The Lions Club of Merriman was inspired by the friendship between Bradley Lowery, a six year old boy living in the United Kingdom and Jermain Defoe, the Bournemouth Football Club player.
Bradley who had been diagnosed with the rare cancer neuroblastoma at the age of just 18 months, was a regular Sunderland FC mascot, holding Jermain’s hand many times as the team walked onto the field for a match, before Jermain’s transfer to AFC Bournemouth FC. The pair became inseparable forming a unique friendship before Bradley’s death on 07 July 2017.
In recognition of his unlimited love, caring and consideration during Bradley’s illness, the Lions Club of Merriman awarded Jermain with the highest South African honour that may be presented to a Lion or non-Lion for dedicated and distinguished humanitarian service which exemplifies the ideals of Lionism, the Louis Volks Award.
The presentation took place at the AFC Bournemouth on Thursday, 08 March 2018 where the Lions Club of Merriman were represented by Past International Director Phil Nathan (Lions MD105), District Governor Peter Burnett (District 105D) Wimborne & Ferndown Lions Club, Past District Governor David Taylor (District 105D) Gillingham, Mere & Shaftesbury Lions Club and Anthony Marshall who is the Head of Media & Communications at AFC Bournemouth.
The award ceremony was televised and received much media coverage in the United Kingdom.
Past International Director Phil Nathan MBE also made a GPS 1,000 donation on behalf of the Lions Multiple District 105 (British Isles and Ireland) towards the Bradley Lowery Memorial Trust.
Well done to the members of the Lions Club of Merriman for initiating this worthwhile award.
The Lions District 410A 2020 team has identified the need for a Lions Club in Kuils River.
The first Information Evening took place with members of the public who had expressed interested in joining Lions on Tuesday, 6 March 2018 at the Highbury Park Educare in Kuils River. The evening was well attended and ten applications to join Lions were received.
The second follow up Information Evening will take place on Tuesday, 20th March 2018 also at Highbury Park Educare at 18h30 for 19h00.
Watch this space!
The Lions Boys to Men weekend has now taken place and once again was a huge success. The weekend has inspired people world wide and has received many complementary statements such as:
- Ground breaking
- Exactly what our country needs
- A sorely needed program for our young boys
- Great Youth Development
- and many WOWs!
The Founder of Boys to Men Canada, David Cordes was so inspired that he flew in from Canada at his own expense to staff, mentor and train during the weekend. He also committed to return to Cape Town to attend the next Lions Boys to Men weekend.
Indeed the weekend owes its success to the leadership of DC Charlie Flanagan, who with his leadership team, lead the eighteen young boys through their transformation and enabled them to see their lives light up with hope for a greater and brighter future. It should be mentioned here that five Junior Staff Members were five young boys who attended the Boys to Men program in 2017 and were so inspired that they have returned to transfer their learnings to others!
All too soon the weekend was over. The homecoming event was held at the Lions Club of Tokai’s Clubhouse. Sponsoring Lions, parents, siblings, educators and school principals attended and listened as the boys related their learnings. The invited guests were then allowed to honour the boys.
The report backs have been astounding, from parents, families and educators but most importantly, the boys have a new purpose of hope to be good role models, dream of great visions for them, their community and their country.
This difference was only made possible through the support of sponsoring Clubs and for this we thank you.