Wokingham Lions on our Travels

Budapest, April 2022

Alan Rouse and his wife Chris took a city break in Budapest over Easter. Before going he found that the Thomas Mann All Nations Lions Club of Budapest were holding a Charity Gala while they was there, so he contacted their president, Andreas Volger. They met for a meal, over which Andreas explained that they have members from seven different nationalities and conduct their business in English. They are one of a number of clubs in Budapest that were formed after the removal of the Iron Curtain in 1993.

They champion one particular charity, the Norbertine Sisters in Zsámbék, who feed and educate disadvantaged families and children. The club regularly donates food as well as clothes, computers, schoolbags etc. More details can be seen here.

Alan and Chris attended the Charity Gala, which attracted an audience of around 200 to hear a concert of music and dance throughout the world, from classic to Latin. All performers offered their services free of charge.

Vancouver, April 2022

While on holiday in Vancouver husband and wife members Sue and Bob DeQuidt spotted this Lions momento:

Australia, January 2015

While visiting family in Australia Alan Rouse contacted the local Lions Club with a view to extending fellowship by attending a meeting.  It so happened that the next meeting was their President’s Barbecue, to which he and his wife Christina were duly invited.  They were warmly welcomed at the event, and were treated as honoured guests.  They found a lot in common between Frenchs Forest Lions Club and Wokingham Lions Club.  Both are around the same size, with about 30 members, and equally active in fund raising.   However, like many clubs here, they are finding it difficult to recruit new members, so the average age of their members is increasing.  They were intrigued to learn the Wokingham Lions are bucking the trend and regularly gaining new members.

At the end of the evening, Alan and Christina were presented with a Frenchs Forest Lions Club banner, and an invitation to visit again next time they are in Australia.  Alan responded by inviting any of their members who visit the UK to contact him to meet our club.

The climate in Australia makes a big difference, so most of their events are bathed in sunshine.  For example, they organise a Santa’s sleigh, but it has a slightly different angle when everyone is in T-shirts and shorts!

Sri Lanka

Following the Tsunami a new charity called RITA (Reading Initiative for Tsunami Action) was set up in Reading with the aim of providing on-going support to a single town hit by the Tsunami. Beruwala in Sri Lanka was selected and a number of initiatives have been carried out by Rita over the years.

We became aware of their work and teamed up with the other 4 Lions clubs in our area to fund the building of a new property on the RITA housing project for victims of the Tsunami.

A few years later Andy and Debbie Slay decided to visit Sri Lanka for their holidays and arranged to go to the housing project to meet the people that had been helped by the project. It was wonderful to see how their lives had been transformed by the work and we found it a very humbling experience.

Whilst on the same holiday they also visited a girls orphanage and the Wokingham Lions subsequently funded food, new dresses and eye tests for the girls.