Lions Club of Hallett Cove and Districts

01 July 2014

Mr SPEIRS ( Bright ) ( 15:53 ): On 21 June this year, I had the pleasure of being inducted as a member of the Lions Club of Hallett Cove and Districts, a vibrant and dynamic service club which encompasses all that is good about my community and which works tirelessly to serve the Hallett Cove district, which roughly covers the southern suburbs of Hallett Cove, Trott Park, and Sheidow Park, the latter two suburbs being ably served by the member for Mitchell.

I was delighted to become a member of this club. It is a club that I have had a long association with from my time in Marion council and during my many years of living in and around Hallett Cove. Because this is my local community, I have been able to see firsthand the way that this club delivers for its community with members who know their community, identifying need, rolling up their sleeves, and getting out and about, working to fulfil that need.

Not only did I become a member of the club but my wife, Hannah, became the club's first honorary member in its 25-year history. This says a lot in itself because since the election, after 18 months of loyally attending many community events, Hannah has put her foot down and become very selective about what she attends. Fair enough, I say, but the events held by the Lions Club of Hallett Cove are a drawcard for Hannah, so much so that she delayed her trip to Millicent (where she is undertaking her five-week nursing placement) to stay an extra night and attend the club's changeover dinner. Why would she do this? Because, like so many people in the Hallett Cove area, she looks at the Lions Club and she is drawn to its people, because a club is only worth the sum of its people. She is drawn to its camaraderie and the sense of fun the club oozes, and she was genuinely moved to be named as an honorary member.

In 2014, the club will be ably led by Mrs Jill Kimber, the newly inducted president. She takes over from her husband, Tom Kimber, who becomes the immediate past president. The first vice president of the club will be Dennis Connor, the second vice president will be long-term Lions Club stalwart, Mr Graeme Botting, and they will be assisted by club secretary, Tina Sutherland, and by club treasurer, Neil Wood. The club's executive is made up of those who have put up their hands to serve this year, but in the Lions Club of Hallett Cove everyone is equal, and there are many other incredibly worthy members and their families who are contributing spades of effort to this club.

One of the club's more important activities in recent years has been the establishment of its home base at Perry Barr Farm on Quailo Avenue, Hallett Cove. Until recent years, Petty Barr Farm was a collection of largely disused sheds and buildings owned by the City of Marion. However, not any more—the place has been brought to life. Leased and transformed by the Lions Club, it is now a place they have dramatically reinvigorated. It is a place where the Lions meet and where the Lions run its 'Books and Things' garage sales on Thursday and Saturday mornings, giving the club a successful source of revenue which allows fundraising efforts to be further ploughed into the immediate community.

One such example of the Lions Club funds being put to excellent use was a recent case, when the club heard of a young girl who suffered from regular and violent seizures preventing her from attending school. Her seizures were violent and her mother had to look after her 24/7. The Lions Club heard about dogs which are being bred and trained in Queensland which have specific seizure response skills. These dogs cost about $20,000 each: $10,000 is subsidised, but the user needs to bring another $10,000 to the purchase. The Hallett Cove Lions Club and the Brighton Lions Club joined forces to raise funds and had the dog brought to South Australia. Club members now regularly see the young girl attending the shopping centre with her mum and dog. It has transformed her life.

Another project the Lions Club of Hallett Cove has taken a lead role in is the centenary of the Gallipoli landings commemorations which are to be held on the Hallett Cove foreshore on ANZAC Day 2015. The Lions Club has worked hard with the local community and the City of Marion to ensure that an ANZAC memorial is constructed on Hallett Cove's foreshore; here, it will organise a commemorative service and youth vigil to mark this important occasion. Special mention must be made of Lions project officer, Mr Graeme Botting, for his role driving this initiative.

The Lions Club is a fixture at Hallett Cove community events, including the Australia Day breakfast, which it coordinates in conjunction with another great Hallett Cove club, the Rotary Club of Hallett Cove. The work that is done by the Lions Club of Hallett Cove has huge value, both socially and monetarily. There are many ways to calculate how much a volunteer hour is worth. The Office for Volunteers calculates this at $27.45 an hour, but can you put a price on volunteering? I would say that the Lions Club of Hallett Cove, and all the benefits it delivers to our community, is truly priceless.

Extracted from Hansard