Tag: Lions International


This week I am travelling all around North America with Joe Stirling.  As I write up the fascinating and detailed conversations with him as he shared memories of the twenty-one Lions Conventions he visited during the 1970s and 80s, not only as a colleague but also as travel arranger and guide, I feel I am in the great cities – San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Mexico City.  But I only have one photo to share, which will feature in the book, of Joe heading up the British contingent in the Grand Opening Parade in Montreal in the summer of 1979.  As for my progress with Escaping Hitler: photos now back from the photoshop, all scanned onto a stick in high resolution, a good friend is preparing a family tree and a map is being designed at the publishers.  I am up to over 76,000 words with six weeks to go.  THIS WILL HAPPEN.  It just needs some application and determination – no problem then!!

Joe leads the British delegation!
Joe leads the British delegation!


Every day I am finding myself learning about something completely different to that of the previous day.  This week is it all about Joe Stirling’s organised trips to America for the Lions International Conventions in America during the 1970s.  In 1973 following the Miami Convention he took a group to Walt Disney World in Orlando, established for only two years.  The Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square to name just a few of the attractions.  For those not fortunate enough to have visited Disneyland in California following the Las Vegas Convention in 1971, Joe’s first, would have found it mind-blowing, very different to back home in Norwich.  The words keep coming, just 15,000 and five decades to go, six weeks to complete….. Escaping Hitler is coming together.

Walt Disney World brochure 1973


Spent a very happy afternoon yesterday sorting through the heaps of original photos leant to me by sources close to Joe Stirling.  Here are some ‘taster’ samples.  Will be taking them to printer tomorrow for scanning, ready for publisher to work their magic.  Still writing – 67,000 at last count.  Getting there…..

Joe's office in 1975
Joe’s office in 1975
Daughter of Free family who took Joe in as their foster child in Birmingham
Daughter of Free family who took Joe in as their foster child in Birmingham
Joe looking jolly pleased to have just been made District Governor in Lions International....
Joe looking jolly pleased to have just been made District Governor in Lions International….

Lions International and Joe

Happy New Year to all my followers.  2015 and it’s back to work on the book with just 3 months to submission deadline!  This coming week I will be carrying out more research both at the Eastern Daily Press archives and also visiting the current President of Norwich Lions Club.  He has known Joe for over forty years so I am looking forward to some as yet unheard anecdotal stories about Joe being a District Governor with the Lions and his fifty years of service.  This photo shows Joe two years ago showing me his Lions vest with the many pin badges he has collected from Lions Clubs all over the world.  He is very proud of it!Joe in Lions Vest 2012