Season’s greetings to all Lions of C1. We come to the end of a year like no other we have experienced as a lion, or as a nation. It has been a year where we have had to innovate in a period of uncertain times, where we did not know what tomorrow would bring.
I am proud and thankful of the way our clubs and members have continued to engage their communities and look after both their members and their communities. It has been a difficult period, where for months on end we were restricted in carrying out our normal activities and this has been stressful on many members of our clubs, both financially and in their ability to be able to provide services to their local communities.
We have learnt a lot during the past nine months in the way that we conduct our meetings, and these will be forever changed as we use various technologies. Our clubs have learnt to be more flexible and adaptable than they have been in the past. It has forced us to review all of our great service activities to ensure that they are still relevant to the communities in which we serve.
It is critical that post Covid 19 that we take heed to what we have learnt and how we have advanced during the past nine months to ensure that we do not fall back into some of our old ways, and thus continue to embrace the new efficiencies and technologies to advance lion’s locally, nationally and internationally.
Another area we need to address urgently is the “elephant in the room” in respect to administration fees payable by clubs. Some members of our clubs are finding it extremely difficult to pay their membership fees, due to circumstances beyond their control. Looking at the average age of members of around 68 years of age, both locally and nationally, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to work out that the major percentage of our members are pensioners, most of whom would be on incomes that would have deteriorated significantly over the past 3 to 5 years with falling interest rates on their investments. There is no likelihood that this will change in the near future as low interest rates are here to stay for some time.
We need to work out ways to either reduce or subsidise these administration fees, as many of our clubs do not have the luxury of local council or other contracts to assist them. As I have advocated on more than one occasion, we must review these fees which we have control of, with the idea of reducing them where possible. It is more important now than ever before to retain our members for without them we cannot service our communities. This will be one of our top priorities in the New Year.
I have met many of you since taking office in July and look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming year.
I wish each of you a safe and enjoyable Christmas and a New Year which is much better than the one we have just gone through.
Tony Pederick OAM