A card game that helped Lions Club raise almost $1m

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  • Governor George Fergusson fills his car up with gas to start off the Hamilton Lions Club 44th Annual Gas - A - Rama to be held at Terceira's Gas Station, North Shore Road, Devonshire on the 16th of February 2013. Pictured from left to right . Michael Terceira, 1st VP Lion Jacqui G. Simmons, Lady Fergusson, Governor George Fergusson, Lion David Swain, President Lion Dai James and IMPP Lion E.Joan Munro P.M.J.F. (Photo by Akil Simmons) November 7, 2012

    Governor George Fergusson fills his car up with gas to start off the Hamilton Lions Club 44th Annual Gas - A - Rama to be held at Terceira's Gas Station, North Shore Road, Devonshire on the 16th of February 2013. Pictured from left to right . Michael Terceira, 1st VP Lion Jacqui G. Simmons, Lady Fergusson, Governor George Fergusson, Lion David Swain, President Lion Dai James and IMPP Lion E.Joan Munro P.M.J.F. (Photo by Akil Simmons) November 7, 2012


Not many people know about the origins of the annual Gasorama — one of the biggest charitable fundraisers for the Bermuda Lions Club.

According to club members it’s all said to have begun with a winning hand in a game of poker, some 44 years ago.

The gas station’s owner, the late Malcolm Ralph Terceira, was so confident about the cards he was dealt he promised his horse to anyone who could beat him.

Edward (Teddy) Chapman, a member of Paget Lions Club, asked if he could have his gas station for the day instead.

Mr Chapman won the tradition has been kept alive ever since.

Bermuda Lions Club volunteers pump the gas and man the station for a percentage of the day’s earnings and tips they get from drivers.

The 44th annual Gasorama takes place at Terceira’s Rubis Gas Station on North Shore Road tomorrow from 7am until 7pm.

Past events have been very successful, said Dudley Cottingham, the former president of the Hamilton Lions Club.

“Through the generosity of Mr Terceira’s son Ralph it has been operating continuously for the past four decades. I would estimate we have raised close to $1 million for a variety of local charities during those 44 years,” Mr Cottingham said.

Money raised this weekend will go to the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association and the Bermuda Hospitals Auxiliary.

Past Hamilton Lions Club president Marc Morabito said the event had been embraced by many in the community. “Some people decide not to fill up their tanks for a week before, just so they can come out and support,” he said.

Added Mr Cottingham: “The best way for the community to support us is to come out that day with as empty a tank as possible and be as generous as possible with their tips and purchase any raffle tickets that might be available on the day.”

Raffles will be drawn tomorrow at 6pm; prizes include travel vouchers, a round of golf and brunch.

William (Chummy) Hayward founded the Lions Club in Bermuda in 1946. He had seen a visitor from America wearing a Lions Club lapel and was keen to learn more about the organisation.

Mr Morabito said: “Chummy got very interested and visited the club in the US and decided it would be a good thing to start in Bermuda.

“He got together some people of good will here and they were dedicated to starting a Lions Club and learn about the concept and the club was chartered on May 13, 1946. It had 50 or 60 members at that time.”

Today the Lions Club is considered one of the largest community service organisations in the world. Mr James said they were always looking to recruit new members: e-mail daijjames@gmail.com.

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Published Feb 15, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm)

A card game that helped Lions Club raise almost $1m

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