May­field Li­ons are proud of who they are

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - MOTORING -

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.

ERIN TASKER/STUFF

The an­nual Mt Somers Moun­tain Bike Race.

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