Lorenzo Duregon’s passion for volunteering is as strong as the furniture he made with his bare hands as a teenager that still stands strong today.
The now 76-year-old Lorenzo arrived in Melbourne from the rural Italian town of Resana, 32 kilometres inland from Venice on March 7, 1960.
The next day he arrived in Port Augusta and joined the Port Augusta Lions Club in 1974, and as current Membership Chairperson, he’s proud to have helped the Port Augusta community for over 40 years.
“It’s something that is built in you, if you’re involved in the Lions Club, you’re automatically a giving person,” he said.
“(Lions) has been very good and very important in me knowing the community, you help the community and you learn a lot from the community when you do that.”
He said it was an important part of his life where he could bring his family into a warm and welcoming environment.
But he was able to help community members who needed it most, including one particular eight-year-old boy Beau Strachan who suffered from a rare condition that hindered his ability to walk.
Lorenzo and Lions helped raise more than $2900 for a program to help buy a specialised walking frame for Beau which helped him become able to walk.
Another project close to Lorenzo’s heart was in 1978 when Lions raised around $13,000 to buy and donate a then state of the art M-Care Ambulance.
Lorenzo’s hard work was duly noted when he received the 1998-99 Melvin Jones Fellow Award.
The money is raised by Lions comes from means we’ve all become accustomed to – catering, raffles, and the Lions’ well-known Chip Van.
Lorenzo said the bonding amongst members doesn’t just happen at these events, but the coffee and tea before and after the events, often in the surrounds of a member’s home.
As a Co-Owner with Wife Thea of well-known business Better Homes Supplies for over 50 years, Lorenzo knows the Port Augusta community well.
But he’s proud to see the Port Augusta community give back in spades. He said the best part of how Lions, like many other community groups, help the community, is by purely describing what they do.
“No money is raise for the benefit of the members, the money is raised for the community and everything that comes from the community, goes back to the community,” he said.
“If you’re part of the community, you should live with the community, you should participate and look for improvements wherever you can by giving back.”