The results of another very successful year for the Lions Club of Keith were revealed at their handover dinner held at the RSL Hall clubrooms, which is owned and maintained by the club.
Over 40 people attended the event, with Keith members joined by Lions from the zone, namely Tintinara, Bordertown and Meningie along with representatives of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Support Group and also the Keith and District Hospital Board chair Richard Vickery, along with Tatiara District Council deputy mayor David Edwards, Cr Jamie Jackson, Cr Maureen Oliver and Cr Miles Hannemann.
In his report, Keith Lions Club president Mick Aitken highlighted the activities of the past year and thanked the members and their partners for their support.
“Each and every member of this club can be extremely proud of their efforts which when combined, provide a significant input into our local community,” Mick said.
Cooking barbecues at the Keith Show, the town Christmas Party in the park and the “big one” in partnership with Lions from the Tintinara Club at the Diesel and Dirt Derby, enable the club to continue with its support of both local and Australian causes.
Mick said the club also showed commitment to it’s younger community members.
“The club’s commitment to the young people of Keith was again significant with events as diverse as sausage sizzles for the junior footballers, scholarships to students at the Keith Area School, Youth of the Year and support for apprentices.”
The Regional Final of the Youth of the Year Quest was held in Keith in March where Joe Watts represented the club and in May two first year apprentices, Ashlyn Eriksen and Otto Kelly each received $300 from the Bob Jose Trust.
Locally, further support was given to young sports people selected in State teams and the Keith Branch of the Support Group for the RFDS. Further afield, support was given to Australian Lions Projects with donations to Lions Prostrate Research, Lions Eye Health and Lions Hearing Dogs.
These highlighted activities of the club fulfil the Lions motto “We Serve”, but locally this motto was further realised after the Sherwood fire when Keith Lions were able to provide within days, cash from a reserve to those who had unfortunately lost their homes.
The reserve funds have been building up over the years by past and present members for any such disaster.
Dinner meetings were varied; with interesting topics and some shared with partners. Included was a trip to Willalooka by bus to hear guest speakers Ian and Louise Johnson talk about their trip to Cuba and then in January, a members only joint meeting with Tintinara Club in a shearing shed where the “Stroll4Stroke” walkers were present.
Zone Chairman Ian Dunbar conducted the handover ceremony. It seems the Lions prescribed procedure does not allow for the outgoing president to be re-instated for another term, a condition becoming more prevalent of late. However with the taking off of badges of office and reapplying them, Mick was sworn in for another year along with all of the past committee.
A cheque of $1,000 was presented to the Keith representative of the Tatiara RFDS. In accepting the donation, Win Hunt thanked the Lions for their support during a possibly challenging period as the Keith RFDS relocated their shop, but the move has resulted in increased membership and turnover.
President Mick then passed on a cheque for $12,547 to Keith and District Hospital Inc Board chair Richard Vickery, representing the proceeds of the Anzac Day Community Breakfast raised through the raffle, auction and the meal provided, all so generously given by the community and held in the Lions account.
In responding, Richard thanked the community for the amount raised this year and its long term support.
He said the Board and CEO were working hard to make progress and looking for positive things ahead.
The coming year for members will no doubt be just as busy as the last, with the main activity early being the 50th year celebration.
The Lions Club of Keith was formed with a charter meeting held in October 1968. The celebration to mark the occasion is planned for November 3 and members are currently preparing invitations to all past members, having 30 charter members in 1968 and with membership rising to over 40 in mid 1970s, there is a huge list to follow up on.