DG Blog 22/23
Tuesday, 11th July
As one door closes, another one opens…The start of my IPDG year!! Thank you District 105SC for ALL your support during my DG year, both as DG and personally, it has been much appreciated by myself and Annie - see you on the 'other side!' 🦁
Friday, 7th July
I had a very pleasant morning together with Maidenhead Lions, the Mayor of Maidenhead and local MP the Right Honourable Teresa May, planting a tree in Kidwells Park, Maidenhead to commemorate Maidenhead Lions Club 50th anniversary.
During the evening I met with 1st VDG Sandra and 2nd VDG Di where we had a planning meeting to discuss the forthcoming year and had a very nice dinner cooked by Di!
Thursday, July 6th
This evening I had a meeting on zoom with the MD Convention team, (those that weren't in Boston of course!), things are slowly coming together for next year's Convention.
Friday, 30th June
This afternoon we had the pleasure of Tom and Juliet's company, for a lovely social afternoon/evening together at a local restaurant - this was in part because we are friends and we haven't got together in a while, but mostly to say a huge 'thank you' to them both, for helping me (and Annie) during my DG year. They have been a huge support, both with their advice and doing various things, sometimes at very short notice (I'm a bit of a last minute.com nightmare!). In particular they worked so hard at Convention, I can't thank them enough ☺️ Juliet also presented us with a hand made clock that she had made 'in her spare time' (has she ever got any?), to commemorate my DG year, what a thoughtful and lovely gift.
Sunday, 25th June
Today Annie and I attended our last charter event together as Mr and Mrs DG, and as it happens it was my own clubs (Reading) 58th Charter anniversary! I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but touch wood I've not had any side effects from the chemo yet, so we managed to go. We had a lovely afternoon tea, great entertainment and lots of chatter with old friends, who could ask for more but it was blinking hot 🥵
Friday, 23rd June
Today was an emotional day for me, as I started my first chemotherapy treatment for my Prostate Cancer. Annie went with me but she wasn't allowed in the ward, so she waited patiently for 3 hours until I had finished! I was very nervous, but the nurses and all the staff were so kind, I can't speak highly enough of them. My infusion was only an hour, but I am trying the very glamorous 'cold cap' to try and hang on to what hair I've got left (!), so that takes longer. Fingers crossed 🤞 I don't get too many side effects, or if I do they are mild…
This evening I was supposed to have been at Sandown and Shanklin Lions Club, IOW for their club meeting, to present 3 Melvin Jones awards and some District Governor awards. For obvious reasons I couldn't attend, so PDG Lion Roger Huntley and LCIF Officer Lion Ann Huntley attended and presented the awards on my behalf (thank you!).
Monday, 19th June
Tonight I held a zoom meeting with the past District Governors, to discuss the vacancy for DG next year. This is an ongoing situation and the district will be updated as developments occur.
Friday 16th-Sunday 18th June
Today (Friday) we flew over and spent the weekend with the Lions Club of Guernsey. We had a lovely time and were shown around the island by Club President Lion Paul and his wife Karen. We met the club for a business dinner and heard all about their projects and service they are doing, we also had dinner on Saturday with a French club they twin with. A great weekend, thank you.
Wednesday, June 14th
Tonight I attended a business meeting at Romsey & Waterside Lions Club, where a full agenda was discussed including fund raising events and service projects. I also presented some service awards.
Monday, June 12th
This morning Annie and I attended my pre chemotherapy assessment appointment, at the Berkshire Cancer Centre at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. We had a lovely nurse called Kate who showed us around the ward where I'll be having my treatment, and discussed everything with us and answered all our questions - she was very kind.
In the evening I attended my clubs dinner meeting at the Crown Plaza hotel in Reading.
Sunday, June 11th
So this morning it was up with the lark and off to Marwell Zoological Park near Winchester, to help with the district fun day. We had over 1000 disadvantaged children and their carers arrive, to spend the day at the park and a lovely day was had by all, albeit blinking hot (especially in the Lion costume!!).
Thursday, June 8th
Tonight I attended Ringwood & Fordingbridge Lions Club business meeting, which was extremely well attended. During the meeting I presented a service award followed by a presentation to Lion Yorky Tuke of the Bert Mason Trophy and a bouquet of flowers to Dot for her support of Yorky. This was such a well deserved award - we then finished the evening with a glass of something and cake!
Wednesday, 7th June
Tonight I dipped in to next years zone chairs training on zoom!
Monday, June 5th
Tonight, I went to a business meeting with the Lions Club of Swindon, where we discussed their forthcoming clubs activities and I had great pleasure in presenting zone chair Richard High with a service award and a DG certificate of appreciation. I also gave Lion Steve Austin a service award - an interesting meeting.
Friday, June 2nd
Tonight I went to a business meeting with the Lions Club of Eastleigh - it was a well attended meeting where lots was discussed and it was my pleasure to hand out a service award.
