Message from Council Chairman Denis Meyer (May 2017)

“Satisfaction in Service”, “Leaders In Action”, “Sparking A Passion For Service” and “There is No Strength Without Passion” have clearly defined the commitment of our 4 Governors during this past year. Teamwork has been the main focus of this Lionistic year and I have been inspired by the teamwork I have witnessed at all levels within Multiple District 410. Our Multiple District currently reflects a positive membership growth of 175 new members and a total of 6 newly chartered Lions Clubs. All of our districts have chartered at least one new club. The teamwork amongst the District Governor Teams, District Cabinets, the District Global Membership and Leadership Teams and the clubs involved has had a direct impact on this outstanding achievement. And it all begins with your Council of Governors, 4 of the finest individuals that I have had the privilege of serving with. Fellow Lions, until you have served as a District Governor, you will not fully understand the amount of personal sacrifice and commitment involved in running a district, and coordinating service and growth amongst the many Lions clubs within that district. I honestly believe that our 4 Governors have achieved this with distinction and I would like to thank them for the opportunity and the privilege to serve as Chairman of their Council.

We all joined a Lions Club because we believed that, as individuals, we might be able to make a difference in some small way but as part of a team of Lions we can expand on that and really make an impact on services to the needy. Being part of an association of Lions Clubs opens up many opportunities for us to expand on this service using resources and ideas provided by our Association. Lions Clubs International provides us with the tools, initiatives, advice and programs on how we can make an even bigger difference in our communities. And to top it all, we are also able to develop as leaders both within our clubs and beyond, thus making us all better human beings and more responsible in our service, professional and personal environments. We learn to work together as a team, to achieve as a team and above all to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives - as a team.

81 years ago, Helen Keller challenged Lions to be Knights of the Blind in the Crusade against Darkness and today we still continue to provide valuable assistance and support to the sight impaired as well as literally hundreds of other health and service related projects that impact directly on needy communities. It’s this teamwork worldwide amongst our current 1.4 million members that has sustained our Association for the past century – we can all be extremely proud of the fact that we are part of this achievement. As part of our Centenary celebrations, clubs around the globe were encouraged to support 4 core centennial community legacy projects, namely Engaging our Youth, Protecting our Environment, Sharing the Vision and Relieving the Hunger. Our target of providing services to 100 million people was exceeded well in advance and to date we have provided these services to approximately 150 million. LCI have now introduced a new Global Service Framework which will focus the efforts of Lions and Leos on five service areas, Diabetes, Environment, Hunger Relief, Paediatric Cancer and Vision, with the goal of tripling our humanitarian impact by serving 200 million people per year by 2021. This Global Service Framework complements all of the great ways clubs serve locally, and gives Lions and Leos new opportunities to help meet the growing challenges facing humanity. New global service teams will be introduced at all levels to coordinate these and all our other activities. I encourage all districts and clubs to embrace and follow through with these exciting new initiatives.

Ever since the beginning of this Lionistic year, we have witnessed some extraordinary acts of kindness being carried out by virtually all the clubs throughout our Multiple District. Regardless of the size or location of our clubs, service and empathy have been at the forefront of our activities as Lions. Towards the beginning of this Lionistic year, a devastating tornado hit parts of the East Rand in Gauteng. Almost immediately, Lions sprung into action and the Benoni Lakes Lions lead the way by visiting the affected area and applying for an L.C.I.F. Emergency Grant. Within a short space of time Lions were delivering food parcels and essentials to those affected by the disaster. I had the opportunity to visit the area in August last year and I have to be honest by saying that I was overwhelmed by what I saw. Almost all the mansions owned by those from the upper income bracket, people who were obviously in a position to afford insurance, appeared to be unscathed. Instead the tornado ripped apart the homes of those who were struggling financially and unable to afford insurance to cover their losses. Many had moved back into their broken-down homes with their dangerous structures simply because they had nowhere else to go. The support given to them by Lions made all the difference and gave them the strength and hope to begin rebuilding their lives. Lions clubs from all over the district and beyond donated funds which went a long way to provide relief to these unfortunate people.

This kind of commitment to service was also evident during the recent devastating fires that ravaged parts of the Western Cape Province. Almost immediately local Lions Clubs leaped into action and provided support to families who had lost virtually everything. These extraordinary Lions also provided bottled water and made sandwiches etc. for the hundreds of firefighters who battled for weeks to extinguish the blaze. Once again many clubs around the district donated financially and became involved. It’s this type of teamwork that makes our Association, in my opinion, a cut above the rest.

