Thursday, 25 June 2015

My (yawn) talk

I know I mentioned that I had agreed to give a talk about Brighton Lions Club to a local group and that it was only after I had agreed that I discovered they expected me to talk for an hour.  I had some very helpful suggestions from readers, like t a l k  v e r y  s l o w l y, and tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you have told them.  Yeah, well.

Anyway, I have started drafting out something and in an effort to stop my audience falling asleep, I have decided I need to include some human interest stories.  And that has left me scratching my head, although I did remember something I thought might be appropriate.  What follows is lifted straight out of my book, Diamond Geezers, the story of the first 60 years of Brighton Lions Club, available from Amazon as an e-book or paperback.

It is usual for a District Governor to adopt a catch phrase or motto for his year of office.  One opted for ‘If it isn’t fun, don’t do it’ or words along those lines.  Given that many of the Lions’ service activities are hardly likely to engender much fun, that might be seen as a little too simplistic.  However, there certainly are times when Lions, like any other people, are capable of behaving in a way that could be seen as inane or even almost insane.  Take the example of Salisbury Lions.  In 1990 they wrote to a number of Lions Clubs, of which Brighton was one, asking each of the clubs to write a letter as if it was from a gnome who was travelling round the country.  The letters were to be sent to a bed-ridden lady in Salisbury, who was in considerable pain, in the hope that they might brighten her days a little.

As it happened, Brighton Lions were organising a day’s outing to an activity park at Bognor Regis for disadvantaged children.This seemed an ideal subject for a letter from the gnome, who wrote:

‘Wow! What a weekend that was! I finally made it to Brighton – a place that I have wanted to visit for years. The weather wasn't really beach weather though, and in any case the beach is all stones. At least, that was all I could see, but the locals assured me there is some sand when the tide goes down a bit.

‘The Lions Club felt it might give you the wrong impression if I told you that I spent the weekend in Brighton, so they very kindly took me on an outing they had arranged for disadvantaged children from the town. Apparently this was the second such outing this year. They must be mad! There were over 50 children involved this time and the Lions took them to a large playground‑cum‑activity centre called Rainbow’s End in Bognor Regis, which meant an hour on the coach each way.

‘It was after lunch that the fun really started. One little boy – only about 4' 6'' tall, but 10 years old – claimed he had been pushed into the pond by a duck. After consoling him, one of the Lions suggested he should sit in the sun for a while to dry off. "No fear," he said. He was “going back to kill that b..... duck!”’


(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

See... I knew you had a duck story

John May said...

Our most irreverent member was Geoff Norman. He could make a funeral fun (including his own!). Lichfield Lions received a letter from a blind lady requesting that we redecorate her hallway. Geoff said "Our easiest task yet. Just tell her that we've done it." But he was first one there and she got far more done than she'd asked for.

Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Love it.