Wednesday, 31st May
Today Annie was invited to Hart Lions Club 'posh' afternoon tea, which she attended alongside 1st VDGE Lion Sandra. A fabulous event including a fashion show by a local boutique called 'Mimi's', and funds raised from the raffle going to Brian Tumour Research, which was a fantastic £1,400 (give or take). A special thanks to Lion Linda for inviting Annie and the special DG doggy bag sent home for me!
Tuesday, 30th May
This afternoon I had a meeting at my house with 1st VDGE Lion Sandra and 2nd VDGE Lion Dianne discussing all things District and making plans for the forthcoming year.
Friday, 26th May-Monday 29th May
This weekend was a family weekend spent in Leicestershire, celebrating our youngest nephew Matthew's wedding to his beautiful bride, Amy. We had a fun filled, emotional weekend with all the family, the weather was kind to us and we came away exhausted!! We drove home on bank holiday Monday, had a quick 'nanny nap' (!) then it was off to meet the Maltese Lions for dinner before they left Tuesday morning to go to London for a couple of days before their flight home.
Thursday, 25th May
Today I was up early and hot footed it up to Heathrow to collect 9 ladies from the Mdina-Malta Host Lions Club from Malta, who flew over to attend a 2 day Mental Health First Aid course in Reading. We came back to Reading where Annie met us at their hotel for coffee (which turned into lunch!), then later on in the day we returned and met them for a business meeting and afternoon tea hosted by my club. Lots of chatter, projects and exchange of ideas took place and it was lovely to see Lion President Sandra and all the ladies who are always so hospitable when Annie & I go to Malta, plus Lion Bill and Sue from Abingdon Lions Club joined us as they also know the ladies from their trips to Malta.
Monday, 22nd May
Tonight I attended my club's monthly business meeting.
Sunday, 21st May
This lunchtime we attended Alton Lions Club 50th Charter lunch, which again was very well attended. There were 3 original charter members at the lunch which was lovely to see and we had a fabulous lunch. I handed out some service awards, a 50th service award to Lion David Hodder and a 50th certificate of appreciation signed by HRH Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.
In the evening I chaired my last Cabinet meeting of the year, where I presented awards including the Bert Mason award to Lion Yorky Tuke. This will be handed over in person on Thursday 8th June at the Ringwood & Fordingbridge Lions Club meeting, all are welcome.
Saturday, 20th May
Tonight, Annie & I attended Westbury Lions Club 50th Charter, which was very well attended. 50 years of service - what an achievement! I was proud to hand out 2 District Governor certificates of appreciation, 2 Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards and a 50th certificate of appreciation signed by HRH Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.
Thursday, 18th May
Tonight's meeting was a GAT meeting where we discussed membership and the need for supporting clubs. We also caught up with GLT and GST, a good meeting.
Tuesday, 16th May
This afternoon Annie & I saw my oncologist for all my results. Unfortunately I was told the devastating news that my cancer has now spread to both sides of my pelvis and my abdomen. So after discussion it was decided the best course of action was chemotherapy, so I start 6 rounds of chemo in June, which may be extended to 10 if I need extra. I won't lie, this news is a big blow for Annie & I, but all we ask is to be treated normally and we thank you for your support.
Monday, 15th May
So tonight I attended a business meeting at Chippenham Lions Club, which was well attended and lots of interesting discussion held, a very active club,
Sunday, 14th May
This morning I caught the early ferry from the Isle of Wight back home, where I spent the day in the garden. Sadly it has been neglected of late, on account of us never being at home!! I might've had a little 'nanny' nap as well if I'm honest, this DG lark is pretty tiring sometimes 😂
Saturday, 13th May
So it was a quick turn round from last night and off to the Isle of Wight, to Sandown and Shanklin Lions Charter dinner. Annie unfortunately wasn't with me, as she doesn't do boats in any shape or form 🤢 It was a lovely day so the ferry journey was smooth, and just a short drive from the ferry port to my hotel. I had a fabulous evening with the Club and they kindly allowed me to present Lion Ann Huntley with a LCIF medal.
Friday, 12th May
Tonight we attended Newbury Lions 53rd Charter dinner which was also a bit of a belated 50th, as this special celebration was cancelled due to the 'C' word!! We had a lovely meal, enjoyed good company and I was delighted to induct a new member and award 3 Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards. Annie and I were also overwhelmed to receive a very generous donation from the club to our charity of the year, My Cancer, My Choices - the clubs in our district have been so generous this year, we can't thank them enough.
Tuesday 2nd-Monday 8th May
Annie and I drove up to Newcastle with a stop over in Doncaster for one night for this years MD Convention, where I was deputy Convention Chair. We met many old friends (& made some new ones!) there and enjoyed a very informative and successful convention. Saturday's format was slightly different due to some special event going on...(!), so we had a break to watch His Majesty's Coronation. On Sunday morning it was announced that Lion Yorky Tuke had been awarded the Bert Mason award, which I had the pleasure of receiving on his behalf. On bank holiday Monday we drove back and stopped off to see our nephews, their partners and our great nieces in Coalville, the children didn't know we were coming so the look on their faces when they saw us was a picture!!
