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Lions Clubs Celebrates 50th In Roaring Style

Lions Clubs Celebrates 50th In Roaring Style

Over 800 Lions are celebrating the service organisation's 50th year of community service at a special anniversary national convention in Auckland this week.

In town for the celebrations, Lions Clubs International President Clement Kusiak says, "It's an indication of the strength of New Zealand Lions that so many are participating in the celebrations. Kiwi Lions are a dedicated bunch who take pride in being part of this voluntary community service organisation.

Lions have played a huge role in the New Zealand community over the last 50 years and this role will perhaps become even more important in the next 50 years as volunteerism continues to decline across the world," says Kusiak.

The strength of Lions in attracting and retaining members is not only its reputation for community service that makes a difference but also its unique social aspect. Fellowship and team work are important factors behind why many people join Lions.

"Our Lions members thrive on the variety of activities, supporting local and national initiatives, and working in the community as a team," says Ron Lawrence, Chief Executive Lions New Zealand. "Working as a volunteer by your self is hard yards, and that's why being a Lion is so fulfilling to our nearly 13,000 members".

While Lions has remained true to its commitment of service to the community, the nature of Lions work has changed over the 50 years. This in part because of peoples' changing lifestyles, time commitments and the increased use of technology, as well as the changing nature of community need.

"It's not as physical as it used to be," says Lawrence, "Lions are becoming more innovative with fundraising activities which provide financial, rather than manual, assistance these days. Other changes have included inviting women and people of different cultures to join clubs, introducing different meetings times to suit members and fostering the next breed of Lions with New Century Clubs and university based clubs".

Despite these changes and modernisation, Lions have been committed to many worthy causes since its inception, such as youth, sight-related causes, natural disaster relief efforts and mobility - all of which have received significant and beneficial support over the years in New Zealand, and around the world.

Governor-General, the Honourable Dame Silvia Cartwright says, "Lions have a reputation for doing the job required, and doing it well. During my term I have seen many Lions achievements around the country. I congratulate Lions Clubs New Zealand on an out-standing half-century of service to New Zealand."

The anniversary has been marked with a Lions 50 Year history book which showcases 50 years of community service, a commemorative stamp by NZ Post and local Lions Clubs around the country are also undertaking special activities throughout the year.


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