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It is with great regret that The Lions Club of Billericay announce the passing of our great friend and long term member Ray Deane. Losing such a dedicated and irreplaceable member will be very difficult for the club.
Ray’s passion for helping others was evident in his early years of National Service, where he served as a medic, working alongside the Gurkhas in the Far East. The majority of his working life was at National Westminster Bank where he maintained his community spirit and was a major force behind the Mayflower Corps marching band before joining the Lions in June 1985.
He was club president in 1992/93 and again in 2012/13, being the first member to serve twice. For the majority of the rest of his time in the club he served as a Committee Chairmen and made a major contribution to our community services achievements. He was also very active at district level, serving as a District Chairperson and on the MD105EA Cabinet in various capacities from 2007 to 2010.
Ray was instrumental in the establishment of the twinning between our Billericay club and Lions clubs in Germany and Belgium. One of our main community service events, the Triparte International Disabled Swimming Gala, would probably never have happened without him. As the main planner and organiser, he attended most galas since they were first held back in 1992. The gala is a significant achievement with participants from three countries held every two years in Billericay, Voreifel (Germany) and Bruxelles Royale on a rotational basis.
He also made a significant contribution to disabled sports with Essex County Council and countrywide with the Lions. This involved the setting up of disabled galas throughout the whole of MD105 and organising swimming events for the British Special Olympics.
Ray was a sterling member of our club and, although a stickler for the rules, was always keen to be involved and guide members on various matters. His knowledge of our organisation was second to none and was invaluable on many occasions.
Ray, along with his wife Mary, were the first members of the club to receive the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. The award, named after Melvin Jones, the founder of Lions Clubs International, is only presented to members who have achieved an exceptional level of humanitarian service to communities on behalf of the Lions over many years.
Last Wednesday, a small group from Billericay Lions visited our local branch of the Salvation Army in Basildon.
This year’s President, John Furlong, presented a cheque for £250 to Salvation Army Lieutenant, Paul Williams.
The donation will be used locally towards projects to support the homeless.
Over a number of years, Billericay Lions wives and partners have raised funds to donate to a charity nominated by the President’s wife / partner.
Recently, past President’s wife, Margaret Bellringer, presented a £1,000 cheque on behalf of Billericay Lions ladies to her chosen charity, Anvil House to help fund new furniture in one of the Lounges.
Billericay Ladies raised the money through fund raising activities including table top sales and a tombola.
Anvil House Care Home is located in Billericay and provides person-centered responsive care for 7 adults with intellectual disabilities and complex needs.
The cheque was presented to Anvil House Manager Patrick Iddon in the front garden of Anvil House in accordance with COVID – 19 Protocols and Social Distancing.
Billericay Lions have this year also made a £250 donation to Anvil House to fund the purchase of Garden Games and Alexa music units.
Thank you Billericay Town Council for publishing this article in the September 2020 issue of Billericay Town Crier.
At our last Zoom Club Meeting in August our members agreed to donate £90 towards the cost of prizes for the 2020 Friends of Lake Meadows annual photographic competition.
The Competition is open to all age groups and is a very popular annual event.
The competition normally closes in October with a prize presentation in Billericay Library in January.
Please visit the Friends of Lake Meadows website for full details and an entry form.
Billericay Lions have funded photographic competition prizes for the past 6 years.
Billericay Lions members recently agreed to donate £500 to BOSP (Brighter Opportunities for Special People).
The donation is for the purchase of a tool shed, outdoor wooden planting areas, table and chairs so that a courtyard can be converted into a garden.
BOSP is a small charity that supports families by providing short break care for their children, young people and young adults who have disabilities or life-limiting conditions.
This new facility will support young people who have special educational needs to help build up their confidence, independence and social skills.
Billericay Lions have been engaged with BOSP over a number of years. Every year Billericay Lions in sponsor a Community Cinema Fun Day in conjunction with Billericay Community Cinema.
Billericay Lions members have agreed to donate £500 as part of a Mayflower Rotary Club of Billericay initiative to support the Kool Carers Charity.
Kool Carers is a charity that supports children who are caring for sick or vulnerable adults.
The initiative will provide outdoor activities, picnics and fun and provide a sense of normality for the children.
Billericay Lions are pleased to be part of a Community Activity in Billericay that enriches the lives of these young carers.
Billericay Lions President John Furlong is pictured presenting a cheque for £500 to Jenny Meads, Director of Basildon and Thurrock Samaritans.
Several Billericay Lions visited the Samaritans Basildon base, for a socially distanced cheque handover.
Our community services committee identified the local Samaritans as a charity with additional demand but limited fundraising opportunities at this difficult time. This donation was unanimously carried at our Zoom club meeting on 27 July.
Every penny we raise, through our various fundraising activities, goes towards helping “those in need” in our community.
Any running costs are funded by our members.
Not one penny goes towards administration costs.