Contretemps! That’s French for “a barney” or, in Scottish, “a stooshie”. So, why am telling you this? Because they are as rare as hens teeth and blue moons in our club and we had one. It turns out that we have a constitution. I think this came as a surprise to some of the members whose general attitude to anything approaching a rule book is to hang it in the smallest room in the house. The other, even bigger, surprise was that someone had actually read it and thought that perhaps we needed to pay attention to it. Anyway after five minutes of fluff and feathers insanity broke out and we were back to normal.
Having had a couple of months off after Christmas our fundraisers went mad in March (quite appropriate if you think about it although they do tend to be more tortoise than hare these days). They ran a Swimathon which 12 teams entered and raised £1,800, a quiz, which 17 teams entered and raised £550, and a concert given for us by the Hampshire Guitar Orchestra (HAGO) and the Basingstoke Rock Choir.
Have you ever heard of a Guitar Orchestra? I hadn’t. It is brilliant. And the players clearly love what they are doing! No electrics, just beautiful mellow acoustic guitars on which they gave us an hour long medley of famous tunes – Penny Lane, Woman, Eternal Flame and many more. Derek Hasted leads and presents their show with a dry, wry sense of humour that had us in stitches, particularly when (having had a look at us) he invited us to use our dentures as castanets for the Dansa Cubana. Priceless! Check them out on hago.org.uk. And then came the cherry on the cake, the Rock Choir. They’ve sung at Wembley, at the Liverpool Arena and O2. They are terrific. They gave us loud they gave us low, they gave us fast they gave us slow – Just the Way You Are, Rescue Me, True Colours, How Deep is Your Love, Dance with Me Tonight etc, etc, a wonderful selection of evocative songs. And they’ll be appearing in Basingstoke again on July 17 in aid of Living Paintings, a charity that helps blind and partially sighted people achieve their potential. This is a very worthwhile cause so please check out anvilarts.org.uk and go along to support both the choir and the cause if you possibly can.
Welfare wise we’ve been looking into what we can do to assist the people of Buckskin. We’ve voted an initial £500 which will be processed through a church group that has, with the blessing of the council (perhaps that should be the other way round), taken up the cudgels on behalf of the residents and is offering practical help wherever it can.
Membership. We have potential new Lions visiting our business meetings and joining us for dinners and fundraising. They seem to be enjoying themselves. If you see a rash of posters breaking out in your community hall calling for “new blood”, please don’t think we’ve gone into the black pudding business. It’s just our membership secretary’s way of inviting more people to join us.
Lions Young Ambassador Competition: Lions have always encouraged young people to volunteer and assist their local communities or individuals in need of help. If you know any young person who works selflessly for others and who will reach his or her 15th but not 19th birthday by 30th June 2015 we would like the opportunity to nominate them as a candidate for District, National and European Young Ambassador. Please contact John Lincoln on 01256 325280 for more details.
On May 3 we are showcasing more local talent - The Heritage Orchestra at QMC. It’s sort of like last night at the proms on speed - 35 musicians playing music of all sorts with a leavening of singing and games. They gave us a really exhilarating show last year and I’m sure they’re going to do it again!
Please contact Maurice 01256 421867 or John 01256 325280 for tickets or even (if you’re really desperate) Philip on 01256 352393.
On June 8 we’re having our annual Charity Cycle Ride. Contact Philip on 01256 352393.
More details about all the above and much more can be found on our website basingstokelions.org.uk.