This month we are featuring an article by our friends and supporters, Southam and District Lions Club.

Many of you will be aware of the Lions presence and activities in the town, but for those who aren’t aware: who are Southam Lions?

Southam and District Lions Club has been in the town since it was created by charter in 1971 from our sponsoring club at Warwick. During that period it has maintained a healthy membership that has fluctuated between about fifteen and the low thirties – the current membership is twenty eight.

We are the local branch of Lions Club International. This organisation was founded just over one hundred years ago in Chicago by a particularly active citizen, who could see the benefits to communities of harnessing the efforts of those similarly minded. The motto of the organisation is “We serve” and it has grown to become the world’s largest service organisation which now has 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries with a membership of over 1.4 million. This international community has many benefits, not least the ability to respond very rapidly to disasters wherever they may occur, without resort to other agencies, which means that help can be directed to the problem on the ground through the local Lions clubs.

Whilst this is one aspect of Lions’ work, in the case of many clubs, Southam and District being one, the priority is to help with concerns and activities within our local area. Our area is very loosely that of the former Southam Rural District Council (which existed at the time the club was formed) and so includes local villages as well as Southam. We assist with many community events, lending our support to the annual Carnival, the Christmas Lights Switch-on and events promoted by Southam First, for example.

However, we also have our own annual programme of events that will be familiar to those who have lived in Southam area for a time, and which have become established favourites on the calendar. We are keen to promote new ideas and have recently taken on the organisation of Spring and Autumn Triathlons which are proving to be very popular.

Many of our events are to raise funds for charities. Lions members receive no benefit from these – paying their own annual subscriptions and financing the purchase of any equipment required. Others are targeted at specific sections of the community, for instance, the Ken Graham Extravaganza (Senior Citizens’ Party) in September, named in honour of the Lion who organised it for many years, when some 130 people were treated to an afternoon of entertainment at Southam College.

The organisation of our events is carried out at our regular meetings, which are conducted in a largely informal but effective and enjoyable way. We are always keen to welcome new members with fresh ideas, so if you would like to get to know people in the community and become involved, please look at www.southamlions.org.uk or speak to any Lion at one of our events.

The Lions archive albums are currently housed within the Southam Heritage Collection and are available for viewing on request. We are based in Tithe Place, High Street, and are open on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday mornings from 10am to 12 noon. For more information, contact: 01926 613503 email southamheritage@hotmail.com visit our website www.southamheritage.org and find us on Facebook.

Southam Lions Club Members examining The International Charter.   Left to Right: Lion Ken Graham & Mrs Jacky Graham, President Tony Hindley & Mrs Hindley, Mrs Hughes & District Governor Lion Peter Hughes, Mrs Swaby & Vice President Peter Swaby.

Southam Lions Club Members examining The International Charter. Left to Right: Lion Ken Graham & Mrs Jacky Graham, President Tony Hindley & Mrs Hindley, Mrs Hughes & District Governor Lion Peter Hughes, Mrs Swaby & Vice President Peter Swaby.

A 1975 poster advertising the Mop Ox Roast organised by Southam Lions.

A 1975 poster advertising the Mop Ox Roast organised by Southam Lions.