Meet the Members

We currently have 17 members. We need more. We encourage prospective members to attend at least one business meeting before applying to join. If that doesn't scare them off nothing will.

We work to a well defined agenda but the members conduct during the meetings is often somewhat rambunctious which gives rise to much hilarity and fines from the Tailtwister. But business is conducted efficiently. Our attendance rate is generally around 80%.

We have two "working" committees: the Welfare Committee meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month via Zoom and the Fundraising Committee on the 1st Tuesday in person. Then all members come together for the monthly Business meeting which is held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dianne

Dianne Hopkins - President, Secretary & Fundraising Committee member

Previously a member of the Lions Club of South Africa, Dianne joined our Club in 2012 after carefully sussing us out by attending three of our business meetings to make sure that it was truly as riotous on each occasion. Since then she has participated in all the Club activities including visiting our twin Club in Alencon and subsequently hosting French Lions, and attending our District Convention. She has also stood in as Quizmaster when the usual one was unavailable, and was very well received. Her business and computer skills make the jobs of Secretary and member of the Fundraising Committee a doddle. She dipped her toe in the fundraising pool in 2015 and ran a most successful Barn Dance for us. It was definitely one of our most "fun" evenings with everyone getting into the swing of it, so she did it again in 2016 with equal success.

A successful stint as our second woman President simultaneously earnt herself the Lion of the Year Award, in spite of many personal trials and tribulations. She has become an expert Secretary in that she does not bother the membership with the deluge of irrelevant correspondence she receives, passes on only that which might possibly prove helpful (very little), and will combine the Secretary role with that of 2nd Vice District Governor for the year 2023-2024.

Julian

Julian Bridges - Treasurer, Website Administrator, Data Protection Officer, Welfare Committee member & Tweeter

Inducted into the Club at our Handover Dinner in June 2014. But he'd looked us over pretty carefully before joining and had joined us setting up events, run a raffle and starred in the Old Basing Carnival wearing the Lion suit. You'd have thought that a 6' 6" Lion bearing down on them might have scared the kids. Not a bit of it - he was mobbed. All wanted a hug or a carry. 

We now have over 400 followers on Twitter which he uses to point followers in the direction of our Facebook pages, those adroitly handled by his other half. He is very definitely a dab hand at introducing new items to the website and has brought in some eye-catching innovations. The whole website now hangs together beautifully, and you can safely use it to buy tickets for our many imaginative events. Member of the website award winning team 2016 and well-deserved 'Lion of the Year' 2019, he has also sorted out our mailing list so that we now comply with that piece of Brussels bureaucracy, The Data Protection Act. Then he further astounded us by taking on the role of Treasurer with which he manfully steered us through the sargasso sea of internet banking to make our financial life a little easier. Congratulations!

Anousjka

Anousjka Selders - Welfare Committee Chair & Facebook Co-ordinator

Having been formally inducted at our Handover Dinner in 2014, she has regularly helped out and participated in events, most frequently with the Lions Den, our putting game . She appeared to enjoy the Old Basing Carnival very much as it afforded her the opportunity to drag the Lion around with a rope round his neck actually alias her husband!

Her talents include excellent writing skills which she uses to post news of our activities on Facebook and which have not only enhanced our public profile but brought us new supporters for our Charity events. But she also deploys her own super-fit cycling prowess in aid of other charities. Her last effort was 222 miles in 3 days. (Tour de France here she comes!)

She has also previously taken on the thankless task of Dinner Secretary where she found favour with the members by finding some novel eateries for us to try out. A member of the website award winning team in 2016, she has steered the Welfare Committee through the last 4 years which, due to her grasp of detail and persistence, is going very well. Her achievements combined earnt her 'Lion of the Year' 2021 and her particular contribution to the Covid times were frequent sessions as a Vaccination Volunteer. We thank you.

Bill Lenihan

Bill Lenihan - Fundraising Committee Chair & Lions Den Co-ordinator

In 2019 he got talking to Annie Vicars at our World Sight Day stall in the Malls and she persuaded him to join us at a dinner meeting at The Hatch. It was the usual rowdy, good-humoured affair and he was pretty much sold on us. But he's a cautious soul and attended two business meetings before being badged up on 8th January 2020 (must have been a New Year's resolution). He kept a low profile at first before taking on the onerous task of Fundraising Chairman. He's taken to it like a duck to soup but like all of us charities, found his fundraising 'duck wings clipped' because of guess what Covid of course. However, with the easing of that situation he's reinstated our Giant Easter Egg raffle, persuading various hitherto untried venues to participate. His recent particular success was the staging of a Prostate Cancer PSA testing event for gents aged 40 and above which was attended by approximately 140 - a terrific community service. And, as yet another Vaccination Volunteer, we thank you also.

