Local branch of Lions Club starts

2017-05-16 06:01
Thirty-four Athlone residents have been inducted as members of the Lions Club of Athlone.

Thirty-four Athlone residents have been inducted as members of the Lions Club of Athlone.

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Thirty-four Athlone residents were inducted into the newly founded Athlone district of Lions Club International last week. Councillor for ward 49 Rashid Adams was elected as the branch’s first president.

This branch is the first Lions Club to be established on the Cape Flats, making it a charter club.

“When we talk about a charter we talk about a brand new club. That is why the Athlone group is referred to as a charter club. We are not a part of an established club already,” says Adams.

He says the members will meet at least once a month, but are yet to find their own independent clubhouse.

“The main objective of the Lions Club is to see how they can assist through various social upliftment programmes that will assist with community development,” he says.

Adams uses the example of another club that has adopted Athlone North Primary School, where all the learners were taken for eye tests. It was discovered that about 70 learners needed spectacles, which the Lions Club paid for.

Adams says when there are bigger events like disasters, then Lions Club International gets involved.

“I am very excited about this Lions charter club in Athlone. We have had quite a few meetings prior to the charter dinner. Subsequently, there were a number of meetings which were to create enthusiasm. We started with very few members and we grew to 34 members,” adds Adams.

The club members had their first official meeting at a clubhouse in Belmont Road in Rondebosch on Friday.

“What is important is that we need our community to come forward with proposals. Because that is one way in which we can offer assistance – when they tell us what they are doing and how we can help.”

He says he will balance his role as club president with his work as ward councillor, but that both areas are closely aligned to community development.

“The Lions Club is not me, it consists of members, so the entire membership group will be driving the objectives of community upliftment. The mandate is very similar, but not the same,” he explains.

The Lions Club members will not only be working in ward 49 but the entire Athlone district, which includes incorporating projects from nearby areas such as Langa, Gugulethu and Philippi.

“I have also been marketing the Lions Club to the business sector in the Athlone CBD and I told them what is going to happen. I think that we also need to look at what is happening with our businesses and how they can work alongside our social sector to work alongside a club like the Lions Club,” adds Adams, saying working together will only bare good things, because Lions Club International is well-established.

Lions Club International is celebrating its centenary and has been in South Africa for around 60 years.

“They have quite a legacy already that has been created and they have done a lot of good work over the past few years. I am keen to see what they can do. This is not another crutch, but basically a tool that the community can empower themselves with even further. I am going to involve our communities, because we have to create an avenue for volunteerism. Once communities get involved, they feel more inclined to be wanted, to be part of the growing process.”

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