLean Public School for anyone who was interested in joining the club,” continued Mr. Morrell. “There were a large number of people who showed up at the meeting.”

Mr. Morrell continued, “Jim (Murphy) was our guiding lion and attended our monthly dinner and business meetings for a year. Unfortunately, Jim passed away two years ago.”

“The inauguration of our club took place in May 1982 when we officially received our charter,” said Mr. Morrell. “We had 29-30 people join the club. And the inauguration ceremonies were held in the Gore Bay arena.”

“Over the years we have done a lot of projects to benefit the community, through our Lions Club only, as well as partnering with the Gore Bay Rotary Club on several projects to support the Manitoulin Health Centre as well as the Gore Bay Medical Centre over the years,” continued Mr. Morrell.

“We’ve also been supporting the local hockey association, summer programs like the Strawberry Point Camp, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind Seeing Eye Dog program, and the CNIB Eye van for a number of years,” said Mr. Morrell. “We have also helped out a lot of families with specific needs such as those with medical problems over the years. We also ran the Christmas basket program for a number of years. It’s safe to say we have helped support projects, some with other service clubs, across Canada and throughout the world.”

Mr. Morrell cautioned, “like many service clubs and organizations, we are at a crossroads right now in keeping our membership numbers up. Recruiting more members will be one of the things we will be focussing on for the future.”

“We will be celebrating out 40th anniversary as a club at GG’s restaurant in Evansville on Saturday, October 1 with dinner at 6:30 pm and gathering and commingling from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. We will have officers from our district region and hope to have members of the local, and Island Lions Clubs and other service clubs as well as members of the public attend,” said Mr. Morrell. He pointed out, “we are limited to a maximum of 80 people for the anniversary dinner. We are asking people who are interested in attending to register by September 23.” This can be done by sending cheques, payable to the Gore Bay Western Manitoulin Lions Club, Box 217, Gore Bay, Ontario, POP IHO or by dropping off cheques to Tom Sasvari at The Manitoulin Expositor offices in Gore Bay or Little Current.

For further information you can call Norm Morrell at 705-282-2430.