Bundaberg Lions Condensed History
The Lions Club of Bundaberg was formed on the 16th October, 1964, having been sponsored by the Lions Club of Maryborough. There were 25 members when the Club chartered on the 27th February, 1965, four of whom, Lions Ron Glass, Graham Plath, Noel Searle and Jim Anderson are still active within the Club and were honoured with the presentation of Life Membership on the 2nd May, 1997. Prior to his passing, Harvey Gahan was also awarded Life Membership in December 1998. Charter President was Guy Day-Lewis, Secretary John Crossley and Treasurer Bob Cook. The Charter Members of the Lions Club of Bundaberg are listed in the previous report, with the Past Presidents of the Club listed at the end of this report.
Over the years our Club has provided many very capable District officers, one of the most notable being the late Lion Frank McNamara, who in 1972/73 was Governor of the then District 201K. This District, known as the "Big K", gave him 72 Clubs under his jurisdiction. Frank was honoured with life membership in June, 1985. In 1971/72, our club received the Governors award for Champion Club of District 201K. We have hosted two very successful district conventions and at the 1971 convention, 900 Lions, Lions Ladies and guests attended the Governor's Banquet in the Bundaberg Civic Centre. The Club continues to participate in District projects such as Miss Personality Quest, Youth of the Year, and the Youth Exchange Program to name a few, and has been very active in promoting Lions within our area, sponsoring the charter of the Lions Clubs of Bundaberg Hinkler, Childers, Gin Gin and Bargara and the Bundaberg Leos Club.
The Bundaberg Club has worked on many and varied projects over the years, one of the largest being the construction of the Activity Therapy Centre in Killer Street (now Salvation Army Tom Quinn Community Centre). Another major project was the bricking over of the old wharfies hut in Targo Street. Our Lions and helpers completed this job in one weekend with the building becoming the inaugural headquarters of Meals on Wheels, being known as Sunshine House.
We were responsible for converting the unsightly wasteland under the traffic bridge at North Bundaberg into a picturesque park area. One of the nice surprises of this project was the unexpected arrival of six bikies at one of our early working bees. These same men continued to help at other times, although they obviously weren't interested in the next phase of this project as they never returned after the toilet block was completed. We also developed the Lions Park in Takalvan Street (now Lions Remembrance Park), and when the Pioneer Home was built, our Club was responsible for the landscaping of the grounds. The light towers at the Bundaberg Showground were constructed and erected by our members, as was the Lions Club building, which was built at the Showground for fundraising at Show time.
The Club has conducted very successful Glaucoma Clinics, and provided a Seeing Eye dog for a Bundaberg resident. Club members also repaired donated toys and distributed them to needy families. Construction of awnings for the pensioner units in Barolin Street, installation of bus shelters and provision of medical equipment to the hospital have been rewarding Club projects.
The most recent major project was the construction of the Rats of Tobruk Monument in Takalvan Street. The Club's association with Meals on Wheels, Bundaberg Activity Therapy Centre, Lions Park, North Bundaberg and Rats of Tobruk, Lions Memorial Park, Takalvan Street is described in detail later in this bulletin. Ongoing projects include the active and financial support of Meals of Wheels, the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms and the provision of reflective house numbers on kerbs. Fund raising projects have included the children's Cubby House raffles, the collection of waste paper for recycling and hundreds of chook raffles at local hotels. Our famous hot beef rolls provided to Show patrons still contribute a large portion of our annual income and the Melbourne Cup Sweep proves very profitable for the Club each year.
Our famous Lions Christmas cakes and Lions Mints are also a steady source of income. For 40 years the Ladies Auxiliary of the Lions Club of Bundaberg has supported our Club in our fundraising ventures. During 28 of these years they organized the very successful annual Fashion Fantasia with this project alone raising close to $150,000. Many needy organizations have benefited from our Ladies hard work, and it is with sadness that we note that our Ladies Auxiliary no longer exists.
Members and their ladies enjoy many social functions throughout the year. The District Governors visit, our Club's birthday dinner and Christmas party provide some of the special outings. The fellowship and harmony of our 32 Club members contributes greatly to the successful operation of our club. Personally, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to be a member of the Lions Club of Bundaberg for the past 40 years.
Compiled by Charter Member Lion Jim Anderson for 40th Anniversiary.
Sadly we have lost Lion Ron Glass and Lion Noel Searle since this was written.
LIONS PARK – North End of Old Traffic Bridge
In 1969, after completing the landscaping of the grounds of the Pioneer Memorial Hospital, Lions members were looking for a similar community project. Bundaberg City Council had purchased badly degraded, flood damaged land on the north bank of the Burnett River from private landholders with a view to eventually beautify the river bank. Bundaberg Lions Club members, in particular Charter President Guy Day-Lewis, saw this as an excellent Club project.
With the blessing of the Council, work started in 1970. First, a huge hole had to be filled and the land levelled and cleared of lots of rubbish and flood debris. Next, Club members constructed two BBQ pits, covered tables and seats and playground equipment for children. Club members molded concrete posts and sunk them into the ground to define the perimeter of the park.
The Council has since planted many trees and added further amenities to make the park a very popular and attractive area.
Our part in this section of the park was completed on 24/06/1972, with the construction of two brick piers and a Lions archway at the park entrance. The official hand-over to Mayor Cliff Nielsen and Councilor John Faircloth was carried out in front of the Lions archway by Lion Jim Anderson who was outgoing Club President. Completion of the park was one of his projects.
It was evident that a toilet block in the park was an urgently-needed facility; Council provided for this in the 1972-73 Budget. Lions however did the work as a further project with the help of some bikies who arrived one Saturday afternoon with lots of noise. Our apprehensions turned to grateful thanks when they pitched in and helped us with concrete laying and bricklaying.
Early worries about flooding proved groundless once we had grassed the area. Several floods have since come and gone with no damage.
Council at that time had ideas of connecting Lions Park to nearby Harriet Island with a causeway or footbridge to provide for family outings, beautification, fishing etc. but this has never eventuated.
Judging by the number of people who use Lions Park, it has proved to be a worthwhile project for our Club.
Researched and contributed by Charter Member Graham Plath
Link to LIONS PARK – North End of Old Traffic Bridge as PDF with pictures.