HARD YAKKA: Fernvale Lions Club secretary Geoff Beattie, club member Peter Bennett and president Roland Sjollema are busy working away at the Fernvale Lions Centre, which is hoped to be completed by June.
HARD YAKKA: Fernvale Lions Club secretary Geoff Beattie, club member Peter Bennett and president Roland Sjollema are busy working away at the Fernvale Lions Centre, which is hoped to be completed by June. Lachlan McIvor

Fernvale Lions need help to finish community hub

IT HAS been a long, hard slog over the past several years but the Fernvale Lions Club are close to putting the finishing touches on what they believe will become a hub for community groups without a home of their own.

When they were making plans for a new church in 2012, Fernvale Uniting Church members donated the old building and adjoining hall to the Lions and it was subsequently moved across the road on the opposite corner of Clive St and the Brisbane Valley Highway.

Since then, powered by grants and money from their own fundraising efforts to the tune of $210,000, the club has been busy working away at what they are now calling the Fernvale Lions Centre.

It will serve as the home for their own meetings but more so a place for community groups without a base.

The centre also has the capacity, with kitchen, disabled toilet and shower facilities, to house 30-40 people as an emergency response centre.

Club president Roland Sjollema said he hoped work would be completed by the end of June but the club was still seeking funding to get them over the line.

One of the last steps left in the project is completing a disabled ramp to connect to the hall and finishing off the deck to connect them both to the church.

The club is appealing to the community to buy planks of timber for $30 to complete the process and so they too can leave their own mark on the centre.

"We're just the custodians of the buildings... it's designed for groups who don't really have a home," Mr Sjollema said.

"We're just maintaining and looking after the buildings and we only really charge them a nominal fee just to cover any electricity and maintenance during the year. It's here for people to use it."

The old church building, constructed across the road from its current site in 1894, is believed to be the oldest in the district and the hall was built sometime in the 1950s.

It was in the hall that the Fernvale Lions first formed the club in 2004.

"We're also trying to get as much information and photos of Fernvale and of the church from inception right through to now to actually maintain a history of the building," Mr Sjollema said.

"We're really asking the locals if they could get something together and send it through to us."

The Lions are looking to hold an event at the centre on Anzac Day to give the community a sneak peek.

For more information on how you can get involved, phone Roland Sjollema on 0427 002 683.


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