Lions Clubs International is striding towards its 100th anniversary of committed service to communities in need around the world.
The Lions and Leos, younger members of the Lions Club of Barbados, on Sunday got together to commemorate the start of the significant milestone at the St Matthew’s Church.
“This journey has seen several significant accomplishments which have helped to shape who we are today,” Zone Manager Lion Shonda Forde told the congregation.
The Lions Club, initially called Association of Lions Club, was founded by Chicago businessman Melvin Jones on June 7, 1917 and has since grown into the world’s largest service club organization with over 1.3 million members.
The first Lions Club in Barbados was founded on September 26, 1961, led by the late Cecil deCaires.
Of the milestone, Forde said: “Fifty-five years later, we have put our talents to work and improving our community by having eight Lions Clubs and three Leo Clubs.”
“Over the years, local Lions have contributed towards the development of our nation with one of our most notable donations being the Eye Care Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” she added.
Forde proudly added that the clubs in Barbados have given back through several projects, including vision screening programmes, sustainable activities with the Centre for Blind and Deaf, and literacy programmes for primary school children.
Global targets have also been reached, most remarkably serving 100 million persons through hunger initiatives, environmental projects and youth activities by 2017.
The celebrations officially commence this week in recognition of its founder’s birthday on January 13. With the focus of Relieving the Hunger, the clubs will embark on activities geared towards fighting hunger and poverty through feeding society’s most vulnerable groups, including the elderly and homeless, alongside breakfast programmes for needy children.
“Let us endeavour as Lions and Leos to rededicate our lives in the service to others, to remain our brother’s keepers and to leave a legacy and path for others to follow for another 100 years,” said Forde.