The Lions District N-3 Convention was held this past weekend, April 15-17, 2016 in Corner Brook. The planning committee is to be commended on a job well done. With a jam-packed agenda for all in attendance, there was much to do and much to learn. Lots of information was distributed during the cabinet meeting, all helpful but especially so for young Lions. There was opportunity to meet new friends and catch up with older acquaintances.
Past International President, Al Brandel, inspired Lions and Lionesses to continue motivating and serving our communities during his Leadership Training session. During this time he spoke of his own experience with joining the Long Island Lions Club in New York, USA and the many friendships he has made along his journey. He went on to say that with all the people he has met, including the past Pope, those he enjoys meeting the most, are Lions, like District N-3 who are making a difference in their local areas. He went on to say that while we can become tired we have to remember how to motivate, to tap into personal attributes and skills, to offer new Lions room for growth and experience, to self-reflect on our own personal ah-ha moments. He continued to emphasize, “It’s not what you SAY, its what you DO!! that will motivate.”
Giving back to our communities and the people in them are what continues to be the primary motivator for Lions everywhere. Lion Calvin Vincent, Chair of Sight & Conservation & Work with the Blind, presented Donna Byrne of the Western Office of CNIB, a cheque for $1298 (with a promise of more to come) for the White Cane Operation. Ms. Byrne sincerely thanked all Lions for their overwhelming support of this program and added that with our assistance this program offers orientation, mobility, and safety to the recipients along with financial security and independence. “On behalf of all recipients, thank you, we really appreciate everything you’re doing.”
Lions and Lioness in attendance, also received a presentation on the Eye Glass Recycling Program. Bill Diamond, Acting Assistant Director of Bishop Falls Correctional Center walked the audience through all phases of the procedure. He highlighted how the program benefits everyone, including the inmates. “It keeps them active, they are very interested in actively participating in the program.” In fact, he went on to add that it has given them a purpose and that, “there is a waiting list to work with the program.” To date, since September 1, 2015, 1000 hours at the center has been punched on the program, with over 23, 000 pairs of eyeglasses (sunglasses included) processed, and 5700 ready to be shipped.
He further explained that no pair is unusable, those rejected, for whatever reason, is purchased by a company in the US that breaks down all parts and recycles or re-purposes them, “very little
goes to the landfill,” he went on to say.
Lion Rick Buchanan, of Springdale Lions Club, highlighted his recent trip to Haiti in October 2015. As a member of Broken Earth Vision Exam & Eyeglass Mission, he helped distribute 2000 pairs of eyeglasses, and 100 pairs of sunglasses. He hopes to one day, again, join the team. He was humbled by the gratitude of the people for the gift they were given. “It was very important for them to read their Bible,” he said.
The afternoon of Day Two was a treat, as all in attendance witnessed five, very talented, high school students represent their sponsoring club during the district Speak Out. Emcee Lion Louis White spoke of the importance of public speaking. He reiterated how it increases self-esteem and confidence, along with a sense of empowerment. How each of the five contestants were all, indeed, leaders in their respective schools and communities and that all were to be commended on their bravery. He charged the audience with “recognizing the value of what is being presented to you today.”
Congratulations to District N-3 Winner, Malcolm Pilgrim of St. Anthony, who will represent this district during the Multiple District Speak Out later in May. The judges admitted this was a difficult decision, with 1/2 point difference between Malcolm and 2nd place winner, Tory Burt of Bishops Falls. Third place bragging rights belong to Zoey Gidge of Twillingate..while only three placement awards were given, Julie Young of St. Alban’s and Sarah Elliott of Corner Brook should be very proud of their accomplishments during this event. As Lion Louis White said before the competition began, “You are all winners!”
With the training sessions of Presidents, Secretary and Treasurers school completed, cabinet information passed on and motivation re-introduced, it was time to unwind and enjoy a evening of celebration and tradition as PIP Brandel came to find out ( yes, of course, he was Screeched in…kissing the cod and all).
District conventions are a time for re-acquaintance, forging new fellowship and finding your mojo again. If you’ve never been to one before, do yourself a favor and sign up for the next, I promise you, you won’t regret it!
For more fun pictures of our weekend, check us out on Facebook.