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Recognition . . . North Otago Lions Club founding members (from left) Gavin Paterson (representing his wife Janet), May Ludemann, Ann Gibson, Jen Farquharson and Adrienne Alding were awarded Friend of the Trust pins last month by North Otago Lions president Sheila Paul and district governor Christine Stewart. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The joy of “giving back to the community” is the main driver behind seven women’s 30 years with North Otago Lions Club.

The original charter members were recognised with Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust Friend of the Trust pins and letters of congratulations last month when the club celebrated 30 years.

Former district governor and charter member Adrienne Alding said six of the members had actually given 34 years of service, because they had been founding members of the Lioness Club four years earlier.

“So the North Otago Lions Club’s been going for 30 years, but we started as the Lioness Club, certificated on May 2, in 1988, with 38 members.

“Then, after encouragement from Lions Clubs International to become a Lions Club, we chartered as a Lions Club on June 1, 1992, with 36 members,” Mrs Alding said.

The six were Mrs Alding, Ruth Dove, Jen Farquharson, Florence Hellyer, May Ludemann, and Janet Paterson. Ann Gibson joined the Lioness Club a year later, but was a charter member of the Lions Club.

The female-only members had stuck with the club because they were “service-minded people”, Mrs Alding said.

“They enjoy serving their community .. and it also gives members an opportunity to obtain leadership skills, personal growth, develop friendships, and above all, we have fun when we’re helping others.”

A highlight during Mrs Alding’s time with the Lions, was hosting two district conventions in Oamaru.

District 202J covers a large area, from Rakaia to Milton and inland, including Middlemarch, Tekapo, Methven and Geraldine. The conventions were held for the district governor at the time and meant “a large number of people” descended on the town, she said.

Among the good deeds the Lions carried out for the community, every year the group helped organise the Toot for Tucker collection for the Oamaru Churches Foodbank, held a pool party for the special needs community and took the elderly on an outing and provided them with afternoon tea.

It supported Camp Quality for children affected by cancer and also held an annual speech competition.

A big fundraiser for the group was selling cheese rolls.

“It’s a huge project for us,” Mrs Alding said.

This year, the women would make the cheese rolls on July 9. The money raised went towards funding their community, national and international projects.

Last night at the monthly dinner, which was held jointly with the Waiareka Valley Lions Club, a husband and wife team were each being named president of their respective clubs. It was believed this could be a first for the country.