Lions Clubs represent ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and Yass resident Stan Luff is one of those people.
The long-serving member received Lions’ highest accolade on Thursday, July 2, almost 50 years since joining his local club.
A lapel badge and wall display plaque were presented to Mr Luff under the Melvin Jones Fellowship for his dedication to the club and generosity over 49 years, helping people in need locally and nationally.
Mr Luff was born in 1941 in Gundagai and moved to Yass in 1958. He began an apprenticeship with Fred Turner as a motor mechanic, and in 1966 he opened Luff Motors. He ran his business for 49 years while raising three children: two daughters and a son. Today, his son runs Luff Motors while his daughters live in Darwin and Kangaroo Valley.
It wouldn’t have been long after Mr Luff moved to Yass that he joined Lions.
“The friendship, fellowship and what we’ve achieved are what have been important to me in that 49 year period,” Mr Luff said.
Mr Luff remembers gifting a special walker with funds raised by Lions to a local boy with a spinal issue that meant he couldn’t walk. It was an expensive aid but worth every penny, Mr Luff said.
“That was about 20 years ago and just recently, our district governor visited from Bega and informed us that the chap is now working in a garden on a disability scheme down there. The kid is alive and well! There have been so many rewards if I can think of them all,” Mr Luff said.
When bushfires ravaged Australia, Lions members rallied. Not only did they raise funds for affected communities but members such as Mr Luff also visited.
“About ten years ago, when the bushfires went through Victoria, around Kinglake, we had funds available and were able to send $5000 within about a week to Kinglake Lions Club. Later on, my wife and I decided to go on a holiday to King Lake,” Mr Luff said.
While in King Lake, a local chemist – not knowing who she was talking to – told Mr Luff and his wife how Lions and Rotary had been their biggest supporters through the fires.
“I don’t know if people realise, but anything we gather from the public, we give back to the public. We don’t have any admin expenses, we pay for all of that ourselves,” Mr Luff said.
Mr Luff and his wife made a similar trip again to towns affected by the recent bushfires.
Sadly, Lions Club membership has declined over the years with many members now elderly. Over the years, Mr Luff and another Lions Club of Yass member, Ray Hill, shared the main roles of president, secretary and treasurer to keep the club going.
In an innovative move for the club, in 2019, Mr Luff applied for a Yass Valley charity to join the club as a branch.
SPIN Foundation – a branch of LIONS
SPIN (Supporting People in Need) Foundation brought 14 new members to the club and supports Lions’ humanitarian work by raising money for people with medical conditions.
“It’s becoming a new, vibrant club with SPIN and eventually I hope SPIN and Lions will be one club,” Mr Luff said.
Yass RFS operations Manager Daniel Osborne was special guest speaker at Lions July meeting.
Stan Luff receives award from Lions outgoing President Ray Hill
Ray Hill hands over the President’s role to Lyn Rudd
Left to Right Lions Board for 20/21 Ray Hill, Nathan Furry, Barry O’Mara, President Lyn Rudd, Terry Rudd, Donna Luff, Clarrie Schlunke & Stan Luff
President Lyn Rudd congratulated by outgoing president Ray Hill