Lions celebrate 100 years of service

Worthing Lions celebrated 100 years of service with a spectacular family day in Beach House Park.

Monday, 12th June 2017, 6:15 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:00 am
Celebration Samba and Marta Scott Dance Company joined forces to wow the crowds at Beach House Park. Picture: Brian Wheeler becdUKLsY6owRZEpx0QK

It was in June 1917 that American Melvin Jones got together with associates to form a club for men willing to work together to improve the community.

This grew to what is now Lions Clubs International, the largest service organisation in the world, with more than 1.8million members in almost every country.

To celebrate the centenary, Worthing Lions Club, one of the oldest clubs in the UK, held a day packed with entertainment for everyone last Saturday.

Face painting was just one of the many things on offer during the free family day

SERV, the blood transportation charity for which Worthing Lions has bought a motorcycle, was there, alongside a scooter display and vintage fire engine.

An information stand gave details of the services the Lions provide, such as Message in a Bottle and spectacle recycling to third world countries, as well as a list of recent donations the Worthing club has made.

Worthing president Marian Down was very pleased with the way the whole event had gone.

“A great deal of hard work had been put in by a small and dedicated team of Lions in the organisation of the day beforehand, with many members present from early morning till late at night,” she added.

The scooter display in Beach House Park

“A highlight of the day was a bowls completion between eight teams, four sighted and four visually impaired.

“Worthing Lions regularly hold Visually Impaired Bowls England competitions but this was the first time the teams had been partially sighted versus sighted. Teams came from all around the area and the trophy was won by Worthing Pavilion Bowling Club.”

The Lions were pleased to offer stalls to the League of Friends of Worthing Hospital and St Barnabas House so they could raise funds for themselves.

The free daytime celebrations were followed by an evening concert, featuring Ryan Mac from Britain’s Got Talent and Chiquitita, the leading ABBA tribute band.

Worthing Lions Club was pleased to offer a stall to St Barnabas House for its own fundraising

Marian said: “The whole evening rocked, with the dance floor crowded almost from the first song and everybody had a great evening.

“Once again, Worthing Lions had brought tourism to the town with yet another free event and they will just have time to draw breath before they hold the spectacular Seafront Festival on the last weekend in July, again a free event culminating a massive firework display.”