House debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Constituency Statements

Leaford, Mr John

4:12 pm

Photo of Rob MitchellRob Mitchell (McEwen, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Many people in our communities reinforce what an honour it is to be able to represent them in this place. Today, I wish to acknowledge Whittlesea's John Leaford. John is someone who epitomises the Lions code of ethics and the purpose of statement that we Lions stand by. John is a well-respected local builder renowned for building family homes and for developing lifelong friendships with his customers. John is generous in providing his time to those in need directly through his involvement in many community groups he's been part of, including as a sponsor at the Whittlesea show woodchop and as a member of the Whittlesea Lions, the Whittlesea Masonic Lodge, the Whittlesea Agricultural Society, the Whittlesea and surrounding districts art society. He's also a key contributor to the committee that was successful in building the Whittlesea technical school, now known as Whittlesea College. He also received a City of Whittlesea senior citizens award in 2013, and a runner-up at the HIA awards in 1995.

On a personal level, John is someone who likes to build his model trucks and model tractors in particular. If you ever want to get John off-topic on something, start talking about model tractors and you're laughing—he'll keep going all day! He and his lovely wife, Leila, have been instrumental in leading community engagement and fundraising for many community events, emergency response and recovery activities, and the building of community infrastructure for our community of Whittlesea, particularly after the Black Saturday fires.

John is also a life member of the Lions Foundation and the Whittlesea Lions. He's received a George Sherwin commemorative plaque for the bandstand he was involved in building, and an Australia Day Award in 2013. He's received the very honoured Melville Jones Fellowship and the James D. Richardson Award. He's also received a Treasurer's award and is a guiding Lion. Looking back through the Lions attendance book, I noticed John first attended a meeting when I was two years old. He's been involved in Lions for 50 years. It's absolutely incredible to think that people give their time, energy and effort on a volunteer basis for such a long time. For me personally, I think that I must have been able to work John over nicely, because now he allows me to cook the sausages at the Whittlesea Lions Club barbecue—and I know that it's a real big deal for John to give up his tongs. John will see this video on the night he gets his award from Lions Australia. I want to acknowledge the work that John and Leila have done for our community and for the Lions Club in general and the Lions movement. They are people we are very much proud to be associated with.

I will quickly mention the joy I felt when I went to the Whittlesea Men's Shed last week for the big barbecue, where talked about men's health and particularly prostate cancer and the importance of getting an early check-up. When we talk about these sorts of things it's not just about you; it's about you going and getting checked and making sure that you're there for your family, for your kids and for your grandkids. It's so important that we do these things, because prevention allows us to live a much longer and happier life.