The Murray Bridge City Lions Club was charted on the night of June 5, 1982, but actually celebrates its birthday on May 21.
The club started with 20 members and by the year’s end this had increased to 22 members.
Several new and innovated projects were generated, a highlight being the raising of more than $1700 for the then proposed Lerwin Nursing Home within six days of our charter.
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From its first dinner meeting, Lions ladies have been invited and have been attending ever since. Women were inducted into the club as it became legally feasible.
Lion Janet Dean-Trotter was the first woman inducted into Lions in Murray Bridge and is still a very active member today.
In the past 36 years the club has had a long list of praises for its efforts.
The club has always shown a keen interest in youth by participating in the Youth Exchange Program, sending eigth young people overseas and hosting many more.
It established the first Leos club in the Zone and supported this club to the very end, when it closed due to lack of numbers.
The club has entered five girls in the Lions Personality Quest, with Paula Daly reaching the finals.
The activities of the club were so strong in the 1984-85 years, that at the 1985 International Conference in Illinois, USA, it was presented with the World Top 10 International Award.
In 1987 at the International Convention in Taepei, Taiwan, the club received an honourable mention in the club’s Publicity Campaign contest.
Major impact and fundraising projects over the years include the Health Fair; Crime Expo; Jubilee Trade Fair; Bi-Centennial Trade Fair; Cranio-Maxillo Facial Foundation; Make-a-wish Foundation; Trash and Treasure markets; Can Recycling; and the selling of Christmas cakes, puddings and Lions mints.
The club also introduced the first Driver Reviver, which was fully funded from the clubs funds and later taken over by the Local Road Safety Committee; produced a Health Directory in conjunction with its earlier Health Fair; distributed telephone books for many years; helped start the official celebrations on Australia Day; sponsored a child through PLAN International; built its own clubrooms, or Lions’ den; established two town parks; planted trees for Trees for Life; funded Two Lions Hearing Dogs; supplied two gophers to two incapacitated people; installed an outdoor setting at Monarto Zoo; helped restore the Bremer Road Cemetery Rose Garden; keep fit equipment at Sturt Reserve; and provide ongoing support district, multiple district and international projects.
Major donations supported over the years include to the Haemophilia Foundation; Anti-Cancer Foundation; Epilepsy Association; Orana; Diabetes SA; Brain Foundation; St Vinnies; Heart Foundation; Childhood Cancer Research; Arthritis Association; Flying Doctors; Guide Dogs SA and NT; Wheelchair sports; Murray Bridge North Primary School; Sleeping Rough Project; Medical Research Foundation; Spinal Cord Fellowship; Australian Lions Foundation; Australian Lions MS Foundation; LCIF; and ALDAF.
Many Murray Bridge City members have volunteered their time to serve at district and multiple district levels.
These include seven zone chairmans, three regional chairmans, one convention chairman, one district Leos chairman, one district Governor’s bulletin chairman and one personality quest chairman.
Many awards have also been gained by club members, including seven members receiving the Melvin Jones Fellows, the highest award presented; one member receiving the James Richardson Award; another receiving the Guiding Lion; two members receiving the Charter Monarch; one member receiving the Star Award; eight members receiving Key Members Award; and another receiving the International President’s Membership Achievement Award.
The club has raised in excess of $775,000 since its inception, with its highest fundraiser held in 1985-86 totalling $80,129 which is closely followed by another held in 1987-88 totalling $67,828.
Although the club is not considered a big club, its members are very proud of their many achievements and strive to follow the club’s ethics and purposes. They are proud to serve the local community.