Meet Dave, the fresh-faced leader of the Lions pack

Lion Chris Offord hands over the President's Chain of Office to Lion Dave Wheeler
Lion Chris Offord hands over the President's Chain of Office to Lion Dave Wheeler

A MORPETH community group has a fresh face as its President for the year ahead.

Dave Wheeler, who has been a member for only three years, has taken on the role at Morpeth Lions Club from Chris Offord and is looking forward to leading it in providing for mainly local needs.

He intends to introduce further elements of fun and social activity that make up being a Lions member, although he and other members are expecting increasing calls on their manpower and financial resources this year due to the current economic situation affecting the country.

On being installed, Mr Wheeler paid warm tribute to his predecessor – under the presidency of Mr Offord the club was able to distribute almost £18,000 to numerous organisations.

He said: “Chris will be a hard act to follow as he has worked tremendously hard for the Lions and is a wonderful ambassador for our club.

“Having been President twice in five years he certainly deserves a rest, however I am sure we’ll find something for him to do.”

To bring in this amount of money, the club organised some events such as Dickens of a Draw and the LionSwim where other groups are able to fundraise for themselves.

From collections at various times of the year it has assisted a number of youth organisations and helped look after some of the needs of children with a variety of handicaps or disadvantages.

Transport has been provided for the Partially Sighted Group and at Christmas more than 200 parcels of food were collected and distributed.

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.

And its annual ‘Meet the Lions’ evening laid on tea and entertainment for more than 200 local elderly and infirm.

Mr Offord said: “Our voluntary service would not, however, have been possible without the generosity of the people of Morpeth, the co-operation of local businesses plus the understanding and assistance of our wives and partners.

“Fund-raising is never easy, however we believe that the emphasis should be on the fun part of the word.”

Vice President for the year will be Simon Pringle. Geoff Bushell remains as Secretary while Stuart Lewis will again be Treasurer.

The club will continue to meet at 8pm on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the RAFA Club, Wellway. The next meeting will be on August 23.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Morpeth Lions can do so by contacting Ian Mills on 01670 517510.