These are just two examples of the teamwork and extraordinary services being undertaken by Lions in our part of the world.

Fellow Lions, we must also be mindful of the fact that a severe drought has hit the Western Cape Province. Supply dams are dangerously low and already there is not enough water to sustain the needs of the local population. One of our greatest achievements as a service organisation is that we look after the needs of our communities both locally and globally and I urge all Lions clubs to please make donations to the Lions Clubs International Foundation. If this drought situation continues, local clubs will have no choice but to apply for a disaster relief grant and intensify their support to those affected. We must all stand together and do our bit to provide the much needed support, be it financial or even consignments of bottled water and food supplies. The situation is very serious.

During the course of this year we have also witnessed some very momentous occasions. I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation to the Lions of both Districts 410A and 410B for graciously hosting our 2nd International Vice President Gudrun and PID Jon Yngvadóttir from Iceland, both of whom were overwhelmed by the kindness and hospitality shown by the members from both districts. You did us very proud.

Our grateful appreciation also goes to the Lions of District 410A for hosting the World Blind Bowlers Tournament during March which, by all accounts was a huge success.

During February our Multiple District Chairman for Endangered Species, Lion Rusty Hustler, travelled to Southern California in the United States and attended the Lions Multiple District 4 (California) Convention. During the convention Lion Rusty addressed delegates on the plight of the Rhino and encouraged members and clubs to support our Multiple District Lions for Rhinos initiative. His address and enthusiasm was very well received and many donations were pledged. This type on inter-multiple district cooperation is a shining example of how Lions can network with each other globally.

We also successfully hosted a Regional Lions leadership Institute during April in Cape Town. The institute was attended by participants from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe. My grateful appreciation to Past Council Chairman Cliff Hocking and his team of presenters for organising and running this very successful initiative. I would also like to thank all participants for attending and for your willingness to be part of the future leadership of both your respective Districts and our Multiple District. Looking at the calibre of Lions who attended, I am confident that our future is very bright indeed.

We were also extremely proud of the fact that Past District Governor Paula Lang from District 410-A attended the Emerging Lions Leadership Institute in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe as one of the presenters. Lion Paula’s extraordinary leadership skills and knowledge of Lionism was very well received and she did us all proud - well done!

When I look back on our achievements as an Association and particularly here in Southern Africa, I beam with pride because, despite our busy personal and professional lives, we still find the time to commit to Lionism and community service. This, my fellow Lions is something we can all be proud of. I know for a fact that we as Lions are not in this for awards or recognition, in fact much of what we do goes unnoticed. In this world of relentless self-promotion, many have been raised to think that the limelight is the only light worth seeking. But that isn’t the case. And if I can impart one thing, a small, simple truth to remember, it’s this: achievement is often anonymous. Some of the greatest things have been done by people you have never heard of. Quietly dedicating their lives to improving your own. My fellow Lions, you are achievers in your own right. You have dedicated your lives to helping those who cannot help themselves. And you do this without personal financial reward and often at tremendous personal cost in both time and means. But you do this with love and with dedication because you are Lions, dedicated to the service of others.

I would like to share the following words of inspiration that I have learned during my journey this past year:

I've learned .... That one should keep your words both soft and tender, because tomorrow you may have to eat them.

I've learned .... That when you harbour bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I've learned ...That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned .... That being kind is more important than being right.

I've learned .... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing.

I've learned .... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

A very happy Centenary Celebration to you all!!

Yours in friendship and service,
 
Denis Meyer
Chairman of the Council Of Governors
Lions Multiple District 410 (Southern Africa)



Message from Council Chairman Denis Meyer (July 2016)

Welcome to the 2016/2017 Lionistic Year!

Friends in Lionism, during the forthcoming Lionistic year, our Association will celebrate 100 years of service to mankind. This extraordinary achievement has been made possible almost entirely by teams of service minded volunteers from all walks of life, in 200 plus countries located around the globe, including South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. It is mainly due to this extraordinary achievement and the wonderful experiences that I have enjoyed as a Lion that I have decided to use as my theme for the year, TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK.
 
