Saga of 42 Years
Lions Club of Guindy was our father - the Club which sponsored us. This
is how two of our valued charter members came into the club: K.Veeramani
was running a family forging business. He had business connection with two
family friends who were also extension Chairmen of LC Guindy, viz, Ln.Ramakrishnan
and Ln Meenakshisundaram. Naturally Veeramani was inducted as Charter member.
K.V.Sundaram was on a business trip to Bombay. Ln Ramakrishnan, an acquaintance,
summoned him to Chennai “immediately” only to make him join
as Charter member of our Club. It was chartered on 3.2.1970. On 4.2.1970,
at a grand ceremony at Hotel Ashoka, with 20 distinguished members, our
Club was inaugurated. Ln.K.R.Sundararajan was the District Governor at the
time. Around 40 people attended the function, among them being Lions Vispy
Engineer and Minoo. The Charter was presented on 27.2.1970 by none other
than Ln.W.R.Bryan, the International President at Abbotsbury, Chennai. In
the same month two more people joined thus making a total of 22 charter
That was a proud, joyous and momentous beginning. G.S.Ramaswamy, a retired Superintendent Engineer with Electricity Board was the Charter President.. M.Venkataraman was the Charter Secretary and CH Nagaraja Rao was the Charter Treasurer.
Cine actor Ranjan was the second President, but had to leave midway, so K.C.Paul, an Engineer in Kothari Group took over. Paul continued as President the third year as well.
We built, grew and served
The slogan “Build, grow and serve” was coined during the
Silver Jubilee year through a slogan contest. V.M.Chandresekar’s
was the winning slogan. The Club, much before the slogan came into use,
was true to it, as its achievements would show. At its first year itself,
the Club did not crawl or toddle – it walked upright. The first
year itself it had a grand Ladies Nite at Hotel Oceanic with cine actress
Sri Vidya as the Chief Guest. Ramaswamy collected gifts through his contacts
and presented them at the function. Food was prepared elaborately by the
Lion Ladies under the able stewardship of Lion Lady K.C.Paul. Thereafter
every Ladies Nite was grandly celebrated with overwhelming participation
and enthusiasm shown by Lion Ladies.
Club meetings those days used to be well attended and fellowship was
enjoyable and memorable. Speaker meetings were the order of the day. Leading
astrologers, doctors, writers had been our speakers and once Gemini Ganesan
was the Guest Speaker. PDGs like J.M.Shah, Sankaran, T.J. George, Natesan
and Raghunathan were invited for induction of new members or installation
of office bearers, which made great impact at the meetings.
Among the unique projects other than regular health camps were an Orthopaedic
Camp at Arts College for Men, which was then located on Mount Road, where
a Govt. Ladies College now stands. The Camp was conducted in 1983 in co-operation
with the Department of Social Welfare some time in the eighties by Dr.K.Krishnamurthy.
500 people were screened and provided with calipers, wheel chairs, etc.
The Club sponsored a number of batteries for hearing aids for Deaf and Dumb
School whose students were handicapped with the short life of their batteries.
In those days when TV was still in its infancy, cartoon film shows were
screened at Andhra Mahila Sabha for the disabled children. Their delight
at viewing the films brought cheer to all around. Regular projects were
also carried out there, like painting competition for the handicapped children,
provision of cooking vessels, wheel chairs, food on special occasions etc..
Today the "Dine with Divine" is so popular in the Districts of
Chennai. But only few remember the very first one was done by our club which
was inaugurated by the First Lady Smt. Ackamma Alexander, wife of H.E. Dr.P.C.
Alexander, Governor of Tamil Nadu, on 1st July 1989. Incidently it was the
first ever service project participated by T.J.George as District Governor.
Much later in 2002, tree planting project was undertaken at Thiruvanmiyur,
New Beach Road along with Lions Club of Kalakshetra.
It was the dream of Dr. Krishnamurthy, to start a blood bank for Lions.
The then Governor Dr. Rabindranath, took PDG Ln.T.J.George to his Hospital
where they held useful meetings. This humanitarian project has been a
huge success at the District level..
Our Club was recognised for its outstanding services in conducting the
This is not to speak less of health camps conducted regularly every year,
either for general health screening, or for specific areas like diabetes
detection, eye screening, ultra sound scanning for women, etc.
