On April 21, 2017, Lion Kathy and I travelled to Toronto in Canada; and then on to Kingston, Ontario for the 45th Annual Lions Convention of District A-3. Our hosts, PID Terry and Lion Jean Graham (along with Kuala, their dog guide puppy), welcomed us and treated us as honored guests throughout the weekend.
By the time we arrived back in Toronto on Sunday, we felt more like family with the great Lions of District A-3.
To begin, we were impressed by the parade of banners representing the clubs in the district, some of which have been serving their communities across the district for over 80 years. How proud the convention participants were as their banners covered the entire circumference of the ballroom. We especially appreciated the Leos who marched in the parade of banners.
District Governor John Whyte directed the opening ceremony and set the tone with his theme, “Climb Every Mountain.” PDG Dave Hansen and PDG Russ Mitchell, co-chairs of the convention–previewed the agenda and schedule for training, presenting, honoring, and remembering Lions and Lionesses of A-3. But this convention never lost sight of the importance of having fun and strengthening fellowship among the Lions and guests in attendance.
On Friday night, great food, music, dancing, and costumes brought all the Lions to their feet. What a “roaring” good time!
Saturday, Lions and guests dedicated much of their time to active participation in several workshops, as well as hearing campaign speeches and the young winners of the Effective Speaking competition. These poised, skilled students shared their speeches in French, with a very attentive audience following along.
Fitting in perfectly with the theme, “Climb Every Mountain,” was a very interesting and dynamic speech delivered by Paul MacDonald that mostly focused on his successful climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro last February. Paul demonstrated his perseverance, physical skills, and mental toughness–all tremendous personal traits that related effectively with the audience.
I enjoyed participating in one workshop on the Lions Clubs International Foundation and later presented another workshop on 100 Years of Lions History. Lion Kathy shared her thoughts on leadership opportunities for women on a panel focusing on leadership development.
That evening, I shared my thoughts about what it must have been like for the founders of Lions Clubs International, the mountains we are still climbing 100 years later, and the importance of “the climb” for those who take up the call to serving the needs of others.
the banquet featured many awards presented by District Governor John. Among the lightweights were two Leadership Medals presented to Lion Jean Graham and Lion Diana Lloyd. PDG Janet Marissen received the Presidents Certificate of Appreciation.
On Sunday morning, District A-3 remembered Lions and Lionesses who had died since the last convention in 2016. A tribute to “the fallen Lion” was a touching reminder of those great members of A-3 who will be greatly missed.
As Lion Kathy and I said good-bye on Sunday morning, we knew that were leaving new friends that will remain in our hearts forever. Thank you–Lions of District A-3–for your service, your leadership, and your loyalty to the greatest service organization in the world.
Best wishes to all who serve!
–IPID Lion Robert and Lion Kathy Littlefield