The Gawler Lions Club has roared into its fifties with a celebratory dinner on Saturday night to mark the historic event.
Over 90 Lions, family and friends entered the den at Nixon’s Function Centre to see the cutting of the 50th birthday cake, a speech from Charter Member Humphrey George, and a minute’s silence to remember those members and friends who had passed away.
President Ray Brussow said that the Gawler Lions had a great deal to be proud of in serving the local community.
“Through the many fundraising efforts the club has supported a number of local, national and international projects,” Mr Brussow said.
Mr George agreed with Mr Brussow adding that the club was at its best when it worked with other service clubs in Gawler to deliver significant projects for the town.
“The clubs worked together to help establish Gawler Aged Cottage homes to provide quality accommodation at an affordable price to local seniors,” Mr George said.
“In the 80’s the combined service clubs worked hard to deliver a Sport and Recreation Centre for the young people of Gawler.”
The club was an all-male affair for many years with Gwyneth Helbers becoming its first female president in 2002-03, closely followed by Beryl Tearle.
Light MP and Lions member Tony Piccolo emceed the dinner, and Dr Bruce Eastick delivered the Toast to Lions International as he had done so 49 years ago as Mayor of the Town.
Mr Piccolo said the anniversary provided the club members an opportunity to celebrate and reflect upon their achievements and remember past members and friends.
“While the club had achieved a great deal in their first fifty years, there was much more to do in the next,” Mr Piccolo said.
Guests at the dinner included Mr Kevin Master, First Vice District Governor Elect, Mayor Karen Redman and her partner Terry, and representatives from other Lions Clubs and Service Clubs in Gawler.
Special guests at the dinner were the partners of founding (charter) members of the club who had since passed away.
Former Gawler resident, and now South Australian Senator Simon Birmingham, was an apology for the occasion but a pre-recorded greeting from him was played on the night.
Mr Birmingham, now Federal Minister for Education and Training, was a Gawler Lions Youth of the Year winner in 1991-92.
Charter Member Humphrey George and current President Mr Ray Brussow cut the birthday cake.
A brief history of the club’s first 50 years has been published to mark the occasion.