CLUB ENDANGERED: Two thirds of the Coffs Harbour Lions Club Sandra Seyner, Don Marker, Coralie Falconer, Rosalie Skinner.
CLUB ENDANGERED: Two thirds of the Coffs Harbour Lions Club Sandra Seyner, Don Marker, Coralie Falconer, Rosalie Skinner. Trevor Veale

Club sharing iconic Coffs history now endangered

THE Coffs Harbour Lions are an endangered species despite being one of the oldest clubs in Australia.

The club shares an interesting piece of history with Coffs Harbour but it is on the verge of folding if it can't get any new members soon.

Club member Rosalie Skinner said one of the first Coffs Harbour Lions Club meetings was held on the day lions escaped from a circus and ended up on Jetty Beach in 1953.

A circus lion recaptured after escaping a circus and roaming around Jetty Beach in 1953.
A circus lion recaptured after escaping a circus and roaming around Jetty Beach in 1953. Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

Rosalie shared the story police were called to the beach, where the Lions Club first met, after five lions were reported roaming the beach.

She said police at first dismissed the call, saying they knew the Lions Club was meeting and there was nothing to worry about.

The next day one of the lions was reported to have broken into a chook pen, eating 28 of the 32 fowls, according to the Queensland Times.

The lions were eventually caught after a game hunt involving more than 100 armed police officers and civilians shortly before 10am.

Two of the lions which escaped on Jetty Beach in 1953.
Two of the lions which escaped on Jetty Beach in 1953. Coffs Harbour Regional Museum

Sharing this history and being the "16th oldest Lions Club in Australia” is part of the reason Rosalie and the other members of club don't want to see it fold.

"It's done a lot of work in its time,” she said. "We've chartered five or six (Lions) clubs.”

Rosalie said the club had just six active members but had a "100% attendance for everything we do”.

"We've been asked to help at the rally but we might not have enough members,” she said.

Rosalie said a decision of the club's future would be made at the end of the year.

Until then, the club is rallying for new community-minded members of all ages.

The Coffs Harbour Lions Club supports several local groups including Marine Rescue, CanDo, Coffs Haven Aged Care, Coffs Harbour Community Preschool and other Coffs schools.

It meets at 6.30pm on the second Monday of the month at Park Beach Bowling Club.

For more, phone Sandy Seyner on 0438 157 111 or visit the Coffs Harbour Lions Club Facebook page.



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