by Kim Micke
THE new Stanthorpe Lions president is all about fellowship.
That's why Stuart Perrett, who moved to the district 11 years ago, decided to make his term's motto "service through fellowship”.
The graphic designer has been involved with the Lions for 10 years.
"This year is our centennial year of Lions internationally so that's a great honour to be the centennial president of the club,” he said.
"I am very passionate about Lions and community service but most of our members are.”
Being part of a community organisation, means more to Mr Perrett than just helping out in the community.
"You make great friendships and that's part of my motto for the year,” he said.
"I believe that when people are having a good time together, it makes it easier to do the service.”
Mr Perrett, who is also involved with the Lions' monthly newsletter on district level, said he had a long history of community involvement.
"My dad was in Rotary so I grew up in the Rotary movement with my parents and when I turned 16 dad got me involved in Rotaract and (I) never looked back since,” he said.
"I always tell people I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Rotary.”
Mr Perrett said he had always seen the Lions as an enjoyable club.
"When I was younger I found that the Lions guys just seemed to be more like larrikins or characters and a bit more easy-going, a bit more relaxed,” he said.
"I believe that our club is similar to that, they like to have a good time.”
Mr Perrett, who moved from Brisbane to Stanthorpe to "get away from the hussle and bussle”, said it was great for a Lions member to get involved in all aspects of community needs.
"There is some pretty amazing things that have happened over the years that makes you realise that what you are doing is making a difference,” he said.
"Collectively as a group, we can coordinate together and do a project and it's something that if you were just a volunteer or just wanting to help out you couldn't really do on your own.
"As a group you can achieve different things.”
Mr Perrett said it was hard for Lions to actively support people individually so Lions gave money to different charities like the Granite Belt Support Services that helped local people who needed services.
"They do so much good work for all the people around town,” he said.
"Over the ten years that I have been in Lions, we have donated over $400,000 to community groups.”
Mr Perrett said in his new role as the Lions' president he was most looking forward to a new project which Lions were doing in collaboration with the Op-Shop called "Be an elf”.
"Be an elf” gives underprivileged children the chance to write to Santa.
"They might have a need for something because things are bad at home,” he said.
"Some of the stories that we have heard about what kids have asked for would just break your heart, just to think that people are doing it pretty tough out there and the kids are really suffering.”