Sunday, 30th April
Today, with members and friends of Reading Lions Club we marshalled a 5k run at Palmer Park, where the monies raised will be going to Reading Lions Club for our Prostate Cancer Awareness day.
Saturday, 29th April
Today I went to Windsor, together with DGE David Taylor, where we delivered an orientation session to the Lions of my zone.
Wednesday, 26th April
In the evening I took part in a zoom meeting for this years MD convention.
Monday, 24th April
I attended New Milton Lions Club business meeting, which was very informative and I had the pleasure of handing out service awards adding up to 210 years, what an achievement!
Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd April
Up early, finished packing then off to Southampton airport to catch our flight to visit the Lions Club of Jersey. We had the pleasure of visiting their fabulous project, Maison Des Landes, where Jersey Lions have completed the refurbishment of the hotel, especially catering for people with disabilities and their carers. What a fantastic achievement! During the day Saturday Annie and I took 'Le Petit Train' from St Helier to St Aubin, we were very lucky with the weather. In the evening we were hosted at the Royal Channel Yacht Club by members of the Jersey Lions Club, and Sunday before flying home, Lion President Steve took us on a tour of the beautiful island of Jersey, which was very interesting (and thanks for the Jersey Royal Potatoes Steve!). We will be back…
Thursday, 20th April
I was invited to the Finance meeting held on zoom, as I will be chairing this next year.
Wednesday, 19th April
Here I am holding one of our new glasses bins, which will be one of many distributed around the Reading area, which I am very pleased with.
Tuesday, 18th April
Home from work and a quick change into my dinner suit, then off we went to Havant Lions Club charter dinner at the Brookfields Hotel. We had a very enjoyable evening and I had the pleasure of handing a certificate of appreciation to Lion Geoff Feilder for his service, as he is retiring from Lions.
Monday, 17th April
Today I had my CT scan at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, unfortunately I've got to wait 3 more weeks for the results which is difficult for Annie and I…
Saturday, 15th April
Today I attended a GST meeting at National HQ in Birmingham.
Thursday, 13th April
Tonight I attended Westbury Lions Club business meeting, during which I had the pleasure of presenting some service awards.
Wednesday, 12th April
Tonight I attended Crofton Lions Club business meeting, near Fareham. It was an interesting meeting.
Tuesday, 11th April
Tonight I actually managed to go to my own clubs (Reading) dinner meeting at the Crown Plaza in Caversham!
Thursday, 6th April
Tonight was a Zone Chairs meeting on zoom.
Wednesday, 5th April
Tonights zoom meeting was about preparations for MD Convention in Weston Super Mare in 2024, as I will be taking on the role of MD Convention Chair.
Tuesday, 4th April
Today was a bittersweet day for me, as firstly I received my blood test results from my oncologist for my PSA, which were, quite frankly, terrible. It was a huge blow - I am now waiting for an urgent CT scan, the current treatment I am on is not working, so after more tests and scans I have to go back and see the oncologist to discuss whether the cancer has now spread (which she thinks is likely), and the treatment going forward.
I had planned to go to the Lions UN day in London but after this news I didn't want to go. Annie persuaded me to go as she knew I would enjoy it, so I went with First Vice President Lion Kam from Reading, and we had a thoroughly interesting and informative afternoon, so I'm glad I went in the end.
Sunday, 2nd April
Today we celebrated Burnham Lions Club 23rd charter with a lovely lunch at The Pines Hotel, Burnham.
Sunday, 26th March
Today I hosted the DG team at our house, including Lions DGE David Taylor, 1st VDGE Sandra Manktelow and 2nd VDGE Di Hopkins where we talked at length about the the new DG year starting in July, and all things 'District'. It was a very productive day and we enjoyed a lovely lunch prepared by 'Mrs E!'.
Saturday, 25th March
This evening Annie and I attended Loddon Valley's 47th charter dinner at Bishopswood Golf Club in Tadley. We had a lovely evening and I was delighted to present 2 Melvin Jones Fellowship Awards tonight.
Thursday, 23rd March
Tonight's meeting was a GAT meeting held on zoom.
Wednesday, 22nd March
Tonight we had a 'wash up' meeting with regard to Convention, everyone agreed it went very well and we had lots of positive feedback about it, phew!!
Monday, 20th March
This morning I went for a blood test to see how my PSA is doing, fingers crossed the results will be positive.
Sunday, 19th March
Well, today I got up early and did a litter pick in the car park opposite our house, I haven't managed to do one for over a month so it was good to tidy it up and see it looking spic and span again!
Thursday, 16th March
We flew back in from Malta late last night, unfortunately Annie didn't feel well yesterday so she tested and was positive for the dreaded Covid this morning! Luckily at the moment I am negative but she is feeling quite poorly poor thing - we are supposed to be going to Norwich tomorrow to Lions105CE DG Chris Hibbert's Convention, sadly we have had to cancel ☹️
This evening I took part in an MD Convention meeting on zoom.
Wednesday 8th March - Wednesday 15th March
We flew off early for a lovely weeks break in our favourite place, Malta. The weather was warm and windy, we managed to get together with all our Maltese friends, some of whom are Lions.
