Seventy-two years ago on November 19, 1951 the Botwood Lions Club was formed.  The Botwood Lions Club was Sponsored by the GrandFalls Lions Club.  The first president was Edgar Elliot, and following is a list of the original chartered members.

Charter Members

Charter President - E.G. Elloit

C.R. Abbott J. Butt H.M. Twomey
T.W. Antle P.J. Coates D.M. Foote
G.A. Arklie D. Dalley N. Gill
James. Arklie F. Dalley D.M. MacDonald
John S. Arklie J. Dominic H.R. Saunders
E.S. Bennett M. Dominic S. Simon
C.F. Boone C.H. Droppo G.A. Smith
J.W. Butler A.G. Edison M. Stein

Over the years the Botwood Lions Club as been very active in the community and surrounding areas.  The membership of the club over the years as an average of 45 members.  The club has taken on many projects and has provide assistance to many groups and individuals.  One of the first projects the club took on was the naming of the streets in the town.  Today you can still see a few of the original street signs still standing. 

Back  in 1960 when the town became incorporated, the club decided that the existing fire truck and other equipment which was owned by the AND company was inadequate and not very efficient.  The club decided to approach the town council with the idea and purchasing a new fire truck for the town.  The town council was more than pleased about the idea. 

The club also sponsored minor hockey and other sports and provided outdoor ice rinks.  Many hockey and school teams were provided uniforms.  The present stadium was formally a army drill hall.  The Lions Club and with assistance from the town, obtained the building and than provided a ice plant which is still in use today.  The club also provided a Zamboni for ice cleaning. 

Over the years the club received many request for assistance for mentally and physically  handicapped children.  With no help from the government back than the club decided to do something themselves.  After building a basement under the lions building, and teachers and helpers were hired the Botwood Lions Club setup the first school outside St. John's for the mentally and physically handicapped.  This is project caught the attention of the concernment and others and became what is now  a provincial wide project through the various schools. After the school was for the handicapped was taken over by the schools, the club sponsored the Boys and Girls Club who used the basement as their club room. 

The Lions Club contributed money toward the construction and upkeep of the Max Simms Camp and each year a number of handicapped youth from Botwood and surrounding area are sent to the camp for five days with all expenses paid.  The club also sponsored the Sea Cadets and provided the necessary funding for the Cadet activities. 

The club is also actively involved in funding for the blind for seeing eye dogs, school for the deaf, wheelchairs, food for Christmas hampers, scholarships for schools, and hospital equipment.  The club recieved a Patrons award from the Canadian Lung Association in recognition of outstanding community leadership for their effects to the Christmas Seals program for over 50 years of fund raising.  The club is the longest running service group in Canada still raising funds for the cause.

The Botwood Lions Club has received many awards and has been named the best club on many occasions.  A number of our members have held top offices in the association of Lions.  Lion Jack Baker was district governor for 1960-61 and again in 1974-75.


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