Dishing up aged care support for four decades

Thousands of meals have been dished up to aged care residents by the Lions Club of Port Pirie as their annual community service nears its 40th year.

The club has been extra busy this month, running their annual barbecues at St Joseph's House and Helping Hand, in addition to its regular Hammill House service at the hospital.

Lion Dean Frankel, who has been part of the meal service since it was first introduced in 1980, said their barbecues were enjoyed by residents of local aged care facilities.

"A good old barbecue always goes down a treat," he told The Recorder.

"The residents have given service to this city, it's our way of repaying them and saying thank you."

The club's president, Laureen Hardiman, said they enjoyed seeing the joy their barbecue lunch service brings.

"We love coming to the aged care homes. It's a pleasure for us to provide the service," she said.

The initial lunch in 1980 came about as a Christmas show for Lealholme's now defunct Senate Road facility and was suggested by the late Past District Governor and charter member Reg Tiller and Trevor Eyres.

St Joseph's was added after it opened its doors a few years later and the annual lunch shifted from Christmas to earlier in the year.

Now, the club ensures it sets a date every year for the private aged care facilities, knowing how much it is valued by people, in addition to the barbecue it provides at the hospital's Hammill House every two months.

St Joseph's House lifestyle and hospitality manager, Marra Pearn, said their residents looked forward to the annual lunch every year.

"They've become like family," she said of the Lions Club's members.

"There are not enough words to say thank you. It's a beautiful social scene."

She said one part of the annual service the residents enjoyed was catching up with Lions members.

"For some, it's people they've known their whole life," she said.

After sweets were finished, she led residents in applauding Lions for the delicious meals served.