Lion Governor Elect, Leonides "Leo" Cuellar held the Cabinet's first meeting and swearing-in ceremony at his home in Belize City on August 1st, 1999. Representatives from the five clubs were present at this important meeting. On display were several souvenirs, video tape and literature that Lion Cuellar brought back from the Governor's School and Convention he attended in San Francisco, California, USA. During the meeting, a detailed financial report of district funds was circulated and read by outgoing Cabinet Secretary/Treasurer, PDG Liliana Lagos.
Outgoing District Governor Lion Alberto Mahler then gave his report. He reflected on his year's term as Governor and handed out awards to those who worked closely and supported him during his year. He briefly reviewed each club's membership for the year. Presently the membership of each club is as follows: Belize City - 61; San Pedro - 54; Stann Creek - 36; Belmopan - 26 and San Estevan - 20. He also commented that he did not accomplish all his goals during his term, but was satisfied with the progress of all the clubs.
The incoming District 59 Governor then gave his speech. He spoke about the visions that great men and women had. In 1917, it was Melvin Jones, Founder; in 1925, Helen Keller had a vision and in 1999, Jim Ervin, International President for the year 1999-2000 also had a vision. His vision is that every Lions Club in the world board four ships that will propel this association across the sea of destiny, into the next millenium of service to humanity. The four ships that Lion Ervin is speaking about are MEMBERSHIP, FELLOWSHIP, LEADERSHIP AND PARTNERSHIP. Governor Cuellar challenged each club to increase their membership, retain membership and membership quality. He also challenged each club to celebrate the new millenium by contributing $2,000 to Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). He asked each club to join in partnership with our area Diabetes Association and if there is none, to help form one. Governor Cuellar ended his speech saying, "While the word may vary in each of the 26 languages in Lionism, the concept of voyaging together toward a common goal is universal. I am ready to board my "ship." I have a clear vision of our destination. It is a new century of service where Lions Clubs International will be seen as the leading light in a brightening sea. Share my vision, board our ships."
Governor Cuellar then discussed his action plan for the year 1999-2000. He spoke about thirteen important topics that he would like each club to adapt. Some of the these include: every club to earn the President's Excellence Award 1999-2000; visit as a club at least one other Lions Club in District 59 or abroad during their business meeting; form or join a Diabetes Awareness Association; conduct one major activity and one major fundraiser; make sure that all new members are properly inducted and indoctrinated and involved by assigning them a working activity or service committee. Members of the Cabinet for the fiscal year 1999-2000 were then sworn in. Each member read the duties of his respective position.
The dates and venues for the upcoming cabinet meetings were then discussed. It was agreed that the next meeting be held in San Pedro Town on October 24th followed by San Estevan on February 18th, 2000 and then in Belmopan in May. The governor discussed possible dates for his visits to the clubs. During his visit he will hold discussions with the board and members of each club. It was decided that August 29th be the date for the Club Officer's School that will be held in Belize City. An open discussion period was next concerning the matters presented by cabinet members. During this period it was reported that the member's fees had increased by BZ$3 until July 2000 when they will be increased by another $3. The always touchy question regarding District 59's provisional status also came up. District Governor responded that at the Governor's Convention it was revealed that seven countries fall under this category. The governors held an extra session to discuss their position but no decision was made by LCIF. The Governor also made mention of the regional convention that will be held in Costa Rica but stressed that it was very important to attend our national conventions.
President of the San Pedro Lions Club, Severo Guerrero then presented two checks to the governor. One for the club's dues and another for $500 as a donation to Cabinet. The meeting was then adjourned and refreshments and a light lunch were served. Present during the meeting was District 59 Queen, Miss Ariani Zamora from San Estevan and Ms. Betty McBride of the Belize Diabetes Association.
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