THE BOYNE VALLEY LIONS CLUB: Tim Hannay, Ivan Stiller, Burke Mclachlan, Blue Hughes, Ron Streeter, Michael Leahy, Michael Stiller, Dot Hughes, Jean Stiller and Greg Ralph (Miriam Vale Lions ).
THE BOYNE VALLEY LIONS CLUB: Tim Hannay, Ivan Stiller, Burke Mclachlan, Blue Hughes, Ron Streeter, Michael Leahy, Michael Stiller, Dot Hughes, Jean Stiller and Greg Ralph (Miriam Vale Lions ). Contributed/Michael Stiller

'One big happy family': Lion's club celebrates 40th

IT'S a staple part of the Boyne Valley community, and last weekend the Boyne Valley Lions Club celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Surrounded by the whole community at its Lions Den in Ubobo, the 11 members of the flourishing club used their monthly barbecue fundraiser to acknowledge the important milestone and toast to another 40 years.

The event was attended by fellow Lions Clubs including Calliope and Miriam Vale, with the district governor also speaking at the festivities.

Club president Michael Leahy was a proud figure at the event, and said the secret to the organisation's long and happy life was simply its community engagement.

"Our Lions Club up here are just people who want to help the community, and you just feel like let's do this and let's get in there,” he said.

"The fellowship is another big thing; every time we see each other and we shake hands, it's not like it's a hard job, we get excited about each barbecue coming up.

"As people get older and leave or move away... it can be hard to keep everybody going but the club is still strong, still going and is very happy.

"It's just one hell of a big happy family there.”

The club is an important part of the Valley, helping to raise money for the CWA Hall and the Memorial Hall, which act as important meeting places and recreational gatherings for residents.

Every month the club holds a community barbecue, where money is raised through meat raffles for both halls and the club.

It's a favourite of the residents, who turn out in big numbers every month to catch up and make a difference.

The club began on April 28 1979 with 18-20 members, and now sits at 11, having peaked at 26.

Since then the club has made its impact felt.

"There's been a lot of great achievements, we've been working 40 years serving the community and the biggest thing we've done is we haven't stopped serving,” Mr Leahy said.

"The Lions Club are just here as organisers, but the community come every month and back this up, you are the ones who support these halls and are doing this stuff.

"The important part of our Lions Club here and in a lot of little towns is it's very, very hard to raise money to keep all these little towns alive and active.”

The club's next major involvement comes in May as the Curtis Coast Trail Ride heads through the Valley, where the Lions club will cook breakfast for 180-200 people two mornings in a row.

The club is looking forward to showcasing the area to the riders travelling through.