Three members ” City of Rockingham councillor Lorraine Dunkling, Steve Blackman and Tom McClune ” each received prestigious service awards at the club’s changeover dinner.
Mrs Dunkling was awarded the Melvin Jones Fellowship, given to outstanding members who have demonstrated exceptional humanitarian work.
Two years earlier her husband Bob Dunkling received the same award, making them one of the very few husband-wife Lions members internationally to both obtain the high accolade.
Despite having extensive involvement in the club over 22 years, Mrs Dunkling said the award was completely unexpected.
She was the first woman to join Rockingham Lions Club in 1991.
Although the idea of women being allowed to join an ‘old boys club’ was initially met with a bit of objection, she went on to prove her place, holding the position of secretary three times before becoming president.
‘Women brought a whole new set of skills, especially organising,’ she said.
‘The men all went on to say it was the best thing that ever happened.’
She remains actively involved in many fundraising initiatives, including organising the local primary school Dux awards, providing food hampers for people in need at Christmas and helping with barbecues to raise funds.
‘We’re fortunate we live in Rockingham and you’ve got to look after what you’ve got by giving back,’ she said.
Mr Blackman echoed the same thoughts about receiving the Life Membership Award for his 21 years’ service.
‘I think there’s about 1.3 million Lions Club members worldwide and only 50,000 have life membership, so I’m honoured,’ he said.
It was also an unexpected surprise for hard-working, quiet achiever Tom McClune, who was announced the recipient of the James D Richardson award.