VOLUNTEERING comes naturally to Peterborough Lions Club secretary Shirley Dearlove.
Shirley celebrates 10 years of service as a Lion in 2022 but that’s not the only reason she was presented with Peterborough’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day by Mayor Ruth Whittle OAM.
The enthusiastic and passionate Peterborough-born Shirley said she was very honoured and also slightly embarrassed by the award.
“I was the only nominee,” she said.
Her community service has seen her serve on a number of local groups, including as a committee member of the Rodeo Club, customer service officer/team leader in the Peterborough Visitor Centre, secretary and treasurer of the Southern Flinders Tourism and Taste committee and on the landscaping sub-committee of the Miniature Railway Association.
Other community events she has left her mark on include as a steward at the Carriage Driving Event, assisting with the History Club Wedding Dress parade and as a member of the SA Rural Women Gathering committee.
“I also helped to organise the successful 10th birthday celebrations for Steamtown and the 50th anniversary of the Indian Pacific train,” said Shirley who recently added another feather to her bow.
“I took to the stage last year as an actress with the Peterborough Players Amateur Theatre Group, appearing in The Dearly Departed and Monkey’s Paw,” she said.
“This April I will be on stage again, this time in Trifles.”
But it is her work as a dedicated Lion, and the support of other Lions such as charter member Laurie Edmonds, which gives her the most pleasure.
Peterborough Lions and Shirley are active in the community in numerous ways.
She is involved in catering, making and selling donuts, the Lions Senior Citizens and Aged Christmas dinner, the skin cancer bus, making Covid masks for the club fundraiser and all the letters for delivery to Santa at the North Pole.
Shirley is also active along with other Lions in maintaining the Lions Memorial Rose Garden at the local cemetery.
“The garden has been there for three decades and includes 75 roses, later becoming the Remembrance Wall,” she said.
“There doesn’t seem to be any chance of slowing down, not that I want to,” the smiling Shirley said.
This year she will be involved in the planning for the SA Rural Women Gathering committee’s annual event which Peterborough will host.
“And we are already well into the planning phase for the annual convention for Lions C1 district which will be held in Peterborough next year,” she said.
Peterborough should have held the event last year but it was postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions and instead held at Salisbury.
Activities for the convention, which are still in the planning stages, will include a Sunday fun day at Steamtown.
Pictured at the Lions memorial fountain next to Peterborough Town Hall are: Shirley Dearlove (left), president Julie Atkinson (front) and convention organising committee member Judy Higginson.