The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on Dec. 25 was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine.
You could say the celebration has been a tradition for quite some time!
And, if you take a look at all international cultures who celebrate Christmas, there is a common thread of goodwill to all and joy to the world. It’s a time when many unite with family and/or friends to celebrate the year that has been. However, it’s not always a joyous time for all. Those without families, those grieving, and those who are less fortunate and feel the pressures all try to avoid the time. So, there are the many Lions, young and old, who gather in festive spirit around tables to decorate gift bags for donations to help those in need, or those who create Christmas lunch events for the lonely, or those who share food parcels for those struggling.
The spirit of community remains alive and well across the Lions family.
So too does the Lions Christmas Cake and Pudding program. It has been a major fund raising project of Lions Australia since 1965 and has raised more than $56mill to be directed back into our communities. The proceeds go to great causes including Blindness Prevention and Vision improvement projects, Medical Research, Children’s Mobility Foundation, Eye Health Program, Hearing Dogs, Disaster Relief, Aged Care, Drug Awareness and Youth Programs.
So, through a Lions Christmas program, we get to give back all year.
– Lion Charlie, District 201C1 PR
Below we feature stories from across District 201C1, written by our resident journo, Lion Doug Booth, Clare Lions Club.
Interviews by Doug Booth
Gawler Lions are in full flight, starting with a Christmas Lunch at the Gawler Arms on Thursday December 9 at 12.30pm.
Mother Christmas Ann Hurst Gawler Lions Club “At the lunch we are all bringing a Chris-cringle present to be given to children that are in need of assistance such as Domestic Violence,” club secretary David Schwartz said.
“We are having our Christmas Sunday market at the Gawler Railway Station on Sunday December 19 and Mother Christmas will deliver a bag of sweets and a balloon to all children and stallholders,” David said.
The market starts at 8am and closes at midday.
The club is donating 45x1kg cakes to make up 45 Christmas Hampers to be distributed through U-Care.
The Christmas tree in the Railway Station Kiosk is the place to leave Christmas presents to be donated to the needy, including the Salvos and domestic violence.
In Clare, the Christmas tree is up and the lights have been switched on at Ennis Park in the heart of the town.
A team from the Clare Lions, led by Christmas Pageant chairman Ron Wurst, assembled and decorated the three-metre tree in an hour.
Further festive decorations were added on Sunday, providing the perfect backdrop for the Pageant Procession along Main North Road which will go ahead on December 3 from 6.30pm.
“Santa’s sack is ready and raffle tickets will be on sale in the main street outside the post office this week,” Ron Wurst said
At Cowell, new members Kim and Brigid Baum have been quick to add plenty of festive spirit to the coastal town.
The Lions Club approached the Franklin Harbour Council for approval to festoon the large Norfolk Island pine tree in the Main Street with coloured lighting.
“Permission was granted, and the result has been favourably commented on, as it gives Cowell an early Yuletide appearance,” Cowell resident Muriel Hunt said.
The decorated tree will add to the festive appearance for the Christmas pageant and procession on December 24.
The Athelstone Christmas sleigh is back in action after a year’s hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The sleigh was scheduled to travel around Athelstone on November 29-30 and December 1-2.
Athelstone Lions Club member of 40 years Michael Cook said the sleigh had been in almost every street in the town over the years.
“Father Christmas hands out lollies to the children and club members sell Lions Christmas cakes and puddings from the sleigh,” Michael said.
He said the sleigh dates back to the 1980s and was built by the late Bob Albrecht who made the reindeer from pieces of Styrofoam.
“We added a new music system and the late Brett Lymn made bells out of shell cases,” he said.
Lions members decorate the sleigh with new tinsel regularly.
Kadina Lions together with Apex, Rotary and the local Business council have bought a new Christmas Tree for Kadina.
The lights were switched on on November 26.
“Together with Apex cooked a BBQ serving steak sandwiches, sausages and drinks, which went really well,” Lions member Gerry van Niekerk said.
Several hundred people turned up to see the new tree while a band played music in the Rotunda.
The same group will be in charge of the Christmas Pageant on December 20 without any floats.
Kadina Lions are also selling Christmas Cakes and a Christmas raffle in the coming weeks.
Funds raised will support local events such as cash prices to a number of students for exceptional community service.
Thank you to all Club and members for all you do at Christmas time.