On the Friday night we attended a host night dinner in Rabat with the Mdina-Malta Host Lions Club and several Lions Clubs from Italy and Croatia, who had flown over for a friendship weekend and Mdina-Malta Hosts 65th Charter.
On the Saturday night we were honoured to be the international guests at the Mdina-Malta Hosts 65th Charter dinner - I was present at the signing of the twinning documents between the Lions Clubs and also assisted in badging up 8 new members of the club, a great achievement!
On the Monday Annie and I met some of our oldest Maltese friends, Joe & Lil (we've been friends since we started visiting Malta nearly 25 years ago!), and had a lovely traditional home made Maltese lunch with them, celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary! Blimey, where does the time go…
Monday 6th March
Today was a manic tidy up day at home after Convention, and getting ready for going on holiday early Wednesday morning! I also had a zoladex injection in my stomach this morning, this is a regular 3 monthly hormone injection I have which helps to keep my cancer from spreading. I have to take it easy for the rest of the day when I've had this injection as it always makes me feel a bit off colour for the rest of the day, today was no exception…😣
Sunday, 5th March
Up (not quite so early) for the conclusion of Convention in the morning - we had an interesting open forum with PID Lion Per, then it was coffee and cake before waving goodbye to everyone, seeing them safely on their way! We then helped tidy up, packed up the car (much lighter than when we came!) and drove our weary way home…
Saturday, 4th March
Convention day - the day I've been waiting for! I won't lie, I was very nervous but it all went extremely well, with a few surprises along the way - Annie presented me with a 30 year service medal for our Pearl wedding anniversary next week! We did some good business, had some fantastic speakers, gave out lots of awards including a special International Presidents award, 2 MJF's and presented Annie's charity with a cheque for over £7000 raised so far - who could ask for more.
Then it was a quick turnaround for the dinner in the evening, themed around the carribean as we had a carribean steel band as entertainment and danced the night away after a busy day at convention.
A couple of photos are attached to the blog but more can be found on Lions105SC website under the gallery option.
Friday, 3rd March
Up early again and out in the morning with our International guests, where we had a leisurely morning down at GunWharf Quays. I took Per and Lene up the Spinnaker Tower (Annie doesn't do heights!), we were fortunate it was a beautiful day and the view around Portsmouth harbour to the Isle of Wight was breathtaking.
Back for Cabinet in afternoon and an afternoon tea hosted for the partners by Annie, then on to our host night based around 'Cops and Robbers' (for obvious reasons!). Just a couple of photos on the blog, if you want to see more please go to Lions105SC website and look at the photos in the gallery.
Thursday, 2nd March
So it was up early, meeting various convention committee members as they arrived at the hotel and then up to Heathrow at midday to meet our International guests, Past International Director Lion Per Christensen and his partner, Lion Lene Juul. After returning with them to the hotel and getting them settled in, we all had dinner together then helped with all the bag packing and preparation for the delegates tomorrow!
Wednesday, 1st March
Off we go to our Lions 105SC Convention in Portsmouth after I finished work, we couldn't get another blinking thing in the car!
Monday, 27th February
It is my birthday today, a very young 64 years old! I spent the first 2 hours at the DVT clinic at the Royal Berkshire Hospital having a scan etc. Fortunately I got the all clear, so Annie and I managed a birthday lunch at our favourite restaurant, the Elephant in Pangbourne before going our separate ways in the evening, me to a Lions business meeting and Annie to her choir!
Sunday, 26th February
Today we dashed back up to Birmingham for yet another suit fitting for my nephews wedding (how many do you need??), but unfortunately we ended the day in A&E at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading as my leg had swelled up so badly I thought I had a DVT. Eventually I had an injection in my stomach (ouch!) & told to return the following day.
Wednesday, 22nd February
Tonight I attended a European GAT meeting via zoom.
Tuesday, 21st February
Tonight I did a club visit to Woodley and Earley Lions club, where I was made most welcome and took part in a very constructive meeting.
Monday, 20th February
Today Annie & I drove to Weston Super Mare, met Brigid and visited various hotels and venues for MD Convention 2024. We had a horrendous journey down (over 3 hours!), so we were glad to get a bit of sea air, albeit so far out we couldn't see it!
Sunday, 19th February
Today Annie and I attended Blandford Lions 50th charter lunch, which was very well attended and we had a lovely time. I had the pleasure once again of presenting service awards and their 50th certificate, what an achievement! We were a bit embarrassed as we won first prize in their raffle, but someone's got to win, right?!
Wednesday 15th - Saturday 18th February
I had a very busy few days travelling to Birmingham to our National HQ, where I dropped off a car load of glasses, and then went to Newcastle by train with the lovely Brigid to see the venue for this years MD convention. We then returned to Birmingham and I went on to Dudley where the Young Ambassador competition was being held, to support our districts entrant, Jasmine Folkes. Competition was stiff but Jasmine presented herself very well but was pipped at the post by the candidate from District SE.