THE MOTLEY CREW

Rex Sinden

Rex Sinden - Immediate Past President, Welfare Committee member, Dinner Secretary, International Liaison Officer, Zone Chairman & Melvin Jones Fellow

Melvin Jones Fellow

Half of the bars on the Presidential regalia bear his name. Whenever there's a volunteer hiatus he steps up to the mark as he did, yet again, for the year 2021-2022. As one can see, he takes another role as Dinner Secretary seriously. This has enabled him to develop excellent programmes for our Twinning events with the Lions Club of Alencon. As a result the French (those well-known exponents of "ze stinky cheese") have developed not only a healthy respect for British cuisine, but also a predilection for English cheeses served with water biscuits (which are virtually unknown in France). He is also our sommelier (got the picture?), scavenging wine merchants and supermarket shelves for interesting plonk to offer our supporters at the appropriate fundraising events. Having fairly recently become addicted to golf, one wonders when the annual boules match against the French will be converted into an annual golf match. We did try them out with golf clubs once but there was a definite mismatch between enthusiasm and ball contact. The 2018 twinning visit programme he organised was one of our best ever and it was certainly equalled by our French hosts when we visited them in May 2019. It was a superb weekend but culminating in us losing the annual boules match - quelle surprise! For obvious reasons these visits of entente cordiale temporarily ceased but, happily, are reinstated.

He nearly fell off his chair when one of the other members (without even having his arm twisted) volunteered to relieve him of the convoluted task of Treasurer. Convoluted as in the stringent controls over the task imposed by the Charities Commission and our own HQ organisation are not a particularly easy fit with internet banking - but which is where, subsequently and finally, we have gone - hooray!


Tony Bamberger Fundraising Committee member

Before joining the Club in 2009 he was already involved in organising and teaching disabled swimmers. He helped put together, train and otherwise support Basingstoke's entrants to the 2017 Special Olympics in Sheffield where one of the entrants won 2 gold medals. It was therefore a natural progression for him to join the Fundraising Committee and take over organisation of our annual Swimathon, funds raised from which benefit many local charities. He has been Chairman of Fundraising, was subsequently nominated Vice President and was generally considered a safe pair of hands until he chose his own 'Vice', who thus became our 2016-2017 (first female) president! He also has a Quiz Team, "The Kickers", which regularly won our once biannual Quiz. As his year as President was marred by illness, he volunteered to take on the job again the following year and was unanimously elected. For several years he and Eleanor have organised our Macmillan's Coffee (CAKE) morning - a stupendous success. Everyone's sugar levels go into orbit as we try and pretty much manage - to sample each of the many creamy, gooey, fruity confections on offer.

For 3 consecutive years he roosted on the Presidential chair which included leading the Club through the Covid19 crisis, getting us on Zoom for the Business and Fundraising meetings and attracting new members through his work with disadvantaged students at QMC. Was rightly voted 'Lion of the Year' in 2020 and in 2022 shared the award with Ann Vicars.

Annie August 2020

Ann Vicars - Welfare Committee member 

In our 50th year, we celebrated her appointment as our first female President. Ann joined the Club in 2012 and was given the job of Tailtwister (recorder of members' misdemeanours during business meetings). This she did with gusto and no little damage to her computer which she battered unmercifully during the meetings. Subsequently she brought her restless energy to bear on recruitment where she devised some novel approaches, and her persistence bore fruit and earned her our 'Lion of the Year' award. She has a particular interest in sight problems and organises a stall in recognition of World Sight Day on the second Thursday of October at which 'Lennie the (Basingstoke) Lion', another of her little introductions, features large. It is now part of our annual programme. Linked to this she also arranges our annual contribution to SPECTREK, the Lions' system for collection of redundant pairs of spectacles for recycling to the third world. In the temporary absence of the President Tony Bamberger, she deputised for him, a role she undertook with her usual gusto. The creative juices were flowing and we were unsure whether we were punched, bored or countersunk. She has attended 5 District Conventions (Lions Clubs excuse for making whoopee which she obviously did) where she accepted, on behalf of the club, prizes for various endeavours including membership, services to sight (a tribute particularly to the work of our first female Lion, Denise Moon), the District website competition - the joint effort of Lions Julian (see above) and Lion Philip Wilson and herself as micro editor and for innovative services to the community. She also accepted, on behalf of Derick Lacey, a Certificate of Appreciation for his many years' service as our past Chairman of Welfare. In 2015 she decided that everyone should be more 'aware' of the Lions and roped in both the Loddon Valley and the Hook & Odiham Lions Clubs. Concerned 5 years later that people were still not 'aware' enough, she staged a much bigger event in the February 2020 half-term to which children who'd flocked to see 'Lennie' in his den - the brilliant creation of Tony Bamberger and his family - evolve into little 'lions' by facepaint, and much more.

