Story and Photos By Donna Carver
March 4, 2014
The Mt. Gilead’s Lion’s Club met Saturday February 22, 2014 at Ryan’s Steakhouse in Marion.
President Lion Will Schindley introduced Past District Governor (2010-2011) Bob Berry. Berry was on hand for two special recognitions.
The first award Berry presented was to the Mt. Gilead Lion’s Club. “In our association our lifeblood is our members and I am very proud of the Mt. Gilead Lion’s.” said Berry. “It is my privilege to present to them with a banner patch from the International Presidents Retention Campaign for 2013 because you maintained your membership. Congratulations on your success.”
Berry then presented a very special award to a Lion’s member. “I have another opportunity for a unique pleasure, to recognize a lion who has served long and very dedicated.” He said.
Berry explained, “Melvin Jones, along with several others, founded this organization in 1917. We are coming up with our 100th anniversary in 2017. One of the highest honors any Lion can ever aspire to achieve is to become a Melvin Jones Fellow. A Melvin Jones Fellow recognizes the dedication to service. Tonight the Mt Gilead Lion’s have asked me to present the Melvin Jones Fellowship to a great Lion, Lion James Osborn.” Berry continued, “What I have here is something that I personally treasure and that is the special pin that accompanies the receipt of a Melvin Jones Fellowship. The award also comes with a plaque.”
“This is completely unexpected.” Said a visibly surprised James Osborn. “I thank all of my fellow Lions and it has been a great privilege. I have been a member since 1960, Thank you, thank you all.” He said.
Guest speaker for the evening was Carroll Neidhardt a Marion historian and artist. Neidhardt shared his unique collection of antique Valentines.
Neidhardt explained that Valentine’s were an ancient celebration dating back to the time of the Romans and the persecution of the Christians. One of the early Christian priests was Valentine. He was captured and tortured to recant his faith. He refused and was sentenced to die. While imprisoned Valentine befriended the jailors daughter. When he knew his time was near he wrote her a letter and message of love and understanding. His letter also gave the symbols that are used in Valentines. The heart being pierced by an arrow, in this case it was an execution squad that shot him with arrows all through his body. The heart became a universal symbol. The tradition of giving a Valentine along with a token gift was brought from Europe to the American colonies in the early 1800’s.
Neidhardt shared his collection of antique Valentine’s some of which are very rare. One example was a hand carved whale bone containing hearts, stars and tulips. Many of the Valentines had vibrant colors and intricate designs for the times. Some had moveable parts known as mechanicals. He showed examples of Valentines from various eras including Betty Boop; pop up cards and penny dreadfuls. Penny dreadfuls, Neidhardt explained, could be comic or caustic. They were very popular in America and were usually sent anonymously.
Attendees and guests enjoyed the food, fun and fellowship of the evening. The next regular meeting of the Mt. Gilead Lion’s Club will be on Monday march 10th at the Edison Depot.