Maffra Lionesses, Gwenda Millar and Maureen Moulton were recently awarded medals and certificates in appreciation of their achievements for 50 years of service with the Maffra Lioness Club.

In March 1970, wives and partners of the Maffra Lions Club formed the Lions Ladies Auxiliary with Judy Pentland as the inaugural president, Jillian Johnstone as secretary and Heather Ollier as treasurer.

Maureen Moulton joined the Lions Ladies Auxiliary in 1971, followed by Gwenda Millar just a few months later, with whom the two would become dear friends.

In May 1985, the Lions Ladies Auxiliary became autonomous from the Maffra Lions Club, forming the service club still running today, the Maffra Lioness Club.

The Maffra Lioness Club held its inaugural annual general meeting in July 1985, with Mrs Phyll Vardy as club president, Mrs Beryl Wynne as secretary, Mrs Rose Langley as treasurer, and a total of 24 members on charter.

While the Maffra Lioness Club had become an independent service club; they continued to work closely with the men at Maffra Lions Club, appointing Mr Lindsay Wigg as the first Maffra Lions liaison officer.

“We had a very nice relationship with the men,” Mrs Moulton said.

“They never really went against us in the last 50 odd years.”

“They just did what we told them to do,” chuckled Mrs Millar.

In early July, Gwenda Millar and Maureen Moulton were commended for their dedication to the Maffra Lioness Club, receiving framed certificates and medals for 50 years of service from Past District Governor and Lions Council Chairman Steve Boyce.

Maffra Lioness Club members Gwenda Millar and Maureen with Past District Governor and Lions Council Chairman Steve Boyce
Gwenda Millar and Maureen with Past District Governor and Lions Council Chairman Steve Boyce after receiving framed certificates and medals for 50 years of service. Photo supplied.

Over the past 50 years, Mrs Moulton has been Maffra Lioness Club president seven times, treasurer twice, in addition to multiple terms as vice president, assistant treasurer, assistant secretary and property steward.

While Mrs Miller has declined all offers of a formal office role, she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for over 50 years, and holds the highest attendance percentage of all current Maffra Lionesses, having missed only three meetings.

“The same day I came out of hospital after giving birth to Leonnie (youngest daughter), I went to a Maffra Lionesses morning coffee,” Mrs Millar exclaimed.

“It was the first time we had entered the Mardi Gra, so we were all into the fundraising morning coffees.

“I came out of the hospital, and I got my husband Jim (deceased) to drop me off at the morning coffee with my little newborn baby,” Mrs Millar chuckled as she told the story.

“She got passed around the group like a pass-the-parcel.”

Mrs Millar has been Maffra Lioness Club’s meeting hostess and on every Meals on Wheels roster.

Maureen and Gwenda were on most of the organising committees for Lions’ Balls, and agreed that the balls and banquets were highlights in their 50 years at the club.

An old menu from the 'Skull & Bones Ball' hosted by the Maffra Lioness Club. Photo Zoe Askew
Gwenda and Maureen were fundamental in organising many Lions and Lioness Club events, including the ‘Skull & Bones Ball’. Above is the menu the organising committee decided upon. Photo Zoe Askew.

“We had big banquets that we catered for, didn’t we,” said Mrs Millar. “We had banquets and cabaret balls and all sorts of things,” added Mrs Moulton.

“The First Fleeters cabaret ball was a wonderful night.”

“Another one we did was the Buccaneers Banquet; that was fantastic,” Mrs Miller said.

“Oh yes, the Buccaneers Banquet was a fabulous night,” Mrs Moulton said.

“We had so much fun making up all the decorations and costumes.”

“And we did sing some naughty songs; we were quite naughty back then,” chuckled Mrs Millar.

Dear old friends, the pair flicked through photo albums on the dining table, reliving the experiences from past Maffra Lioness Club events.

Maffra Lioness Club Buccaneers Banquet menu. Photo by Zoe Askew.
Gwenda Millar has kept keepsakes like this Buccaneers Banquet menu from many past Lioness events. Photo Zoe Askew

These days, the Maffra Lioness Club focuses on more service-type work, with their frolicsome years behind them, mostly.

“We do a bit more service work these years, such as visiting the aged,” Mrs Moulton laughed.

“The aged says me.”

“And selling miles of raffle tickets, we would have sold thousands upon thousands of raffle tickets over the years.”

Over the past 12 months, Mrs Millar and Mrs Moulton have helped the Maffra Lioness Club donate $1000 to the Maffra Municipal Band for new yellow jackets, held an Op Shop Fashion Parade and High Tea, with Maffra Secondary College students helping to serve the afternoon tea and model outfits, and host ‘A Pleasant Afternoon Tea’ donating proceeds to the Maffra Cemetery Trust for more seating around the cemetery.

Mrs Millar and Mrs Moulton helped the Maffra Lioness Club pack 20 bags with period and hygiene products for Share the Dignity’s ‘It’s in the Bag’ campaign, supporting women experiencing period poverty and much more.

Maffra Lioness Club President Fay Anderson said Gwenda and Maureen were highly valued ladies and members of the club.

“Gwenda Millar and Maureen Moulton are very valued ladies, who have now given over 50 years of dedicated service to the Maffra Lioness Club,” Mrs Anderson said.

“They still play a big part in our fundraising activities, raising thousands of dollars for local Maffra causes.

“They are an inspiration to our members who follow our Lions Motto, ‘We Serve’.”

With no indications of slowing down, Mrs Millar, almost 85, and Mrs Moulton, nearly 82, are hoping for many more years of service.