Sidmouth Lions celebrate 40 years

PUBLISHED: 15:01 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:01 08 December 2016

Lion Dennis James receiving the MJF Award from district governor Fred Broom

Lion Dennis James receiving the MJF Award from district governor Fred Broom

Archant

The Lions Club of Sidmouth celebrated its 40th anniversary in style with an elegant event at the Hotel Riviera.
President Alan Shoesmith and wife Helenka greeted 62 members, partners and special guests, including district governor Fred Bloom and his wife Wendy and Deirdre Hounsom, who chairs the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
Dennis James received the Melvin Jones Fellowship, the highest honour that can be awarded to a Lions club member.

The top table members at the Sidmouth Lions Club's 40th anniversaryThe top table members at the Sidmouth Lions Club's 40th anniversary

Here is the full report:

On Saturday 26th November, the 40th Charter Anniversary celebration of the formation of the Lions Club of Sidmouth took place in the elegant Hotel Riviera on the Esplanade, Sidmouth.

Sidmouth Lion’s Club President Alan Shoesmith, and his wife Helenka, were on hand to welcome the 62 members, partners and guests, as they arrived at the Hotel. The District Governor for the whole South West of England, Lion Fred Broom and his wife, Lion Wendy Broom, were the principal Lions guests and Mrs Deirdre Hounsom, Chair of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group was the special non-Lion guest.

Other Lion guests at this celebration dinner included District Officer Lion Lesley Chudley from Crewkerne Lions, Zone Chairman/President Jim Partridge-Hogbin and members of Seaton & District Lions Club, Lion President Geoff Paver MBE and members of Budleigh Salterton Lions Club, Lion President Brian Richards and members of Honiton & District Lions Club, Lion President Mike Rawlins and members of Babbacombe & St Marychurch Lions Club and, last but not least, Sidmouth Lions past and present and the Lions partners.

After an excellent dinner, Lion President Alan Shoesmith summarised some of the highlights of Sidmouth Lions work and services to the community during the past 40 years; he concluded by proposing the toast to “Lions Clubs International & District 105 South West”. The District Governor Lion Fred Broom responded to this Toast on behalf of the International President and complimented Sidmouth Lions on their many achievements; he also recounted various amusing anecdotes. District Governor Fred concluded by presenting length-of-service chevrons to Sidmouth Lions John Doe, Richard Horsfall and Neil Rutter.

Lion President Alan then invited DG Fred to present a very special award to one of the Sidmouth Lions. This award, the Melvin Jones Fellowship, commemorates the founder of Lions Clubs International and is just about the highest honour that can be awarded to a Lions Club member. The worthy recipient of this prestigious award was Sidmouth Lion Dennis James, who started his Lions membership in Hertford Lions Club some 43 years ago. Lion Dennis transferred to the Sidmouth Lions Club in March 1994, following his move to the town and has been a very enthusiastic and active member since that time.

Following this special presentation ceremony, Lion Mike Sycamore, the Club’s 1st Vice President, proposed the toast to “Our Partners and Guests”. Deirdre Hounsom responded on behalf of the guests and went on to describe the work of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

After the speeches, the guests adjourned downstairs to dance off those extra calories and enjoy the music and singing of accomplished musician Griff Griffiths, through to midnight - a great way to end this special birthday party!

Sidmouth Lions next big fundraising event is a concert at Manor Pavilion Theatre on Saturday 11th February 2017. This promises to be a great evening’s musical entertainment featuring the superb Sidmouth Town Band, with additional songs and music performed by other talented artistes. Tickets at £10 each should be available during December but can be pre-booked at the Theatre Box Office.


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