She is now an 'affiliate' member which allows herself time for her many other interests which have included participation in the Oakley Players events and appearance at the Edinburgh Festival and other venues with the Rock Choir. Club-related performances include a feature interview on BBC Radio Berkshire, several radio broadcasts re World Sight Day and an appearance also on Hampshire TV in support of that event during which she covered almost every aspect of the Club's activities. 'Lennie' continues to appear at many public events, thereby fostering our benevolent image and adding to our Welfare Fund. She also remains a member of the Welfare Committee and steps in as Minute-taker when the need arises at our Business Meetings. But resting on one's laurels is not a concept that appeals to her so 2 forays into litter-picking in the past couple of years fed her need to 'do something useful' and, having decided that she was not 'at risk', she continued to put herself about by helping out at food banks and delivering sundries here, there and everywhere. And so it continues for our Club's equivalent of a Deliveroo driver - World Sight Day delivered annually and the many thousands of spectacles arising delivered to the collection point in Chichester - floral gifts delivered to carers during Covid - food parcels delivered, also during Covid - as PRO, friendly contact with multiple publications delivered to enhance the Club's profile - podcast delivered - minutes and agendas delivered monthly as required - 'Lennie' (including partner Rob) delivered at virtually every event - multiple MJF awards proposed and delivered - almoner duties delivered - book sales delivered with her usual anal retentive attention to detail - and over a period of some 16 months, persuaded and delivered to 19 local venues a total of 30 saplings as part of the Queens Green Canopy national project, ensuring the local press were aware of every one!

Has been declared Lion of the Year no less than three times - totally deserved.

Philip Wilson

Philip Wilson - Fundraising Committee member & Melvin Jones Fellow

Melvin Jones Fellow Was inveigled into the Club in 1988 by the local Lions mafia. Was immediately asked to organise the Club's Charter Night dinner (excuse for drunken revelry) which was so successful that the President declared it the best ever and an illicit profit was made. This led to him being made Treasurer and then President. He's gone down hill ever since. (He's a cyclist and that's the way he likes it). However that did inspire him as Fundraising Chairman to initiate an annual charity cycle ride which ran for 22 years before being overtaken by the Big Wheel. At the same time he started to run bi-annual quizzes which, with a few hiccups, continued for some 20 years - c. 6,600 questions generating c.£28,000 income.

Cycling also came in useful when, before the internet, he used to print and deliver the Business Meeting minutes assisted by David Side. But the advance of technology gave us a website for which he, along with Ian Vizer and Tony Bamberger developed the structure. They even went on a course. But they were still rank amateurs until Julian Bridges got his hands on it and turned it into an award winning site. But he continued to write the content as PRO and initiated a monthly report of the Club's activities which was taken up by many community magazines and reached an estimated 15-20K people. But it never achieved his true objective which was to gain members, although it did bring the Club to the attention of many and for this and his many other endeavours he was presented with a "Certificate of Appreciation" in our 50th anniversary year.

From the outset he was a keen supporter of the Club's twinning with the Lions Club of Alencon where he and Helena were welcomed as fluent French speakers. On one memorable occasion, when he gave the address for the President at their charter dinner, he remarked that he was delighted that the French were so keen on British lamb that they were BBQing it on the motorways. This caused mass hysterics and the leader of the band subsequently came over and said "Zis is ze British humaire - I am liking it."

He is on record as saying that being a member of the Club was one of the best experiences in his life before chucking his toys out of the pram and resigning in a fit of peak, only to beg to be let back in - thankfully, he therefore continues to add to his 35 years of service. 

They say that with great age comes great wisdom - he's still hoping!!!!

Derick Lacey - Welfare Committee member & Melvin Jones Fellow

Melvin Jones Fellow

Joined the Club before Noah launched the Ark. Did a stint as president in 1987 before returning to his true calling as Welfare Chairman for many years - retiring from the role with distinction in 2017. He is well-known to local welfare associations which still approach him in the knowledge that they will get a fair hearing and that he will help if the case meets our criteria. He has also acted as head barman at our fundraising events but became best known for his one-line interventions during the main Business Meeting which generally caused mass hysteria.

   In recognition of his long service and stalwart work on Welfare he was awarded an "International President's Certificate of Appreciation" at the 2015 District Convention and was made a Melvin Jones Fellow in 2017. When possible he attends our Business Meetings but always remains very au fait with our activities and is an excellent and much appreciated source of wisdom and advice. 

