The Lions Club of Sault Ste. Marie had some special guests at its Dinner Meeting on April 12th. International Director Allen Snider travelled from Niagara-on-the-Lake to present a special award from Brian E. Sheehan, Lions Club International President, and a chevron recognizing 70 years of long-term service to Past District Governor Lion Peter Bissonnette. Peter’s sons, Bill and Donald also Past District Governors, and his daughter-in-law Dianne also attended the surprise celebration.
The Chevron Program recognizes Lions for their long-term service beginning at 10 years and continuing in five year increments until 75 years of service. Other Lions that received their chevrons that evening included: Cheryl Pavoni and Zak Good – 10 years, Rick Boucher -15 years and Ron Anderson – 50 years!
Peter became a Lion in Arthur, Ontario in 1953 following in his father’s footsteps. Over the years he was in the Lucknow, Teeswater, Ripley, Fort Erie and then St. Davids and District Lions Club where his wife Grace joined the Lioness Club. Lion Peter moved to the Sault and transferred to the Lions Club of Sault Ste. Marie in 2021.
He has been the recipient of many awards over the years including the Melvin Jones Fellowship, Brian Stevenson Fellowship, Helen Keller Award, Quest Fellowship and an International President’s Medal. He received the title of International Councillor as 100% District Governor in 1964-65, the last year this title was awarded.
Lion Peter was very proud of his awards but his greatest pride was to see his two sons become District Governors and they attended several international conventions together. Counting all the years the three generations have had in Lionism, Peter’s father Neill, Peter, his two sons, and Peter’s wife, it adds up to over 240 years!
“Thank you again to Past District Governor Lion Peter for dedicating 70 years to Lionism, for helping those less fortunate and for making a difference in the lives of all the communities he has served. “