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by Bernard Fowkes

For the first time in many years a Leo Club (an International Lions Club but with young people as members) has been founded in the Lions 105W District and this historic event has taken place in the John Kyrle High School, Ross-on-Wye. The Charter Ceremony took place in the School on Tuesday, 16th June 2009.

In front of approximately sixty people, including parents, grandparents, the 105W District Governor, Vice Governor, Deputy Vice Governor, two Zone Chairmen, Multiple and District Youth Officers, a strong contingent of Ross Lions and Lions from different clubs, the Head teacher of John Kyrle High School, Nigel Griffiths and his Deputy Head, nine students were inducted into the newly formed club. There should have been eleven, but unfortunately two could not attend the meeting. The Ceremony was ably conducted by Ross Lion President Keith Wilding who is also the District Leo Advisor. Lion Keith is the instigator of the Leo Club taking many months of negotiations with the school before it could be chartered.

Following the induction of the new members the Leo Officers were installed. Matthew Petrie as President of the Club, Joe Egan as Vice President, Ryan Green Secretary and Bronwen Evans as the Treasurer. The District Governor, Lion Surinder Malhotra from Chippenham, was invited to speak. Lion Surinder started by explaining what LEO meant. It is the Leo motto and L stands for Leadership - Leos develop skills as project organisers and motivators of their peers. E stands for Experience - Leos learn the importance of cooperation through community service and O stands for Opportunity - Leos gain opportunities to excel, develop positive character traits and receive recognition for their contributions. He said he was honoured to be at the Charter Ceremony and that he and his wife, Indu, also a Lion, were asked to badge up the new Leos. He congratulated the Leos on joining the largest Service Organisation in the World with members in over 200 countries and territories and Leo Clubs in 137 of these areas. The objective of the Leo Club Program was 'to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for development and contribution, individually and collectively, as responsible members of the local, national and international community.' On behalf of Lions International he wished the Leo club a successful future.

The Head Teacher of John Kyrle High School, Nigel Griffiths, then said a few words in his usual witty way. He was proud that there was such a successful relationship between the Ross Lions and his School; for example they were involved with the Lions International Peace Poster Competition in which over 300,000 young people took part annually, the Ross Lions supported the schools Ugandan Project and regularly sponsored the Arts Department. Mr Griffiths said he knew the Leo Club would improve the character of its members; it was no easy task they had taken on, he thought it would make them more responsible citizens and give them civic pride. He congratulated his pupils for taking on the task of running the club and hoped it would go on from strength to strength.

Lion Keith Wilding will continue to advise the club, attending all their meetings and supporting them continuously. The meeting finished with refreshments and a general get together where several other Lions Clubs indicated their interest in starting a Leo Club and requested a visit from Lion Keith.

The new Leo members in no particular order, Matthew Petrie, Joe Egan, Ryan Green, Bronwen Evans, Greg Powell, Hollie Thorp, Jess Waters, Sophie Goulding
and Ricky Barlow, with Lion Indu Malhotra with 105W District Governor, Surinder Malhotra,and Ross Lions President Keith Wilding.

District Governor, Surinder Malhotra enrolls Ricky Barlow as a new Leo.

The new Leo Club's President, Matthew Petrie holding his gavel and bell with Ross Lions Ross President showing him the Clubs Charter.
The name of the new club is ROAR 4 which stands for 'Ross Organisation of Adolescent Rebels', tongue in cheek.
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