From the Ashes
In 1947, the Bayfield Lions Club arose from the ashes of the fire that destroyed the landmark Ritz Hotel on Main Street and almost wiped out the entire village core. There was no fire department and no coordinated or trained group to combat the blaze and it was fortunate that other buildings didn’t catch fire on that tinder dry Labour Day weekend. Bayfield at that time had a population of less than 350. A group of 26 community leaders realized that it was time to organize a group that would initiate and fund projects that would make Bayfield a better place to live.
The Charter Members of the Bayfield Lions Club were: George Castle, Alex Rae, John Howard, Lloyd Scotchmer, Maynard Corrie, Grant Turner, Melvin Davidson, Charles Scotchmer, Arnold Makins, Reg Francis, Richard McDool, George Blair, Elgin Porter, Lloyd Makins, Ken Brandon, John Scotchmer, Rev. F.G. Stotesbury, George Little, J. Ernie Hovey, Charles Gemeinhardt, William Parker, Leslie Elliott, Spencer Irvine, High Gilmore, Rev. Laverne Morgan and Ken Merner.
They understood that collectively they could achieve far more in their community by working together rather than as individuals.
An organizational meeting was held in the Pavilion at Jowett’s Grove with Lions Club members from London, Zurich and Goderich to form a Bayfield chapter. The first President was George Castle.