Members and guests celebrated North Lakes Lions Club’s 15th birthday this week, reflecting on their work in the community and the strong friendships made.
Moreton Daily was invited to attend the club’s special dinner meeting to mark the anniversary at Murrumba Downs Tavern on April 27.
Those in attendance included the four remaining foundation members Rolf Stade, Chris Doyle, Kae Ruprecht and Barry Maxfield who recounted memories from the early days.
Charter President Jim Hearne spoke first, paying tribute to Lion Roly who was the driving force behind the move to form a North Lakes club.
Jim says the group faced challenges to form a club, but perseverance paid off and they made it happen. They wanted it to be a progressive club and had several younger members.
“Then it was down to start doing some work and trying to raise some money and mold a club together,” Jim recalls.
It started with musical night at the North Lakes Community Centre, helping North Lakes State College, volunteering at the Mango Hill Christmas event, cooking sausages at Lakelands Medical Centre opening and selling bacon and egg burgers at the North Lakes markets.
Past-president Chris Doyle says he joined after seeing a public notice in a local newspaper and attending a meeting where he met Rolf and Barry, as well as Kallangur Lions Bruce Whitfield and Mal Murray.
The Kallangur Club had sponsored the formation of a North Lakes Club and Bruce and Mal were there to enjoy the 15th birthday celebrations along with Mike Cahill.
Chris says he was looking for an organisation to join, so he could help people in the community after moving to North Lakes from Tamworth.
“The good thing about this club is that it is a family club. We’ve all grown, I’ve grown immensely in this club,” he says.
Chris has enjoyed personal development through his involvement with the club and his contact with members who have had a positive influence on his life.
He says the club has thrived and he looks forward to seeing how it continues to develop.
His wife Kae Ruprecht says Chris suggested she join the club after their move from Tamworth and she was thrilled to discover the North Lakes club did things differently – welcoming female members.
“I’m very pleased I did so. I’ve made wonderful friends through the Lions club. I’m extremely happy to have been a foundation member and extremely happy that Queensland would accept women,” she says.
Rolf Stade said: “We’ve had some great past members – we’ve seen a lot of people come through the club, there’s only four of us left – we’ve got some great present members, we have great history and we have a fantastic future.”
Barry Maxfield said one of the highlights had been the club’s Wish Tank, instigated by Greg Milne.
He says the program has given people in the community special experiences and practical help.
It has also been important to him to be able to introduce people with disabilities to Lions.
“I’m proud to be a Lion. I’m proud to me a foundation member of Lions and I think I’ll be a Lion until the day I pass,” he says.
Kallangur Lions’ Mal Murray congratulated his North Lakes colleagues on their achievement.
“What’s impressed me about this club is their stamina, the way they put it all together, the enthusiasm that they showed in the formation and subsequent charter,” he says.
“Being here tonight I’ve been thinking about the calibre of the people who make up this club. It’s tremendous really. You’ve chosen well and you’ve had good leaders all the way through and I congratulate you on what you’ve done for North Lakes, Lions International and your district.”