26 September 2017
Lions’ Past International Director, Dr Bob Coulthard AM, passed away peacefully this morning. A Lion of immense stature and contribution, I will leave it to others to comment on his considerable achievements on the National and International stage, not the least of which was promoting the Campaign Sightfirst program that, through the Lions Clubs International Foundation, has saved the sight of millions throughout the world.
Dr Bob joined Lions in 1963, the year I was born, and served continuously and actively since then.
I came to know Dr Bob mostly through our International Conventions. Since representing our Lions on the International Board, Bob missed only one International Convention.
I took this photograph as Bob joined us on parade in Hamburg, something he saw as a duty and an honour to do, and I know he was disappointed not to be able to march with us at the Centennial Convention in Chicago this year.
I often found myself walking beside Dr Bob, (although he cheekily, and routinely, reminded me that “in the old days, I would be relegated to the back with the other Lions out of uniform”. )
At many Conventions, I would sit next to Dr Bob during the International Convention plenary sessions and listen to his quiet, continuous commentary, sharing the stories and history of the various Lions that would appear briefly on stage. We all marvelled at Bob’s encyclopaedic knowledge of our organisation, its history, politics and personalities.
In the manner of the wise, he would repeat those reflections to me each year, which was very welcome, as I lacked Bob’s ability to retain that knowledge, so it was a pleasure to be reminded. Despite the passing of the years those stories remained faithful and consistent.
Today I spoke with a Lion from his club at Marion in South Australia who said Dr Bob was with them as usual at the fortnightly fundraising BBQ, which is simply a perfect example of the quality of our Past International Director. As a Lion, service to his club and community was paramount.
Organisations have their treasures, their icons and legends. Dr Bob is one of these and will remain alive in our history and hearts.
Our sympathy goes out to Jill and all his family.