Wellsford Lions stalwart and Tomarata dairy farmer Frank King-Turner has two reasons to celebrate this month – not only has he become the new regional Lions District Governor, but his induction took place as part of the 100th International Lions Convention in Chicago.
More than 42,000 Lions members from across the globe converged on the US city for five days of centennial celebrations from June 30 to July 4, including banquets, a grand parade and concerts by The Beach Boys and Chicago.
Nearly 30 members from local District 202K were there to support Frank, who is now head of the biggest Lions district in the world, stretching from the Coromandel north to the islands of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa.
His rise through the Lions ranks has been rapid, which he puts down to a background of service as a Salvation Army minister in the past.
“I joined Lions in 2009 and have gone straight through the system,” he says. “When I arrived up here from the west coast of the South Island, it was a great way to get to know people in the community.
“I joined and became secretary in two months, was secretary for three years, then vice president, president, zone chair, 2nd and 1st vice district governor, and now district governor.”
He will spend his year at the helm visiting many of the 79 clubs in the district, as well as trying to boost membership and get the Lions’ message of service to the community across.
“For me, my motivational thing is getting younger people into Lions. We have all got older and while younger people are coming in, there are not quite enough,” he says.
“We’ve almost got a generation that doesn’t know how to give to the community.”
To mark the Lions’ centenary, the Wellsford branch will be providing a new path at the historic Minniesdale Chapel, near Port Albert, which celebrates its own 150th anniversary this year, as well as its regular fundraisers, the biggest of which will be the Roaring Truck Show in February. New members are always welcome.
Info: lionsclubs.org.nz (search for Wellsford)