The crowd and the meal were much the same, but there was something distinctly different about HIV/AIDS charity the Luncheon Club’s Monday event this week.

As the organisation’s founder Carole Ann King told the crowd, It’s not every day that you get served lunch by the governor of NSW.

Keeping a promise made last week, governor Marie Bashir was on hand to help the Luncheon Club celebrate its 13th birthday in Waterloo this week.

I feel so full of emotion to look around and see so many family and friends, Bashir, who has attended past Luncheon Club events, told the crowd of about 120.

This is one of my favourite places in Sydney -¦ because it is about resilience, courage, helping one another and getting on with life.

The atmosphere ought to be bottled and sold.

Formalities dispensed with, Bashir met Luncheon Club clients, then helped serve the 100-odd hot lunches.

Diners later enjoyed a lavish chocolate and coconut birthday cake made by Sydney Star Observer‘s Tim Ball.

Other guests on Monday included Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore, who was at the first luncheon 13 years ago.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has changed dramatically since Carole Ann King threw what was meant to be a one-off lunch for friends in 1993.

She has since run free weekly lunches and other charity services for people living with HIV.

King said the charity was needed more so than ever.

As the Luncheon Club has grown, so too has that need for us to be there to support [clients].

For more information about the Luncheon Club visit its website or call 0416 040 074.

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