Lions celebrate 100 years at annual Changeover

Peter Heathwood, Albert Manning, Bob Smith and Richard Leonard cutting the cake celebrating 100 years of Lions at the annual Changeover Dinner at the Gatsby Restaurant in Tumut on Saturday night. For more photos see the Tuesday, July 11, edition of the Tumut and Adelong Times.

The Tumut Lions Club celebrated 100 years of Lions at their annual changeover on Saturday night, with dinner, awards, speeches, and of course, cake. Lions International was founded in 1917, with the Tumut iteration following 53 years later in 1970.

Member for Eden-Monaro, Col Mike Kelly, attended Saturday night’s changeover dinner, and paid tribute to the Lions in a welcome speech.

“When we think back to 1917 when Melvin Jones got it all started we were in the middle of a major catastrophe internationally with the first World War and I think that inspired the spirit with which the Lions movement was started,” he said.

“Originally it was an acronym, and stood for Liberty, Intelligence, and Our Nation’s Safety, but also that motto of We Serve is something that resonates so strongly with me. This is a region with a great tradition of community service and volunteerism, and you’ve been such a wonderful part of that, and of course that spirit drives everything that you’ve been able to achieve in this community.”

Albert Manning was appointed President of the Tumut Lions for his 10th year, with the rest of the board for 2017/18 being made up of Secretary and Public Officer David Thompson, Treasurer Bruce Brien, First Vice President Noel Armour, Assistant Secretary Gilda Torino, and Assistant Treasurer David Thompson.

In what was a touching surprise to the recipient, Citizen of the Year went to Trish Matthews, who thought she was just attending the dinner to give a presentation on power pole paintings.

In fact, as Lion May Doon explained, that topic was one of the reasons Trish was considered a worthy recipient of the title.

“The wonderful Power Pole Art around Tumut is indeed something very special in our town,” she said.

“Trish does this in her spare time as a community project – she has great artistic flair and she does a wonderful job. She has completed 29 power poles and has another 60 on the waiting list to be done. This power pole art is unique to Tumut and we feel sure that our town will become known on the tourist trail for it, as something worth coming to Tumut to view.”

Ms Doon also highlighted Trish’s accomplishments as a founding member of the Tumut Toastmasters and the only Tumutian to bear the title ‘Distinguished Toastmaster,’ her work in Public Speaking tutoring at McAuley School, her position on the Australia Day committee, and her involvement with the Catholic Church and its many services to the community.

“I am sure there are many other areas of things she does in the community that she does quietly, not looking for recognition,” Ms Doon said.

“This talented and artistic lady is indeed a real treasure to Tumut and we say a big thank you for all she does to help beautify our lovely town.”

In his President’s Report, Lions President (both past and current) Albert Manning highlighted their achievements in the past financial year, including keeping the Lions Junction Park in pristine condition, their successful bi-monthly markets, driver reviver, the Red Shield Appeal, catering, barbecues, street stalls, the Tumut Cycle Classic, the annual Fun Run, Visy Family Day, and their donations towards childhood cancer research.

“I thank all the members for their dedicated and valued support during the past year and look forward to a bright and happy 2017-18,” Mr Manning said.