Lions roar on

Long-time Prince Albert Lions Club member Bill Skomorowski (seated) receives a special commendation from past international director Marvin Chambers (standing) for 66 years of service. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Garry Beaudry’s memories of the Prince Albert Lions Club begin long before he officially joined them.

The biggest that stand out were the peanut sales and snake dances the club conducted while he was in high school. His father was also a Lion, prior to moving away from Prince Albert.

On the day the club celebrated its 70th anniversary, it was those memories that came flooding back.

“That was a lot of fun, as a high school student,” chuckled Beaudry, who currently serves as the club’s president. “Remembering back, I think the Lions themselves used to have just as much fun with it.”

Times have changed since Beaudry first joined the Lions, but the club’s mission hasn’t. Originally chartered in September 1947 at the Prince Albert Municipal Airport’s Airliner Club, the Lion’s first goal was to support the blind and visually impaired. Dr. D. V. Chipperfield was named the club’s first president, overseeing a body of 39 charter members.

The club still supports that cause today through the used eye glasses collection drive and the Lions Eye Bank, but they’ve also expanded their service to include the sponsorship of high school scholarships, and the operation of Operation Red Nose, among others.

For 70 years, providing service has been the goal, and Beaudry said he’s proud of the organization’s past efforts.

“It gives you great satisfaction, helping out somebody,” he said. “Some of our projects, you feel really good when you’ve completed them.”

For the rest of this story, please see the Oct. 3 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.