Our Community - Biography of the San Pedro Lions Club Part 1 of 2

Ribbon cutting ceremony at the Lions Clinic 23 years ago

by Lion Beto Marin, PGF,MJF

It all started on October 25th, 1975 at "Los Marinos Club" when San Pedro Lions Club received its official Charter with an enrollment of 36 new Lion members.

The first President to take the challenge was Lion Pete Salazar. He had eight months to decide our future goals for this unending journey of SERVICE to the less fortunate, our community and mankind. Were these 36 Lions ready for this conquest? Yes, there was tons of enthusiasm, spirit and a burning desire to show the quality of service we wanted to achieve. There was unity, faith and true friendship in every face. We were ready to aid our fellow man and help anyone in distress and need. This was the type of attitude 23 years ago.

Out of a number of community projects, the San Pedro Lions Club identified one. The necessity of a health facility in our growing village. The enthusiasm and manpower to provide this goal was 100% accepted. Then, at a general meeting on February 25th, 1976, Lion Adolfo Ayuso (deceased) offered the donation of a full set of dental equipment by Dr. Jim Lampman and Doug Hampback, both of the USA, challenging the Club to house it. This was the spark needed and immediately after, the Lionistic ball started rolling. A series of meetings followed, thoroughly discussing draft plans, places and government approval for full scale construction of this ambitious project. Finally almost one year later on October 3rd, 1977, under the dynamic leadership of President Wil Alamilla Sr., the work started. The lot purchased cost BZ $1000. Working committees were formed to supervise all stages of the project. Sunday mornings were all sacrificed by the members hauling sand, gravel and breaking rocks to fill the lot which was laying in a half swampy area. Old Sanpedrano Severito Guerrero donated all the sand, thus naming him the first honorary member of the community. Fund raising drives and collections were made to cover merely the construction material. Construction foremen included Norman Eiley, John Belisle and Emeterio Sansorez. The first year of all-out effort had already ended. A new club president and guardian of the spark was chosen. It was now up to the leadership of Lion Beto Marin to see the project through its completion. This was also the year of the first National Convention ever for District 59. The site was chosen for this grand event and you guessed it - SAN PEDRO!! It now became a matter of pride and an added challenge to have the new health facility finished by April 23rd, 1978, the date of the convention. The hands, hearts and heads of the entire membership were once again rededicated to their dream. The structure was finally completed only weeks before the convention. Individual Lions donated windows, doors, gallons of paint and even the local Leo Club gave the main entrance door in order to reach completion.

After 19 months of intense effort and work, the San Pedro Lions still found strength, enthusiasm and energy to host the National Convention, that is still looked at today as unbeatable. It was a grand spectacle. In that fantastic year of success, even the San Pedro Lions National Queen candidate, Alma Staines took the crown. Flushed with pride and achievement, the convention culminated with a grand march around the entire village - the destination - the new Lions Clinic for the ribbon cutting ceremony, conducted by Lion Octavio Arvizu, International Lions Director. The clinic was also blessed by our own Reverend Raskowski. The chests of San Pedro Lions were justifiably swelled that day in pride of accomplishment. The Community Lions Clinic has ever since served its purpose to the town of San Pedro in dental, eye and general practice.

Twenty three years ago, the first donation of US$1000 was donated by our community friend, Ritchie Woods and two weeks ago our own Lion member Ramon Nuñez has again challenged us with a BZ$100,000 donation for a new hospital. We are now 55 members. Are we ready to take up this one again? It's all up to the new incoming president.

Our Community - Biography of the San Pedro Lions Club Part 1 of 2

Copyright San Pedro Sun. Design by Casado Internet Group

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize News