About Us

Helping to make our Gabriola Island a better place to live

Gabriola Island Lions Club Mission

“To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation.”

The Gabriola Island Lions Club has a long history of providing hands on service to the community of Gabriola Island.

We help our Gabriola Island youth by funding high school scholarships and youth in sports, work with local elementary school’s PAC for classroom requirements and sports program equipment, the island scouts and guides, after school programs, kids help line and we foster community spirit with our youth exchange program.

We assist with funding many island organizations including the PHC food & outreach programs, our Gabriola children, the Gabriola Museum, the Community Hall, supportive housing and the medical clinic among many others. We also team up with the Gabriola Land & Trails Trust and BC Parks for maintenance of our island parks and trails.

As one of the Lions’ core missions is to fight blindness, we do our part by funding spot screening at the Gabriola Elementary School, collect used eyeglasses that are repurposed for those in need, donate funds to guide and other support dogs and purchase equipment for those that are visually impaired.

The Gabriola Island Lions Club is proud to support our island residents that are in need of a hand up. Our firewood program is one of our key service activities, providing needed warmth during the winter months. We also assist with emergency funding and mobility equipment such as scooters and wheelchairs.


Our club mission is to empower our volunteers to serve their community. meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding as Lions have always done for over 100 years.

Zone Chair Lions Betsy Recieves a major award

As Zone Chair, our Gabriola Lions Club past president Lion Betsy receives the International President’s Certificate of Appreciation for all her work in recognition of distinguished achievements in following the mission of Lions International.


Well done Lion Betsy!


Left: Current president Lion Jon looks on in admiration as Lion Betsy presents her coveted certificate to the members at our regular club meeting April 22nd 2024.

New Gabriola Lions Club Member - Chris Rombough

At our March 25th 2024 meeting, Chris Rombough is presented his certificate of membership while Lion Betsy reads the Lions Oath. Welcome Lion Chris!

Charter president lion eric is awarded the certificate of appreciation

Lion Eric and Past District Governor Larrie Taylor with Lions Eric's wife Sue looking on in admiration.
Lion Eric with Past District Governor Larrie Taylor

At our March 11th 2024 meeting. Past District Governor Larrie Taylor, from the Nanaimo Lions Club, presents our charter president, Lion Eric Boulton, with a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the Lions Club International President Dr. Patti Hill. Back in 1975 Lion Eric was instrumental in nurturing the Gabriola Island Lions Club from a seed of an idea to the proud and flourishing club it is today. We are a club of 40 some members on a small island community of 4500 eager to help and serve our neighboursday in and day out.As Lions, our actions and service inspires others. We provide courage and a unique sense of empowerment to our communities and to the world. To do this, we depend on great leadership. And that takes great leadership development for our members.”

Thank you Lion Eric!

Gabriola Island Lions Club - Lion of the Year 2023

Well the bar has been lowered this year. The Gabriola Island Lions Club Lion of the Year for 2023 is Lion Ken Hatfield.


Lion Ken tries his best to be what being a Lion is all about. He is involved in most of our community events by lending a helping hand and even providing a cheap joke or the occasional sarcastic remark to keep the rest of us motivated.


Despite the numerous rumours and innuendo, Ken does maintain the Lions website and assists the club secretary by tracking the club volunteer hours on the Lions International portal.


Well done Lion Ken. You have leveled the bar so much that others will easily follow in your footsteps.


Photo: President Lion Jon presents the Clive Tutty Memorial Award for Lion of the Year to a surprised and shocked Lion Ken.

Lion Betsy wins the Melvin Jones Fellowship award

Lion Carol reads the accomplishments of the so deserving Lion Betsy
New club president Lion Jon congratulates past president Lion Betsy

Lions Clubs world-wide recognized an outstanding individual, Betsy Banford, by bestowing the Melvin Jones Fellowship award named after its founder Melvin Jones. This award is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism.  Betsy has has gone above and beyond to serve both our Club and the Community; she is generous, compassionate and hardworking, and truly deserving of this award.  The Melvin Jones Fellowship (MJF) is the backbone of the Lions Club international Foundation.

Betsy has been the backbone of the Gabriola Lions Club for many years serving as President for 5 terms, VP for 2 terms and numerous other positions on the Board of Directors. Her Family has been involved with the Lions Club for many many years. Currently she is our Zone Chair and Lions Quest Chair as well as Facebook Admin and Pancake Breakfast and BBQ Organizer. She also knows where everything is and where everything goes!

We are all so proud of you Betsy!

Our long time Club Secretary is Awarded!

Award Presentation by DG Lia Versaevel and PID Marvin Chambers
Lion Carol accepts the award for for her contribution to being a great Gabriola Lion!

“Here’s an award I gotta say I was gobsmacked to have been presented. Recognition for my dedication to Lionism and to our Gabriola Lions Club and accepting the position of District 19-I Chair for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, when Lion Cec Specht felt he needed to recover from his stroke. It was such an honour. And, I’m loving the Dog Guides position though I’ve only been in it since Feb 1 2023.” Well done Lion Carol!

Gabriola Lions Club Recognized by Lions International!

