New member leads Lions

THE Lions Club of Leitchville's newest member, Rob Towart is now its leader.

Mr Towart said he had to "earn my wings" after he was installed on Thursday night, but knew he would have a lot of help in the role.

"We're a small club and I think our first priority is to get some younger people interested in what we do and and try to build up membership from that," he said.

The club would also continue its mission to see problems with erosion addressed at Kow Swamp, where the swamp bank built by the Lions back in 1980 has for quite a few years been crumbling away.

Taking action on the issue involves dealing with various stakeholder groups, including the Campaspe, Loddon and Gannawarra shires. 

Gannawarra mayor, Cr Lorraine Learmonth, who spoke at the dinner, wished the club well with the project.

Mr Towart, who grew up in Gippsland and spent much of his life in Melbourne working on the railways, after retiring a few years ago set off with his wife on a trip around Australia. 

"We were supposed to be caravanning around Australia. That was the plan. But my wife had a few health problems, and we had friends here. Then I bought a house."

"I'd been here two or three months when Geoff Behrens phoned me up and said, 'Do you want to be a Lion?'"

Mr Towart, who has now served three years with the club, was the only new office bearer installed at the changeover dinner.Other office-bearers are Graham Thompson (secretary); Roma Dye (treasurer); Dan Dye (safety officer); Peter White (Lion tamer), Alan Dunne (greeter and catering), Mayne Brewer (youth and public speaking); Geoff Behrens (public speaking) and Julie Triffle (public relations and membership committee).

Charter member Dan Dye was "gobsmacked" when he was presented with the Lions' highest honour, the Melvin Jones award, for his long and energetic service with club, which was established 41 years ago. 

Mr Dye has twice served as president, has also been the treasurer, and is currently the club's safety officer, a role he has held for a number of years.

The former Leitchville Hotel publican said his life had been transformed by the Lions' invocation and code of ethics, which lay out a framework for living he has tried to adhere to ever since first hearing them.

He was "deeply honoured" to receive the award, Mr Dye said.

New Lions Club of Leitchville president, Rob Towart, fourth left, and his fellow office-bearers.

New Lions Club of Leitchville president, Rob Towart, fourth left, and his fellow office-bearers.

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