Last weekend, the San Pedro Lions Club held their 30th annual installation of its board of directors. The Lions of San Pedro inducted Lion Isela Graniel as the third woman president for their club. In addition to inducting the President, fourteen Lion members accepted the responsibility to direct the club into the year 2006 to complete the new San Pedro Lions Club Board of Directors.
Numerous friends joined the members at the Lions Den to celebrate this special occasion for the Lions of San Pedro. Lions from far and near gathered at the beautifully decorated den to celebrate this joyous occasion. Lion Eiden Salazar was the Master of Ceremonies for the official part of the program and welcomed all to a most happy event. Lion Abel Guerrero, Lay Minister of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church led the gathering with a prayer and Mayor of San Pedro, Elsa Paz then gave the welcome address. She stated that the Lions of San Pedro have contributed greatly to the growth of Ambergris Caye. Mayor Paz mentioned that the Lions have come a long way and applauded the great work done by President Nita Marin.
Outgoing President Nita Marin gave her official report mentioning that through her year attendance was at 69 percent and gave a detailed account of all the projects carried out by her, the board of directors and the club in the year 2004-2005.
Lion Dr. Chris Bennett, Zone Chairman of the Belize Lions made the honors of officially inducting the new board of directors of the club. He went on to call on the new board members reminding them of their responsibilities as part of the board. Lion Bennett read each of the duties of the chosen directors as a reminder of the important task they had spearheading the club. “This is an important and meaningful event and I would like to remind the members that the club is only as strong as its members. The Board does not make the club.” The new Board of Directors consists of the following: President – Isela Graniel; Immediate Past President – Nita Marin; 1st Vice President – Baldemar Graniel; 2nd Vice President – Melly Kumul; 3rd Vice President – Carmen Eiley; Secretary – Ruben Gonzalez; Treasurer - Abel Guerrero Sr.; Tail Twister – Alex Eiley; Lion Tamer - Lupe Casarez; Two year Directors – Milo Paz and Joe Alamilla; One year Directors – Gerardo Reyes and Stephen Manuel; Attendance – Angel Nuñez.
Lion Graniel gave an acceptance speech in which she asked for the support of all the members for a fruitful year. The invited guest for this important occasion was past District Governor Lion Leo Cuellar. Lion Cuellar eloquently spoke of the importance of Lionism in San Pedro and the good work they have done serving the less fortunate in this community. He applauded the wonderful achievements made by Immediate Past President Nita Marin and winning the Club of the Year award. Lion Cuellar went on to challenge President Graniel into performing well in her year as President. “The last two years have been record years. Lion Milo Paz and his Board of Directors as well as Lion Marin and her Board of Directors made major accomplishments. We know you will make your accomplishments as well President Graniel.”
Awards were presented by Immediate Past President Marin honoring hardworking Lions that contributed to her success. A great honor was bestowed on twelve Lion members this year – receiving the Melvin Jones Award. Presented to Lions who are constantly showing their devotion and loyalty to the club, ten members received it from San Pedro and two from Caye Caulker Village. Amazingly only seven Lions in the entire country of Belize had received this honor. Special Melvin Jones Awards were received by Felipe Paz Sr., Pete Salazar, Baldemar Graniel, Ramon Nuñez, Angel Nuñez, Jose Alamilla, Ruben Gonzalez, Milo Paz Jr., Nita Marin, and Fransisco Verde, all from San Pedro. Receiving the Melvin Jones Awards from Caye Caulker were Ernesto Marin and Hortence Young.
Following the award ceremony, Lions Queen Idolly Staines delivered the Vote of Thanks and before ending the official part of the evening, Lion Salazar invited the gathering to join in the traditional singing of the Lions theme song. A light dinner was served and music was provided by Memo and the Rompe Raja.