Your Gabriola Island Lions Club was awarded the International President’s Certificate for the year 2022 – 2023 in recognition of our on-going service provided to our island community. Yearly, this certificate is awarded to only 3 Lions clubs in the whole world! What a huge honour for us as a club and another incentive that drives us to love and support the people and the island of Gabriola!

Our Gabriola Island Lions Club president, Lion Betsy receives the coveted certificate from District Governor Lia at our Lions Christmas party December 12th 2022.

Gabriola Island Lions Club - Lion of the Year 2022

President Lion Betsy presents the Clive Tutty Memorial Award to Lion of the Year, Lion Shirley.

The Gabriola Island Lions Club Lion of the Year for 2022 is Lion Shirley Nicholson.

Lion Shirley exemplifies what being a Lion is all about. She is involved in most, if not all, our community events by lending a helping hand and even providing baked goods to keep the rest of us going. She ensures that our food service is kept to code and is quick to reprimand those not following her strict guidelines. Over the last decade, with her husband Lion Ken, she has volunteered her home and gardens for our annual summer BBQ.

Lion Shirley cares about our island community so much that outside of the Lions, she is involved with our island emergency services volunteering to help others that are experiencing a crisis or helping to operate emergency centers when there are power and communication disruptions. She is involved with GROWLS, our island wildlife rescue services, helping animals that are experiencing a crisis. And there is so much more.

Well done Lion Shirley. You have raised the bar so high it will be difficult to follow your footsteps.


The Clive Tutty Memorial Award is presented to a Garbiola Island Lions Club member who has best served Lionism for the past 12 months – our Lion of the Year.Clive Tutty was an unsung hero of the Gabriola Lions Club. Clive was one of those guys who always stepped up to the plate when things needed to be done. He was treasurer for 11 years, managed the equipment rentals and was the talent scout for the Concert on the Green to name a few things he had his hand in.Clive suffered a heart attack during a Lions pancake breakfast and passed away shortly after. He was a hardworking member of the Gabriola Lions Club right to the end.

Honouring Lion John Barton

John Barton passed away December 2nd 2021. Lion John was a member of the Gabriola Lions club for 36 years. He served as President of the club for 2 years and he has been an active member on many committees during his years of service. Lion John was instrumental in securing the first Bingo licence for the Gabriola Lions Club and he ran the Bingo Program for 26 years when it was necessary to volunteer time in the Bingo halls and go to government meetings in order to secure the funding. In his 26 years managing this Program Lion John must have pulled in close to $500,000 in today’s money. When he worked the bingo halls for no pay and attended the required meetings he never claimed any personal expenses. Lion John was also one of the pioneers of the Christmas Ferry Line Program and in the early years of this Program he personally delivered 50+ hampers each year at his own cost.   

The success and reputation of our club today has been built on the backs of people like Lion John.  He was the first member of our club to receive the Judge Brian Stevenson award and he was the first member of our club to receive the Clive Tutty Lion of the Year award. He is also the only member of our club in possession of the Lions International 100 Year Silver Dollar Memorial.- Lion Paul


john barton
John Barton attending a Lions meeting with his silly hat
youth exchange


The Gabriola Island Lions Club supports our island youth by providing funding for:

  • High school scholarships to qualified students for post secondary learning
  • The Gabriola Elementary School PAC for classroom & playground equipment
  • The Hope Centre for the after school “Teen Peer Helper” program
  • The island’s Boy Scouts & Girl Guides equipment needs and registration fee support
  • The kids Help Phone crisis line
  • Lions Youth Exchange program where qualified youth will experience a country of their choice to learn a culture and serving
phc food bank


The Gabriola Island Lions Club supports our many island organizations by assisting with funding for:

  • The People for a Heathy Community food bank and community support programs such as the Senior’s Circle of Care
  • The Gabriola Museum and Historical Society for various programs ranging from renovations, displays, audio visual equipment to outdoor signage
  • The Health Care Foundation to help in the creation of the Gabriola Health Centre and to equip the Urgent Treatment Room as well as any future requirements
  • The Gabriola Community Hall for building renovations and equipment
  • The Gabriola Agricultural Hall for various building improvements
  • The Gabriola Arts Council for helping to make their building wheelchair accessible
eyeglass collectiomn


The Gabriola Island Lions Club supports the Lions’ core mission of fighting blindness by:

  • Help fund and assist with spot screening of Gabriola Elementary students to find any potential vision problems
  • Collecting used eyewear on the island and sending them to get repurposed for those needing eyeglasses
  • Yearly support the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides with a dog walk that donates all funds collected to help raise and train guide dogs for those that have a disability whether vision related or other
  • Assist with funding of equipment for those with a vision impairment


The Gabriola Island Lions has always been prepared to help our island residents. We do this by:

  • Our signature activity is to collect donated firewood. We season the wood, then split and deliver the firewood to anyone that is in need of winter warmth
  • Providing emergency funding to an individual or family in need of assistance
  • Assisting those with a mobility disability by helping fund scooters and wheelchairs

How can we help you?

The Gabriola Island Lions Club is here to help you if we can. Please click the funding form button below if you require assistance and we will get in contact with you.