The Lions Club of Murray Bridge was chartered in 1965 after two members from the Woodville Lions Club made several visits to Murray Bridge to approach local businessmen about the viability of forming a club.
The 50th anniversary was held in November 2015, with a number of past members attending.
Their persistence eventually bore fruits of their labour in that they found a receptive ear of local businessman Ralph Roberts.
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He joined forces with the Woodville Lions members, which became the sponsoring club.
It was not long before a nucleus of future members arose.
They could all see a real need in the community for some constructive and worthwhile form of volunteer service, to make a difference in the lives of others.
September 22, 1965, became the club’s formation date.
A charter dinner was held in November 1965 when 21 members were inducted.
By 1966, there were only three zone meetings held in the entire C2 District – formerly S District – so there was a great deal of travelling to the south east centres.
Membership increased to 52 members by 1982 when there was a strong thought that Murray Bridge could handle a second Lions Club.
And so, the City Lions Club came to be and is still a successful club in its own right.
The Lions men were ably supported by their wives who had formed the Ladies Auxilliary Club in 1966.
The women worked side by side with the men to serve humanitarian service.
The women provided regular catering services to assist in fundraising and regularly organised the more social aspects of the Club.
In 1982-83, the Ladies Auxilliary registered as the Lioness Club of Murray Bridge.
There was great service, much catering and hectic fundraising activities creating much fun and frivolity during those years.
In 1999, members decided the time was right to become a fully- fledged Lions Club .
Thus, the Twin Bridges Lions Clubs was born.
Catering stilled filled a big part of the service undertaken to raise funds and become tangibly involved.
The big draw card for the club and the locals was the annual Christmas festival held in the town hall.
Its success was due to the ‘team effort’ approach with all members contributing in some way.
In May 2008, numbers were down to 13 with senior positions being recycled each year.
So an approach was made to the men to join forces and have one Lions club out of the two.
This has proved to be a successful move. Numbers have fluctuated over the years but the thrust and passion to serve the community has not diminished.
Currently the club is engaged in barbecues, upgrading the Mary Edwards grave with the Rotary Club and the council.
A sharing role is currently underway with the extension project at the White Park clubrooms.
The combined involvement with the council and U3A has made an idea become a reality, ensuing a real need in the community for the provision of a larger space to enhance existing usage.
The club is fortunate to have ex-farmers as members, so numerous opportunities arise to repair this or that.
The upgrade of the facilities at Swanport Reserve took two years of hard work and has created a better site for public usage.
The club continues to engage in collecting and recycling, paper, cans and cardboard with weekly pick-ups to homes, businesses and churches.
This began almost 50 years ago, proving there is still a need in the community.
Other activities are the monthly ‘wash ups’ for senior groups, bingo at bi-monthly intervals and the annual Christmas raffle and cake sales.
In between times there is time for socialising and assisting those in need.
The annual Youth of the Year program commenced in 2008 at the club final level and has been able to source students to sustain this public speaking event, continuously.
During the same period the club has hosted three regional finals and one district final.
We applaud the local community which continually supports these activities sufficiently for the members to continue to serve.