Elephants led Lions' first charge

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 25/05/2013
Lions Club of Timaru
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

PARTY TIME: Lions Club of Timaru Host South Canterbury members Dave Campbell and Ken Meggitt, president, will be among the many people celebrating the club’s 50th anniversary tonight.

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The Lions Club of Timaru Host South Canterbury has come a long way since its first big fundraiser - an elephant derby, which raised £139.

That event had the circus elephants, which were in town, racing down Stafford St.

Now, 50 years on, the club is preparing to commemorate just how far it has come.

Members agree a lot has happened since the club's first meeting in December 1962. It has purchased TV sets for hospitals in the district, established organ transplant funds, donated to countries affected by major disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, and built 11 flats in Avenue Rd.

The club has run a radiothon and sold shoelaces, lightbulbs, punga ferns, first aid kits, Christmas cakes, sheep manure, scrap metal and compost.

Club member John Steven said one of the club's most successful projects was the TV fundraiser.

"Instead of raising enough for one or two TVs, there was enough for 33, and then we did it for some of the elderly homes. They were about $1000 in those days.

"That got us off to a great start with the public," he said.

The club, formerly known as the Lions Club of Timaru, also created five other district clubs - Temuka, Geraldine, Suburban, St Andrews and Pakeke.

Next on the club's agenda is its 50th anniversary celebrations, which members will commemorate at Seven Oaks tonight.

To find out more about the club and its history, check out the Timaru Herald's Past Times page on Tuesday.

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- The Timaru Herald

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