Two years in the planning, four days in the execution.

It is a while since I last produced a blog, a reflection of the pace of life and the many and varied activities that I have been undertaking.

Now though is an ideal time to begin a new series as we have just completed an excellent Europa Forum, in Birmingham.

We had the pleasure of the attendance of three Executive Officers: International President Joe Preston, Immediate Past International President Barry Palmer and 1st Vice President Dr Jitsuhiro Yamada each of whom made a significant contribution to the Forum through their respective presentations.

In addition to two European Past Presidents, Eberhard Wirfs and ‘Pino’ Grimaldi, Past President Mahendra Amarasuriya also attended the Forum. It was a pleasure to welcome them all.

The programme was one of the most comprehensive programmes ever presented at a Europa Forum and reflected both our willingness to accommodate and the desire to present and promote. There was truly something for everyone.

Such was the quality and scope of the programme presented that we welcomed as Speakers and Facilitators ID Alexis Gomes from Africa, both the GMT International Coordinator, PID A. P. Singh and the GLT International Coordinator, PID Cliff Heywood as well as the International Family and Women Coordinator PID Sangeeta Jatia.

In addition, PID John Walker and PID Shyam Malpani, both current Board Appointees, attended to see how the European Forum works.

I cannot praise the 120+ volunteers too highly: volunteers who drew many complements for the way in which they interacted, helped and perhaps most importantly, smiled. It has been a genuine pleasure to have so many say they would be delighted to be asked if we do anything it like again.

Once again the Lions of MD105 showed how much they enjoy and how well they can present a ‘Flag Ceremony’. With more volunteers than flags, the packed auditorium was a kaleidoscope of music and colour as nearly 800 delegates stood and clapped as 53 Proud MD105 Lions paraded the flags of Europe.

Youth and young people featured prominently with half a day devoted to Leos as well as the European Finals of the music and Young Ambassador Competitions. The International President presented the prizes, for the first time the European Young Ambassador came from Italy.

I would like to thank all members of the Host Committee for their dedication, commitment and the hours of hard work that they put into what was, judging by the very many messages of congratulation, a very successful and enjoyable Forum.

One of the many messages of appreciation, representative of them all, is repeated here:

Thank you from the heart for this beautiful diamond celebration! I cannot think of anything that could have been better.

The opportunity to so intensely meet under one roof during three days with Lions and friends from Europe and the world was just great.

The dinners, the music, the ambiance, the workshops, the way you led the European Council and the opening and closing ceremonies. Everything was just perfect.

Please forward my appreciation, my gratitude and my friendship to the members of your Host Committee. International President’s representative ID Robert Rettby

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