Tuesday, 2 July 2019 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 6527
The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:26): Today, I would like to talk about a local person who has achieved 50 years not only as a Lions Club member in Port Pirie but also as a great community person. Dominic Caputo joined the Lions Club of Port Pirie in 1969. This was after another great local Harry Madigan had questioned Dominic as to why he was not a member of the Lions Club. Dominic joined the club in that year, in 1969, becoming the youngest member at 38 years old.
Over many years, Dominic has performed many different activities as a Lions member, but his greatest achievement was to suggest to the club that they host a district convention which had never been held in Port Pirie. As this progressed, with great support, the conference was an overwhelming success with, over 400 people attending the conference and filling completely the Donaldson Basketball Stadium at Port Pirie.
During Dominic’s term as president, he instigated the sale of Christmas cakes as a fundraiser. This activity is still very popular and a great fundraiser for the club. The cakes are not 50 years old; they offer new ones every year. As a Lions member, Dominic has travelled extensively across Australia and attended numerous national and international conventions. It was during one such convention in Adelaide that the then mayor, Bill Jones, whisked Dominic away from the conference in Adelaide to a building where the mayor had a meeting with Bob Hawke, something that Dominic remembers to this day.
Dominic has been actively involved in many community projects, for example, the massive tree planting on Port Broughton Road’s entrance to Port Pirie, which I must admit has deteriorated over the many years since the council took it over, unfortunately. It would be a shame to the people who were there at the start of that project over 25 years ago. He contributed to Rosemary Cottage for the aged at the Port Pirie Hospital and the Orana workshops for young people with disabilities. Dominic still goes to visit those people. These people at the Orana workshops are terrific young kids, even though they are in their 40s and 50s.
He contributed to the well-utilised skate park, which was when I was the mayor of the Port Pirie Regional Council, and this facility is still well utilised to this day. The current clubs project is a Liberty Swing for the Port Pirie Mid North Education Centre which caters for students with disabilities. This project was worth well over $40,000. I must thank the Premier for $8,500, after I wrote a letter to him asking for this funding for the special project. The Premier did not hesitate to come back with that $8,500 to allow this organisation to provide the Liberty Swing for young kids in wheelchairs who cannot get access to normal playgrounds.
Today, Dominic is the club’s oldest member and is still very actively involved with various fundraising activities. Dominic really loves meeting people at the fundraising barbecues the club holds every Saturday and Sunday, and Dominic openly admits that these people greatly admire him. He mentioned the other day that even though it is only $1.50 or $2 for the barbecue, people give him $20 and he asks, ‘What would you like? Onion or not?’ and they say, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ll just give you the $20.’ On receiving the award, Dominic stated:
I have enjoyed the fellowship with all club members over the years. I hope to continue contributing to the club for many years to come. It has been a really great ride.
He thanked the Lions Club of Port Pirie for having him for 50 years and said that he really appreciated their camaraderie and their service. In finishing, I would like to say congratulations to Dominic and best wishes for his future with the Lions Club of Port Pirie and the people of Port Pirie.