TABLE QUIZ IN BELFAST

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BELFAST LIONS CLUB are holding a table quiz on

   THURSDAY  6th MARCH  

Malone Road, Belfast

at 7.30pm.

 

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Entry £20 per team (max 6 per team)        Prize for the winning team  £100

The quiz night is part of our drive to recruit new members to  Belfast Lions Club.

Please come along on the evening when we will be available to chat about our plans for the year ahead. There will be a raffle to raise funds for our charitable account and to support the work of our nominated charity for 2014 Diabetes UK (NI). We look forward to seeing you there.  diabetes-logo-news-page

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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)

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

One of the projects I had in mind when Belfast Lions Club was revived three years ago was the ‘Message in a Bottle’ scheme which I had been encouraged to adopt by Dan Hurst of Dún Laoghaire Lions. With their help, the Club took on the scheme as its first service project. It provides a potentially life-saving object, a bottle with a form inside carrying a person’s medical details, for those most in need, such as elederly people living on their own. The bottle is placed in the refrigerator and a special green sticker is stuck on the door and near the front door in order to alert emergency services such as paramedics that this important information is safely stored inside.  LCI emblem_2C_287+7406

Belfast Lions Club with the help of its parent club, Antrim Lions, acquired the bottles from England, using some of the funds raised during a table quiz in May 2011. In December 2011 the Club was invited to share the PSNI community safety stand at the Policing and Community Safety Partnership annual winter safety event at Belfast City Hall. The Club took its own stand at the same event the following year and in that period distributed 2,000 bottles to individuals either directly or with the help of groups such as the Cedar Foundation, Good Morning North Belfast and Good Morning West Belfast.

Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

This year the event takes place again at BELFAST CITY HALL from 10am to 1pm tomorrow, Wednesday 4th December. There will also be a meeting of Belfast Lions Club at 7:30pm at the Wellington Park hotel for anyone interested in hearing about our projects for 2014. These will hopefully include a new and extended phase of the message in a bottle project and fund-raising initiatives on behalf of Diabetes UK (NI) and Marie Curie cancer care (Great Daffodil Appeal). We also hope to continue to collect unwanted spectacles with the help of Belfast City Council and to send them to the depot operated by Chichester Lions Club in England for re-use in developing countries. Tomorrow at Belfast City Hall we will have a box for collecting pairs of unwanted glasses (but not the spectacle cases).

Message in a Bottle  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Message in a Bottle Photo: © Michael Fisher

My hopes for the Belfast Lions Club of which I am now Secretary were set out in a speech to the Multiple District 105 annual convention at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast in May 2011 when Councillor Pat Convery was Lord Mayor:

Michael Fisher, Belfast Lions Club & Cllr Pat Convery, Lord Mayor of Belfast (May 2011)

Michael Fisher, Belfast Lions Club & Cllr Pat Convery, Lord Mayor of Belfast (May 2011)

“Lord Mayor, Chairman of Council, International President, other distinguished guests, and fellow Lions. First I would like to thank District Governor Terence Mangan for asking me to perform this task. I am privileged to do so and it is with a certain amount of nervousness but also pride that I now welcome you, Councillor Pat Convery. Like yourself, I am a blow-in, who has been here only 26 years or so. Whereas you came from another part of NI, County Derry, I came from Dublin to cover the troubles for RTÉ News as a TV reporter. Both of us, I hope have come to admire this city which forty years ago was torn apart by violence and now seeks a new way forward in peaceful times. “Pro tanto quid retribuamus” is the motto: In return for so much, what shall we give back. A very appropriate one also for Lions, whose  function as a voluntary group is service to the community. That service was inspired in this city since 1958 by a businessman who many of you will remember, Bert Mason. He has a special place in Lions history as he went on to become International President in 1984. He was a founder member of the Belfast Lions Club, the third in this district to be chartered after Dublin and Cork. One of their first schemes was a meals on wheels service in East Belfast, which was later extended to other areas. From a small beginning a significant structure was built and lasted for over forty years.

Bert who came from Donaghadee passed to his eternal reward in 2007. It was his view that Lionism is one of the greatest unifying forces in the world, bringing together people from different cultures, politics and religions, all answering the call to serve.

I hope that spirit he spoke about will live on in the revived Belfast Lions Club. We were set up in February and our first public fundraising event was two days ago, a table quiz which has brought in over £1,000 to start our work of service. Various projects will now be considered such as the message in a bottle scheme and the collection of unused spectacles. There is also the service of a soup run performed at weekends by one of our members, helping the homeless, especially those from abroad. It’s the other face of Belfast but one to which this club must reach out if we are to live up to the early ideals of its predecessor. If there is any practical way in which we can work with Belfast City Council on some of the schemes then we would be interested to discuss this at some stage.

During your year of office you have focused on making Belfast a safe, clean, prosperous and a united city and attempted to revitalise it. I hope Belfast Lions will now be able to make a contribution to those important goals. I now call on you Lord Mayor to open formally the convention of multiple district 105, British Isles & Ireland”. 

