Toc. Li­ons lead the way

Southern Riverina news - - AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS 2019 -

Tocumwal Li­ons Club has been lead­ing the way to help im­prove lo­cal health fa­cil­i­ties, as well as their usual good­will and ser­vice to the com­mu­nity.

The club’s work was recog­nised on Satur­day morn­ing when it was an­nounced the Ber­ri­gan Shire Com­mu­nity Group of the Year.

The town has been call­ing for an am­bu­lance sta­tion and through the lead­er­ship of the Li­ons Club and like-minded com­mu­nity mem­bers, a steer­ing com­mit­tee was formed.

The Li­ons of­fered the site of the old bowls club on Adams St — which it owns — as the per­fect lo­ca­tion to house the sta­tion.

Li­ons pres­i­dent Sandra Wil­liams said the am­bu­lance sta­tion would re­main a top pri­or­ity for the club.

‘‘The near­est am­bu­lance sta­tions are in Fin­ley, Jer­ilderie, De­niliquin and Co­bram — but Co­bram is in Vic­to­ria so it’s dif­fer­ent,’’ she said.

‘‘We set up the steer­ing com­mit­tee with the hope of get­ting the am­bu­lance sta­tion built.

‘‘We’re not hav­ing much suc­cess at the mo­ment be­cause NSW Am­bu­lance doesn’t think we need one.

‘‘Li­ons has the bowl­ing club — now called the Care Cen­tre — where we’ve of­fered to donate a rink for the am­bu­lance.

‘‘An­other part of the bowl­ing club has been cor­doned off and we have an ar­ti­fi­cial in­sem­i­na­tion lab­o­ra­tory and gym­na­sium there.’’

Health and com­mu­nity sup­port have al­ways been a top agenda item for Tocumwal Li­ons since it was formed 45 years ago, as ev­i­dent when the club built the 10 bed Li­ons Vil­lage in the late 1980s and the Tocumwal Com­mu­nity Li­ons Hos­tel in 1999.

The am­bu­lance sta­tion is not the only project it has helped drive in the last 12 months.

Mrs Wil­liams said the club is also in­volved with many other com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties and events.

‘‘We do a lot of cater­ing for fu­ner­als, wed­dings and other events like the races,’’ she said.

‘‘We do Chil­dren of Courage which re­wards chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties from all of Dis­trict 6 — from Al­bury to beyond Echuca — for their abil­i­ties.

‘‘Li­ons host the ju­nior pub­lic speak­ing com­pe­ti­tion each year, with school chil­dren in the dis­trict com­pet­ing, and this year Tocumwal was lucky enough to win the dis­trict fi­nal.’’

Mrs Wil­liams said there are plans with other lo­cal groups, in­clud­ing the Tocumwal RSL and Co­bram Le­gacy, to es­tab­lish in­de­pen­dent liv­ing units.

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