It started in 1971 at the De La Warr Pavilion when over 90 Lions from across the country gathered in the Elizabeth Room to celebrate the formation of Bexhill Lions Club.

Fifty years later, a celebratory “Glitz and Glamour” evening was held at Highwoods Golf Club attended by over 80 guests. The guests of honour were The Mayor Cllr Paul Plim, Deputy Mayor Cllr Clare Baldry, the SE District Governor Lion Ian Forbes and his wife Susie.

Guests were welcomed by Master of Ceremonies Lion David Burstow.

Immediate Past President Simon Edwards started his summary of his year with “Well what a year we had!”. He went on to say that in all respects it had been a very successful year, including attracting 8 new members during the Covid . The Club had raised its profile significantly, helped by increased social media and web presence.They had held the usual meetings, raised funds for needy causes and enjoyed a range of social events, through the power of zoom. Following details of specific events and roles individuals had played, Simon thanked all members for their contribution and for making it a fantastic club to be part of.

Lion President Richard Winrow MJF then reflected, in a light hearted manner, on the past 50 years. That in 1971; Apollo 14 landed on the moon, The present Fire Station was built and we went decimal. Average income was £2,000, a house cost roughly 3 x salary. The weekly shop was £10.40 and we spent 16p on a pint of beer, milk cost 5p, Petrol was 34p a gallon and if we wanted a ready meal treat  A Vesta beef curry … for 2, was just 20p.

In 1972 the De La Warr Pavilion hosted a pop extravaganser with Johnny Cash and the Eagles as top of the bill. This was to raise funds for the Glyn GAP Swimming Pool fund. A supporting act was Bob Marley giving his first UK performance. The event was organised by Bexhill Lions Club.

Richard added “For several years we ran successful Triathlons and attracted the likes of Eddy Izzard, Jayne Torvil and Graham Norton to present prizes and held our first Bexhill Santa Dash back in 2013.

We’ve bought blades for the Rowing Club, Sails for the Sailing Club and Flags for the Scouts as well as helping hundreds of groups and individuals in need.

We’ve held toe-tapping Barn Dances, Casino Nights, Safari suppers, horse race nights, Quizes and even strudled on down to our Oktoberfest.”

He ended by saying ” The Lions motto is “We Serve” and the key to the success of a Club is its members. Ours have diverse backgrounds, skills, interests and abilities and work together for the benefit of the community. How would I sum up Bexhill Lions?  We Can  We Will  We Do ..   and we have a lot of fun doing it”

District Governor Ian Forbes then responded, congratulating the Club on its Community involvement, Membership success and original events such as ” You’ve been Flamingoed” and the Fairy trails with their environmental messages.

Simon proposed a toast to to “Partners and Guests” which was very humorous and well received.

Mayor Paul Plim then responded by saying that Lions continue to play a key role in the life of the Bexhill community. He thanked them for their commitment and involvement and in particular their focus on youth. He added that he hoped that links could be made between the Club and the local Scout movement.

Following a first class meal, guests were eager to get tickets for the raffle which was a great success with its attractively displayed quality prizes.

Entertainment was provided by the amazing “Some Like it Hotter” swing Band.

For more information on membership or the activities of Bexhill Lions, our Facebook page, or call the Club Secretary on 0345 833 9591