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06 November 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
About 400 people are expected to converge on Nhill this weekend as part of the largest gathering of Lions members in western Victoria.
The north-west Wimmera town will host an annual Lions District V2 convention, with members coming from as far away as Melbourne and Geelong.
Lions Club of Nhill member and convention secretary Shirley Blackwood said it was the first time Nhill would host the convention.
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“District V2 is from the South Australian border to Nhill and Kaniva in the north, then east into the western suburbs of Melbourne, Geelong and the Bellarine peninsula, and then along the south coast of Victoria to the South Australian border,” she said.
“In that area there are about 70 Lions clubs, and we’re expecting from registrations there will be representatives from more than 40 of them.
“That means we’ll have more than 200 Lions members, and of course there will be partners and visitors and guests as well. We’re looking at 400-plus people in Nhill.”
Mrs Blackwood said the convention represented a great economic opportunity for the town, with accommodation at capacity.
“Various shops and businesses have helped us out by staying open later on a Saturday,” she said.
“We’re hoping to get some return visitors through this as well.
“All the accommodation in Nhill is booked out and many people are coming with their own caravans.
“We’re hoping this will create some economic activity for Nhill.”
Mrs Blackwood said convention attendees would listen to a range of talks, including presentations on eye health, diabetes, BlazeAid and the future of medical bionics.
There will also be a presentation from members of the Nhill Karen community.
She said Lions international director Juswan Tjoe would fly from Indonesia to attend the convention.
“He will be speaking on challenges facing Lions into the future,” she said.
“He is coming to Australia specifically for this, so it’s pretty big to have him here.”
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy will open the convention with a speech on Friday night, and Lions members will parade through town on Saturday.
Mrs Blackwood said it was the first time in several years members would parade as part of the convention.
She said members of the public could also benefit by listening to the guest presentations on eye health and diabetes.
During the weekend there will also be a display of peace posters created by Nhill students.
Mrs Blackwood said winning entries from other schools in the district would also be displayed, with the poster judged the best in the region to be displayed at a national final in Adelaide next year.
She said the poster that won the national final would be displayed at a worldwide Lions final in the United States.
People wanting more information on the convention can call Mrs Blackwood on 0409 140 341.
The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!