Club proud to still offer calf scales program

By Madeleine Caccianiga

The Lions Club of Merrigum was unaware of the success that calf scales would bring them when they started up the program 40 years ago to fundraise for town benefits.

Now the club has beaten the odds and is one of the last ones standing this side of the Goulburn River.

Club president John Sullivan said when the program started there were a lot more calf scales in the area.

‘‘There was a lot more farmers then, too, and prices back then were quite reasonable, all in cash,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

He said the good thing about the club still offering the service was making contact with the farmers in the area.

‘‘Especially in years like this one when things have been very tough for them, you do potentially see someone you might be able to help down the track,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

The club’s calf scales program continues through the winter and spring months of the year on a weekly basis.

‘‘Farmers can get up to 35 calves a day through calving season and its easier for them to come here rather than driving into Shepparton at half past eight in the morning,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

He said money raised during the years has gone to a variety of fundraisers within the area including the Merrigum Hall upgrade.

‘‘Just people in need of a hand, even with fuel vouchers, or if a home is burned down and they need money straight away, that’s what we’re here for,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

‘‘The palliative care unit in Tatura, we did some painting there and provided them with some garden furniture, to Legacy, Saint Vincent de Paul, Salvos, the list goes on.’’

The club is looking forward to continuing its service to the community for many more years to come.

‘‘We’re running a program next week called Opportunity Plus, where we’re taking the grade five and six children from the school to local businesses, just to show them you don’t necessarily have to be in tertiary education, there are other opportunities out there,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

He said the club’s annual fishing boat raffle was coming up in October, which was always a success.

‘‘The fishing boat raffle has been going since the club was founded and we’re in preparations for the draw on Easter Saturday at the Rushworth Easter Fair,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

■For more information on the Lions Club of Merrigum calf scales program, phone Murray Yates on 0400 078 854.