Three decades as a Lion has taken Carlene King OAM around Australia and the world, now her extensive work with the service organisation has been given a high honour after being inducted into the Australian Lions Foundation Hall of Fame.
She is the second Port Pirie Lion to be bestowed the honour, following the induction of club treasurer and past district governor Lance Leak OAM.
The Australian Lions Foundation plays an essential role for the service organisation in Australia and consistently supports clubs in delivering community projects.
At a state and national level, it has delivered help when it is needed most, from the devastation of Cyclone Tracey in 1974 to helping drought-affected farmers and communities.
Mrs King, honoured at the recent national convention in Geelong, has a trail-blazing history in the world’s largest service organisation, being among the first women to join Lions in Australia when rules were changed in 1987 to allow both genders to be members.
She made history again in 1993 when she became the first female district governor in Australia.
Her initial involvement with Lions stemmed from her career as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Adelaide’s western suburbs.
Being in a fairly low socio-economic area, she said she would sometimes see patients who had no support at home.
“When they were due to be discharged, sometimes they couldn’t as there was no support for them,” she said.
“I thought there must be someone out there that provides that need in the community.”
As membership rules relaxed and the organisation allowed women to join, she became a member of the now defunct Lions Club of Ingle Farm and served as a Lion with her late husband, Noel.
She later joined the Minlaton club.
Now, a Port Pirie Lion, Mrs King enjoys the fellowship with local club members and working on its projects.
The club has put in considerable work to get a Liberty Swing for the Mid North Education Centre, a project that Mrs King is proud to see the club bring to the community.
Speaking of her local club, she said it was very community focused and described it is as a successful club in the community.
“They have completed some wonderful projects,” she said.
Her involvements with Lions over the years have meant she has met people all over the world.
She has provided training for Lions at both a national and international level and also served as national manager for youth and community projects for 12 years.
“I have given to Lions but I have received back ten-fold,” she said.
“It has given me such wonderful opportunities and experiences in my lifetime that I wouldn’t have otherwise been given.”
One of the things that impressed her the most about the organisation, and still impresses her today, is that every dollar raised from the public is used on projects.
“The strength of Lions is that they’re the biggest service club organisation in the world,” she said.
“When they’re called on to do big things, they always deliver.
“When big things happen in the world, Lions are always among the first on the scene.”
Article written by Dylan Smith on May 23, 2019 – The Recorder (Port Pirie) – Original article.