There were some highly delighted pensioners when Dannevirke Lions hosted 130 over-80s to lunch and entertainment at the Dannevirke Sports Club lounge.
Luckily, forecasted cold temperatures and showers did not, eventuate although most guests came well wrapped up against a cool wind.
The show started with a welcome from Lions president Barbara Ferguson, followed by Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis, who congratulated Lions for all the work they had done helping the community during a tough year.
Entertainment began with three songs from the Mane Men, followed by some delightful dancing from Origin Studios in a forerunner of the studio’s Christmas concerts in the town hall on December 9 and 10.
Elles Belles, led by Barbara Ferguson, sang several vigorous and cheerful old-fashioned songs, which had some of the crowd up doing the Hokey Tokey with enthusiasm and laughing at the antics.
Then it was the turn of the Lions men to support the guests in the singing of traditional Christmas songs, as a prelude to lunch.
Much to their surprise, they also had to sing Grace, Lion Maurice Millar having adapted the Irish Blessing to be sung to the tune of When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
It was then time for lunch, the club having done the catering themselves, as is the tradition, and it was pronounced delicious by the guests. Lions and partners were the waiters and the hour passed with great atmosphere.
Following the cutting of the Christmas cake by Sylvia Peffers, who had co-ordinated the making of the beautiful posies that adorned the tables, Terry Hynes conducted an auction of gifts sourced from the Lions Den, which drew very eager bidding – no money changing hands of course.
Right on schedule, Father Christmas arrived with two fairies from the North Pole to help him dispense his gifts and goodwill.
The afternoon ended with more singing of traditional songs just to remind everyone what Christmas is all about.
Lions are indebted to the Police and their Cactus group, without whom they could not have put on this luncheon, because the logistics of moving furniture and supplies is getting beyond most Lions, who are themselves ageing.
Cameron Trigg, who supplied the sound and music, also helped make this a relaxing and joyful occasion.
It’s all about community helping community! Merry Christmas From Dannevirke Host Lions.
Dave Murdoch is a part-time photo-journalist working for the Bush Telegraph and based at Dannevirke. He has covered any community story telling good news about the district for the last 10 years.