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District 35-A  Web Site

Lions of Florida and Grand Bahama Island

 MD-35 Lions

08/23/2007

    Redland District Lions Club
 
 

Welcome to the Redland District Lions Club, a Club that was chartered on the 9th of June, 1925.

Looking back over the eighty year history of the Club brings to light many interesting facts. At the time of the chartering of the Club's original twenty-nine members on the 9th of June, 1925, the Redland-Homestead-Florida City area was truly a small rural, agricultural community. An August 11, 1931 copy of the Leader-Enterprise revealed that this early club sent local fruit to New York City by way of Mr. Larry Pope for use on the motorship "Morrissey", who carried the crew of the Norcross Bartlett Northeastern Greenland Expedition across one-mile thick ice. It states that this fruit was a factor in keeping the members in good health.

The membership of the Club grew very rapidly in its first ten years as did the community, and on March 5, 1935 the Redland District Lions Club was recognized as second in the State for the largest new enrollment of membership.

This same year brought another historic occasion to the Redland Club. On March 26, 1935, the Club had its formal opening of its new Clubhouse - the first Lions Club in the State to own its own Clubhouse. This March 26 opening marked the end of a year of hard work for its members, a year which had began at a groundbreaking on July 28 the previous year. The finished Clubhouse was constructed of native coral rock, maple parquet floor, and featured a Spanish door said to be over four-hundred years old, brought over from Cuba by a Mr. R.L. Short. In-tact and in superb condition, this 250 seat Clubhouse still remains as the den for the Redland Lions.

With the new Clubhouse also came new members and with their help more community action. In 1936, it was the Redland Lions Club who worked diligently with other civic bodies for the opening of Silver Palm Drive (S.W. 232 Street) to South Federal Highway (US #1). This same year the Club was instrumental in eliminating many of the dangerous corners in the Redlands, and also the improvement of the hurricane warning service in the region.

In 1939, in an effort to bring health care to South Dade, the Club unanimously endorsed  the establishment of a County Health Unit, which has evolved to the present day Homestead Health Clinic. (It has apparently evolved further, I'll post when I find out Ed)

The membership of the Club continued to grow and in 1945 the Club had generated enough funds through membership dues that the cost of the original building materials for the Clubhouse were paid off. Records show that twenty members of the Club had put down One Hundred Dollars each in 1935 for the initial building costs. All twenty members were reimbursed their One Hundred Dollars ten years later.

The following year brought action to Homestead. The Club, jointly with the Men's Club of the Homestead Presbyterian Church, planned for the Homestead Playground. Also, they approved plans for the supervision of the Homestead and Redland School grounds for summer recreation programs.

Another project which the Redland Club undertook was the funding of an outdoor camping experience for several youths of the Homestead-Florida City area. This undertaking was called "The Bill Bradley Memorial Fund", in honor of the late Bill Bradley of Homestead. The money from this fund was used on an annual basis to send two children from Homestead and two children from Florida City to summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina.

In order to make such projects possible, many people have donated their time and energy, and years of service to this Club. From the long list of Lions who have held membership in the Redland District Club, none have received higher recognition than the late "Ed" H. Gallaher of Homestead. One of the finest Lions in all of Lionism, Ed held the highest key held in almost fifty years of Lionism, the International Key. He brought into Lionism 247 Lions. He organized three of the finest Clubs that continue to exist today. The first was the Coral Gables Club which was chartered on May 4, 1938. The second was the South Miami Lions Club chartered on September 29, 1949. The third was the Perrine Lions Club chartered on April 26, 1954. In addition to the three clubs Ed initiated, the Homestead-Gallaher Lions Club was named in recognition of this great Lion. At the time of its chartering on May 12, 1962 it was the only Lions Club internationally which was named for a living Lion. Ed Gallaher's service to his nation, his state, his community and his Club will always be evident.

As always, the Redland District Lions Club has been a part of the community. With Car raffles and Barbeques through the 70's, 80's and 90's and the old standard - The Popcorn sales at the annual Homestead Rodeo.

The Club today still has a connection to the past in Lion Harold Kendall. In 2006 he received his 65 Year pin, all with the Redland Club.

2006 also brought the first Melvin Jones Fellowships to the Club. For its hard work and donations to LCIF's Sightfirst II initiative a total of five fellowships were awarded. Former Club Presidents Lion Harold Kendall and Lion Boyce Rhyne were each presented one with the gratitude of their club.

The Redland Lions made history again in 2007 when Lion Kim Norwood was inducted as the first female President since its inception 82 years ago.

The Lions Club motto "We Serve" is alive and well in the Redland District Lions Club.

 
   
     

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