A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CLUB
The Lions Club of Lugarno was formed in 1973 following a meeting of interested potential members with members of the Lions Club of Hurstville. The initial meeting was attended by residents from the Lugarno area and Lions from the Lions Club of Hurstville. Following this meeting it was decided to sponsor a new Lions Club to be known as the Lions Club of Lugarno.
Several meetings were held before the new club was chartered on 15th May 1974.
The club officially chartered with 60 members which, at the time, was an Australian record for a new Lions Club. Membership in this new club peaked at 97 with 19 new members inducted 17 months later, in October 1975. This induction of new members was also a record induction into a single club in any one month in Australia. The club still has two Charter members, and one member who joined in the Charter Year, on its books.
Club records indicate that over the past 40 years hundreds of local citizens in the Lugarno, Peakhurst, Peakhurst Heights, Riverwood and Mortdale areas have passed through the Club as active members. This would indicate that the club remains a very important and active volunteer organisation within the Georges River (formerly Hurstville City) Council area.
The first major fundraising project was the Club’s Cyclone Tracy Appeal in December 1974 where a street bucket collection raised $5,300 for the victims of Cyclone Tracy.
The most successful fundraiser was the St Vincents Lion Heart Appeal in 1978/79 to support the late Dr Victor Chang and his world-famous heart transplant unit in the Cameron Wing of St Vincents Hospital. The Club’s efforts raised a net amount of $504,000 which was donated to Dr Chang and his team.
In 1979 the Club supported a small Education Week event at Gannons Park, Peakhurst which has since evolved into the Lugarno Lions Spring Festival, an annual event since 1979. The Spring Festival is currently the largest event of its type south of the harbor and attracts around 40,000 patrons each year. Event planners are always seeking new and exciting additions for the festival. Some years back a Classic Car Show was introduced then, later still, a Show Jumping Spectacular featuring Olympic class equestrians. The event is 8-9 months in the planning for a one-day event on the third Sunday of September each year and is a major fundraiser for the Club.
A notable fundraiser was the “Sports Stars for the Drought” event in 2007, which raised $11,860 through the generosity of businesses and individuals in the St George area. This money was combined with a generous cheque from Hurstville City Council for $20,000 and forwarded to Tamworth Lions Club for distribution to a number of needy communities in the drought affected areas. The total amount donated to the Tamworth area was $31,860.
It is interesting to note that through the tireless work of Club members and the generosity of the local community has resulted in donations exceeding $2 million since 1974.
Lugarno Lions Club has been active in sponsoring other Lions clubs in the region. The list of sponsored clubs include: Lions Club of Oatley (1977), Lugarno Leos (1978 – now closed), Lions Club of Menai (1982 – now closed), Georges River Lioness Club (1985 – now closed), Lions Club of Hurstville/St George (2001 - now Lions Club of St George) and Lions Club of the City of Hurstville (2004 – now closed).
Some of the major benefits provided to the community by Lugarno Lions include:
- Funding the Hydrotherapy Pool at St George Hospital (in conjunction with other local Lions clubs)
- Donating over $500,000 for Cameron Wing of St Vincents Hospital
- Funding a Cancer Research Laboratory for the Royal Hospital for Women
- Contributing significantly to the Calvary Hospital Building Fund
- Sponsoring overseas children for “hole in the heart” operations at St Vincents Hospital
- Providing a heart-lung machine to Bandung Hospital in Indonesia
- Providing community buses for Riverwood Community Centre and Georges River Community Services
- Providing funding and equipment for a freezer unit for the Exodus Foundation, Ashfield
- Installing an above-ground pool in Evatt Park to provide water safety lessons for children
- Introducing waste paper collection in the area
- Sponsoring students from local high schools in the Lions International Youth of the Year contest
- Hosting of youth from overseas in the Lions International Youth Exchange program
- Producing a local community access newspaper titled “Lugarno Scope”
- Providing a people carrier/scooter for the severely handicapped residents of Whitehall Nursing Home, Revesby
- Developing an “Easter Wish” program supplying home repair assistance for needy local residents
- Jointly funding, with Department of Sports & Recreation, the bike track around Gannons Park, Peakhurst
- Providing Christmas Hampers for needy families in the local area
- Supporting local organisations such as Salvation Army, State Emergency Services and Rural Fire Service
- Supporting local schools
- Provision of wheelchair-accessible vehicle for local family
- Scuba diving event for visually impaired and disabled
- Provision of IPADs for children on the Spectrum
Additional information can be found in our 40th Anniversary booklet – DOWNLOAD HERE