I have been asked many times over the past few months what are my plans, will you continue, are you going to seek Endorsement?
The answer to the question, as you will know by now, is yes, I am continuing. Why? Because of the overwhelming support and encouragement I continue to receive from Lions in the British Isles & Ireland, across Europe and wider.
To each and every individual who has offered their support, encouragement and most importantly, their friendship, may I say a heartfelt ‘thank you’.
As I believe is now well known it is the Association’s Executive Officers who recommend individuals for the highest offices.
In April 2015 I was phoned personally by PIP Joe Wroblewski and invited to attend an interview with the Executive Officers, in Prague, around the International Board Meeting.
I was told to prepare for a 30 minute interview, in the end the meeting went on for nearly 75 minutes and I was given to understand afterwards that what I said and the way I said it had been well received by the Executive Officers.
I returned home feeling comfortable with the way the interview had gone and with the sincere belief that I had something to offer the Association.
My Campaign team, including Lions from across Europe began to actively seek endorsements.
In the week prior to their meeting in August 2015 I was communicating daily with the Executive Officers in a most positive way and receiving letters of endorsement from across Europe.
19 European Countries gave me their endorsement, 18 in writing and one verbally, equal to some 50% of the members within the European Constitutional Area including the largest Lions European nation, Germany, with 51,000 members.
My CV, my achievements and and my accomplishments speak for themselves but a decision to meet the new century with a lady at the helm overtook these factors
To the Lions of the British Isles & Ireland who have followed my activities, encouraged me, supported me and cheered me on at Conventions may I thank you. Without you and your encouragement the journey would never have started nor continued.
My enthusiasm for all my involvements remains undiminished be they within the British Isles & Ireland, European or Global.
The Gift for Living, ‘our’ charity continues to be a success with work still ongoing in the countries of the former Yugoslavia, most recently in Serbia, which I visited in December last and will visit again in May.
My role as Chair of the Central & Eastern European Initiative continues to provide a great deal of satisfaction. In the current Lions year 10 new Clubs have been formed, in several countries, (with one more a possibility). In two countries, Lionism has returned after a six-year absence and Clubs have also been formed in Russia and the Ukraine, both demanding working environments where Lions are making a difference in difficult circumstances.
I have been invited to continue as a Director of Medic Alert International and have now been appointed to the executive committee. Over my 5 years as a Director the charity has turned the corner, returned to profitability and continues to provide life saving information 24 hours a day wherever and whenever it is needed.
I continue to serve as a Director of SOGB, an organization close to many Lions’ hearts and we are working towards the quadrennial games, to be held in Sheffield in August 2017, where Lions will again be organizing the family hosting programme, an event for 5,500 families.
At home, the Centennial programme is gathering momentum. Yes, it is challenging but every member of the team has risen to the Challenge and more and more Clubs are participating: we are making a significant difference in all our communities.
I am delighted that successive Councils have shown their confidence by appointing me to Chair the MD105 Committee and to lead what is one of the biggest Centennial programmes anywhere.
And so, the future.
I have received offers of help and advice and will be putting in place a larger, pan-European, committee to continue the ‘run’. It has been suggested to me that Europe may see an Executive Officer opportunity sooner rather than later.
I advised the Council of Governors, in January, that I will not stand in the way of MD105 having an International Director, equally, I will not stand against either PID Gudrun or PID Choi. We have embraced, spoken together and I have pledged my support to both.
I remain as committed to what I do as a Lion as I always have, my aim, as ever, is to enable Lions the world over to make their communities better places to live, to save lives, to rebuild, in short to do what Lions do best ‘WE SERVE’. I respectfully seek your continued support.
To you all, I look forward to meeting you soon, where ever our paths may cross.
With my very best and kindest wishes,