40th Anniversary 2011



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Mandurah Lions Club

THE GIFT OF SIGHT – WA LIONS CELEBRATE 25 YEARS

Lions Clubs all over Western Australia will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lions Eye Bank on July 1.

The creation of the Eye Bank remains one of many major achievements of the Lions Save-Sight Foundation (WA) Inc., which was formed at the Lions 1970 conference in Albany.

Mandurah Lions Club President, John Osborne, said Lions members were instrumental in the formation and funding of the Eye Bank in Western Australia.

“Since its inception in 1986, more than 3400 people have received corneal transplants - vastly improving their quality of life by improving or restoring their vision,” he said.

“Local Lions members should be proud of their contribution to improving the health and life quality of so many Western Australians.”

Lions Save-Sight Foundation Chairman PCC Ambrose Depiazzi said the Foundation also opened up community discussion about the often sensitive issue of tissue donation.

“We knew that corneal transplantation was the only option for many people who were blind because their corneas were damaged or diseased,” he said.

“We set about finding ways to raise public awareness about the benefits of corneal transplantation and along with the Australian Kidney Foundation developed a donor pledge card which allowed people to make an informed choice.”

As well as forming the Lions Eye Bank, the Lions Save-Sight Foundation also established the Lions Chair in Ophthalmology at The University of Western Australia in 1975, which lead to the creation of the internationally-renowned Lions Eye Institute (LEI) in 1983.

LEI Managing Director Professor David Mackey said as a not-for-profit organisation, the Institute relied heavily on community support.

“The Lions Clubs in Western Australia have been extraordinary and their leadership has allowed us to fund vital equipment, scholarships and research over many years,” he said.

“Right from the beginning, the Lions Save-Sight Foundation set itself the objective of creating programs that educate, prevent and cure eye disease – as well as establish a world-leading research centre. It is a great legacy to the people of Western Australia and the wider world.”