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
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
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
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.