My report this month is a copy of the address that I made at the AGM in Port Pirie:
Good morning, I thank each of you for attending the Annual General Meeting of Lions District 201 C1 today at Port Pirie. My thanks to the Port Pirie Lions Club for arranging this. I’m sorry I’m not celebrating with you at our district convention at Peterborough, which unfortunately was cancelled due to their Town Hall not being made available by their Council. I place on record my thanks to my district convention committee from the Peterborough & District Lions Club for the work they had done in preparation for that convention, hopefully we will be able to have a celebration event at Peterborough early next year.
My congratulations to all clubs in our district for the work they have done both in keeping touch with their members and still carrying out some of their service activities within their communities during the past six months, where we have been severely restricted by Covid 19. The adoption by many of our clubs of the latest technology, which allows virtual meetings, is to be commended. The way we operate will forever be changed, particularly at the national and international levels.
I believe the following illustrates what carrying on with Covid means (from NZ Lions magazine):
- Courageous leadership, communication, collaboration, community
- Opportunity, organisational change
- Vision, visibility, vulnerability
- Imagination, innovation
- Deliberate, dare to be different, do it
Lions in our district are to be proud and applauded for the work they have done over recent times for the various services they have provided to their communities, whether it is helping the homeless at Hutt Street and Fred’s Van, the Clare Gleeson Wetland Project, the provision of a caravan at West Beach for Camp Quality, the Hear Me Roar Project, the provision of specific medical equipment at hospitals, the Skin Cancer Project in conjunction with district C2, the LEPH sight testing project, the support given to our numerous foundations, and many many other projects.
The world may have changed, but the work of Lions has not changed and we live up to our motto “we serve”.
However, to continue to do this in the future we must urgently address our falloff in the number of clubs and members in our district, otherwise we will not be able to continue to serve our communities. In the past 20 years we have closed over 30 clubs and many of our existing clubs have been losing members due to age and ill-health. Many of our clubs do not have succession plans and thus have not attracted new members over the past 20 years.
All of our clubs need to take immediate action to attain new members to enable us to carry on providing the community with the many services we have been able to provide in the past and can provide in the future. Our district has started this year off well by attracting a net 28 members since 1 July.
My challenge to you is to keep this rate of increase going and for us to attract a further 100 new members by 30 June 2021, to bring our total number of members to 1250, the minimum number of members that Lions Club International require a district to have. It is not a big ask as it means on average that each of our 57 clubs would need to attract two new members. District will assist you wherever it can to achieve this goal.
Covid-19 and the restrictions it has required us to comply with has made us review what we do and how we do it. It has made us streamline our operations and adopt new ways of doing things. It has made us more cost conscious and forced us to use the new technology. This has been a direct benefit to all of us.
Our Constitution and bylaws were written last century, they need to be reviewed and brought up to date for the 21st century . We need not be confronted with what can’t be done, but with the edict of what we must do, so it can be done. The pace of change is with us and unless we take heed, our organisation, will go the way of other past organisations and become irreverent. We must not let this occur for the world is much better with the world’s greatest service organisation, Lions Clubs International.
My message to each of you is to help us continue to deliver our varied service activities to our communities and to ensure its continuance in future years by expanding the membership of our great service organisation.