In 1969 members of the Wollongong Lions Club, under the direction of Lion Merv Eckersley, commenced the task of chartering a Lions Club in Kiama.
The Club was formed at the Brighton Hotel on the 12th March 1970, with Ian Andrews elected as Charter President.
Charter night was held at the Kiama Bowling Club on the 16th June 1970, with 220 Lions, visitors & guests in attendance.
The Kiama Lions Club Charter was presented by District Governor Lion Jim Ledingham.
Kiama Charter Lions: Lions David Yates, Ted Maxworthy, Alex Robertson, Geoff Wilson, Kevin Whalan, Martin Fitzsimmons, Keith Maguire, Jon Phipps, Stan Brigg, Jack Palmer, Tom Richardson, Phillip Jones, Noel McKee, Ian Andrews, Alison McDonald & Warren Hart.
Bibliography: Twenty-Five Years of Kiama Lions Club by Lion John Hines
Kiama was the site of two strong volcanic flows, called the Gerringong Volcanics, which came out of Saddleback Mountain, now a collapsed volcanic vent. The Kiama Blowhole is part of an erosion process on the more recent rock, formed into columnar basalt, or latite.
The local indigenous people, the Wodi Wodi, of the language group Dharawa, had been using the land for thousands of years, moving every six weeks or so in family groups. This is supported by a midden of shells at nearby Bass Point which dates back more than 17,000 years.
During this time the land between the coast & mountains was covered in thick rainforest. Only a few remnants of rainforest survive along the escarpment in places like the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre.
There is strong evidence of recent sea debris showing a mega-tsunami hit the Kiama area, & the south coast around 1487 A.D.
Prior to the cedar-getters arriving in the area around 1810, George Bass, the first European to explore the area stopped on his voyage around Australia in his whaleboat Tom Thumb on December 6, 1797. He noted the beauty and complexity of the Kiama area and was astounded when he first discovered the blowhole.
During the colonisation of Australia, the Kiama area was settled by wheat farmers as the soil was volcanic and rain-swept unlike most of Australia. Early Jamberoo was the population centre from about 1830 to the 1860s and when the wheat died, the farmers switched to dairying. During this period Kiama became the best example of 'chain migration' in Australia as many assisted migrants came from Northern Ireland on clearing leases. Kiama was one of the birthplaces of the Australian dairy industry with the first Dairy Factory (The Kiama Pioneer Factory) and first Dairy Co-operative in Australia.
Today the Kiama Municipality remains a dairying area, but also draws tourists worldwide to view it's natural beauties.