Lions club optimistic in unprecedented year

A string of successful outcomes were highlighted during the Lions Club of Clare District 53rd handover dinner held on June 19.

The optimism was shared despite the members reflecting on a year of unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19.

Statewide restrictions had hindered normal projects and activities such as the street barbecues and catering of dinners.

The Second-hand Furniture Shed was also closed to the public for the first half of 2020.

Sadly, the Christmas Parade and After Parade Party fell victim to the pandemic.

Only some activities were able to restart in the later half of 2020.

Yet the Handover Dinner’s mood was positive, without outgoing president Greg Pulford handing the reins to Allan Mayfield.

The event kicked off with musical entertainment performed by the Clare High School Band, guided by music teacher Trudy Hart.

The Lions Club extended thanks to Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council mayor Wayne Thomas and partner Helen, to attend the event and give a toast to Lions International.

The mayor further thanked members for their contribution to the Clare Community, especially the work the club provided for the Gleeson Wetlands.

The popular asset is enjoyed by locals and tourists.

He also highlighted the valued collaborative relationship the Lions Club has with the council.

Mr Pulford thanked the club’s healthy membership for their efforts over the past year, praising the Catering group, Furniture Store, Food For Thought, Marshalling and the Green Team.

Presidential Awards were given to club stalwarts – Evelyn Norton and Chris Ballantyne.

Mr Pulford also presented the highly valued and respected James D Richardson Awards to Allan Mayfield and Dave Simpson for their ongoing support, including their work with the Furniture Store.

Given the nature of the past year, the Clare Lions Club soldiered on and impressively made donations of close to $50,000.

Some of these 30-plus donations included the Wool, Wine and Wheat Scholarship, Diabetes Testing machine (Clare Hospital), Operation Flinders, Blyth Regional Theatre Expansion, Brinkworth School, Uniting Country, Clare Valley Children’s Centre, RFDS and a variety of Lions Health projects and Foundations including Skin Cancer Screening, Diabetes Screening, Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, and the Australian Lions Foundation.

The evening was further marked by first-class performances from a number of solo and group members of the Clare High School Music Band.

In response, Mr Pulford thanked the entertainers and handed over a donation of $1000 to the school’s music department.

Funds will support the purchase of instruments.

The evening ended with Mr Mayfield thanking the council for their on-going support of the Clare Lions Club – both with the Furniture Store and the Gleeson Wetlands.

He said that members will continue supporting worthwhile projects in the district.

“The club has a long and proud history of service and although the activities may change over time, the purpose remains the same,” Mr Mayfield shared.