Lions Club news: Meet Howard Gant

Howard and Lucinda Gant.

AS our Lions Club fundraising activities and meetings have been put on hold until we are through the Covid-19 pandemic, our articles in the next weeks and months will feature our members. We start with Howard Gant: community volunteer, educator and storyteller.

Howard first joined Lions Australia when he was living in Killarney in Queensland. “The president of the Killarney Lions Club invited me to join and everybody made me feel welcome so I stayed for 23 years,” Howard said. “I am proud of how we helped people, for instance, after personal misfortune, and older people in the community. We built things for the town and ran community events. It was about bringing people together.”

A stand-out memory from those times for Howard is ringing fellow Lion, Rod Berry, from Killarney. “You’d be greeted by his gruff voice: ‘Shut up ya mongrel!’ [but] no-one took offence as we knew it was only Rod giving a tune-up to Oscar, his corgi, who was going off again when the phone rang.”

Howard and his wife Lucinda moved to the Derwent Valley in recent times and he has been a member of the Lions Club of New Norfolk for two years. Both are committed to making a contribution to the environment and community. As well as serving on Lions Club sausage sizzles, selling raffle tickets and other Lions projects, he also volunteers with literacy program 26Ten, and the Derwent Valley Tidy Towns Committee.

Howard holding the box of entries while Nicole Lawrence of
the Guardian Pharmacy draws last year’s Father’s Day raffle.

Volunteering especially with the Lions Club has benefits both for Howard and others. “I get to meet and understand a huge range of other people that I wouldn’t know if I wasn’t a Lion and I get to have fun while helping others,” he said.

In the future, Howard would like to return to practical building projects. “It’s a common lament of recent times but we don’t do building projects like we used to and I’m interested in that – that’s what got me hooked.

“Cooking and raffling things brings in the money and is spent to good effect and so this is enjoyable enough but I miss the sense of achievement in finishing the build,” Howard said.

Lions. We Serve (more than sausages).

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