~ Aloha from your 2015 ~ 2016 DG Eric R. ~
Dear fellow Lions, Lionesses & Leos from District 19A:
I have returned from a most enjoyable and well organized International Convention, our 98th, in sunny Honolulu,Hawaii ! Would you believe 17,000+ Lions from all corners of our World joined up, discussed, debated and voted on many issues. One of the main themes and success stories about our Lions from around the World is our ever increasing numbers. There was an overwhelming feeling of optimism and Goodwill, a *Can-Do* attitude, especially now that our Lions Clubs internationally have surpassed the 1.4 million mark in Membership. That is impressive progress globally and yet in North America we are not yet matching this success story fully.
As your District Governor for 2015 ~ 2016 I must “Thank You All” for you great support and inviting me into your Lions Clubs’ meetings, special events and fundraisers over these last two, three years. I have visited with just about every Club within our large geographic area and met so many of you. I feel humbled as I commence my exciting year at the helm, steering our long-serving, dedicated District 19-A to fuller membership and many, many service activities. Am I fully focussed ? You bet and ready to find ways to return to our full 1,250 Membership status which we have been hovering below for some years now. My motto / slogan mirror this intent : ~ 1250 ~~ Yes We Can ! Of course, we can !!
Shortly after our return to Vancouver I was very pleased to attend with our VDGs & various Cabinet members the joint Installation night of our younger NC Lions Clubs, namely: Pacific NC, Van. Diamond Campus, Van. Diamond Millennial and the Templeton NC Club. And we also inducted five new Members ! Now that is an excellent start as District 19A is absolutely aiming to return to that magic 1250 number. It truly is possible, Ladies & Gentlemen and we have in place an experienced Cabinet and many hard-working Lions with innovation, desire and that wonderful understanding we all share: “We Serve” ! More than that: “We Serve Well” !!
Our new International President from Japan, Dr Jitsuhiro Yamada, impressed me. His address to thousands of delegates at the opening session was striking. His theme of *Dignity, Harmony and Humanity* was well illustrated and he is a man of many accomplishments and a Family history of Service in Lionism which he embraces most seriously. We first met at the Opening Ceremony for DG-Elects on June 24th, over 700 of us gathered together at the Convention Centre Kalakaua Ballroom. There we were treated to a 20-minute video presentation about his life and especially his success as a brain surgeon and stroke specialist and much medical goodwill and improvements made available all over Japan. His wife, Toshiko Yamada, is also a Doctor and she presented a separate Spouse/Companion session which my Katrina much appreciated.
As most of you know I have chaired various organizations and associations over my lifetime. But this District Governorship is very special as I lead our District for one amazing, action-packed Lions year, a year which can have such a profound, positive impact upon many in need in all facets of life. That truly is rewarding and so worthwhile. All I ask as I visit with you over these next months is to allow me with your Club Directors to induct a new Member or two ? into your successful Club. Do not hesitate to invite a few non-lions, guests to these DG visitations with every possibility they may well turn into excellent future Members. I promise I shall make the evening interesting and entertaining – dare I say *festive* ? My term shall also have three cornerstones: Harmony – our International President’s theme, Kindness – so vital between all hard-working Lions and Respect ! These three keystones are vital to running a strong, successful District – District 19A.
It has been one amazing journey which shall continue with singular focus, enthusiasm and as our IP Dr. Yamada states: *Dignity* !
Yours in Service & Fellowship, Eric R. Keller – District Governor