Dennis Crouch

Dennis Crouch - Welfare Committee member

This picture is Dennis in a nutshell. He joined us in 2008 and immediately joined the Welfare Committee where his practical understanding of people and willingness to research cases and offer practical solutions was a godsend. When the job of President became vacant he stuck his head above the parapet and duly had it knocked off. After a year of trying to control the exuberant antics of his fellow Lions (and eating too many dinners) he now has a slightly more peaceful life, remaining a member of the Welfare Committee and with particular expertise in the field of cookers and carpets. When it looked as though we might lose our Quiz venue because we didn't have a Licensed Bartender he saved the day by persuading a friend to allow us to operate under his licence. 

Managed to crash his previous car into a parked car while dressed as Santa Claus. The police officers who attended the crash instantly breathalysed him as they didn't believe his story about having been stung by a hornet. But he got the 'all clear' result and one of the police officers, clearly a candidate for CID, actually found the hornet. It was dead but we're not sure whether it was because Dennis hit it or because it bit him. In his new little buzzbomb he has flitted to all UK points of the compass without mishap.

Brian

Brian Locock - Fundraising Committee member, Convention & Constitution

Another Lion of many years' standing and now also an 'affiliate' member, he was President in 1991 after which he took on the never popular role of Treasurer, which he filled in exemplary fashion for many years. His long service in that role was recognised when he was awarded a "Certificate of Appreciation" at the 2014 District Convention, an event at which he loyally represented the Club over several years. 

In 2020 he won further accolades by producing "A History of the Basingstoke Lions Club" which was very well received.

For his FIFTY years of service Brian was recently presented with the 50-year pin by the District Governor, a letter from the Lions Clubs' International President and a further "Certificate of Appreciation", this time from the Chairman of the Council of Lions Clubs in the British Isles.

A man of many interests including the church, gardening and steam engines to name a few, he was a very safe pair of hands when running the scoreboard at our famed quiz nights. 

Maurice Hockley - Fundraising Committee Member

Our resident impresario and the inventor and negotiator of our most successful fundraising endeavour, the "Concerts for Charity" programme. Now a Lion of 30+ years standing, after joining he rapidly took on the roles of President and then Chairman of Fundraising, during which time he found a new route for our Annual Charity Cycle Ride which became a firm favourite. He then organised a series of concerts by Swell Party which were a resounding success. In true entrepreneurial style he realised he was onto a winner and has been milking it ever since. He also had a 20-year run as our Quizmaster making life difficult, but highly entertaining, for our contestants by mangling the pronunciation of anything approaching a foreign language, while roundly castigating the question setter.

He has now broadened his sphere of influence by playing for and organising events for the Old Basing Bowls Club.

But he's still looking for ways to revive our fortunes in the "concerts" sphere.

Denise

Denise Moon - Medic Alert/ Dentaid & Fundraising Committee member

A Welsh immigrant, she relieved our dearth of female members when she joined us in 2000. Rapidly won 'Lion of the Year' award with her willingness to take on a variety of jobs and the forthright nature of her contribution in all areas. Master organiser of raffles, which she provided for all our concerts and Quiz nights, she has also displayed a surprising knowledge of pubs in which to place Giant Chocolate Easter Eggs for our Easter Raffle. (I'm sure she's never been in the Salvation Army.) Until recent times she was also able to swell our coffers by running car boot sales, as a result of which she would slip the odd £100 to the Treasurer to his bewilderment and loud acclaim from the Membership.

Pat

Pat Pritchard - Welfare Committee member

Joined us in July 2015 and immediately took on the role of Dinner Secretary which is a well- known poison chalice. The Club abounds with picky eaters so it's a case of pleasing some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. She did a good job and earnt congrats. from all for having taken on a role so soon after she took on us! A useful and often wise voice on the Welfare Committee.

Rohini Karve

Rohini Karve - Affiliate Member, Insurance rep.and Health & Safety Officer

Rohini had been involved with us for some time before deciding to join the Club. She'd once helped Annie out at World Sight Day, walking 'Lennie' around the Malls, collecting redundant spectacles, and generally lending a hand. She'd also attended concerts and the monthly dinner meetings and been a member of the all-conquering quiz team "Haute Quizine" with Anousjka and Julian for some years.

She finally took the plunge and was badged up on 9 October 2019. It was definitely a Maurice Chevalier "ah yes I remember it well" occasion because she produced 3 massive cheesecakes which were devoured with gusto. Rhetorical question - What took her so long???????

For our Club she ensures that our insurance status remains up-to-date and that a rigorous risk assessment is carried out before each event. And meanwhile, we thank her also for her stints as a Vaccination Volunteer.


Gareth

Gareth Dixon - Fundraising Committee Member


Tracey

Tracey Guantlett - Fundraising Committee Member


If you are interested in joining us please contact us so that we can invite you to one of our meetings.

LOTS OF ROOM FOR YOU IF YOU'D LIKE TO JOIN!

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