TRURO - A popular expression, readily found in greeting cards, carols, television movies and Bible studies during the holidays, is âPeace on Earth, goodwill toward men.â
© Submitted photo
The Truro & District Lions Club gave District N-2 Governor Scott MacKenzie, left, reason to celebrate during his official annual visit and the club's Christmas party on Dec. 13, when King Lion Bucky Daye presented a $1,000 cheque toward the 2013-14 district project, restoration of the playground at the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA) School for the Blind in Halifax. The project, which will cost approximately $107,000 to complete, has been adopted by Lions Clubs throughout the Atlantic Provinces.
To Lions, the phrase is not only a seasonal sentiment, but a year-round commitment so strong that at each Lions club meeting, a moment of silence is observed for world peace.
Lions Clubs International (LCI) enjoys a unique relationship with the United Nations (UN). In 1945, the year that the UN was formed to promote international peace and security, Lions founder Melvin Jones and two past international directors were asked to help develop the UNâs non-governmental organization (NGO) charter. LCI, already established as a worldwide service organization, shared many values with the newly formed UN and LCIâs first purpose, âTo create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world,âmirrored the UN ideal of a world at peace. Since that time, the two organizations have worked together on many humanitarian projects, and LCI appoints representatives annually to the World Health Organization (WHO), and to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Childrenâs Fund (UNICEF), and Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In the late 70s, the two organizations created an event as an opportunity to reflect on common goals, their joint accomplishments and their shared commitment to the humanitarian needs of the global community. The 36th annual Lions Day with the United Nations, celebrating a 69-year partnership, will be held on Feb. 15, 2014.
The quest for peace is encouraged among youth in the form of an annual Lions international peace poster competition for students from age 11 to 13. Truro Lions are proud local sponsors of the competition, which began 25 years ago. Each year, a different peace-related theme is chosen, the most recent being Our World â Our Future, with a fall 2014 theme of Peace, Love and Understanding.
In addition to demonstrating goodwill toward men in its own community, the Truro & District Lions Club contributes to global humanitarian efforts through Lions Clubs International Foundation projects. In 2013, club donations assisted with disaster relief for Oklahoma City, the Alberta floods and most recently, the Philippine typhoon.
Locally, Lions donations during the past year have helped to feed families, give healthy breakfasts to children in school, purchase medical devices, provide uniforms to cadets, furnish quality books for those who canât afford them, sponsor attendance at camp for children with medical challenges, and assist numerous other organizations vital to community health and welfare.
Service projects have aided in streamlining the process at blood donor clinics, removal of garbage from roadsides and ensuring safety of the elderly and infirm through installation of personal alarm systems.
Truro Lions are proud of the service provided during the past year, but without participation in radio, television and 50/50 bingo, without attendance at annual pancake breakfasts and casino night, without prize donations for club events, Lions could not serve as they do.
Truro & District Lions extend a sincere thank you for your support during 2013 and a heartfelt wish for peace for all in 2014.
Joyce Gero, or Lion Joyce, is 2013-14 public relations chairwoman with Truro & District Lions Club. She is a resident of Lower Truro.