History of the Spryfield Lions Club

On April 16th. 1957, the Spryfield Lions Club began to serve the community of Spryfield with 25 Charter Members. Ernest 0. Kerr was Charter President and Lawrence E. Davies was Secretary. Of the 25 members that formed the Spryfield Lions Club Lion John Moser is the only charter member still in our club.

Through continued fundraising (bingo, road tolls, nut/light bulb sales, dances, raffles, etc.) the Lions Club had raised approximately $3,000.000.00. As a result, they sponsored major projects such as: Kidston Lake Park (1969), Spryfield Lions Rink (1972), Lions Den (1978), Recreation Centre (1979/80), all of which are owned and operated by the Spryfield Lions Club, and the Lions Wave Action Pool (1985). In 1998 the Spryfield Lions Club donated the pool to the City of Halifax. Each year, many projects (too numerous to mention) provide support to the young and old, sick and needy; whether it be summer camp, eyeglasses, food, wheelchairs and ramps, open-heart surgery, etc.

Each year the Spryfield Lions Club and the Spryfield Lioness host Christmas Dinner for the Post-Mentally Challenged, when, well over 120 people are fed and entertained. The Club sponsors Minor Hockey and Ball, as well as donating Bursaries to the local high school on a yearly basis. Each Canada Day, you will find the Spryfield Lions at the Grand Parade cooking pancake breakfast for well over 1,800 people, at no cost.

Spryfield Lions Rink

In 1969 after the completion of the Kidston Lake Park, the Spryfield Lions Club proposed building an indoor ice skating rink. With the full support of all members, Lion Frank “Wee” Martin was made Chairman. Lion Frank, along with committee members Lion Hans Nilsson and Lion Murray Purcell, willingly gave hundreds of unpaid man-hours. Randell Park Developments donated a parcel of land in back of the high school, with the provision that the existing Drysdale Road would be extended to the site. Lion John Buchanan arranged with Bernie Fancy (local excavator) to build this road. After a little peacemaking, the surveying was completed in March 1972, and the first sod was turned in April 1972.

The Spryfield Lions Rink opened to the public on November 27th. 1972 The main funding for this project, now at a cost of $138,000.00, consisted of three walk-a-thons, a $25,000.00 grant from NS Dept. of Recreation and private pledges. On October 1st. 1972 a $75,000.00 mortgage was acquired with the signatures of 14 Lions members and one engineer. Another required $20,000.00 was signed by 19 other members. In January 1974, the Rink was insured for $251,000.00. For the first year, stands from the Halifax Commons were used, a PA system was salvaged from MT&T and the ice was cleaned by hand — then flooded with a 45 gallon barrel. Contractor for this project was Stevens and Fisk. Legal work was provided at no cost by John Buchanan and Associates.

By April 1978, the mortgage was paid in full. At that time, this was the largest project ever undertaken by a Lions Club in Nova Scotia. To this day, the Spryfield Lions Rink is solely owned and operated by the Spryfield Lions Club.

On Saturday November 29th. 1997 @ 1:30 pm. while celebrating the 25th. Anniversary of the Spryfield Lions Rink, it was dedicated to the late Lion Frank [Wee] Martin and renamed to the Frank [Wee] Martin Memorial Rink.