$1 million contribution satisfying for Pakeke

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When Gore Pakeke Lions Club treasurer David Stark announced to members the club had given away $1 million to community projects and individuals during its 30 years of existence, they felt a sense of pride and a great deal of satisfaction.
To qualify to be called a Pakeke the member has to be at least 55
years of age
The club has had to overcome some obstacles and pitfalls along the way, but it has become a strong and viable service club that puts into practice the Lions motto ‘‘We Serve’’ to the best of its ability.
After three failed attempts, the Gore Pakeke Club was finally formed from the Gore Host Club under the guiding influence of Keith Ashley, and received its charter on August 31, 1985.
To qualify to be called a Pakeke (there are numerous translations, but most prefer respected elder), each member has to be at least 55 years of age.
Once committees were established, the Gore Pakeke club launched into some of the suggested fundraising schemes.
Many of the projects instigated in the first decade had a winning formula and still play a major part in the club’s annual fundraising programme.
They include the annual book sale, which was first held in Latty’s (now Regional Ford) showrooms in 1986 and yielded $3500.
After using many venues, the club now has a satisfactory arrangement with the Gore Agricultural and Pastoral Association.
The Pakeke Lions man the gates on show days and in return the Hokonui Pavilion is available to use for the book sale.
The past two sales have yielded in excess of $20,000 and all club members are involved in running the event.
The manufacturing of walking sticks and walking poles in particular met with a ready market, supplying the trampers using the Milford Track.
The revenue from this project put the fledgling club on a sound footing and in its first few years had generated $100,000 in revenue.
The market for the poles has ceased but personalised walking sticks are still made by club members.
In the spring of 1992, Bulldust (an original name so as not to cause offence), which was cattle pad manure, was sold.
The trial to test the market in town was so good it is still a major fundraiser. The volume sold and profits made have increased every year since.
The Gore clocktower was built in 1991, with members of the club supplying 6500 hours of labour and construction and contributing $32,137 towards the cost of the project.
The club records show $500 was donated to the Save Gore Hospital Appeal.
— Contributed by club tail
twister Henry McFadzien