David Thomas is a community minded man who enjoys volunteering in the town he has come to call home, Robe.
He has been a Lions member for 14 years, originally starting in the Naracoorte club.
“I was a police Sergeant and my career at the time went hand in hand with volunteering,” David recalled. “I saw an opportunity to help the local community and also the national and indeed International communities as well.”
When David and his wife Margie moved to Robe four and a half years ago, on David retiring from the SA Police after serving 42 years, they both transferred to the Robe Lions Club.
“I found myself as the club president almost immediately, a position I have held for almost four years.”
Margie will take over the role in July this year, David saying: “It has been great to see Margie’s development as she becomes the new Lions president.”
David has also just finished a year as the District Governor for the Lions club district Robe is in, which is the largest district in the world, stretching 3500km from Port MacDonnell to Darwin including Victoria’s Sunraysia region and Broken Hill.
“During the 2015/16 year as Lions District Governor I travelled over 70,000km visiting more than 62 clubs within my district as well as attending various national and international conventions and meetings throughout Australia and overseas,” David said.
“At the conclusion of my District Governor years I received the Melvin Jones Fellowship award, which is dedicated to humanitarian service and is one of the highest recognitions a Lions member can get.
“I was humbled to receive it and could not have done it without Margie by my side.”
On a personal level the most significant, and certainly personally most satisfying projects he has been involved with was the “Dollars for Doonas” project while a member of the Naracoorte Lions Club.
“I coordinated the project in conjunction with the company MiniJumbuk and other volunteer groups to provide over $160,000 worth of brand new doonas and pillows to families who had lost everything in the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
“I had the opportunity to be involved in the very start of this project, and had the privilege of hand delivering a doona and pillows to an elderly couple in Victoria who had lost everything in the fires, which was a very emotional occasion for me.”
David and Margie are also involved in the Naracoorte and Robe Red Cross Transport service and Red Cross Redi-Cross service
Unfortunately, Robe currently only has four volunteers available for driving and David urges anyone who is interested to give him a call to find out more about it.