Lester Sheather with his award.The highlight of last Tuesdays Lions Changeover Night was the presentation by Zone Chairman Lion Jeff Mott to Bellingen Lion Lester Sheather of the highest & most prestigious award in Lions – a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award.
Lion Jeff said this award is only achieved by Lions who have given outstanding service to their Club & their Community. Lester was overcome with emotion and extremely proud to be amongst the best of the best in Lions. He said that he has loved every minute & has very fond memories of his 47 years with Bellingen Lions. He thanked his fellow members & wife Merle for “supporting putting up with him all these years”. This is a great honour for Lion Lester – Congratulations you have done yourself and the Club proud.
Lions President Hilton McLennan welcomed the Special Guests for the evening, Zone Chairman Lion Jeff Mott & Lions Lady Lyn, Mayor of Bellingen Shire Mark Troy & wife Gina, Rotarians James & Diana Christian, Honorary Lions Rick & Pauline, and Lions Lady Betty Kilborne.
Mayor Troy proposed a toast to Lions Clubs International and praised them & especially Bellingen Lions for the enormous amount of work they do each year for our local community and the continued co-operation with Bellingen Shire Council on local projects.
Lions Past District Governor Ken Smith gave a fine response stating that there were some 44750 Lions Clubs worldwide all working for the welfare of mankind. What a great feeling to be part of such a wonderful organisation.
A toast to Kindred Organisations was proposed by Lion Wal Tyson and he spoke of the other organisations present, Rotary, the Red Cross, View Club, Show Committee, Meal on Wheels, Church Op Shops etc and how we all work together to help our community in many ways. Rotarian James Christian responded and spoke of welcoming continued co-operation with Bellingen Lions on future community projects.
Bellingen Lions Club President Hilton McLennan then gave his final Presidents Report saying how proud he was to have been in charge for the past 2 years and thanked those who had given great support and assistance to him during his term. Some of the Clubs achievements including donation of some $27,000 during the past year – “a wonderful achievement for a small group of blokes”. Hilton’s legacy gift to the Club is the ongoing assistance & co-operation of the Youth Cultural Tour Group to the Club in the Catering Kiosk and on Lions Projects such as the paving of the outdoor areas at Bellorana Nursing Home, and the Senior Citizens Luncheon.
These “kids” are a wonderful asset to our Club – they are proud young adults willing to give a hand when it is needed and in return our Club funds some of their travel costs for their Cultural Tour. It is wonderful to see the inter-generational banter & fun that occurs as well.
President Hilton thanked the king of the catering kiosk; Lion John Molloy & student mentor Lindsay Kingsley for overseeing this wonderfully co-operative project.
Other projects for 2011/12 include a hugely successful 2011 Fireworks Spectacular (it’s almost that time again), that extensive paving project at Bellorana, renovating the horse stalls at the showground, and of course the many thousands of $$$$ in donations to the hospital & other community organisations.
Changeover Time – Zone Chairman Lion Jeff Mott then installed the new officers for 2012/13. Congratulations to President Lester Sheather, Secretary Bill Butler, Treasurer Pat Fox – (for the 13th year) – well done Pat.
The “Tail Twisting” fines session followed with the slightest indescrepancy in recent times being seized upon by Lion Steve Shields. Steve does a great job of producing a few red faces, much laughter & plenty of money in the “Money Lion” for Lion Tamer Maddo.
Altogether a fun night of celebration & fellowship was enjoyed by all – our thanks to the ladies who provided flowers to decorate the tables & provided pre-dinner nibbles throughout the year.
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