Mary Strother, Meningie SA
When Mary Strother’s husband died four years ago, the local Lions Club Driver Reviver activity helped her move forward.
“Driver Reviver and the Lions group were just amazing. Every day after Roger passed away, I'd have someone calling in – I was sure they had a roster, but they said they didn’t.”
Roger, a beloved trailblazing former Coorong mayor who led the community through the millennium drought, was also a Lions Club member who introduced Mary to the fatigue-fighting program in 2010.
A Lions Lady at the time, she took over the Driver Reviver ordering when Roger became busy with council matters.
Sadly, he died in 2018.
Two years later, Mary joined Lions as a member.
“I thought: Well, I can't stop helping because I do enjoy it and we have great times”.
“We’re an awfully noisy bunch, but that’s what brings people in as well I suppose. They might hear the camaraderie, the joking, the laughter and carry on and come to see what's going on.”
Motorists driving through Meningie in South Australia 149 km south-east of Adelaide on the shores of Lake Albert need only put the window down and sniff to know if the Driver Reviver site is open.
If there’s a whiff of barbecued onions in the air, the Driver Reviver site is open and chances are, Mary Strother is waiting to make you a free cuppa and give you some biscuits.
“We always put a barbecue on because the smell of sausages and onions draws people in and it helps raise money for the Lions Club,” she says.
“People stop because they know it’s Lions and they want to support us.”
In fact, Mary and the team conducted a survey several years ago asking drivers if they would have stopped in town for a break if the Driver Reviver site was not there. The answer was a resounding “No”.
Two hours’ drive from Kingston and an hour from Murray Bridge, the Meningie site is a good pause point for motorists coming from Robe, Beachport and Mount Gambier.
There is plenty of room to stretch your legs and a playground for children.
Each day, the site dispenses an average of 150-200 cups, representing as many lives possibly saved from fatigue-related road crashes.