Money was no matter
One of the interesting fund raising projects was a dance performance by
students of Kalakshetra at Mylapore Fine Arts. Lakshmanan as a Director
of UCO Bank and General Secretary of All India Bank Employees Association
used his contacts to sell whole books of tickets for these projects. His
wife Krishnaveni herself was a dancer attached to Kalakshetra. It was
when T.Shanmugam was President that for the first time the viewing of
a yet to be released film, “Return of the Dragon” was organised
as part of fund raising. It was a sell out. Again he arranged for a premier
show of a James Bond film. A series of dramas and shows were organised
to raise funds for our activities – to name a few, a drama by Crazy
Mohan at Parthasarathy Swami Sabha which got us Rs. 14,000 to Rs.15,000
through the efforts of.A.R.Krishnan;a YG Mahendra’s drama at RR
Sabha through the efforts of VMC and Sivaraman; a show conducted by leading
In June 1989 a Trust was formed through the efforts of Ln.CH.Nagaraja
Rao, the first signatories being S.Lakshmanan, A.R.Krishnan, P.Hariharan,
R.Venkatraman and S.Arun, with a nucleus of Rs.1000/- donated by our Club.
Over the years improvements were brought on its structure and today every
member of the Club in good standing are members of the trust and it is
run by a governing body elected amongst them.
Lakshmanan had some connection with the Corporation School at Papanchavadi
(now known as Corporation School, Kamaraj Avenue). During his Presidency
in 1975-76, the Club adopted the school for it service activities. Dr.
Krishnamurthy along with M.Kuppuswamy, then President of Kamaraj Avenue
Residents Association, took a lot of interest in the school. The Club
also adopted Rani Meyyammai School in the early nineties. Ever since the
two schools, year after year, during Independence Day and Republic Day,
have enjoyed the patronage of our Club for scholarships, talent promotion,
health screening camps and for some amenities the school requested for
(like teaching aids, drinking water vessels, ceiling fans, etc) from time
to time. Some time in 1985, tree planting within the premises of the Corporation
School was done by us. Today they have grown, two of them into massive
trees giving shade to the students.
Our wings spread
In its second year of existence itself that is in 1971-72, the Club sponsored
the Leo Club of IIT. It functioned successfully up to 1979, when it became
defunct as most of the members crossed the upper age limit and left the
Institute after completing their term. Again in 1985 an independent Leo
Club of Thiruvanmiyur was started with AR Krishnan as Leo Advisor.
In 1979-80 a Lioness Club was inaugurated which was active for three
years, when a lull ensued. It was revived in 1990 but again since 1997
the activities ceased.
Our Club sponsored LC GKD Millennium in 2000, LC Kalakshetra and LC Helping
Hearts in 2002, LC Elliots Echo and LC Darshan in 2003. Of these, LC GKD
Millennium and LC Darshan continue to function.
Moving across Bay of Bengal, through the initiative of our PDG P.S Rou,
a historic twinning of our Club with Lions Club of Kulim took place in
1996 in a glittering ceremony in which PS Rou and VM Chandrasekar participated
to bring back happy memories of the hospitality of Kulim Lions. This happened
when M.S.Pillai was President
Well deserved recognition
Thanks to some of the high-spirited Charter Members our Club became one
of the leading clubs in the District – because of its multifarious
activities. Our Medical Centre at Thiruvanmiyur, which for some time came
to be called Child Welfare Centre, won for us well-earned accolades for
the way it was run and for the health camps. Our Leo Club activities were
also much talked about.
Our Club has seen many of its members holding District Chairmen positions
year after year, the very first District Chairman’s post being given
as early as 1973-74. Dr.Krishnamurthy and Sivakumar were the first in
our Club to hold District level positions.Lion A.R.Krishnan held various
District positions, the most prestigious being, District Cabinet Treasurer,
in 2003-2004. After him S.Manikandan possibly has the distinction of having
continuous long service in the District Cabinet. We have had the honour
of having two District Governors as our members– late GK Damodar
Row and PS Rou. Many of our members have distinguished themselves meritoriously
at the District level.
