Last weekend, the Port Augusta Lions Club hosted the 2018 Lions 201C1 District Convention in Port Augusta. And what a weekend it was! Here’s my review of the event.
Lunchtime on Friday October 12th, Lions Andrew, Matt and myself hit the road and headed to Port Augusta. We were ready to invade. It was a beautiful day for the long drive to a place none of us had visited before. We enjoyed the drive, and of course had to stop in Port Wakefield for a bakery run, it is just not possible to drive straight through.
We finally arrived just before 5pm and checked into our hotel. After grabbing some dinner, we headed to the Central Oval Complex for the opening ceremony and to meet up with our City of Adelaide members, 2nd VDG Tony, Marilyn, Ray and Alex. The convention was officially opened by the Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Member for Stuart in the House of Assembly SA, and District Governor, Phil Bowman.
After the formalities, it was time for the flag ceremony featuring the Port Augusta Scouts and Ignite Cheer Squad. This was followed by the talented Ignite Cheer Squad providing entertainment in the form of cheering and stunts. There were a lot of ‘ooohhhss’, ‘aaaahhhhs’ and ‘wows’ from the crowd. They did a great job!
We then took some time to remember members of our Lions family who have passed during the past year in a remembrance ceremony. Each honoured with a lit candle.
The evening closed with an informal reception and supper. It was a great chance to catch up with lions and friends we haven’t connected with for a while, and to make a few new friends. Now we can’t skip past the food, because it has to be mentioned that it was delicious!
Andrew and I were the last to leave the complex along with members of the Port Augusta Lions Club. We were asked if we’d like to join them for coffee, and although we were rather tired, off to coffee we went. It was so great meeting these Lions, sharing ideas, and having a lot of laughs. They certainly made us feel welcome and included, even if they were trying to convince us that their convention was going to be better than the one our Club hosted last year. Not possible!
After a good night’s sleep, we were ready for day 2. Back at the Central Oval Complex, we had a morning of formalities, including our very own club treasurer’s nomination for 1st Vice District Governor (for those who don’t know, he’s currently 2nd Vice District Governor). He was successful. The day was filled with business and amazing guest speakers. We heard presentations from
- Past International Director, Cliff Heywood
- CEO of Australian Lions Hearing Dogs, David Horne
- Royal Flying Doctors’ Dr Bas Kirmani
- Lions Australia Executive Officer, Rob Oerlemans
The guest speakers were amazing. I loved hearing updates from David Horne with their programs, and was particularly inspired by Cliff Heywood and Dr Bas Kirmani. Words escape me, other than WOW!
We also heard reports about ALCCRF (Childhood Cancer) and the Australian Lions Foundation. It is always great to hear about the work these foundations do and the support they are given by individual clubs and the district.
And finally, we had the Youth of the Year District Final featuring talented high school students from across the the state. Inspiring youth who all have very bright futures ahead of them. Congratulations to the winners and the 3 finalists going through to the State final of the competition.
Saturday evening’s dinner theme was ‘Dalmatians – Black & White’ and boy do Lions know how to party. What a fabulous night filled with mouth-watering food, fantastic music by Bruno and Crouty, great prizes, lovely company, new friends and a lot of laughs. We had a blast!
Sunday, day 3 of the convention, everyone met at the Port Augusta Railway Station for a trip on the Pichi Richi Train. The perfect day for it, beautiful weather and scenery. The Port Augusta Lions cooked a BBQ for lunch for everyone at Woolshed Flat, which also featured the flag ceremony and convention close. It was then time to jump back on the train back to town, pack up our cars and hit the road back to Adelaide.
Thank you to Dean, Convention Chairman, and the Port Augusta Lions Club. You all did a fantastic job. We understand the time, effort, planning, sweat and tears that go into planning a district convention, and you should all be very proud of what you achieved. Congratulations!
See you all next year at the district convention on the Copper Coast.