MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: LIONS

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a bottle: a simple and potentially life-saving idea which has been successfully promoted in recent years by Lions Clubs throughout Ireland and Britain. Belfast Lions Club attended for the third year running a winter safety event organised by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership at the City Hall. Around 200 bottles were distributed, the last of our current stock.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Since it was re-formed the Club has handed out around 2500 bottles to people who have hopefully stored their medical details safely in a fridge at home, so that emergency services can get immediate access to this information if required. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service along with ambulance service paramedics (they are often the first responders to an emergency call) and the PSNI have all recognised the value of the scheme and have given it their support.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

The Club hopes that as a result of contacts made at today’s event, it will hopefully be in a position to relaunch the scheme with the support of the PSNI community safety units and Belfast City Council early in the New Year. If your organisation is involved with care of the elderly or those living alone and you would like to have more details of the scheme, please contact us at the following address:  belfast.lions@aol.co.uk and we will discuss your requirements.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Our regular meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm at the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road, Belfast. There is a meeting tonight but the next one will not be until Wednesday 8th January 2014. As well as the message in a bottle scheme, the Club is co-operating with Belfast City Council and Extern in the recycling of unwanted spectacles.

Collecting unwanted spectacles for recycling Photo: © Michael Fisher

Collecting unwanted spectacles for recycling Photo: © Michael Fisher

A box was provided at today’s event. A blue bin is located at each of the council’s four recycling centres specifically for old pairs of glasses. These are collected and sent to a central depot run by Chichester Lions Club in England. They are then recycled and can be reused in countries where there is a need for eye care in Asia and Africa. They have operated the scheme successfully for over thirty years.

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Belfast Lions Club Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

Tonight at our meeting of Belfast Lions Club we welcomed two expat Lions from Spain, who showed us the international aspect of our Lions community. Ray Jones, a Welshman and former member of Huntingdon Lions Club in England was accompanied by his wife Zelda, who is originally from Belfast. They told us about a number of activities their Club has undertaken.

Zelda & Ray Jones Vera Lions Club are presented with an Antrim Lions pennant by Lion President Karen McCormack  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Zelda & Ray Jones Vera Lions Club are presented with an Antrim Lions pennant by Lion President Karen McCormack                Photo: © Michael Fisher

They are staying in Lisburn and will be returning to Spain for Christmas. Both are charter members of Vera and District Lions Club which is near Almeria on the South-East coast of Spain. The Club started meeting in 2011 and had their charter dinner in 2012. At the end of the meeting Lion President Karen McCormick presented them with an Antrim Lions Club pennant and they presented us with one from Vera Lions Club. Delighted you dropped in to meet us and thank you for the encouragement you have given as we seek to recruit new members.

Charter Dinner Vera Lions Club, Spain (club website)

Charter Dinner Vera Lions Club, Spain (club website)

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