If a great meal, outstanding entertainment and approximately $4,000 raised for the Canadian Glaucoma Foundation equal a successful anniversary celebration, then the Iroquois-Matilda Lions outdid themselves.
The club celebrated its 65th anniversary at the Matilda Hall on Saturday, October 27. It was quite a party.
Over 250 Iroquois Lions, members of the community and Lions from Morrisburg and other clubs, attended the gala reception. The 2012-13 president of the Iroquois-Matilda Lions, Steve Wilson, acted as emcee.
“We thank you very much for coming out to celebrate with us tonight,” Wilson said. “I must tell you that this was a wonderful year to be president of this club. We had three goals for this evening. First, we wanted to celebrate the 65 years the Lions have served this community. The second goal was to offer our guests a delicious meal and some outstanding entertainment. And our third goal was to raise funds for the Glaucoma Foundation.”
The silent auction brought in approximately $4,000 for Glaucoma research, according to Lion Paul Robertson (with Jim Mustard and Steve Wilson, a gala organizer). “We are very pleased with the generosity of people. We offer many thanks to those who donated to our cause, and to those who supported us by bidding.”
Greetings and honours were presented to the club following the dinner.
MP Guy Lauzon will be delivering a formal plaque from the federal government to the Iroquois-Matilda Lions later this week. “Our government appreciates all that you Lions do in your communities. This is a remarkable achievement: without our Lions, what kind of community would we have?”
Jim Locke set aside his Lions’ colours and donned his deputy mayor’s hat to bring the congratulations and best wishes of mayor Steven Byvelds and the South Dundas council to the club.
Special guest at the gala was John Chilvers, Lions International District A-4 governor.
District A-4 is made up of 68 Lions clubs, with 1,710 active members. The Iroquois-Matilda Lions are part of A-4.
“I feel that it is a real privilege to be here tonight to celebrate with a club that is hitting such a milestone,” Chilvers said. “I want to emphasize that Lions do a lot in the world. There are currently 1.35 million Lions in 208 countries. You Lions support your local communities, but you also support the greater world.”
The governor brought a special commemorative plaque to the club as part of the celebration.
Bowser and Blue, who provided the entertainment for the gala evening, quite literally brought the house down.
Rick Blue and George Bowser are a stellar Canadian musical and comedy act. Their witty on-stage patter, and the clever lyrics to their songs kept guests entertained and roaring with laughter.
“We shall now sing a song in the Canadian key.
The Canadian key?
Yes. The key of ‘eh’!”
From the classic Colorectal Surgeons Song, to We’re All Canadians (“We’re all here/’cause we’re not all there!”), Bowser and Blue were outstanding showmen.
For many, though, the musical highlight of the evening may have been Bald is Beautiful, which the duo sang to Lions Phil Parry and Glenn Swerdfeger to thunderous laughter and applause.
The Iroquois-Matilda Lions have had a great 65 years. They plan to continue to be of service to this community as they enter their next decade.