The organizational meeting to form the Lions Club of Arnprior took place June 17 1946 in the Town Hall with five members from the Ottawa Vanier Lions Club present to provide support. The Lions slogan at the time was "Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations Safety". The Club also had a Lion Code of Ethics and carried the motto "We Serve". On September 9th, 1946 the Arnprior Lions Club received its charter. Original Charter Members were: E. J. Annis, Harold Armsden, Douglas F. Ashley, Arnold Bedore, B. V. Bedore, Clifford Bedore, Max Bedore, D. H. Brown, Don H. Butler, C. W. Camp, A.D.F. Campbell, A. S. Campbell, N. A. Campbell, Charles Coe, Barclay C. Craig, W. B. Craig, H. C. Gardiner, J. C. Irvine, Thomas Johnston, Fred Lampole, W. E. Levan, Oswald Lewis, P. M. Locke, L. W. MacDonald, Melville McConeghy, Ralph Miller, Wilheam Moe, Martin Oeslner, Raymond Osborne, J. W. Reavely, Frank Smith, Malcolm Smith, W. N. Thomson, W. J. Thompson, W. A. Zalter.
It was decided at the first meeting that Regular and Board of Directors meetings would take place once a month with membership limited to 75 and the membership fee was set at $5.00 fee per year. Meetings were held in various locations including the Arnprior Rink, the Curling Rink, the Oddfellows Hall, the Madawaska Hotel, the Catholic Women's League Hall, the Arnprior Golf Club, the Town Park, the Legion Hall, the Town Hall and at members' homes. Finally, in late 1976, the Lions Club purchased their own building at 77 Madawaska Street to hold meetings and various events.
Starting in the summer of 1947, Bingo became a very successful fund raiser for the Club. The Club was also involved with running the Santa Claus parade and Arnprior Fair. Donations were made to the local hospital, the Victoria Order of Nurses as well as the fight against Tuberculosis. In 1948, the club built a bathing house beside the wharf at the Town park. Other activities in the early years included establishing Caruso Street Children's Park and providing street signs for the Town.
Throughout the years, the Lions Club of Arnprior held hundreds of fund raising activities to provide money for worthy causes both locally and internationally. The club assisted the Grove Nursing Home, held a very popular regatta, ran the Salute to the Valley festival and assisted numerous sports clubs. The Lion's Club also offered occassional assistance to cover expenses for heating oil, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, hearing aids etc. They also ran a Christmas Cheer program providing welfare recipients with special food baskets. In the mid 1970's the Club sponsored the purchase of an ice resurfacing machine for the Civic Centre. Arnprior Lionettes started activities in 1971 and a Leo Club was formed in 1983. The 35th Anniversary of the Arnprior Lions Club was celebrated on Friday March 5 1982 with a Charter Night Dinner and Dance with Guest Speaker Bruce Murray, International Director. In 2005, the club merged with the Arnprior McNab Lions Club which had formed in 1989.
For a complete history of the Lions Club of Arnprior please consult the file "History of Arnprior Lions Club 1946 - 2006 The Making of A Diamond in the Rough" written as a series of articles published in the Arnprior Chronicle-Guide, by Art Smith.
A small amount of material was donated by Mrs. Kay Rogers in 2005. Her husband Gerry Rogers was involved with the Arnprior Lions Club. In 2008 Roger Larabie donated the rest of the material on behalf of the club.
Scope and Content
The two boxes of records belonging to the Arnprior Lions Club are arranged in chronological order. Most files contain gaps in the record such as the Minutes of 1986. In addition to the textual documents, a large scrap book, original 1946 charter document and president's plaque form part of the fonds. The scrap book was compiled by Lion Norman Kinkaid to record the activities of the Arnprior Lions Club, the Leo and Lionettes of District A4 including the area of Arnprior, Renfrew, Calabogie, and Douglas. It should be consulted for information about particular events. Researchers should also consult the Minutes and Membership & Activities Reports for a complete account of the Arnprior Lions Club contributions to the community between 1946 and 1996.
Box 1 (file list)
1. Arnprior Lions Club History 1946-1996; "A Diamond in the Rough" by Art Smith
2. Miscellaneous Historical Documents
3. Minutes - Board of Directors - July 11 1946 - Dec 8 1958
4. Minutes - Board of Directors - Jan 5 1959 - Dec 9 1969
5. Minutes - Board of Directors - Feb 9 1972 - Dec 4 1974
6. Minutes - Board of Directors - Feb 4 1975 - Dec 4 1978
7. Minutes - Board of Directors - Jan 8 1979 - Dec 6 1984
8. Minutes - Board of Directors - Jan 3 1985 - 5 Dec 1985