Today we are proud to have Lions among us who stand tall within the
fraternity by joining the Melvin Jones Fellowship : Lions Manikandan and
Dhanaraj are PMJFs and Lions PS Rou, K.Veeramani, A.R.Krishnan, L.Ashok,
A.S.Subramanian and S.Mani and Associate member, Prof.Gnanaraj are MJFs.
We reached out
Our Club bulletin is another feather to our cap. The idea was mooted when
Dr.Krishnamurthy was President in 1979-80. The initial issues bore the
name “Marundu”.To highlight the fact that ours was a family
club and that our activities were carried out with spirited participation
by our Lion families, the bulletin was renamed “Amongst Us”
(the name was the idea of M.S.Pillai, when he was President in 1996-97).
Its periodicity varied from year to year, in any case it was released
at least once a year. However, when Prafulla Chandra and VP Iyer were
editors, it appeared every month. Other editors were CH.Nagaraja Rao,
V.Rajappa, S.Vijayakumar, R.K.Murthy, A.R.Krishnan, P.S.Rou, Sasikala
Ashok. “Amongst Us” reached out to the hearts of not only
our Club members but the District as well and won recognition at the Multiple
District Level too.
A gala celebration:
Twenty five years of service and growth made us proud. 1994-95 was a year
to celebrate our silver jubilee. V.Ravichandran had the honour of being
President that year. He conducted a grand celebration under the chairmanship
of P.S.Rou. The function was held at Hotel Ambassador Pallava, Egmore
with a large gathering including most of the PDGs. The International I
Vice President at the time, Brian Peterson, was the Chief Guest. A commemorative
issue was released on the Club’s 25th anniversary.
The year, 2009- 2010, we crossed another milestone. Our fortieth year
of existence was celebrated in a very grand manner, ably organized by
the second time President A.R.Krishnan, under the stewardship of PCC P.S.Rou.
Past International Director, PMJF Ln. G. Ramaswamy was the Chief Guest.
The evening vibrated with the enthusiasm of newly inducted Leos, and ended
with a grand finale in the form of a contemporary dance performance by
them. Of course a commemorative volume to mark the occasion was brought
Two of our Charter members still continue to evince interest in and support
K.Veeramani was Club President in 1981-82. He has made and continues
to make significant contributions to the Club’s kitty, (either by
himself or through his Cubs who stay abroad), besides making his services
available at all Club activities. Nowadays he goes for long stays abroad
to spend time with his children.
K.V.Sundaram is a distinguished and successful exporter of castings.
Though his business commitments keep him from assuming any of the Principal
Officer’s posts, his commitment to our Club is equally noteworthy.
One of our members missed the privilege of being called Charter member
by a just a year. Dr.R. Viswanathan joined our Club in its second year
of existence and together with Dr.Krishnamurthy and other Charter Members
have been pioneers in organising health camps and setting up the health
centre. He used to bring a large contingent of dental students at all
camps. Besides he used to treat for free five orphans from Santhome School
every week. His poor health and his frequent visits abroad prevent him
from taking part as in the past in Club activities. He was Dental Surgeon
and Retired Professor and Dean, Dental School. (He was honoured on 30.1.2010
by Dy.Chief Minister, M.K.Stalin, on the occasion of the diamond jubilee
celebrations of the Dental Council of India.)
A.R.Krishnan joined the Club when its morale was at low ebb. However,
when he became President in 1984-85, he helped restore its glory. He conducted
a massive Polio immunisation camp under the guidance of Dr.R.Nanjunda
Rao. House to house census was done with the assistance of NSS volunteers
of Avvai Home and over 500 children were administered Polio drops, supplied
free by the Corporation of Madras. He was a senior Marketing Executive
of a leading pharma company and was always able to procure regular supply
of medicines for the health centre as well as for our health camps every
His growth in the Club has been steady and fast paced. He even donned
the prestigious position of Cabinet Treasurer among a host of other District
Some memorable names needing mention in this context for their outstanding
contribution to the club’s growth are Sivakumar, Vinod Kumar Poddar,
and Nityanandam, Ch Nagaraja Rao. With a Leo Club of AMET University under
its wing, with young and vibrant members joining our Club, its future
is not only secure but also very promising. May it rise as a shining star
in the firmament of service.