So, what’s next in the life of Phil Nathan?

I have always considered myself incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed an interesting, varied  and fascinating career, doing something I love, however, now after 49 years in the Stock Exchange and Securities business predominantly in one home, the time has come to say ‘goodbye’ to Charles Stanley. Continue reading

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Why we are the “Knights of the Blind”

Recently I had the incredible experience of supporting a sight mission in Tirana.
I was asked by some USA Lions, that I know, if I could give them some advice. I did this once before in Bosnia but this time I rose to the challenge and went and joined them.
The lonely Brit joined 14 specialist sight Drs and 34 Technicians that paid their own way and traveled from California to Tirana where I met them. I mustered some support from local Lions but also some amazing Leos. Working with local Government expectations and their understanding as support we had a target to carry out 6000 eye examinations. 16000 pairs of recycled specs came through customs thankfully and joined us for the mission. To cut a long story short, in dusty and crude conditions (anybody on my FB will have seen) and working from 06.30am until nightfall we had crowd control, translation and a unique team which eventually performed an amazing 7179 camera and follow up examinations. We presented spectacles that had been neutralised and re-prescribed. We uncovered cases of Glaucoma, Macular, Diabetes and retinopathy, Cataract, Strabismus and other things I can’t spell.
You can see two pictures below, the lady in yellow(mustard)  and the picture of the man. Both of these people would be certified as blind in the USA and the UK. We gave them sight!!!  Pretty powerful stuff, lots of tears even from the Drs.
A mission packed with emotion ...............
We found 6 kids with Strabismus and that's operable, see the two pictures of the beautiful child in red.  I have vowed to get those children the operation that would help them grow up with a normal life. I promised the father of that girl. We know its a few thousand US$ and I have pledges from a few countries (as per my FB) amounting to approximately $6000 so far. So I started the appeal and its doing ok but a long way to go. I am currently working with two hospitals that can perform the operations needed and provide the aftercare required for the patient and a parent. Its the journey time we have to analyse.
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If it’s Saturday it must be Belgrade..

After Friday night’s excellent Charter, Saturday was a day for ‘Service’.

The Lions Club Beograd hosted the first ‘Diabetic Screening’ to be held in Serbia. The event was supported by members of each Lions Club and each Leo Club in Serbia, guests at the Charter and some Leo’s who travelled from Croatia.

It was a very well organised and very impressive event, held in the largest public park in Belgrade.

The screening was located by one of the park’s restaurants (who kindly loaned chairs and tables) and was fortunate in that the weather was excellent, with many people using the park.

Leos provided an advance party, approaching people, issuing leaflets and advising them what was taking place.

The screening started with a weight and height check, personal details were taken, waists were measured then it was into the inner sanctum.

The medical team were all Lions as well as professionals. Using the measurements, body mass index was calculated and advice given.

A ‘finger prick’ followed to give a blood sugar reading. Finally, blood pressure and heart rate were measured and advice, including seek further medical attention, was given.

The LC Beograd had been granted a two hour ‘licence’ for the screening. In that two hour period some 200 individuals were screened with all the Leo’s and Lions taking part.

It was an absolute pleasure to see the Lions and Leos of Serbia working as ‘one team’ with support from their friends from neighbouring countries.

The event was what they planned for, generated the response it deserved and was an excellent advertisement for what Lions can do, Service at its best.



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New Club, New Opportunities…

We travelled the short distance from Novi Sad to Zrenjanin for the Charter Celebrations of the ‘new’ Zrenjanin Petrovgrad Lions Club.

Lions and guests were arriving from mid-afternoon so we had the opportunity to converse and enjoy everyone’s company.

I had the pleasure of presenting the Charter to Lion President Miroslav Filep and welcoming 24 members to the Association.

This was the first new Club formation in Serbia for a few years. The introductions and presentation of member ‘Pins’ was undertaken by the Zone Chair, Lion Maja Zikic, PCC Philip Goodier and myself, the Country Advisors.

Because of its closeness to Serbia’s borders, Lions from Clubs in Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Montenegro and Romania attended, a truly European occasion. Not to mention to UK Lions!

As those who know me will confirm, another of my passions is Special Olympics. Although this was their Charter Presentation the members of Petrovgrad Zrenjanin have been working with Special Olympics Serbia and have supported them in a number of events already, together with the Serbian Diabetes Association.

To quote Lion President Miroslav ‘nobody can forbid you from doing good in the community’, a wonderful metaphor for our motto ‘We Serve’.

After the formalities we had dinner followed by a very enjoyable evening: Serbians do know how to enjoy themselves!

Congratulations to the Lions of Petrovgrad Zrenjanin and Serbia, I am sure this will not be the last new Club and they will grow from strength to strength.

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