Delicious Day – Tale of District Changeover

These days my head is bursting at the seams with a million to-do-lists, a thousand littles worries, a hundred sleepless moments. So, those who know me will understand that the last place I wanted  to be on Sunday July 24th was a changeover where the sensory onslaught of a large number of people gathering together would cause me further difficulties. Those who know me, will also understand that this was something that I felt obligated to attend. But, those who know me, may find it more difficult to understand  that despite these difficulties and my reluctance, I found  the district changeover  a “delicious day” which I hope others will experience in future years.

I had plans to tell you about the ceremony, the presentation of the gongs and my tentative first steps as a District Officer, but things went a little haywire and I missed a large portion of the ceremony. For those who do want to know more about this aspect of the day, check out Lion Simon Moss’ blog post. Instead, I’m going to tell you about the things you don’t usually get told about on official Lions’ websites and blogs and in particular I’m going to address one of my husband’s favourite subjects – the food.

Food has always been an important part of Eric’s life. Back in the late 1980s when we first met, nouvelle cuisine was all the fashion and the subject of many of our conversations. Whilst haute cuisine may appeal to Eric, small portions definitely don’t and in this respect he found nouvelle cuisine distinctly lacking. Well, you can’t have too much of a good thing can you? It was therefore with some trepidation that I saw the dinner plates that were being served at other tables. The food was beautifully presented, but I could see that in Eric’s mind they might be a little lacking in quantity. However, I needn’t have worried. Time has moved on and Eric has become used to smaller meals and as the food itself was mouth watering there were no complaints forthcoming. It might also have helped that the company was excellent and Eric was enjoying himself talking to fellow Lions.

The meal was followed by the official changeover ceremony. District Governor Neil Chisholm was handed his chain of office by Immediate Past District Governor Martin Bye.

Neil’s mission statement for his year in office is “I want to put a SMILE on every Lions face as WE SERVE” and to mark this incoming District Officers were presented with a “Smile We Serve” badge and banner. SMILE incorporates a number of action areas for the Lionistic year including service, membership, international, leadership and enjoy. As part of the Youth Committee I am especially keen to focus my energies on promoting youth projects and in particular the Young Leaders in Service and Adopt a Youth Club.

Neil’s mission statement struck a chord with many of the Lions present who clearly enjoyed the presentations and waved their SMILE cards enthusiastically in support of incoming Officers.

The changeover culminated with the District Governor’s wife Beryl talking about this year’s Partner’s Project, Christians Against Poverty. She asked Clubs to provide practical and financial help for specific cases of debt where there is a genuine need. Both Eric and I have worked in positions where we have seen, and indeed Eric still sees, very needy cases which have been brought about by a change of circumstances completely beyond the control of the individuals concerned such as death, illness, injury etc. CAP helps people pay their way out of debt, but also helps with immediate support to buy food and clothing where appropriate.

My tale ends away from the changeover proceedings in a graveyard in Castle Bromwich. After the changeover Eric and I went to water the flower beds in our local graveyard. As we worked, we notice somebody tending a grave wearing a chain of office. The ensuing conversation revealed that it was a fellow Lion from Shakespeare Club who was taking the rare opportunity to visit a family grave after attending the Changeover dinner.

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Categories: District 105M

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