Coleraine Lions Club disbands in its 50th year

Gavin Craig (Coleraine Lions Club president) pictured presenting awards to the Cougars Club.

Gavin Craig (Coleraine Lions Club president) pictured presenting awards to the Cougars Club.

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The last president of Coleraine Lions Club has blamed a lack of interest in the international organisation for it disbandment in what would be its 50th year.

Gavin Craig said dwindling numbers over the past few years had not been replenished - causing the current membership to call it a day.

“Ironically this would have been our fiftieth year as the club was formed in 1965,” he told the Times this week.

“Basically we had difficulty recruiting new members. In its heyday of the late 60s and early 70s we would have had over 40 members but that fell to under 30 in the 90s.

“At the end we had three female members but the problem was attracting other members.

“We were down to single figures.”

Gavin revealed that a decision to fold the club had actually been taken at a meeting in the Lodge Hotel in November.

Lions Clubs International (LCI)was founded by Melvin Jones in America in 1917.

It has over 46,000 clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries around the world.

Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, the Lions motto is “We Serve” and clubs devote themselves to supporting charities and projects in their own communities.

Coleraine Lions Club began its early years in Portrush, meeting in the Causeway Hotel and later the Bohill Hotel in Coleraine.

Gavin, who has been a Lions member for 25 years, said:

“Membership was open to anyone really, not just business people.

“For many years we supported projects like The Talking Newspaper and the Lifeboat.

“We also backed the Coleraine Cougars Special Olympics Club, the Riding for the Disbaled and some cancer charities.”