The Lioness Club of Golden City, Bendigo has disbanded after more than 40 years, following a decision by the international Lions movement.
Lioness clubs will cease to be recognised as a sponsored Lions activity, internationally, at the end of the financial year.
The Lioness Club of Golden City, Bendigo had a proud 41-year history.
Its 10 members made the decision to disband, effective December 31, 2020, leaving individuals free to pursue their own interests.
"We are thinking we'll just meet informally as a social group before deciding what to do," the club's last president, Brenda Macdonald, said.
The global Lioness movement started in the '70s - a time before women were afforded opportunities to become Lions.
Lions clubs started offering memberships to women from 1987. Many women have since joined the Lions movement, including in central Victoria.
Lions Clubs International introduced incentives for Lionesses to take up membership as Lions, including a bridge program.
The bridging program, introduced in the '90s, ends on June 30.
Lioness clubs that opt not to join Lions Clubs International by that date will lose Lions recognition and the associated benefits, including general liability insurance and registered trademarks such as the Lioness logo.
"My feeling is there are women who still would prefer to be in a Lioness club," Mrs Macdonald said.
She said Lioness clubs operated slightly differently from Lions clubs, catering more to women's interests.
Mrs Macdonald said some former Lionesses might opt to join their midst. Others might join other service clubs or take on other projects.
The Lioness Club of Golden City, Bendigo leaves a legacy filled with service to the community, from extensive fundraising to engaging with vulnerable women.
The club's last secretary, Maree Walker, said early activities included catering for the great Australian bike ride.
For more than 25 years, Lionesses were instrumental in ensuring letters to Santa received responses.
The club had sponsored children for most of its chartered history, as well as supported Legacy.
Bendigo Foodshare was among the causes the club had more recently been intensively involved in supporting, as well as Bendigo - Give Me 5 for Kids.
The Lioness Club of Golden City, Bendigo was sponsored by the Lions Club of Strathfieldsaye.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.