1939 Greenville Lions Club had a goat of a time

Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

While researching though the bound volumes of 1939-1940 Greenville Advocate newspapers, I came across several articles that brought a smile to my face and even a giggle or two. One of those articles was a very clever way that the Greenville Lions Club encouraged their members to be civic minded and do good deeds for their community.

I wanted to share the article with you, in hopes you will get as much of a kick out of it as I did.

Lions Club Goat Gathering Good Deeds for City

Email newsletter signup

The Lions Club has a goat, a real live pretty—if goats can ever be called pretty- billy goat, named Leo. The goat will become the property of every member of the club, and when all have had him and have disposed of Leo, he will be passed on to the Rotary Club—if they organization wants a goat.

Rev. C. M. Perry, chairman of the program committee for the meeting last Friday night, introduced the goat to the club. Names were drawn and the goat fell to Gordon Robertson. The club had just voted to pay the expenses of the Butler County High School Band to Brewton at the time of the Brewton-Greenville football game. Mr. Robertson immediately agreed to pay half the expense, so he got rid of the goat. The animal then went on tour, with the first stop at the home of Mayor Jim Beeland, whose name heads the Lions Alphabetical order.

Mr. Beeland took the goat home with him, and kept him over the weekend on his lawn.

The goat remains in possession of each club member until the member does some good deed of benefit to the city of Greenville.

The rules and regulations regulating the possession of the goat are as follows:

  • The Lions Club goat shall be presented to some member of the club whose name is drawn by lot. This member shall keep the goat until by some act he proves that he is eligible to be relieved of possession of the goat. At which time the goat is to be delivered to the next member on alphabetical roaster of the Greenville Lions Club.
  • To be relieved of possession of the goat the member who is burdened with such possession, hereinafter to be known at the Grand Exalter Goat Herder, must:
  • Accomplish some act of benefit for the city of Greenville or the Lions Club. In other words, he must do a Boy Scout good turn, in a big way. The local newspaper will publish all details of the goat’s progress through the list of members, and will tell just what each member accomplished to get rid of the goat.
  • The president of the club, by virtue of the office he holds, shall be chairman of the judges committee to determine whether or not the Grand Exalter Goat Herder has accomplished any act worthy of dispossession of the goat. Any other member of the Lions Club can be called to act as the second judge sitting on the case. The president is not relieved of keeping the goat when his turn comes on the roster. The vice president shall act as chief judge when the president falls heir to the goat.
  • If any member is sick in bed or out of the city when his turn comes to keep the goat until he can get rid of it, then his turn is passes over until he is able to properly take over the duties of Grand Exalter Goat Herder. The next person on the roster will then get the goat. The secretary will keel a list of the names of the ones missed and will add them to the bottom of the roster.
  • If any accident, whether accidental or premeditated, happens to the goat while in possession of a member, that member must immediately produce another goat of as good quality, breed, and disposition as the original animal. The goat must be fed, watered and given every care and attention necessary to his well-being and happiness while in possession of each member.
  • The goat must not be boarded out, but must be kept in some more or less conspicuous place about the premises of the Grand Exalter Goat Herder’s home or apartment until the Grand Exalter Goat Herder can be able to pass him on to the next victim.
  • When the goat has been the complete rounds of the membership of the Lions Club, and an imposing list of good turns to the city or club has been collected, published and applauded, then a special committee shall be named by the Greenville Club to present the goat to our brother organization, the Greenville Rotary Club, together will a copy of these rules, laws and regulations.

If the current Lions Club would like to “get back to their roots” and encourage their members to perform good deeds through torture by goat, we, at the Greenville Advocate, would be more than happy to document the passing of the goat and good deeds once more.