BELFAST LIONS SIGHT PROJECT

Belfast Lions Club President Michael Fisher with Cllr Steven Corr & representatives of ArtsEkta & Extern Photo: Ken Oliver

Belfast Lions Club President Michael Fisher with Cllr Steven Corr & representatives of ArtsEkta & Extern Photo: Ken Oliver

Charity’s vision sees old spectacles recycled for foreign eye camps

We need your old spectacles! An initiative to recycle old or unwanted pairs of specs is helping people in countries as far afield as Africa and India. Belfast City Council is backing a Belfast Lions Club initiative to send old pairs of glasses to eye camps in developing countries and Eastern Europe where they are matched to the right patient.

Bowlers Jack Boles & Alfy Hanson join Bobby Duke (middle) at Ormeau Park to help launch the scheme Photo: Ken Oliver

Bowlers Jack Boles & Alfy Hanson join Bobby Duke (middle) at Ormeau Park to help launch the scheme Photo: Ken Oliver

Belfast Lions are co-operating with the charity Extern and social enterprise ArtsEkta on the project. The donated glasses will be shipped to a regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre at Chichester in England, where they will be cleaned and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups.  Helping to launch the scheme was Bobby Duke, a Lions Club member for nearly fifty years and a Past District Governor of the group. He is a retired teacher from Finaghy.

Past District Governor Bobby Duke, Belfast Lions Club

Past District Governor Bobby Duke, Belfast Lions Club Photo: Ken Oliver

The President of Belfast Lions Club Michael Fisher said the recycling scheme was a good example of how Lions could make a difference in their own communities and worldwide. “In most developing countries, an eye test can cost as much as one month’s wages and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people”, he said. He also hoped the project would help to attract more volunteers to become involved with the work of the Lions, which started up originally in the city in 1959 through the late Bert Mason, a businessman who went on to serve as International President of the organisation.

The Chair of Belfast Council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, Councillor Steven Corr, said: “This is a really great idea and I’m delighted the Council is involved in such a worthwhile project. We take a lot of things for granted here; people often have more than one pair of glasses and change them quite regularly so to be able to help others in developing countries have the gift of better vision, is really fantastic. I would like to extend my personal thanks to the Belfast Lions Club for taking on this initiative and hopefully through raising awareness, we can encourage people to recycle their old specs.”

Cllr Steven Corr & Extern help to launch the spectacles project

Cllr Steven Corr & Extern help to launch the spectacles project    Photo: Michael Fisher

To donate used glasses (including sunglasses and reading glasses), place them in the specially marked blue bins located in the Council’s four main recycling centres in the city. These are located at Ormeau (Park Road), Palmerston Road, Alexandra Park Avenue and Blackstaff Way. You can find out about recycling facilities in your area by visiting www.belfastcity.gov.uk/recycling.

President Belfast Lions Club, Michael Fisher, recycling spectacles at the Ormeau depot

President Belfast Lions Club, Michael Fisher, recycling spectacles at the Ormeau depot  Photo: Ken Oliver

Belfast Lions Club is looking for new members and meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm at the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road. The next meeting is on Wednesday 4th September when a presentation will be made to one of the charities for which funds are raised, Diabetes UK (NI). Lions Clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfil those needs. They belong to the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in 45,000 clubs in over 200 countries. For more information about the project or the activities of Belfast Lions Club, contact Michael Fisher.

RecycleFSColor

LIONS RECYCLE USED SPECTACLES

RecycleFSColor

Have you old or unused spectacles you no longer need? Belfast Lions Club has teamed up with Belfast City Council and Extern as well as ArtsEkta, a social enterprise based in Belfast, to recycle the glasses. They are now being collected in specially provided blue bins at the Council’s four main recycling deports covering North, South, East and West Belfast, at Alexandra Park Avenue, Ormeau, Palmerstown Road and Blackstaff Way.

Belfast City Council Magazine: City Matters

Belfast City Council Magazine: City Matters

 lionsspecsThe latest edition of the Council’s City Matters magazine contains details of the location of the depots and the opening hours. Perhaps you know an optician who would like to collect the spectacles and organise the scheme locally, so that the glasses (without the cases) can be passed on to the Council for disposal in the blue bins provided. The charity Extern will collect the spectacles and put them into boxes. They will then be sent to a central depot in England run by Chichester Lions Club. From there, they will be sent for reuse in countries in Africa and in India.

Belfast Lions Club: Recycle your Spectacles

Belfast Lions Club: Recycle your Spectacles

RECYCLE YOUR SPECS

You can now recycle your old glasses at any of our (Belfast City Council) recycling centres.