Lionism has always been about team work. There are teams at every level of our Association and every one of us present here today forms part of a team of Lions,Lionesses or Leos. All of us joined a Lionistic team because we understood that, alone we might make a difference but as part of a greater team, that difference would be so much more significant. We are surrounded by teamwork, whether it’s organising a project, running a Lions Club or event or even convening a Convention – Lionism is all about teamwork. To me, word team symbolizes : TOGETHERNESS, EMPATHY, ACTION AND MOTIVATION.

The dream that I am referring to is our ongoing service to mankind. From the smallest assistance to individuals to internationally recognised service projects and disaster relief programs, our dream is working and our communities are far better off for it. Dream Teams (and here I refer to Clubs and members) from all around our Multiple District are making dreams come true for the less fortunate – the members of these clubs are the true heroes of our association and we salute you all.

As we celebrate a century of service, we must all embrace the changes that have taken place in the world around us and adapt our clubs and projects accordingly. We now live in a technological society where people can customize their lifestyles. Technology has grown in leaps and bounds within Lionism and we have so many additional (and free) options available to advertise our projects, achievements and attract membership. We must make every effort to use these options. For the past year, for example, our Multiple District Facebook group has gained support in leaps and bounds. I am personally delighted to see so many clubs advertising their projects and achievements via this portal and I encourage more clubs to become involved. Ideas are being shared which will positively impact on our fundraising and community service initiatives. We invite every club in our Multiple District to join this group.

As we enter the final year of our Centennial Service Challenge, We encourage all our clubs to increase their efforts in meeting the 4 challenges set out which are :
Engaging our Youth. Sharing the Vision, Relieving the Hunger and Protecting our Environment. Awards can be won by undertaking these 4 projects however, the greatest reward is the impact that this service has on our communities.

Our 4 District Governors, Lance Maytham (410-A), Bernd Gerhard (410-B), Kim Van Wyk (410-C) and Zwaai Kruger (410-D), join me in wishing all our fellow Lions, Leos and Lionesses a very successful and enjoyable year in service.

Yours in friendship and service,

Council Chairman Denis Meyer


Message from Council Chairman Rob Fowler

1,4 million Lions around the world .... serving the needy in their communities in one million and four hundred thousand different and vital ways. Maybe you need a Lions Club to serve the community needs in your town or neighbourhood. Contact us to find out how Lions Clubs can make a difference.

Yours in friendship and service,
Council Chairman Rob Fowler


Message from Council Chairman Rob Fowler

The Multiple District entered into a logistical support partnership in July with Seaborne Express and it has been a great benefit to our MD "Hot Cars" awareness and advocacy project and helping to distribute our Lions Christmas cakes to Lions Clubs in the furthest corners of our multiple district.

The owner of Seabourne Express, Lion President Garry Harris of the Lions Club of Pretoria City is a committed and hard working Lion. Thanks Garry for your ongoing support to your Multiple District!!

It is great working with you and your team at Seabourne Express. Your logistical support is greatly appreciated.

All the Seabourne Express courier vehicles carry a Lions decal in recognition of the partnership between us. Look out for them in your area.

If you need a reliable delivery service for your business contact Jaco Brits at Seabourne Express on 079 1823 1803 or email jaco.brits@seabourne.co.za.

Yours in friendship and service,

Council Chairman Rob Fowler


Message from Council Chairman Rob Fowler

The phrase "Where there's a need, there's a Lion" was proven to be so true when Lions in our Multiple District 410 responded with such generosity to the call for financial assistance to support our Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) relief efforts in Nepal.

This followed the massive devastation and loss of life caused when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake with an epicentre just 60km outside of the capital Kathmandu struck on April 25 this year. Strong aftershocks in the following weeks continued to make rescue and relief efforts very difficult.

Individual Lions and Lions Clubs in our multiple district raised over US$23 000 to support relief efforts in that country. With the support of LCIF Lions Clubs in Nepal were able to start with immediate assistance to those areas most affected by this tragedy.

It is a wonderful gesture of solidarity and support for our Lion friends in Nepal.

My sincere thanks and deep appreciation to you all for your LCIF support.

To find out more about LCIF and the great humanitarian work it is doing through Lions Clubs all over the world go to http://www.lcif.org/EN/index.php

Yours in friendship and service,

Council Chairman Rob Fowler
MDC LCIF - MD410


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