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There was a time when the membership numbers at the Stephenville Lions Club were not so healthy.
Chris Tiller remembers it being in the low 20s when he was inducted into the club 23 years ago.
His interest in the organization was sparked by Eric Lomond, his father-in-law, who sponsored him into the club.
But Tiller’s years in the club pale in comparison to the years his father-in-law has punched with the Lions.
At a charter meeting last night, Lomond was recognized for 55 years as a Lion, and Minnette Shave for her 56 years with the Lionesses.
He helped start up the St. George’s Lions Club in 1964, which was chartered in 1965. He transferred to Stephenville a year later after his family moved because of his job.
Now, at 91 years of age, he is still a member of the Stephenville Lions Club and proud to attend functions held there.
Lomond remembers a few lean years for the Stephenville Club, when membership was at its lowest and is proud of the fact he sponsored many members into the club, including Tiller.
Now the club has one of the strongest memberships in the province with 55 registered members as of their charter night on Tuesday, something Lomond is glad to see.
“It’s nice to see the young ones becoming new Lions and carrying on the tradition,” he said. “They’re a fine bunch of people, there’s great fellowship and that’s why people join.”
Asked about anything amusing through the years, he said lots but one of the funniest things involved a dunking tank for a fundraiser.
He said Lion Joe Kays got on the swing in the tank puffing on a cigar, confident he wasn’t going for a dip as nobody could seem to hit the wooden peg in the right spot to set off the release.
Lomond said a young lad, known for throwing rocks accurately was on site and a fellow Lion paid for him to play. He threw a ball, hit the peg smack on, and in went Kays, cigar and all.
He remembers many nice things, including big fundraisers for kids who had to go to St. John’s to hospital. Today those have been replaced by the work done by the Bay St. George Sick Children’s Foundation, which has some sitting Lions Club members with their organization.
Tiller said Lomond got him interested in the Lions, giving him an outline of what was involved and expected.
He went to a luncheon meeting and joined the organization a couple of weeks later.
Since, he done mostly everything in the club, including a term as president and eight years on the board of directors and bingo captain for 20 years.
Lomond served a term as president and spent many years on the board of directors.
Tiller said he and Lomond spent a lot of time hunting and cutting wood and Lomond still chops his own wood.
“I’m proud of Eric’s accomplishments. He’s a hard worker and down to earth,” he said.