Lions Club: Our First Service Club in Squamish

squamish day parade

By Eric Andersen
Published: Sept 5, 2014

On May 4, 1957, 350 members of B.C. and Washington Lions Clubs arrived at Squamish by train to formally deliver a charter to the Squamish Lions Club. Squamish had finally been linked to the south by train only less than a year earlier.

Although several fraternal organizations were well established in the community, the Lions Club was the first ‘service club’. Its motto: “We Serve!”

Organizing a Loggers Sports Day was the first project of the new Squamish club. Proceeds of this inaugural loggers sports festival event – now celebrating 57 years – would go toward purchase of a community ambulance.

Public health, public safety, community amenities … filling in where needed (and turning over to others, when appropriate) – these have been the themes of the always busy Squamish Lions Club over its own 57 years.

In addition to the ongoing campaigns to support programs for the visually impaired and children and families in need, the Lions were original sponsors of local blood donor clinics, school crosswalk patrols, life saving equipment at Alice Lake and the small boat harbour and the first community picnic grounds (east of the high school).

The Lions Ladies were established here in 1960, and took on beautification of the community cemetery as first project. And who can remember that house numbering was a program originally proposed and carried out by the Squamish Lions?

 In 1964, through scrap metal and bottle drives, and sponsoring of a FUNORAMA to be held in connection with Loggers Sports Day, a second ambulance vehicle was paid for, outfitted and delivered to the community.

 In August 1964, the Lions Club organized “the best parade Squamish has ever seen” – a mile-long spectacle to begin the Loggers Sports Day. Earlier, smaller parades were held on May Day.

The new parade event launched by the Lions has been a popular tradition of the Squamish Days Festival ever since.