Golden anniversary celebrations for Babinda Lions Club

Odilia Gatti, Dante Baldi, Dorina Sacchetti, John Sacchetti, Dorrie Ghidella, Marj Wilkins, Zeira Zanoletti, and Rusty Wilkins were given the honour of cutting the cake.

ONE hundred members and guests of the Lions Club of Babinda attended a special dinner at Babinda RSL Memorial Hall to celebrate the recent 50 years since it was chartered.

Special guests were PDG Garth Gleeson from Atherton Lions, who was the Master of Ceremonies, along with Member for Hill Shane Knuth, and Cairns Regional Councillor Brett Moller.

Members from Innisfail, Tully, Mission Beach, Atherton, Edmonton, Cairns Trinity Bay, and Gordonvale Lions Clubs were also in attendance.

Demc Croucher read the Lions Purposes, everyone stood as Stephen Gatti did the Loyal Toast, whilst Shane Knuth toasted Lions Clubs and Babinda Lions Club, as they enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Tony Lanzi and his team. 

Brett Moller was the guest speaker, and his topic was on the challenges and rewards of community leadership.

The cake cutting was completed by widows of past chartered members, past charter members, and current members, Dante Baldi and Con Zappala, who were both acknowledged as the longest serving charter members for 50 years of service.

Currently, the not-for-profit community organisation, which is part of District 201 Q2, Zone 3, has eighteen members over three-generations, ranging in ages from 40 to their 90s.

Babinda Lions Club was chartered on August 9, 1971, with twenty-six members who were guided and sponsored by the Lions Club of Gordonvale.

Eddie Accatino was the first President, Jeffrey Pointing (Secretary), Clarence Hart (Treasurer), Ligio Ghidella (Tail Twister), Russell Wilkins (1st Vice President), Don Dunne (2nd Vice President), Cecil Wilkins (3rd Vice President), Robert Cahill (Lion Tamer), Alfio Zappala (1 year Director), Antonio Callegari (1 year Director), Edward Pointing (2-year Director), and Dante Baldi (2-year Director).

The Club has experienced its share of challenges over the past fifty years but, somehow, has managed to come through them more resilient.

It has weathered several cyclones, had its records and meeting place decimated, changed from manual to computer reporting, experienced the ups and downs of club life, and is now dealing with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In the early 1980s, the Club took over the upkeep and administration of the Babinda RSL Memorial Hall, which was destroyed by Cyclone Larry in 2006. 

Babinda Lions Club has been involved in a wide range of projects, which have made a positive difference to the lives of many.

Some of these achievements include the installation of playground equipment at ANZAC Park, Babinda, and at Bramston Beach, Lions Youth of the Year Quests, international exchange students, and having organised/managed the Babinda Harvest Festival for many years with the Apex club.

Financial support has also been provided to the Babinda Hospital, a disabled ramp built at the Catholic Church, as well as the purchase of kitchen equipment, all furniture, solar panels, and a building extension at the new RSL Hall.

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