Neville Lester (pictured) has joined the elite of the Deniliquin Clay Target Club, as just the 13th clubman to be bestowed life membership.
Lester’s honour comes almost 19 years of membership, having joined the local club in 2000.
His love of shooting was inspired by his father who taught him as a young boy, but Lester said he became more involved in the club to do his part for his local community.
He has also been a community transport driver for Intereach for the last 10 years.
‘‘I love the camaraderie with other members and visitors, even other locals,’’ he said.
‘‘I feel very honoured to have received life membership because not everyone gets it.
‘‘Some of the other recipients I’ve known for many years.
‘‘A close family friend, who has now passed away, received either the third or fourth ever club life membership, so I feel honoured to be a part of that too.’’
During his time with the Deniliquin Clay Target Club, Lester has held numerous executive positions.
He has been president on three occasions — in 2007, 2016 and 2017 — and has also served as treasurer, secretary and vice president.
In the role of vice president now, Lester said ‘‘I enjoyed the lot of them’’.
‘‘I took over from Rob Collicoat (as president in 2016 and 2017). He needed a break, and so someone had to step in.
‘‘In the end I said I would do it, and I did enjoy it.
‘‘My greatest achievement though was shooting a 25 single barrel straight, at Junee 10 years ago — that I shot the event clean.
‘‘My father taught me to shoot when I was only very young. The Lesters are generations of providers, hunting and gathering, but in saying that we only take what we need.’’
Lester said for his beloved club to survive, it needs to be injected with new blood.
Saying there seems to be a lack of interest in shooting from younger members of the community, he has encouraged anyone interested in ‘‘having a go’’ to reach out.
‘‘Be part of the community that keeps these sports available,’’ he said.
The Deniliquin Clay Target Club will be holding its monthly shoot on January 20, at the clubhouse behind the Deniliquin Racecourse.
The shoot program includes the NSW State Mixed Target Championship.
Competition starts at midday, and new shooters and spectators are most welcome.
For further information about the shoot, or the club, contact Neville Lester on 0429694052, Rob on 0428813922, or John 0429873373.