SP Lions Club installs new Board of Directors

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 14, No. 25            July 22, 2004

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2004 - 2005 San Pedro Lions Board of Directors

In a formal ceremony held last Saturday, July 17th, the San Pedro Lions Club installed its new Board of Directors for the year 2004-2005. Inducted as the Chief Executive Officer (President) was Lion Nita Marin. A large number of Lions from Belmopan, Belize City, San Estevan and an impressive delegation from the Chetumal, Mexico Lions Club joined the local members at the elegantly decorated Lions Den to celebrate this special occasion held to honor the Lions of "La Isla Bonita."

    Lion Abel Guerrero Sr., Lay Minister of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church, led the gathering with a prayer and Miss San Pedro Lions Queen Nicole Nuñez gave the welcome address.

    Belize Lions Zone 59 Chairman Robert " Bobby" Lopez of Belmopan had the distinguished pleasure of installing the new and dynamic Lions team. Lion Lopez read the duties of the chosen directors as a reminder of the important tasks they accepted as leaders of the Club. Immediately after the installation ceremony, newly inducted Lion President Nita Marin gave her acceptance speech in which she commented, "I recognize the work and responsibilities that I assume today, along with my Board of Directors, but I want to remind each and every member of the Club, that they too play a vital part in this challenge. It is imperative to have your support, and to serve when we are called upon. I also ask the same of the Zone Chairman Bobby Lopez and his Cabinet. My goals are simple. First, I want to unite, as one body, the membership of the Club with the purpose of delegating the future projects equally. I would also like to improve the attendance of our general meetings, BOD meetings and sub-committee meetings. I also want to see the end of the construction of the San Pedro Lions Polyclinic II and to see that it begins its vital service to the residents and tourists of this community. With your help, I also want to improve the use of the Mosquito Lions Park for the benefit of the public and visitors to our island. Another goal of mine is to form a new Leos Club, for our youth are the hope and the future of Lionism in 'La Isla Bonita'." In closing, the new Lions President stated, "Success is not for those who believe they can do something, but for those who make it a reality."

    The keynote speaker for the evening was San Pedro's first Lion President and the island's first District Governor, Pedro Salazar Sr. In his address Lion Salazar stated, "History shows that San Pedranos have always strived to better their community and their quality of life through tireless efforts, hard work and dedication. Early residents of San Pedro, at great risk and under extremely challenging conditions, have made prudent and wise decisions, aware that these would bring upon them extreme challenge and serious responsibilities. One being the formation of a fisherman's cooperative known as Caribeña Producers Society Limited chartered in March of 1963, and the second being the signing of a lease agreement for the completion of the San Pedro Lions Polyclinic II." He continued by focusing on a very significant topic and one that the Lions of Belize have recently addressed - youths. In regards to this, Lion Pedro Salazar said, "I would now like to direct your attention to another issue. San Pedranos have always been dedicated and arduous workers caring for their families and community - not solely dependent on others or government. They made a success of their fishing cooperative; their Lions Club is vibrant and dynamic. The fishing cooperative, Caribeña Producers, provided a basic infrastructure, allowing tourism to arrive on our shores. Progress - rapid growth followed, translating into a more comfortable and pleasant life for San Pedro residents. However, they also experienced drastic changes in their lifestyles. It is this factor that I wish to take time to assess - how these changes have impacted us older folks, our children, and our youth. Older folks were able to confront and resist some negative changes, but what about our youth? Compared to us, our children are growing up in a different world, with a completely different lifestyle, making them more vulnerable than us. Reason calls for us to assist them. Are we doing so or are we doing enough to guide them on the right path? For starters, we need to acknowledge that our youths are exposed to many temptations which would lead them astray, that is, away from schools, to fall into crime or become drug users. Our schools are experiencing more student drop outs - a side effect being increased teenage pregnancy. We even hear of gang activities in our streets and schools; there is not much interest in preserving our culture, traditions and family values. And the list goes on. Tonight the occasion calls for a happier tune - but I could not resist taking this wonderful opportunity to impress upon you the critical need to render some attention to our youth. In closing, I would like to remind you of our Lionistic commitment and our motto - WE SERVE. If that is so - let us touch the LIFE of our youth."

    Zone Chairman Bobby Lopez, then addressed the gathering, taking the opportunity to briefly explain his plan of action for the year 2004- 2005. Apart from the many projects at hand, Lion Lopez emphasized that the youth are his main priority. "Lions must take the leadership role in creating a standard pattern in our approach to serving youth. Instead of seeing our youth as part of the problem, let us view them as an integral part of the solution. To do so, we must first accept responsibility for the state of our youth today and then act," he stated.

    A special program was also presented by Mr. Ian Anderson who introduced a project to help troubled youth he calls "BADCATS." This project calls for youths at risk to converge at a predestined location where they can be "one with nature" and learn skills that will be useful in the future, molding them into exemplary citizens of this country. The presentation was well received and the Lions hope to join Mr. Anderson in this endeavor.

    Outgoing SP Lions President Milo Paz Jr. then took time to award deserving Lions who helped him throughout his year. Following the Vote of Thanks by Lion Manuel Heredia Jr., dinner and snacks were served, followed by a dance and much fellowship.

    The 2004-2005 Board of Directors of the San Pedro Lions Club consists of the following: President - Nita Marin, Immediate Past President - Milo Paz Jr., 1st Vice President - Joe Alamilla, 2nd Vice President - Baldemar Graniel Sr., 3rd Vice President - Melly Kumul, Secretary - Edilberto "Beto" Marin, Treasurer - Abel Guerrero Sr., Lion Tamer - Lupe Caceres, Tail Twister - Mel Spain, One-Year Directors - Alex Eiley and Melanie Paz, Two-Years Directors - Ruben Gonzalez and Gerardo Reyes.

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