2003 Pre-Charter Organisation

The first officers

They elected us to do what?

First meetings, when looked at in retrospect, always seem to have a frisson of expectation, and weren’t we in just that state on the 6th October, 2003?!

With our ‘Guiding Lions’ welcomed and watching over us: a friendly pair from the local district, 105 (Alan and Corinne Ashburner); and the President of the Tynedale Lions (Colin McGregor); we jumped into the fray. A complete list of all interested members had been compiled and joining fees were being received from others. It seems likely that Trevor Newman chaired this meeting from the outset as his prescient suggestion, that meeting minutes (and the comprehensive members list including folks who could not be present that evening) should be distributed by email, was the very first item discussed.

At some point, perhaps by individual discussions, or perhaps by some speechifying from the Guiding Lions, we would have been informed that the International Lions Club was the biggest such philanthropic service-minded organisation in the world, and that we were in very good company. Implicit, but never explicit, as I recall, the welcome to old(er) members was part of the package.

These very first minutes do not record actual attendees (that practice started with the second meeting), but they carefully go on to note the nominations and elections of the officers who would be expected to develop the new club’s programme for the successive months ahead until July 2005.

An organisation isn’t going to get anywhere without a leader, and so Trevor Newman, our first leader, was approved by acclamation. That somehow made the meeting more formal, with an elected chair, and the elections proceeded.

The all-important role of Treasurer was fulfilled by Graham Girvan, and Prue Rushman, already taking notes, was elected as Secretary. Margaret Stonehouse agreed to take on the role of Membership Officer, while Sue Mills accepted the position of Fundraising Officer.

It was hardly a surprise when we all agreed that Nigel Baynes would be an ideal Community Service officer, nor that Maggie Shearer should act as Fellowship Officer (what we have since come to think of as Fun & Games for fellow Lions). These roles seem to have been dictated by the experience of our guiding Lions, and so they were duly filled by the people we all felt would have experience and capacity to act in these positions. Finally, the role of Publicity Officer was pinned on me, Larry Winger, then the District News Correspondent for the Allen Valleys at the Hexham Courant. I remember Alan Ashburner smiling at the unlikely coincidence that the club should have some sort of press representative in its midst. It was as if a ready-made Lions Club had fallen from the sky, apparently, in the opinion of the attending Guiding Lions.

Another kind of officer role was considered, the position of Tail Twister. This role seems to have been some sort of internal fund-raising activity (the general Administration Account of the Allendale Lions club has always been separate from the Charity Account which has been sacrosanct from day one: money raised from the public goes back to good causes without any administration fees whatsoever.). But we agreed that there were other ways to acquire operating costs besides a formal officer role.

It was time to talk about our exciting activities! And that exercise is better placed to occupy its own unique blog entry. Watch this space!

2 replies on “The first officers”

Thanks Larry, it was a very proud time for me to become ‘Charter President’ and Prue to become ‘Charter Secretary’ fond memories of the beginning of such a wonderful group of friends and members of Allendale Lions Club, including my Dad and Mam of course

You’re right Trevor, it was a very proud moment for us too, to be part of what we hoped was the beginning of a better community, though we already loved the community we’d found ourselves in. We hoped we could play a useful part in the village as it developed! These historical entries are fraught with memories that are somehow so sweet, but yet so sad when we think of those we have lost. I’m feeling I want to honour those who are no longer with us, but finding it hard too to remember them without feeling so devastated. And yet I hope we can all contribute to the important history of what we’ve achieved, together, in an empathetic way. That’s my ambition, anyway. This history needs to be written, somehow, as a public statement, I’m sure of that. Thank you for your comment, so much appreciated!

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