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19 August, 2020

End of an era for Mareeba Lionesses

AFTER many months of trying to get the decision reversed the Lioness Club of Mareeba has given up and will disband their club before the end of the year.

By Rhys Thomas

AFTER many months of trying to get the decision reversed the Lioness Club of Mareeba has given up and will disband their club before the end of the year.

The decision to disband all Lioness clubs internationally and include them under the body of Lions was made last year much to the dismay of many Lioness and Lions clubs.

After months of appealing the decision it was obvious that it was not going to get overturned, so many of the Lioness clubs are currently in talks with their local Lions clubs as to what comes next.

This includes both the Lions and Lioness clubs of Mareeba where Lioness President Lyn Dyer and her Lionesses had a meeting last Wednesday to discuss what they wanted to do.

As per the decision made by Lions international as of June 30 2021, the Lioness clubs around the world will cease to exist, Lionesses will then either have to become Lions or operate as auxiliary volunteers.

Currently Lioness Clubs are free and require no membership costs while Lions Clubs require a regular membership fee.

Many of the Mareeba Lionesses have expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of paying to become a volunteer, with many of them opting to just become auxiliary volunteers.

The decision was made to better solidify Lions as a whole and enable the women in Lions to get the most out of being a member, with the ability to vote on committees and be voted into a committee, power which they did not have as Lionesses.

Mareeba Lioness Club President Lyn Dyer is not happy with the decision made but will still support her local Mareeba Lions Club.

“The decision means that we won’t have a Lioness Club in Mareeba anymore,” she said.

“There are some members of the Lioness Club that are happy to be volunteers for the Lions Club but don’t want to be members.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the Mareeba Community so we would like to thank them for all their support over the years.”

Over their 40 years of community service the Mareeba Lioness Club has hosted a number of fundraisers and events that are cherished and looked forward too by the community.

The Mareeba Lioness Club has hosted events like the Pink Ribbon day for over 13 years and other smaller events like morning tea at bingo ever since they were founded.

They would often use the funds raised from these events and donate them to charities like the Cancer Council or even little Nate Moule from Mareeba.

Mareeba Lions Club President Gary Searle is happy to welcome the Lioness into the Lions club as members and as volunteers.

“We’ve got a bunch of awesome ladies who do stuff in the community and they will continue to do so even if they are not called Lionesses,” he said.

“There will obviously be some effect on the activities that we’ve come to know and love that the Lionesses do, some of those things may continue be under the banner of the Lions Club.

“It’s certainly a bit of a disappointment for all of the Lions and Lionesses that they cannot continue with the Lioness brand.”

Lions Australia Executive Officer Rob Oerlemans says the decision was made as a way to consolidate the organisation and ensuring that women have a full role in their clubs, districts and internationally.

“Lions since 1987 have included men and women they can participate at any level and they can be elected to every office in the organisation,” he said.

“The Lionesses started as a project of the Lions and the decision has been over many years that we want to ensure women play the fullest role in the organisation.

“In the Australian organisation we have been working with the Lionesses to assist them with their transition including payment of dues.”

The Mareeba Lioness Club has until June 30, 2021 to disband their club and they will not be allowed to operate under the Lioness banner beyond this date.

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