Canarsie Lions Club Celebrates 45th Anniversary
By Jim Haver
Let’s go back to around February 13, 1957 to the building at 135 Conklin Avenue, formerly known as Heinrich’s Tavern. Envision the first president of the Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club clanging the bell to bring to order for the very first time Club #8451 of the International Lions Association of Lions Clubs. President Marty Cooke could have led the membership in attendance with the Pledge of Allegiance but as they did have a chaplain, the invocation was given by the man of the cloth.
Unfortunately, the minutes of that very first meeting of our club are not available but we’ll pretend that President Cooke asked for a round table introduction. Perhaps, the first Lion to introduce himself was one of the two remaining charter members, Cosmo Marino, who might have been emphatic with : "Cosmo Marino, your friendly hardware guru of Marino’s Hardware." Next would have been Dominick Marino, who could have echoed the same introduction as his brother Cosmo.
Dr. Salvatore Scalise offered as his introduction, "Canarsie’s favorite general practitioner."
The charter of the club gives the date of origin as February 13, 1957, which would definitely indicate the club under the present leadership of Naomi Adams is continuing to carry out the objectives of Lionism, that is, "To Serve," and will be celebrating its 45th anniversary.
Unfortunately, the initial membership of over 60 has dwindled down to 27, but regardless of the reduction, the club continues to give aid to the blind or those afflicted with vision impairments, offering a hand to whatever organization or even individuals in need of assistance. In fact, a sizable donation has been given to the WTC Heroes Fund. However, the club takes pride in setting aside the Monday just before Thanksgiving to a gathering called the Brotherhood Service. Canarsiens, who have been attending are quite aware that their Canarsie Lions Club is no longer a well-kept secret.
To commemorate the 45th anniversary, at its next meeting, Charter Night, February 20, festivities might just be the raising of a toast or sharing a special anniversary cake. However, plans are on the drawing board for the gala dinner and dance on Friday April 26th. Funds raised from this major event will help the club to meet its charitable endeavors as outlined earlier in the year.