Praise for Whalley Lions’ Club at charter dinner

Howard Blackburn and Ian Joyce of Whalley Lions. (s)
Howard Blackburn and Ian Joyce of Whalley Lions. (s)

Clitheroe Lions Club President Ian Joyce welcomed fellow Lions and Guests to the 33rd Charter Anniversary dinner of the club at the Spread Eagle Hotel, Sawley.

The Lions Clubs of Blackburn, Burnley and Rossendale were represented at the dinner, together with 12 representatives of the recently reformed Whalley Lions Club.

Special guests were Howard Blackburn J.P, President of Clitheroe Rotary Club, and his wife Janet, Sue Hind, President of Ribblesdale Rotary Club, and her husband Ken and the Chairman of Clitheroe Round Table, Keith Huddart. Toastmaster for the evening was Lion Tony Smith.

The toast to Lions Clubs International was proposed by President Ian Joyce. He mentioned highlights for him of the past 33 years and the achievements of the club during his year of office.

Lion Ian Lloyd proposed the toast to Our Ladies and Guests which took the form of an entertaining and well received poem. The toast was responded to by Howard Blackburn J.P. with a pot pourri of witticisms about various members of Clitheroe Lions.

During the meal and in a short spot after the meal, 11-year-old Ben Dickinson, winner of this years GRABBY award, entertained and stunned guests with table magic and showed what a worthy winner he was. Further entertainment was provided by the 2012 GRABBY winner Karen Wilkinson who beautifully sang a selection of songs to a captive audience. Both of them gave compelling evidence of how enormously successful the GRABBY event, which is sponsored by Clitheroe Lions Club, has taken off providing a springboard to local young talent to entertain a much wider audience.

Following the entertainment and speeches, three awards from Clitheroe Lions Club were presented. Howard Blackburn J.P, as Chairman of Crossroads, was presented with a cheque for £1,000. This was the proceeds of a recent successful dinner and entertainment at Clitheroe Golf Club. Also, Gillian Darbyshire, President of Whalley Lions Club, was presented with a cheque for £400, the proceeds of a recent street collection by Clitheroe Club for Whalley Flood Relief.

Then, in recognition of the immense work which she and Whalley Lions Club have carried out and are still carrying out in Whalley following the floods, she was presented with Clitheroe Lions Club’s Geoffrey Braithwaite Award.

This annual award is given in memory of this founder member of Clitheroe Club who is sadly missed and it takes the form of a certificate and a cheque for £250 to go to a charity of the recipients choice. The award was presented to Gillian by Diana Braithwaite.

The evening had been another great night for what is now a long established, hard working Lions Club.