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Lions’ international convention is a huge success

Local News 03 Jun, 2022 Follow News

Lions International President, Douglas X. Alexander

(left-to-right) Lion Claudio Buncamper, Lions International President, Douglas X. Alexander, Lion John Ebanks, Premier Hon. Wayne Panton, Council Chairperson Denise Bentinck, and Minister for Social D

Cayman Islands scouts performed a parade of all the flags representing the nationalities of the Lions Multiple District 60

The Cayman Folk singers entertained everyone with some traditional Caymanian folk songs

By Christopher Tobutt

 

The Lions Clubs of the Cayman Islands won their struggle to host the 42nd Multiple District 60 Convention right here in the Cayman Islands. The convention-proper was spread over three days, but there were other activities, such as a big reception by His Excellency the Governor, at Government House, two days before the official opening. It is only the second time that Cayman has played host to this prestigious convention, which is all the more remarkable since it is the very first ‘in-person’ (as opposed to Zoom!) Multiple District 60 Convention since 2019, and although numbers were much smaller than before because of Covid, there were still many distinguished Lions members from all over the region who came to the official launch night at the Lions Centre on Friday 27. Local dignitaries included Cayman Premier, Hon Wayne Panton and Hon André Ebanks, MP, Minister for Financial Services, Commerce, Investment, Innovation, and Social Development.

This year also marks 50 years since the introduction of the Lions movement in the Cayman Islands. The conventions mark the end of the 2021-2022 lionistic year as the Lion leaders give account of their stewardship and recognize achievements and milestones.

Lions Club International President, Douglas X. Alexander had flown all the way from Brooklyn, New York. He warmly welcomed all the local Lions, as well as the ones watching from their phones or computers from all around the region. “There was something we learned during the pandemic was how to continue to serve our communities in need,” he said, “Lions are resilient, and creative, We continue to serve. We’ve got better, we are using the technology virtually, and that’s not going to go away. Lions are a family in more than 200 countries around the world that we serve in, as we move forward, so let’s take away the plusses from this pandemic. Let’s continue to serve our communities, and continue to be able to say, “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion.”

Council Chairperson Denise Bentinck from Guyana, said, “This year has been a difficult year for many, but we as a family continue to sow seeds of hope in various communities. We Have been serving, from the heart. Our annual convention is a celebration of our achievements and it’s a time to usher in the new team.”

Hon Minister André Ebanks quoted from U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “’The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.’ That is the essence of what I see you in Lions do.” He suggested that in future, Government could engage the service-clubs to help with things that they cannot do by themselves, and gave an example of the 200 homes that still needed to be repaired from Hurricane Grace, which is a challenge because of the Government’s limited budget. “It never really dawned on me till coming to this conference, that we should engage the service clubs, and incorporate you into our government program, because you’re doing great work, maybe we can do more in a coordinated fashion to bring you into our current challenges.”

Hon Wayne Panton began his message by commending the Lions club for being more ‘do’ and less ‘talk.’ “I was reminded of your five global causes, diabetes hunger the environment vision and childhood cancer. You set out to improve the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable people, you are determined to protect and restore the environment, and encourage peace and international understanding. The mission reflects Lions and Leos longstanding commitment to create a more sustainable future for the communities you serve,” he said.

Before the opening ceremony drew to a close, the Cayman Islands Folk singers treated everyone to some lovely traditional Caymanian folk-songs.


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