Mayfield Lions are proud of who they are
We finish our look at our Lions clubs with the Mayfield and Districts Lions Club.
When Jack Allan looks back at his years with the Mayfield and Districts Lions Club, he can’t help but smile.
The club has been a big part of his life since it was formed 40 years ago. Allan is one of six foundation members who are still active in the club today and they’ve seen the club grow from small beginnings to the successful club it is today.
With 63 members ranging in age from 40s through to 80s and a number of prospective members waiting in the wings, Mayfield is a strong club. It’s been that way since day one, Allan said.
‘‘It started with a pretty good group and it’s attracted like people so the fabric of the club hasn’t changed, it’s still farming based and it’s a group of very, very motivated people.’’
Current club president Paul Bailey joined about 10 years ago.
‘‘You’ve had your kids and done your school boards and things and you get to the stage where you just want to get involved in the district,’’ Bailey said. So he did.
The Mt Somers Mountain Bike Race is the club’s biggest event, and the one it’s well known for, but after 13 years the event’s popularity appears to be waning. In year one the race through Mt Somers Station attracted more than 800 riders, but this year it attracted just 230.
Even with a smaller field though it still raised $8000 for charity, and the club is determined not to lose it, Bailey said. So they’re planning on taking a good, hard look at the race and what they can do to revamp it to bring the crowds back.
Over the 13 years it’s been running, the Mt Somers Mountain Bike Race has raised more than $200,000 and in recent years a fair chunk of the proceeds have gone to Ronald McDonald House.
Their other big annual fundraiser is their charity golf match at the Mayfield Golf Club. It has been running for as long as the club has been in existence and every year it raises thousands of dollars.
‘‘We’ve been full right from the start; we had full entries on the day we started,’’ Allan said.
‘‘For a nine hole golf course to raise the kind of money it does, I don’t know of any other nine hole courses that could do that.’’
Allan is proud of his club, and the many projects it’s had a hand in over the past 40 years.
‘‘We built things, like we rebuilt the limestone cottage at Mt Somers and we built the tennis pavilion at Ruapuna, and we shifted a playground from Westerfield to Mayfield,’’ Allan said.
Just last year they rebuilt the gates into the Mayfield Domain as their Lions centennial project.
But often it’s the smaller things they do that bring members the greatest joy, like the annual outing the do with clients from IDEA Services. It’s something the Lions members look forward to just as much as the IDEA clients.
Being a good Lions club is about finding the right balance between service, and raising money, and the Mayfield Lions think they’ve got it almost right.
‘‘I’d like to see more projects, just projects for our communities like Mayfield and the districts where we are,’’ Bailey said.
The Mayfield club, which was initially chartered by the Methven Lions Club, began with around 34 members and has always prided itself on its high standards. Shirt, tie and jacket are still worn to meetings and that’s the way they like it. They’re proud to be Lions.
The annual Mt Somers Mountain Bike Race.