District Governor’s Message | July 2021

Lions Clubs International Logo with lines

Another year, another District Governor. The previous year seemed to rush past us, with the new year speeding by even more quickly. 2020-2021 did better with COVID-19 than PDG Kevin’s year, some normalcy was restored. The characteristic civic responsibility of South Australians saw us largely unaffected; with operations by our Lions largely returning to normal.

District 201C1, under District Governor Tony’s stewardship saw a significant net increase in our membership numbers, the first for a number of years, and the participation in a Diabetes SA Project by District and several clubs.

Club membership rising across the District is a welcome and hard-won change and I know there is an enthusiasm and desire to not only continue but increase the service we give to our communities.


Membership, membership, membership. District has been promoting this message for a while now – get out and there and find new members. You have responded.

This year I plan to implement changes which I believe will be of benefit, to make it easier, and to nudge your enthusiasm up a notch or two. We have pointed clubs to the membership tools which are available to assist in identifying and attracting new members, at District we need to do better. Just giving you a hammer and a chisel doesn’t mean you become a wood-worker. We will renew our promotion of these membership tools and ask if you want to chance implementing them again. We shan’t just walk away – we will mentor and support you in the use of those tools, either face-to-face or remotely by Zoom.

From a leadership perspective, we understand many of our club leaders are in those positions because they were the only Lions willing to take on a club role. Someone said you can’t make a leader, leaders are born. Well, when you reluctantly volunteered (or even enthusiastically threw you hand in the air) you made yourself a leader. Our ‘GLT’ team are preparing brief lessons giving you an insight into some of the skills those “born” leaders use, and if you find them interesting and worthwhile we shall point you to resources where you can find further information. We encourage participation in ELLI (Emerging Lions Leadership Institute) – an inhouse formal Lions learning course. These micro-lessons will be delivered at Zone meetings, Zone Chairman club visits and at other opportunities, and will not be left just to the Zone Chairmen to implement.


“We Serve” aka “We Don’t Fundraise”

Over the last year one of our District goals was to introduce clubs to a Lions Clubs International programme which you may know of – GAT. I’m unaware of how successful this was, but I intend to continue it with a slight variation. GAT is a product of a programme developed by LCI and found that one of the prime cures for falling membership was to get back to doing what Lions have been doing since 1917- Serving their communities. Many Lions Clubs in our District have wonderful service projects, but there are many which do not, and that is understandable – if your club has only eleven members, you are all over 70 years of age, how can you get a great service project going that answers your community’s needs, increases the community’s amenity, and puts your club into the public spotlight? Well, with our Service Excellence Ambassadors, we would like to offer you help to do so.

What is District?

District is an association, the members of which are a group of Lions Clubs. You are District’s constituents and we are here to serve you, and we are a member of Multiple District, with a responsibility to assist our Clubs in meeting the requirements of Lions Clubs International.

Your connections on a day-to-day basis are via your Zone Chairperson and the District Governor Advisory Committee which is all Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers. This is a two-way street; the Governor can pass information to the Zone clubs. Zone Chairpersons are one of the most important LCI Offices because of this communication role.


This Lions Year is going to be a busy one. My aim is, as it has been for all our recent PDGs since we became a district in “Transition”, to grow our membership. I am taking a different approach, and saying “Service, Service, Service”. I am confident this approach will work as I’ve been thinking along these lines since before I nominated for the position of 2nd VDG.

Let’s continue to be enthusiastic and motivated, uphold our reputation as the world’s best community service organisation and attract new members, and have an absolute ball doing it.

With Service from the Heart.

John Barnes

Governor 2021-2022