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District 105D - 49th Annual Convention 2014

The 49th Annual Convention of District 105D of Lions Clubs International was held at Holiday Inn Winchester, Telegraph Way, Morn Hill, Winchester SO21 1HZ on the 28th - 30th March 2014.

Convention 2014 delegates Past International Director Phil Nathan & Past International President Jim Ervin

Lion Dave Ebsworth Young Ambassador Award winner Jenny Russ speaks to Convention

The Convention is the annual general meeting for the 67 Lions Clubs reaching from Henley-on-Thames and Burnham in the north, through Hampshire to the Isle of Wight, across to Dorset and across the water to Jersey and Guernsey. The AGM gives the opportunity for Lions to meet together as friends not only to discuss past, current and future plans for the community service work and projects locally, nationally and internationally but also to have fun at social gatherings.

The weekend started on the Friday evening with the Host Night Cabaret and supper. Delegates were able to settle in and enjoy the singing of Cabaret Star Lisa Faye.

The morning of the 49th Annual Convention of District 105D started with over 150 Lions gathering for the formal opening ceremony. The District Governor David Merchant introduced the Distinguished Guests, Past International President Jim Ervin a member of Albany Lions Club, Georgia, USA and Past International Director Phil Nathan of South Woodham Ferrers Lions Club in Essex. 

During the morning session a short act of remembrance was held to commemorate Lions Club members who have passed away in the last 12 months. Nominations and resolutions for going forward into next year were debated and decided upon and the Past International President Jim Ervin gave the Convention Address. 

While the Lions were in Convention their partners enjoyed an interesting guided tour around Winchester College, founded in 1382 and believed to be the oldest continuously running school in the country.

On the close of the morning session the Lions dispersed to 3 Convention Workshop sessions to discuss plans to commemorate the centenary of Lions Clubs International in 3 years time (2017).

The afternoon session started with Past International Director Phil Nathan giving a presentation about the Lions Europa Forum which is being held in Birmingham from 30th October to 2nd November this year. He showed a video and explained how the Europa Forum gives the opportunity for the members of Lions Clubs from all over Europe and guests from all nations worldwide to share ideas and experiences and learn from each other.

More details can be found at:

Awards and certificates of appreciation were presented prior to the adoption of reports from the various district teams and committees. The Lions' spouses and partners returned to the Convention Room

A presentation was then given by the Young Ambassador Award winner Jenny Russ sponsored by Jersey Lions Club.  The Young Ambassador Award is given to the winner of the District Competition for young people who work voluntarily within their communities. The aim of the scheme, which operates throughout Europe, is to recognise, encourage and support young people who are actively involved in the welfare of the community, which in turn supports the best of our Lions ideals. Each candidate is sponsored by their

local Lions Club. Jenny was given a standing ovation by Convention before being formally presented with the Young Ambassador Trophy by Past International President Jim Ervin.

The Keynote Speech was then given by Brian Higgins from the charity ‘Missing People', the charity supported by the District Governor's wife Lion Diana Merchant as her chosen charity this year. Brian spoke about ‘Missing People' being the only charity dedicated to bringing missing children and adults back to their families. He detailed the support given 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by their dedicated team.

The results of the ballot for the next District Governor, the First and Second Vice District Governors were then announced and District Governor elect Mike Hendy, 1st Vice District Governor Alan Chapman and 2nd Vice District Governor David Taylor took their places on the stage to address Convention.

The host committee for next year's District Convention was presented on stage.  The location for the next Lions District 105D Convention will be at the Wessex Hotel, Bournemouth.

A summary of the day was given by Past International President Jim Ervin before the closing ceremony was performed.

The day didn't end there. Lions and guests enjoyed themselves at the Banquet and Ball through to the small hours of Sunday morning.

Article by Lion Richard Keeley - District PRO

Pictures by Lions Rita Daubeney, Richard Keeley & Tom Sayers

For pictures of Host Night                                                 Click Here

For pictures of Convention Meeting                                  Click Here

For pictures of the District Awards                                    Click Here

For pictures of the Convention Banquet & Ball                  Click Here

For pictures of the Sunday Forum                                      Click Here

Past International President Jim ErvinListen to Past International President Jim Ervin's address to Convention with introduction by DG David

District Governor - Lion David Merchant

Wow! What an incredible Convention weekend.

Our International Guest, Past International President Jim Ervin, along with his wife Sharon, arrived at the Holiday Inn around 2:30pm on Friday in the company of Past International Director Phil Nathan and Lion Heidi-Ann Nathan. After introductions and a chance for our visitors to freshen up and settle into their rooms it was time for a Cabinet Meeting, whilst the partners enjoyed tea with Lion Diana. Friday evening was a wonderful evening of entertainment, led by the superb Lisa Faye, whose singing was appreciated by everyone. She completed a cabaret slot with songs from popular musicals and then sang more songs for dancing to and the dance floor was still full when the evening came to it's resounding conclusion.

PDG Fred Massey with DG David Merchant

The Business Sessions were very well attended, as were the Workshops, and it was also the inspirational presentations which added to the weight of the day. These were from Past President Jim, Past International Director Phil, Young Ambassador Winner Jenny Russ and Mr Brian Higgins from Missing People. The usual Business was conducted with enthusiasm and interest and the new District Governor Team of Mike Hendy, Alan Chapman and David Taylor were duly elected into office. I had made some changes and amendments including the placing of roses into vases as the names of those Lions who have passed to Higher Service were read and this seems to have been appreciated by many. The Workshops centred on the preparations for our Centennial Celebrations and you will hear much more of all this in due course. I was honoured to welcome Senior Lions from other Districts to our Convention - a sure sign we know how to celebrate Convention here in 105D.

Saturday evening saw the usual Banquet and Ball which was another success and a sell out - a rare occurrence at 105D Conventions in recent years. Again, many were still on the dance floor at the end of another enjoyable evening during which the formalities were kept to the absolute minimum.

Around 75 Lions and guests were in the Hampshire Suite for 10am on Sunday morning - despite the clocks moving forward and it being Mother's Day. This included a recap on the Workshops, further presentations of awards which I kept to a minimum on Saturday and a lively Question and Answer session in which Jim Ervin, Phil Nathan and Council Chair Phil Robinson had agreed to field questions. We concluded with our now customary bacon rolls to end our weekend's festivities.

Our District Convention 2014 was a truly wonderful and exhilarating experience and one which will live with us for ever. I am so grateful to everyone who was involved especially those who organised this annual get-together and to all of those Lions and guests who joined us, whether for part or all of the weekend. It was this support and total involvement of everyone which made such a difference and helped make our Convention the success it was.

Your District Governor,

David Merchant

[Photo taken at District Convention 2014 by Lion Rita Daubeney shows PDG Fred Massey and DG David Merchant]