Members and friends of the five Lions Clubs of District 59 congregated in the friendly village of San Estevan for the three day XXII Lions Convention. On Friday, April 16th, 1999 conventioneers from Belize City, Belmopan, San Pedro and Stann Creek joined San Estevan for the first day of the convention. After registration was finalized and souvenir/program booklets were handed out, the individual clubs immediately started working towards three days of unity, sharing and showcasing their individual clubs and culture.
A general welcome was extended to the attendees by the convention
committee followed by the introduction of dignitaries and special guests,
past District Governors and Club Presidents. This was followed by a
presentation of the club queens. Representing San Pedro Lions was lovely
Miss Irenie Gonzalez who was escorted to the stage by Lion President and her
father, Ruben Gonzalez. Miss Ingrid Hoare represented the Belize City Lions
Club and was escorted by President, Constance Sandiford. San Estevan Lion
President, Andres M. Medina then escorted their queen Miss Ariani Zamora to
the stage. Belmopan and the Stann Creek Lions Club did not have a queen
representing them at the convention. Lion Alberto F. Malher then proceeded
with the District Governor's remarks. Continuing on, San Estevan Lions Club
entertained with a classic cultural presentation. Belize City Lions Club
followed with a humorous rendition by a dynamic Lion Joan Burrell depicting
the Creole Culture, speaking about the ways of life of days gone by and the
lifestyle of the new generation. This presentation clearly got the attention
of all present. Lion Terence Boswell Inniss, 1996 - 1998 Lions International
Director then took the stage and gave conventioneers a message on behalf of
Another of the highlights was the hospitality booths. The five clubs each portrayed a theme of the culture/tradition where the specific club comes from. This year the San Pedro Lions Club emphasized the conch industry in San Pedro. The booth was designed to look like a skiff and was decorated with nets, anchors and other fishing equipment. The well attended booth featured San Pedro's famous conch ceviche, tasty conch fritters with mustard sauce and our popular Coco Loco and Rum Punch.
The second day of the convention Saturday, April 17th began with a morning seminar held at the San Estevan Lions Den. The Leadership Development Seminar was headed by Past District Governor, Lion Carlos G. Santos. During the seminar Past International Director Lion Inniss spoke about the importance of publicity and the importance of inducting new members. He expressed his admiration with the total amount of new inductees during the convention. The incoming District Governor, Lion Leonides F. Cuellar also gave his remarks during the seminar. The election of Vice Governor then proceeded. Lion Ahmad Shaheed, President of the Belmopan Lions Club, was nominated and accepted the post of Vice Governor 1999-2000. The convention site for the year 2000 was discussed and it was unanimously agreed that it be held in Belmopan. Following the meeting lunch was served and the members were invited to a tour of Progresso Village and then relaxation at Medina's Beach nearby. After a relaxing afternoon Lions went back to their hotels to get ready for the evening program. After the unexpected occurrence the Lions were back on track. In honor of invited guest Past International Director Lion Terrence Boswell Inniss, the National Anthem of Trinidad and Tobago was played followed by the Belize National Anthem. During the evening Barabara's Dance School of San Pedro Town entertained as well as performances from Estevan Dance Group. The club queens were also required to make a presentation that evening. Miss Lions Belize, Ingrid Hoare entertained with a "hot" dance carnival style. Miss Lions San Estevan, Ariani Zamora gave a presentation on teenage values. Irenie Gonzalez, Miss San Pedro Lions made an impressive performance with emphasis on the protection of the reef. After a narration of the delicate reef she danced to a medley of songs. She wore an elaborate headpiece showing various species of creatures native to our Barrier Reef and a detailed costume. She ended with a different costume dancing to the popular song "Mujer Latina" which spoke about the culture and the pride of being a Latin Woman.
A very important ceremony took place that same evening. In commemoration of World Lions Induction Day, 39 new Lions were inducted in a ceremony held by Past International Director Lion Inniss. The San Pedro Lions Club had 14 new members inducted that evening. Even though all were not present their sponsors took their post during the ceremony. The new Lions joining San Pedro's Club are: Ada Ayuso, Yolanda Ayuso, Tere Gomez, Oneida Marin, Natalia Munoz, Carmelita Heredia, Randoph Cabral, Rosario Guerrero, Isela Graniel, Bina Kumul, Ramon Nuñez Sr., Elvia Staines, Jorge Varela and Gonzalo Lara.
After the induction ceremony, the crowning of the new Miss District 59 took place. Miss Isela Duran, outgoing queen, gave thanks to the Belize City Lions Club, her parents and District Governor Alberto Mahler for their support during her year. She then passed the crown and sash to San Estevan's Ariani Zamora who graciously accepted the position and mentioned that now her new motto is also "To Serve." A grand dance followed the ceremony with Electro Soundz.
On the third and last day of the convention, Lions and friends were invited to a religious service - mass at 8:00 a.m. held at the San Estevan R.C. Church after which the Lions parade through the main streets of San Estevan took place. Again the unexpected rain hindered with this program and instead of 10:00 a.m., the parade commenced later. The five clubs each decorated a float and were uniformed with T-shirts and/or with Lions jackets. San Pedro designed a T-shirt depicting a sun with a Lion's face and the slogan "Shining bright for the year 2000." The float depicted a typical San Pedro beach with a stuffed Lion relaxing. The background represented the blue waters in front of our island and a bright sun in the horizon. Miss San Pedro also adorned the float. Call it coincidence, but as soon as the San Pedro Lions Club was ready with their float the cloudy skies disappeared and the sun came out. Back at the San Estevan Lions Den, lunch was served while the International Director held a short meeting with present and past Lion Presidents. This was followed by the presentation of awards to the winning clubs. A jump up followed and as the afternoon celebrations mellowed down, the attendees started heading for home.
The San Pedro Lions came home with the first prize for Best Organized Group, second prize for the Best Float and a $100 cash prize for the most attendees (62) at the convention.
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