Friday, 10th February - Monday 13th February
This weekend we had a family weekend in Coalville and Birmingham, catching up with my brother & his wife, our 2 nephews, their respective fiancées and our 2 great nieces! Our youngest nephew is getting married in May, so it was all over to Slaters Menswear in Birmingham (other retailers are available!) for suit fittings with the wedding party, with 'Aunty Annie' acting as referee! Since when did weddings become so complicated…
Monday, 6th February
Tonight I attended Henley Lions Club business meeting, during which I gave out 2 service awards. A very interesting meeting.
Saturday, 4th February
Tonight Annie and I attended Chippenham Lions Charter Dinner at their local golf club. As we turned into the road there was a large complex of retirement homes so we knew we were in the right place! We had a lovely evening and again I was privileged to hand out service awards and honoured to present 2 Melvin Jones Fellowship awards.
Tuesday, 31st January
I attended a convention committee meeting via zoom, where we ran through the whole programme for convention in March.
Saturday, 28th January
So today I attended a full days Council meeting via zoom, then Annie and I got our glad rags on and had the pleasure of attending Fleet Lions Club Charter dinner. It is always a pleasure to attend charters and hand out service awards to members, this took a hilarious turn when I leant on the lectern which shattered on the floor and got the biggest laugh of the night!
Thursday, 26th January
Tonight I attended Windsor Lions presentation evening at Windsor Guildhall, where I was privileged to see how they distribute their funds to their local community. I also heard about the Electric Eels swimming club for Down's syndrome children and adults - they were so inspiring that I am going to invite them to talk at our convention.
Wednesday, 25th January
Tonight I held our regular GAT team meeting where we discussed issues that had been raised.
Monday, 23rd January
Today I travelled with PDG Lion Patrick Hamblin to Portsmouth, where we had a meeting at the Holiday Inn with the hotel convention team in preparation for my convention in March - it was a very successful meeting.
We then travelled back where we then went to our club business meeting at Reading in the evening.
Thursday, 19th January
Tonight I took part in a wash up meeting with my own club, Reading Lions over our Santa Sleigh 🛷
Wednesday 11th - Wednesday 18th January
Annie and I managed to snatch a quick week away in Fuerteventura, to have a rest after a very busy December and before a very busy few months ahead! We had a lovely holiday, the weather was warm and sunny, just what the doctor ordered!
Tuesday, 10th January
Tonight Annie and I took part in a one hour 'Mindfulness' taster session on zoom, courtesy of our charity of the year, My Cancer, My Choices. This was to see if either of us found it useful to go on and do a full course to help us come to terms with my cancer diagnosis - sometimes it's not just the physical symptoms that need help, it's your mental health as well.
Sunday, 8th January
Tonight I held my first Cabinet meeting of the year, where I had guest speakers Peter Burch from Dent Aid and our very own Council Chair, Lion Alistair Joel where he talked about his role and a particular concern to us all, insurance. The meeting was well attended and lots of business carried out.
Saturday, 7th January
At midday I had the pleasure of sitting in via zoom to listen to the District's Young Ambassador competition. Our finalist to go to the MD competition final is Jasmine Folkes, representing Ringwood and Fordingbridge. What an inspiring young lady she is, we wish her lots of luck in the final in Dudley in February, and if you want to know more, please go to the relevant web page.
In the evening, Annie and I, together with friends attended a gala dinner in aid of our nominated charity, My Cancer My Choices, hosted by Philip Vokes, a local businessman at the Hilton Hotel in Reading. We had a fabulous night, good food, good company and danced the night away - hopefully lots of money was raised for this wonderful charity.
Wednesday, 4th January
Tonight I had a catch up Christmas Float meeting with the 'Santa' team from my club, via zoom 🎅🦁
Monday, 2nd January
This morning we visited Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary near Wallingford, Oxon to drop off a load of ginger nuts for the donks as a belated Christmas treat. Annie and I have been long time supporters of the sanctuary and in fact Annie was both trustee and chair there, as was I a trustee before I started my District Governor role. Annie particularly loves going over there, her Mum used to adore donkeys and we would visit there when she stayed with us, and it is Annie's 'happy' place. They look after the donks so well, many of whom have been mistreated and traumatised in their lives before being rescued by the sanctuary.
Thursday, 29th December
We had a lovely (postponed) Christmas dinner tonight with our good friends, Simon & Jane (& their son Mark), where us boys started planning a sponsored cycle ride that we want to complete in aid of our nominated charity, My Cancer My Choices. This will hopefully be going ahead in May/June time, watch this space! The photo below is from when I completed Ride London in 2019 following my Prostate Cancer diagnosis, cycling 50 miles in aid of Prostate Cancer with my friend Simon & his son, Mark (with our little great niece holding the banner!!), plus my nephew Marc and his friends - we managed to raise over £12,000.
Wednesday, 28th December
Back to work for me - I do have a day job (!) and it is a very busy time of year for us, so it was all hands to the pump as crime stops for no one, even over the Christmas period unfortunately…
Monday, 19th December
Today I was supposed to be supporting Annie and her choir at Sainsburys, Reading but unfortunately like many people, we got struck down with the lurgy, so it put us out of action for the week before Christmas - luckily this was Annie's last choir commitment but as she had no voice she wasn't able to sing. We felt proper poorly (as my mother would've said!) and it took a while to get over unfortunately…This is what a poorly, worn out DG looks like!!
