Saturday 2nd April, saw Petersfield Lions Club members past & present, along with District Lions & Community supporters come together to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Chartering of the Petersfield Lions Club in 1972.
It also reunited three old friends attending the celebrations at the Petersfield Community Centre. Clive Midson, Ian Burt and Andy Malcherczyk originally met when they were involved in the formation of Petersfield Leos, a branch of Lions Clubs International for younger adults.
In proposing a toast to the club, Petersfield Lion President Clive Midson explained how he had first been introduced to Lions in 1972 when his father persuaded him to help with the distribution of logs to local people in need.
The Lions Club had been started by Paul Wickham, then Landlord at the former Market Inn. Using his contacts in the trade, as well as his customers, Paul recruited fifteen men to form the basis of the new club.
Over the next fifty years the club came up with a great variety of different fundraising projects, one of which was “Vote Custard”. This was a mock election where local town celebrities put themselves forward as candidates for a dunking in custard. Another successful project was “Spektrek”, where Petersfield combined with other Lions Clubs in the Wessex region to collect in excess of a million used spectacles that are recycled for use in the poorer areas of the world.
In 1989 the club decided to open membership up to women. It’s first female President, Sandra Manktelow was elected in 1996.
In more recent times, the club has been involved in organising the marshalling of the covid vaccination programme at the Festival Hall. This had the additional effect of boosting the club’s membership which now stands at an all-time high.
Clive thanked the members for their hard work over the years.
The celebration was supported by Lions District Governor Brian Donovan who presented Petersfield Lions Club President Clive Midson with a Certificate of Appreciation for the club’s 50th Charter Anniversary. Also in attendance were many ex-members, friends and Lions from other clubs including Havant, Abingdon and Woolmer Forest.