Twenty-five years after women were finally allowed to join a Lions Club Squamish has its first female member.
Lynn Tichauer was inducted into the Club last month after being sponsored by newly elected Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Area D rep Maurice Freitag.
Tichauer has only one reason for why the club remained all male for the years that it did.
"They really didn't want women to be there," she said calmly.
"It took a younger guy to realize that we need women here too."
Freitag said ever since he joined the club a few years ago, he had noticed Lynn Tichauer working for the club activites.
"I asked her why she wasn't a member," said Freitag.
"She told me she had not been invited. So, I said, 'okay, I will invite you.'"
Freitag said he was relatively new to the club and couldn't comment on whether there was a subtle or overt resistance to women joining the club.
"We want more members in our club and we want more progressive members in our club," he added.
"I'm open to anyone who is willing to work for the club."
It wasn't like the club adhered to some regressive medieval ideology that barred women from being part of the club.
Lynn's husband, Art Tichauer, has been a member for years and she has helped organize several events like the hamburger sales at the railway heritage museum.
Yet, she has never been officially inducted, something she sees more than just a mere oversight.
The club's president, Mike Jenson, however, said it's unfair to suggest that women were intentionally kept out of the club for 25 years.
He said the club had planned to form a Squamish Lioness Club five years ago, but the plan was scratched because of logistics and paper work.
"It has taken us five years since, but we are a progressive club and the induction of women was something that had to evolve over time," Jenson said.
There will likely be more women members over the next few years, he added. Pemberton Lions Club has five women members, with the first woman member inducted seven years ago, said the club's treasurer, Rob Meilleur. Now, the club's president is a woman, Dorothea Frisse.
The Lions Club, as the name grandly suggests, was an all-male club founded in 1917 by Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman.
Women could be part of the club in a separate Lioness Club, although that rule was changed in 1986 to allow women to become members.
Meanwhile, Mike Jenson is inviting Squamish citizens, men and women, to be part of the Lions Club. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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