Sunday, 18th December
This morning I got wrapped up warm again as the weather hadn't improved much (plus it was raining!), and played Father Christmas on the Lions Christmas Float at Tesco, Reading. The weather unfortunately had a bit of an impact on the footfall, but we remained cheerful to the end! 🎅 No photos I'm afraid as the weather was awful…
Minus 5 degrees outside at 8am, so I wrapped up warm and took myself off to Waitrose, Tilehurst to play Father Christmas on the Reading Lions Club Christmas Float all day. We were joined by Annie's choir in the morning, Take Note Community Choir who sang 2 sessions and helped us raise much needed funds for the local community. Father Christmas doesn't normally give out gifts, but this was a special little man who paid us a visit (Annie's god daughters son). A little excitement before all this with Mrs E chasing shoplifters - once a Police Constable, always a Police Constable… 🤦♀️ 👮🏻
My day off this week - Annie and I were joined by my work colleague (& friend) Judith and we went for our Christmas outing (Oh no we didn't!). A great afternoon at the Theatre Royal in Windsor watching the panto Sleeping Beauty (this wasn't me by the way…), then a smashing dinner at The Ivy (highly recommended if you are in Windsor) with a spectacular light show on the Garter Tower of Windsor Castle. A lovely, relaxing day ☺️
Wednesday, 14th December
Tonight I attended Basingstoke Lions business meeting, hosted by Lion President Diane Hopkins. It was a good meeting, and at the end I had the pleasure of presenting two 50 year service awards, one to Lion Brian Locock and one to Lion George Johns (who unfortunately could not be present). What a fantastic achievement and a huge honour for me to present these awards.
Photos to follow…
Monday, 12th December
Tonight I accompanied Annie to Reading Railway Station where she joined her choir, Take Note Community Choir in singing to raise funds for the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading. A good time was had by all, albeit freezing blinking cold!
Afterwards we went for a belated birthday meal for Mrs E to The Elephant restaurant in Pangbourne - they cook the most delicious steaks on an open grill you have ever tasted, and we can highly recommend this restaurant if you're ever this way…
Friday 9th-Sunday 11th December
A fun filled weekend spent catching up with DG Chris Hibbert and his wife Sue from District 105CE, whilst visiting our family in Coalville, Leicestershire. Good food, wedding plans, dog walking, football and a spa session for Uncle Dave from our 6 year old niece, Eden…
Unfortunately, whilst away I received a call regarding the devastating explosion at a block of flats in Jersey. I contacted First Vice DG David Taylor, where we offered our help and support to Jersey Lions, and remained in contact with their president, Lion Steve.
Wednesday, 7th December
In the afternoon I attended the Circle Hospital, Reading together with Lion President Ian from my own club (Reading), where we discussed with the management of the Circle a future PSA event for May 2023.
In the evening Annie and I had a zoom meeting with the international guest for our convention, PID Lion Per Christensen and his wife Lena, from Denmark. This was the first time we had met and I'm sure he will be a very good guest for our convention.
Monday, 5th December
This afternoon I took Annie to Reading Railway Station where she sang with her choir, the Take Note Community Choir on the station concourse, and collected on behalf of the Royal Berkshire Hospital charity. It was a bit of a challenge for them with the constant station announcements, trains arriving & departing plus the rush of people, but they did a good job! It was very cold though 🥶 Please click on the link for their rendition of 'It Feels Like Christmas' from the Muppets Christmas Carol!
Saturday, 3rd December
Today I got up at some unearthly hour and drove to Birmingham for an all day GST meeting. A full day of really good work being done by the multiple district officers. In addition my car was full to the hilt with boxes of glasses which I dropped off at national headquarters!
Thursday, 1st December
Tonight was the first round of my club's Christmas float, where I was Santa - always a great pleasure to do this role as it is so magical, the children love it and Santa was given a packet of jelly tots to enjoy on his round!
Wednesday, 30th November
This evening I took part in a meeting with all the Isle of Wight Lions Clubs.
Tuesday, 29th November
Today I spoke to Dr Helen, my oncologist, to get the results of my first lot of blood tests since starting my cancer treatment again. To be honest I was dreading this phone call, but I am happy to say my PSA has dropped from 20+ down to 4, which she was very pleased with (and so am I!). This means the treatment is doing its job at the moment, stopping the spread of cancer from my Prostate, so it is encouraging news. So I am to stay on the drug I'm on permanently, and have regular blood tests to monitor everything, fingers crossed I stay on an even keel now for a while.
After this good news I went and did my first 'Santa' duties down at our local Waitrose, for the launch of Reading Lions Club Christmas float. Waitrose have been very supportive over the years and it is always a pleasure to work with them, our town mayor was there Rachel Eden and we officially feel Christmassy!
Monday, 28th November
This evening I attended a Council meeting on zoom.
