Lions roaring for books again

Harbour Lions president Alison Waugh with some Book fair product. At the rear are Christine Phillips and Colleen Trower.

One finishes and another starts.

We’re talking the Harbour City Lions annual book fair… and the 2019 edition of this Tauranga institution which feeds tens of thousands of dollars back into good causes in the local community, starts right here, right now.

“So we need good quality, clean, readable books,” says Harbour City Lion Christine Curry. “The sort of books you think other people might like to read. And jigsaws.”  So clean out the cubby hole under the stairs, the attic, the shed and drop off all those unused, unwanted books screaming to be read to four handy locations around the city.

They’re Mitre 10 in Cameron Road Gate Pa, Gilmours at Tauranga Crossing, Golf Warehouse in Chapel Street and Smith City at Bethlehem Town Centre.

The Weekend Sun flicked through the first box of books – there were a couple of pristine Jeffrey Deaver crime novels and a potentially absorbing travel read – “One Thousand Places To See Before You Die”. Each would cost $30 plus in a book store – The Harbour City Lions Book fair would have much more modest and affordable price tags on them.

“Every cent of the proceeds goes to a good cause,” says Christine, a seasoned book fair organiser and 35 year veteran of the Harbour City Lions. “And we like to give to people that other people don’t think of. We like to give to people whereby a lot of other people benefit.”

For example the Lions gave $15,500 to the Tauranga Volunteer Fire Brigade for new emergency lights. In turn those lights are also used by the police and ambulance service. They also assisted a young musician with a new trumpet which is now being played in an orchestra for the enjoyment of many.

While the Lions are seeking books they are also seeking new blood. “Service clubs everywhere are being hit by attrition,” says Christine. “Young people are leading busy lives and simply don’t have the time to give.”

So the Lions need recruits – “At the moment ours is an all ladies club so we’re after ladies with time and effort to give. We may include men some time but it hasn’t come to that yet. In return we can offer fellowship and fun – two meetings a month, one for business one a social meeting over a meal. I enjoy the friends I have made at Lions and I have been part of it for a very long time so it must offer something.”

And if the Lions Club didn’t do this work who would? Where would the money come from? How would the fire brigade have got its emergency lights?

The Book Fair work starts next week – a team of about 17 Lions volunteers working two mornings a week right through until the sale which starts on Friday, November 22, from 1-8pm and Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24, between 9am and 4pm.

The Book Fair venue is Tauranga Race Course.