LIONS IN DISTRICT 404 B IN NIGERIA SPONSORED CATARACT SURGERIES FOR 250 PEOPLE. ‘Mother River’ Smothered with Lions’ Love The man-made Horikawa River flows through the heart of Nagoya, Japan’s fourth-largest city. The river glides past Nagoya Castle, built in the early 1600s during the samurai era and famous for its “shachihoko,” the golden dolphins that adorn the roof of its castle tower. The reigning shogun had ordered the waterway to be built to bring lumber to construct his indomitable fortress. Since then, the river has enabled countless ships to transport rice, vegetables, fish and salt to the city. The waterway has been so central to the city’s identity that residents fondly refer to it as the “Mother River.” Sadly, rapid industrialization in the first part of the 20th century polluted the river. By the 1960s, the Horikawa had degenerated into a foul, stinking flow choked with sludge. The river was a civic embarrassment. The water quality was so fetid that that the “people of Nagoya were ashamed and did not want to deal with it,” according to the Japanese LION. Lions finally stepped in. The first step in the river’s revitalization occurred in 1999 when 30 Lions clubs in Nagoya carried out a signature campaign to divert clean water from the Kiso River to the Horikawa River. Lions collected nearly 200,000 signatures in less than two months. That was just the beginning. Spearheaded by the Nagoya Horikawa Lions Club, Lions and others reached out to business leaders, universities and other community groups to work with government officials on the river’s renewal. Among the initiatives were a massive cleanup campaign, the planting of 10,000 tulips along the river, a photo contest, a symposium and a large gathering of elementary school students in support of the river. In recent years, the City of Nagoya has dredged up sludge in the river and repaired its embankments. Nagoya is a city of resilience and rebirth. Much of the city, including most of the castle, was destroyed in 1945 during the World War II air raids, but the tower was rebuilt in 1959 as Nagoya steadily rebuilt. The once dirty and smelly Horikawa now flows with dignity. The river’s rebirth is symbolized by the annual flower hanging basket project. From Sept. 28 to Oct. 3, hundreds of residents including Lions gather in a square to make hanging flower baskets that then decorate the riverside of Horikawa. At the end of October, the baskets are gratefully returned to the volunteers, who use them to decorate their own balconies and gardens. THE HUNTINGDON GRAFHAM WATER LIONS CLUB IN ENGLAND HELD ITS 33RD ANNUAL SAFARI WALK, RAISING CLOSE TO £10,000 (US$16,000) FOR CHARITIES. We Serve Children in South Africa The needs of children often are at the forefront of service of Lions in South Africa. A child rides high, (top left) well, halfway high, in the saddle of a miniature horse at the Helen Bishop Home, an orthopedic rehabilitation home supported by the Kimberley Lions. A youth gets vertical at a camp for diabetic children (top right) in the Kwazulu-Natal Midlands organized by Hilton Lions; campers are sponsored by many clubs in District 410 C. Children happily learn at Tlameleng School for children with disabilities (bottom left), supported by Kimberley Lions. The arts skills taught at the Embocraft Training Centre (bottom right), a project of the Gillitts-Camperdown and Kloof Lions, enable many parents to make crafts that support their families.
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