Sunday, 27th November
This morning I got up early bright eyed and bushy tailed, and litter picked our communal car park which is opposite our house - 2 big dustbin bags later it was back in for tea and toast before watching a cheeky game of World Cup football…
After a quick bite of lunch Annie and I headed over to the Wokingham Winter Carnival, which was organised by Wokingham Lions for the first time this year. They did a fantastic job, the carnival was very well attended with lots to do for all the family finished off by a spectacular laser Light show…
Friday, 25th November
Today I helped my own Club get our Christmas Float out of storage and give it the once over, in preparation for a very busy December!
Wednesday, 23rd November
Tonight I visited Henley and gave a presentation to a group of Lions and friends of the Lions about Prostate Cancer and advice on how to run a PSA testing day, as they are hoping to do one in the future.
Tuesday, 22nd November
Today I had a treatment session of acupuncture at the clinic run by our charity of the year, My Cancer, My Choices. This helps me with the side effects of my hormone treatment for my Prostate Cancer, which unfortunately has returned after my initial diagnosis in 2017, picked up on a Reading Lions PSA testing day. The cancer can't be treated as such, they can only give me treatment to help stop it spreading, which at the moment is the hormone treatment. Side effects are like a female menopause, hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain and feeling emotional are all part of this, so acupuncture has been helpful to manage these. Annie and I will also be doing a 'mindfulness' course in the New Year, to help with all the emotions of this - I don't mind admitting it has been hard for us both - sometimes the emotional side of a diagnosis, not just the physical side needs a little help, and us men especially are not good at talking about our feelings…
I also took part in a District GAT meeting on zoom in the evening.
Monday, 21st November
Tonight, I attended a business meeting at Devizes Lions Club, run by the Vice President due to Lion President Andrew being ill. The meeting was well attended and very interesting - there was lots of discussion about all things Lions, especially about their Christmas Float and membership. At the end of the evening I had the pleasure of presenting some service chevrons.
Saturday, 19th November
A great evening spent with the Lions Club of Calne, celebrating their 50th charter dinner. We had a fabulous meal and spent the evening socialising (after the speeches and presentations of course) with Lions from many other Clubs who came to celebrate with them - a good time was had by all, thank you.
Friday, 18th November
Annie and I spent a lovely evening at Windsor Lions Club 61st (but belated 60th) charter dinner, where 60's clothing was the dress code of the night! We had a lovely meal, great fun and a thoroughly enjoyable evening, thank you.
Wednesday, 16th November
This evening is taken up with zoom meetings, the first for my own clubs Christmas Float, followed by an MD convention meeting in preparation for next years MD convention in Newcastle, which I'm glad they're on zoom as I've got a stinking cold!
Monday, 14th November
Attended Reading Lions Club dinner meeting, where I had the pleasure of introducing Dr Mel Thompson, one of our local doctors from the surgery where we help with the vaccination clinics. She had run in the London marathon and raised just over £1300 of which she donated £1000 to Reading Lions, which was very much appreciated.
Saturday, 12th November
Annie and I went to Wimborne and Ferndown Lions 53rd charter dinner, where we were made very welcome and enjoyed a lovely evening, finished off by Lions Rob & Angie from Westbury singing. I had the pleasure of giving out some long service chevrons, one of which was to my old friend, Lion Godwin.
Friday, 11th November
On returning from the Isle of Wight (by the skin of my teeth!), I went to see Annie sing in her choir (Take Note Community Choir) at our local village memorial for Remembrance Day.
Thursday, 10th November
Straight after work I travelled to the Isle of Wight, catching the ferry from Southampton, to Cowes. That evening, members of the 5 clubs on the Island met me and had a meal, where we discussed what they are currently doing for their communities and their future plans, and how the district could support them. I also had the pleasure of presenting some service chevrons and a Melvin Jones fellowship to Lion Ann Twining.
Tuesday, 8th November
At 11am I attended My Cancer, My Choices (our charity of the year) offices at Charvil, where I had acupuncture to help me with the side effects of my ongoing cancer treatment.
In the afternoon, together with my club President Lion Ian Henderson, we went to Asda at Tilehurst where we collected on behalf of the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal.
Monday, 7th November
Completed the final interviews for Reading Lions Den via zoom, which was most interesting and great to hear about some of the projects going on in our community.
Sunday, 6th November
Annie and I attended Bradford on Avon charter lunch, which was very well attended. The meal and company were excellent, and we were treated to a lovely musical afternoon by the Courage choir. I also had the pleasure of handing out several long service chevrons.
Friday, 4th November
This should've been my own clubs firework event, but sadly had to be cancelled at short notice due to the venue being flooded.
Thursday, 3rd November
I attended Salisbury Lions Prostate cancer working group meeting, where pre planning took place for their PSA event in the New Year.
Tuesday, November 1st
Did a club visit to Warminster Lions which was well attended, where I heard about the good work they are doing in their community.
