Great excitement as the Lions Sensory Garden was opened at the beautiful Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens on Saturday 2 September. 60 Lions from the clubs in Zone 1 here on the West Rand attended the opening together with members from the Botanical Gardens and Pieter van Niekerk and his beautiful guide dog O’Reilly from the S.A. Guide Dogs Association as well as Alice Aubrey, who helped make this project possible, the Assistant Curator, Marketing Manager and other honoured guests from the Botanical Gardens. Immediate Past District Governor Bernd Gerhard together with Lion Sandy King, wife of current District Governor Ian and PDG Pierre Theron, District Charman for Sight, cut the ribbon.
Pieter van Niekerk, along with Lions Jessica and Johannes Grib from the Roodepoort Host Lions Club led the walk through the new trail for the blind with Jessica reading the new Braille signs describing the sights, sounds and plants along the way. Braille Guide Books are available at the entrance to the gardens to assist blind visitors to fully enjoy the Lions’ Sensory Garden.
“It was a very special occasion for Lions Clubs here on the West Rand” said Sandy van Heerden, Public Relations Chairman & Centennial Co-ordinator “this is one of our Lions’ Centennial Legacy projects done in celebration of 100 years of community service by Lions Clubs around the world.” “Vision” is one of our most important core projects and we are proud to leave a legacy which will last a lifetime and be enjoyed by many visitors in years to come” explained Sandy. Past District Governor Bernd thanked the team of Lions from the Lions Clubs of Wilro Park, Helderkruin, Roodepoort Host, Clearwater Cyber and Krugersdorp and Sandra Erasmus as well as Alice Aubrey who worked tirelessly for many weeks to complete the garden, he also thanked Blind SA for their valuable input and assistance with the new Braille signs, and of course to the Clubs who so generously donated the funds to make it possible. As part of the Lions Legacy Project, The Lions Club of Weltevreden Park worked very hard and refurbished the old Lions Bridge to give it a face lift. It was the perfect way to celebrate the Lions’ 100th birthday!