Community is at the heart of Lions

Winton Lions (from left) Wim Overgaauw, Doris Schoen, Peter Whyte, John (Chub) McHugh, Nancy McHugh, Janette Overgaauw, Juon Schoen, Henriet Schuurmans and Keith Cooper at the Winton Cemetery.

THE old Winton Cemetery, on the northern outskirts of the town, is being revived.

Among the many community projects the Winton Lions have undertaken was the monthly clean-up and tidying of the old cemetery.

Winton Lions Club publicity officer Juno Schoen said everyone was welcome to join the service group during the ongoing clean-up.

Held on the first Wednesday of the month from 2pm until whenever everyone decided it was enough, club members cleaned the headstones of moss and lichen and the graves of any debris such as leaves or branches.

Although the council mowed the grounds, the graves and headstones were the responsibility of the family.

In the 160 years since Winton was established (about 1861), the cemetery now had “several hundred graves” including some of the district’s early settlers family graves, as well as the official war graves of six men who served in the New Zealand forces during World War 1.

Along with the club members and volunteers, Mr Schoen said the club was also thankful to FIL Industries and Mitre 10 Winton which had provided cleaning products.

The club intended to continue the monthly project until they were “happy with it”, then continue to keep the graves in a presentable state, Mr Schoen said.

A club with variety
As well as serving the community in various ways, the Lions Club also undertook various fundraising and other projects, and social events.

Other community-based projects club members had undertaken included refurbishing the Winton Memorial Gates, seating at the skateboard park and making a wooden box for storage a the Ivy Russell Reserve.

Mr Schoen said one of the club’s biggest projects was the annual Borland Lodge clean up and maintenance weekend, which was also an opportunity for members to socialise.

“We are not just a service organisation, we also do a lot of socialising.”

The Winton club had 30 members, from 25 years old to 80 years old, but were keen for more members.

Although the club met monthly for formal dinner meetings, members did not have to attend, Mr Schoen said.

“If they preferred just to take part in community projects, that was okay.”

  • For more information about Lions or the cemetery project, phone Mr Schoen on 0274 779 920.