Chris takes Chain of Office for a third time

Ian Brown hands over the Morpeth Lions Presidents Chain of Office to Chris Offord.
Ian Brown hands over the Morpeth Lions Presidents Chain of Office to Chris Offord.
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MORPETH Lions Club

Readers might be forgiven for experiencing a sense of déjà vu when reading that Morpeth Lions Club started a fresh year on July 1 with a new president, Chris Offord.

Chris has been a member for more than 29 years and took over from Ian Brown.

He is certainly up to the challenge following two previous successful years as president, from 2006-07 and 2010-11, and is looking forward to the following year as the club’s leader. He will be ably assisted by Margaret Trewick, who was elected vice-president. Geoff Bushell remains as treasurer and Ian Mills as secretary.

On being installed as president, Chris paid warm tribute to Ian Brown’s year in office.

He said: “Ian will be a hard act to follow having completed a very full year. He will not escape entirely as he is very much involved in the forthcoming District Convention in November that will be hosted by our club.”

As for the venue, the club continues to meet at 8pm on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Conservative Club, Newgate Street, Morpeth. The next meeting, following a short summer break, will be on August 23.

Last year the club was able to distribute more than £19,000 to over 80 organisations. Ian said: “This was possible by organising facilitating events such as Dickens of a Draw and the LionSwim; where other groups are able to fundraise for themselves.

“From other fundraising events we have assisted youth organisations and helped look after some of the needs of children with a variety of disadvantages.

“At the opposite end of the age range, we enable Morpeth Partially Sighted Group to attend their monthly meetings and at Christmas over 200 parcels of food were organised and distributed; whilst our ‘Meet the Lions’ afternoon provides tea and entertainment for up to 180 local elderly and infirm.

“Major donations of £1,000 each were presented to Morpeth’s Special Olympics minibus Appeal and the RVI’s Bubble Foundation.

“At an international level, donations have been made to help blind people in India; handicapped children attend the Special Olympics and WaterAid in the Third World. The club also initiated a UK appeal to help limbless children caught up in the Syrian war crisis obtain prosthetics.

“Our voluntary service would not, however, have been possible without the generosity of the people of Morpeth, the cooperation of local businesses plus the understanding and assistance of our wives and partners.

“Fundraising is never easy, however, we believe that the emphasis should be on the fun part of the word. We welcome new members and hope that anyone interested in finding out more about Morpeth Lions will contact Simon Pringle on 01670 513169.”