We’ve teamed up with Belfast Lions Club, local charity Extern and a Belfast-based social enterprise ArtsEkta to send unwanted spectacles to developing countries. The glasses are collected from our recycling centres and sorted into various categories. They are then distributed to eye camps in India, Africa and Eastern Europe, where they are matched to the right patient. The (Chichester) Lions Clubs have run this scheme for over thirty years and last year they sent over 300,000 pairs of spectacles for reuse at eye camps.     LIONSweserve

i: For more information on this and other projects or to get involved with Belfast Lions Club, please call Michael Fisher on 9066 2945.

Belfast City Council Recycling Centres

Belfast City Council Recycling Centres

These schemes operate through Lions Clubs in many parts of the UK and Ireland. When I passed through the town in March I noticed that Southend-on-Sea Lions Club had linked up with the local Council to provide a box at its headquarters where unused spectacles could be recycled. Perhaps we will be able to arrange something similar with the City fathers in Belfast. 

Southend-on-Sea Lions Club Recycling Scheme

Southend-on-Sea Lions Club Recycling Scheme

MARIE CURIE BELFAST

Marie Curie collection Belfast

Marie Curie collection Belfast

Five years ago on Good Friday, one of our neighbours in Belfast lost her battle with cancer and passed away. Liz Reid was 49 when she died in the care of the Marie Curie staff at the hospice in Knock. Her husband John later praised the outstanding work done by the care teams. To thank them for the support given to Liz during her last months, John helped to raise funds for Marie Curie by taking part in events such as the Belfast Marathon with his family. John is a well-known architect in Belfast and another project he helped to organise for the charity was a Titanic-themed dinner in the former Harland and Wolff drawing offices.

Grace Smyth & Michael Fisher, Belfast Lions Club

Grace Smyth & Michael Fisher

John was also interviewed for a video which Marie Curie fundraiser Grace Smyth showed to members of Belfast Lions Club at their monthly meeting at the start of March. So it was very appropriate that this morning myself and my wife, a former Marie Curie home care nurse, joined a few dozen people in Belfast city centre to help collect for the annual daffodil appeal.

A working agreement was reached in November last year by Marie Curie and the Lions Clubs multiple district for Lions in Britain and Northern Ireland to assist with the Great Daffodil Appeal. Marie Curie do great work, particularly at the hospice in Knock in the East of the city. I hope if you saw anyone collecting in Belfast or elsewhere, you were able to give your support. Thank you. More details of the collection and the charity can be found here.

Daffodil Appel: Marie Curie

Daffodil Appeal: Marie Curie

Belfast Lions Club

Belfast Lions Club

SPEECH AT LIONS CONVENTION MD105

LIONS-LOGO-720x682-150x150SPEECH BY MICHAEL FISHER,

PRESIDENT,  BELFAST LIONS CLUB

Multiple District 105 Convention, Waterfront Hall, Belfast,

Saturday 7th May 2011

Lord Mayor, Chairman of Council, International President, other distinguished guests, and fellow Lions. First I would like to thank District Governor Terence Mangan for asking me to perform this task. I am privileged to do so and it is with a certain amount of nervousness but also pride that I now welcome you, Councillor Pat Convery. Like yourself, I am a blow-in, who has been here only 26 years or so. Whereas you came from another part of NI, County Derry, I came from Dublin to cover the troubles for RTÉ News as a TV reporter. Both of us, I hope have come to admire this city which forty years ago was torn apart by violence and now seeks a new way forward in peaceful times. “Pro tanto quid retribuamus” is the motto: In return for so much, what shall we give back. A very appropriate one also for Lions, whose  function as a voluntary group is service to the community. That service was inspired in this city since 1958 by a businessman who many of you will remember, Bert Mason. He has a special place in Lions history as he went on to become International President in 1984. He was a founder member of the Belfast Lions Club, the third in this district to be chartered after Dublin and Cork. One of their first schemes was a meals on wheels service in East Belfast, which was later extended to other areas. From a small beginning a significant structure was built and lasted for over forty years.

Bert who came from Donaghadee passed to his eternal reward in 2007. It was his view that Lionism is one of the greatest unifying forces in the world, bringing together people from different cultures, politics and religions, all answering the call to serve.

I hope that spirit he spoke about will live on in the revived Belfast Lions Club. We were set up in February and our first public fundraising event was two days ago, a table quiz which has brought in over £1,000 to start our work of service. Various projects will now be considered such as the message in a bottle scheme and the collection of unused spectacles. There is also the service of a soup run performed at weekends by one of our members, helping the homeless, especially those from abroad. It’s the other face of Belfast but one to which this club must reach out if we are to live up to the early ideals of its predecessor. If there is any practical way in which we can work with Belfast City Council on some of the schemes then we would be interested to discuss this at some stage.

During your year of office you have focused on making Belfast a safe, clean, prosperous and a united city and attempted to revitalise it. I hope Belfast Lions will now be able to make a contribution to those important goals. I now call on you Lord Mayor to open formally the convention of multiple district 105, British Isles & Ireland.