New ambulance for Selwyn

by Kent Caddick

St John in Selwyn will soon have a new ambulance on the road thanks to the combined efforts of the district’s Lions clubs.

Lions clubs from Ellesmere, Malvern, Rolleston, Selwyn and  Halswell, which are part of the Zone 8 Lions, along with the Christchurch Chinese Lions Club, collectively raised $180,000 to go toward the purchase of a new ambulance, which will be stationed at the St John base in Rolleston.

John Sunckell, chairman of Selwyn Central St John, said they were grateful for the support of the Lions’ clubs.

“We are absolutely delighted with the Lions’ effort, which will be a big help to our ability to provide good service,” Mr Sunckell said.

“We will endeavour to have the new ambulance ready to be consecrated at a special service to be held in Christchurch, this September. This will show the Lions’ emblem and acknowledge contributing trusts and clubs.”

Zone 8 Lions project chair, Bill Pickering, said the six clubs had worked hard for two years to raise over $70,000 on their own.

“Three hundred members put in around 3,500 hours, parking cars, selling pea straw, catering for special events, running bowling and bridge tournaments, selling firewood and numerous other events to raise the funds.

“A $90,000 grant was also obtained from the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) in Chicago, which ensured the success of the project. LCIF has also donated over $1 million to Christchurch city to replace community facilities destroyed in our two major earthquakes.”

He said the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust, here in New Zealand also contributed and they were especially grateful to the Rolleston-based Westland dairy company for its support.

“Westland, whose board of directors’ chairman, Peter Morrison, is a local dairy farmer, contributed $4,000 to the project, demonstrating their commitment to local community needs and to the health and safety of their employees.

“It is very satisfying to see the ambulance would soon be on the road and we want to thank everyone who has been involved with the project, which fits our Lions motto of ‘We Serve’ perfectly.”