Lions clubs enable blind people to enjoy the Botanical Garden

And the Sensory Garden is open! Bernd Gerhard (Past District Governor), Sandy King (wife of the current District Governor) and Pierre Theron (Chairman for Sight) cut the ribbon.

“Thank you to the Lions and the volunteers that put in the work to make this a reality. It was always a dream to have a sensory trail in the garden,” said Andrew Hanky, the Assitant Curator at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden.

This was during the recent opening of the Lions’ Sensory Garden at the botanical garden, which was attended by 60 Lions club members from across the West Rand (Wilro Park, Helderkruin, Roodepoort Host, Clearwater Cyber and Krugersdorp), honoured guests from the botanical garden, and the Guide Dog Association SA.

Pieter van Niekerk and Alice Aubrey from SA Guide Dog Association.

“The opening of the Sensory Garden today was a very special occasion for the West Rand Lions Clubs. This was one of our Centennial Legacy projects done in celebration of 100 years of community service by Lions Clubs around the world.

Vision is one of our most important core projects and we are proud to leave a legacy that will be enjoyed by many visitors to the botanical garden,” said Sandy van Heerden, the Public Relations Officer for the Lions Club of Wilro Park.

The immediate past District Governor, Bernd Gerhard, was joined by Sandy King (wife of the current District Governor) and Pierre Theron (Chairman of Sight) as the ribbon was cut and the Sensory Garden Trail was declared open. There was great excitement as Pieter van Niekerk, Head of Public Relations for the South African Guide Dog Association, accompanied by his guide dog O’Reilly was joined by Johannes and Jessica Grib from the Lions Roodepoort Host Club, to walk the trail for the first time. “While on the trail, Jessica read the new Braille signs describing the sights, sounds and plants along the way,” said Sandy.

Bernd Gerhard (Past District Governor) and Walter Ortell (Zone Chairman).

To make things easier for visually impaired visitors wishing to experience the new Sensory Garden, a Braille guide book will also be available at the garden’s entrance. This will assist them to fully enjoy the Sensory Garden.

Bernd used the opportunity to thank everyone who was in any way involved in the planning and execution of the project. He also thanked the Lions Clubs who generously donated towards the project.

The assistant curator of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Andrew Hanky. Photos: Amy Ingram

Sandy concluded by saying, “As part of the Legacy Project, the Lions Club of Weltevreden Park refurbished the old Lions’ Bridge as well, and, all in all, it was the perfect way to celebrate the Lions’ 100th birthday!”

For more information on the Lions Clubs in your area or the many community service projects they do, contact Sandy on 083 564 6388.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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