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DAVE WHITE: Lobster, seabirds, lionesses hailed at Mother's Day

Dave White
Dave White - SaltWire Network

The ‘Tern of the Millennium’ found their way home again by Tuesday morning, their Twitter arriving days later than usual at their perennial summer love nest on McIvers Island, a two-hectare islet hinterland in full view barely 100 metres from the proximal and communal shoreline. Their likeness also inhabitant’s town memorabilia. Tourists come to see and photograph them, and other stuff, too.

The windy cold weekend with Mother’s Day fallen the superstitious 13th seeming to postpone completion of the terns’ annual northern migration, yet more calculated risk awaits the already shrunken colony this breeding season as mating pairs come to occupy rocky perimeters lesser favoured by the hundreds of gulls, breeding and voracious, already settled in on the islet acreage. Nesting space is at a premium.

Amid bird hawks, bald eagles, and amphibious predation which also happen by during the terns’ three-month stay, survival of the fittest, and the fortunate, offers to prevail.

On the human side, fortune is found in many forms, none the least that which is served up in the communal caring of others, as shown by the Summerside Lions Club.

Supporting causes local, regional, national and international, Summerside Lions have remained a significant player in community service projects through four decades in Bay of Islands.

The 17-member club, under newly elected president Angela Bowdridge, welcomed Lions International District Governor Frank Bonnell and Bay of Islands provincial legislature represenative Eddie Joyce to help it mark another successful year serving at the club’s 33rd charter night last Saturday.

Long-serving director Jocelyn Wilson Wheeler was named Lion of the Year, receiving the honour a second time in three years, presidential honours bestowed by former King Lions Frank Payne in 2016 and Chris Park this year.

Wilson Wheeler admits being “surprised … as I had others (candidates for the award) in mind,” she said, herself a charter member from the club’s founding in 1985. She’d twice served as club president prior to a life move elsewhere and celebrated a return to the club six years ago.

Her tenure as an executive member, serving its ways and means committee and running its weekly fundraiser bingo, in 2017 had also came to include an assisted solo flight conducting her first club auction this year. Crediting help from volunteer community stalwarts like Willie Loder, and supported by family, friends and club members, hundreds of new and gently used items were gathered for the event. Wheeler otherwise managed procurements records and settling the opening and closing bids, which she admits proved somewhat a challenge, but remains glad it all worked out.

"It’s the Lions motto. We Serve."

Outgoing president Chris Park praised Wheeler’s hard work with the club over the years and offered extended laurels on the success of the auction, which raised more than $1,600 for club coffers.

For its part as well, Park confirmed that Summerside Lions are sponsoring a new Lions International charter member on the lower north shore at a meeting slated for Cox’s Cove on May 26. Nominated by her for inclusion in the 53-country family that is Lions International, district executive Val Clark of Port aux Basques will be on hand to welcome the new club, on a mission originally initiated by Randy Payne, as Summerside’s leaders commit to fostering the birth and growth of the Lions’ newest cub.

As King Lions, Bowdridge and Park will serve as guiding Lions for the Cox’s Cove group, leading them in the right direction as they grow their presence and purpose to serve.

Summerside Lions directed more than $10,000 from locally-supported fundraisers back into the community and continues to lend a hand to help individuals and families in times of medical stress.

Under new president Bowdridge, the 2018-19 Summerside Lions executive and board includes 33-year charter member and returning club treasurer Clarence Kendall, newcomer secretary Linus Fitzpatrick, as well as first vice-president Frank Payne, second v-p Melvin Park, and directors Wheeler, Wendy Lynn Park, Darrell Park and past-president Park. Membership chairman is Jason Crocker. The club’s active membership includes seven women and 10 men.

Jamie Brake, newest mayor of the Town of Meadows, was otherwise honoured again this past week with a third provincial award in recognition of his outstanding contributions as a volunteer leader in community recreation and healthy living initiatives. He says he is open to discussing regional recreation programming on the Bay of Islands north shore, and welcomes like-minded opportunity.

The leadership Brake has shown in Meadows has already helped create a community recreation complex offering only to get better with time. What to do for an encore?

With similar recreation facilities and programming either lesser developed or well under way in Cox’s Cove, McIvers and Gillams, local leaders involved in fitness, sport and healthy community living herewith stand invited.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 660-5712, or email at:

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