Nambucca Heads Lions Club

District 201N1 New South Wales Australia

Club History

The inaugural meeting of the Nambucca Heads Club was held on 11th December 1967 with 17 prospective members and 25 guests. Seventeen members were inducted into the newly formed Club. The sponsoring Club was Bellingen and extension committee was Don Kilborne, Lester Sheather, Stan Gordon and Alan Scolari.

The Charter Dinner was held in the Nambucca Heads Bowling Club on 6th April 1968 with 210 people present and Fourteen Clubs represented. The Dinner Chairman was Don Kilborne of Bellingen. The Charter Executive was President Ken Avery, Secretary Arthur Martin and Treasurer Fran Greenaway. The inaugural President Doug Smith was credited with the formation of the Nambucca Club but for Personal Reasons he was unable to continue in his role of Charter President.

District Governor Roy Stewart of Charlestown presented the Charter. The Club was No. 489 in Australia and No.18 in 201N1. There were 24 Charter Members.

The first project undertaken was to man the collection points for the Nipper and Mermaids Carnival. The First Project after Charter was the Judging of the Clubs Youth of the Year Entrants on 17th April (eleven days after Charter). This was the start of a long tradition of involvement with the Youth of the Year, which still continues. In 1977 Loretta Knight was the District Winner and in 1995 Jannelle Johnstone was the District Public Speaking winner.

In 1968 the Lions started to develop the Lions Park Lookout on the Headland and over the next three years grew Norfolk Island Pines and installed seats. In 1981 the Club reconstructed the Headland Park and continuing upgrades are on going. The Park was Officially Opened by District Governor Bev Smith in 1982.

The Golf Club Boat ramp was built along with a unit at Illawong Homes, the erection of the fence around the Bowraville Race Course, gates at the Macksville Showground, the construction of a new Tennis Court for the local Tennis Club and a new Pontoon for the Bellwood Swimming Area.

In 1975 the Club assisted with the preparation of Coronation Park. The work on Coronation Park also continued over a number of years and included the provision of an Amenities Block, landscaping and maintenance.

In 1983 the Club had their first Miss Personality Entrant Theresa Maher the daughter of Lion George and Carol.

1984 saw President Terry Perkins having an idea to construct a concrete walkway from Bellwood to the V. Wall and have it completed as the Lions Bicentennial Gift to Nambucca Heads. The work commenced on 16th February 1984 at Piggott Street. In 1985 the walkway was continued from Piggott Street to the RSL Carpark. In 1986 the walkway continued up and down hill to Gordon Park Boat ramp.

In 1987 the walkway was completed from Gordon Street to the V. Wall. The Statistics were 1331 metres in length, 352.8 tonnes of concrete, 1450 man-hours and three Presidents, Terry Perkins, Harry Mills and Barry Duffus. The total cost was $11,680 the cost of the concrete. The Club received the Sydney Morning Herald Community Service Award for this project.

In 1990 Stuart Island Restoration and Beautification began this continued for several years. This included the building of two boar ramps.

A most unusual project still progressing is the “V” Wall paintings. This is actually legalized Graffiti. A number of the, Rocks which make the Break Wall, have been painted and signed by well known and ordinary people and have become a major tourist attraction. More rocks are being painted every year and the Lions help with the maintenance of this area.

Nambucca combined with Macksville and Bowraville to raise funds for a wheel chair for Motor Neurone suffer Sue Waugh. The Clubs raised more than the $7600 required and the balance was donated to the Motor Neurone Society.

Over the years the Club has donated to the Hospital, the Ambulance, the Schools, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and most other Community Organizations.

In 2000 the Club ran a very successful Drug Education Programme with Guest Speakers, from Sydney and the local area, including Major General Watters from the Commonwealth Drug Taskforce. The programme involved a Public Forum and visits to local Schools.

An unusual fact is that Lion Harry Mills inducted his two sons Garry and Alan into the Nambucca Club and the three of them were active members for a number of years until Garry moved for employment. Alan and Harry a both still members.

The Major Fundraisers have been: Catering at various events including the Bridge to Bridge, The Weekly Plaza Wheel, and the Charity Markets monthly, the RSL Wheel weekly, Housie Weekly. The yearly Charity Auction and ongoing Christmas Cakes and Mint Sales.

Nambucca Heads Club has sponsored the Lions Club of Bowraville in 1974, Valla Club in 1979 and Nambucca Leos in 1986. The Leo Club has since folded.

The Club has not had any of its members elected to the District Executive but have had a number who have served on District Cabinet as region and Zone Chairman and District Chairman. Lion Harry Mills served as a Director of the Save Sight and Health Care for Two terms 1995-2001.

The Club has presented three Melvin Jones Fellowships to Bill Babbs, Barry Duffus and Harry Mills. Harry Mills has also received a Betty Cuthbert Fellowship (1996-97), a Harry Jenkins Fellowship (1999-00) and an International Presidents Certificate of Appreciation (1990-00).

Lion John Sibraa was presented with a Life Membership of the Lions Healthcare Foundation in 1997 and Alan Mills a Life Membership in the Save Sight Foundation in 2000.

The Club has won the District Activities Award in 1998-99 and the District Administration Award in 1982-83 and 1984-85.

Nambucca has six Life Members, Barry Duffus, Harry Mills, Bill Babbs, Harold Fowler and Peter O’Neill and Don Parveez. Life Members have also been active in introducing new members to Lionism, Bill Babbs held a Senior Master Key (25 Members), at the time of his death he had actually introduced 32 new members, the Highest number in 201N1. Three members told the Master Key (12 members) they are John Knight, Barry Duffus and George Maher.