Wednesday, 26th October to Sunday 30th October
Flew out to Zagreb, Croatia for the Lions Europa Forum, where I was honoured to be asked to make a presentation on how Lions in the UK organise and run Prostate Cancer screening days. This presentation went very well and was well received by everyone. Met up with Lion friends from around Europe and enjoyed taking part in various seminars and presentations.
Monday, October 24th
Attended my own clubs business meeting
Saturday, October 22nd to Sunday 23rd October
I attended Council at the Chesford Grange hotel in Warwickshire, along with my fellow DG's and first vice DG's. As you'll see from the photos, DG Lesley presented me with my new best friend! Just so I know someone is actually reading my blog, would anyone like to suggest a name for him, if so please message me! I was also elected as deputy convention chair for multiple district.
Thursday, October 20th
Together with members of Reading Lions Club, we held our first round of the 'Lions Den' on zoom. We interviewed 4 organisations who had applied for grants from the Lions, and the next round of interviews will take place on November 7th.
Tuesday, October 18th
I attended Zone F meeting at Windsor, run by Zone chair Lion John Shephard. The meeting was well attended by all the clubs.
Sunday, October 16th
We held our autumn forum and president's lunch at the St Leonard's hotel, near Ringwood. It was well attended and very successful day. At the end of the sessions, it was my pleasure to present a number of long service chevrons.
Thursday, 13th October
I attended the club meeting of Hayling Island, where I performed the induction of a new member, Lauren Keen. Also, PDG Lion Don Hawkins of Havant club presented his daughter, Karen Hillier with a Melvin Jones Fellow Award. We had a very interesting and worthwhile meeting.
Wednesday, 12th October
I attended my first MD Convention zoom meeting.
Tuesday, 11th October
I attended a meeting with a group of local runners, the Shape Shifter run club, who are trying to encourage black men to attend Reading Lions PSA testing event in 2023. It is important we do this, as the risk for black men being diagnosed with prostate cancer is far greater than white men, but not many black men attend these events.
Sunday, October 9th
Held District Cabinet meeting at the Holiday Inn, Portsmouth (Convention 2023 venue). We carried out cabinet business and also had 3 presentations from New Voices, Fleet IT project and the Hunger officer. I also had the pleasure of presenting past district governors Jarvis MacDonald and Brian Donovan with their chains of office.
Friday, 7th October
Annie and I had the pleasure of attending Salisbury and District Lions Club 60th Charter celebration, and I had the honour in presenting them with their special certificate from our patron, HRH Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Thank you for a lovely evening…
Monday, 3rd October
Zoom meeting with Convention committee and the hotel re Convention in Portsmouth, discussing menu's and finer details - watch this space!!
Friday, 30th September
A photo of Mrs E before she had Physio yesterday.
I'm glad I don't have to do our food shop too often... Why do supermarkets make it difficult to find what you want?! And as for PIN numbers; don't use your birth date or other well known dates the banks (and the police!) say, how are you supposed to remember all these random numbers!!
Fingers crossed for Mrs E making a very speedy recovery.
Tuesday, 27th September
Had a lovely evening with Maidenhead Lions.
Good to be part of the induction of new member Barry.
There was an interesting talk from Jeanette and her colleagues at Street Angels. They are from local churches in the Maidenhead area. They work with local police, the council, other community and voluntary groups as well as pubs and clubs to provide a safer town centre at night. The club have sponsored some super-warm gilet jackets.
Friday, 23rd September
Attended an initial planning meeting for this year's Reading Club Santa Sleigh with Ian and Kam. Just 3 months to Christmas Day on Sunday - it soon comes around.
Thursday, 22nd September
GAT meeting on Zoom. A good humoured meeting, wide ranging discussion.
Wednesday, 21st September
Attended an on-line Convention 2023 meeting on Zoom. Postcard signed off, the International Guest has confirmed as well as the entertainment. We're starting to get excited!
If any club would like to promote a project or an event in the 5-minute slots please get in touch with me.
Thursday, 20th September
Annie was in hospital for planned operation. I've been looking after her all week as she is unable to use her right arm and shoulder.
Saturday, 10th September
Annie and I had the pleasure to be guests at our first charter dinner of my year with Gillingham, Mere and Shaftesbury Lions at Rushmore Golf Club. We were made very welcome, had a lovely meal and were delighted to receive a very generous donation towards our charity of the year, My Cancer, My Choices. We enjoyed the fun and games and had a wonderful evening, thank you.
Friday, 9th September
Annie and I had the pleasure of joining family, friends and Lions at Lion Jean Lock's wedding day to Fred Phillips near Salisbury. Jean was the partner of the late PDG Ken Staniforth. We had a lovely evening and wish Jean and Fred much happiness together.
Wednesday, 7th September
Joined Zone I zone meeting, chaired by zone chair Lion Paul Allaway where we discussed membership for the Islands (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Wight) and other concerns they have. I am visiting the IOW on November 10th, so look forward to meeting up with them all then.
Tuesday, 6th September
Joined an organised GAT coordinator webinar for the whole of Europe.
Monday, 5th September
Attended Zone E zone meeting at Crookham village near Fleet where we had a very interesting meeting, which was well attended by the clubs in the zone. As you'll see from the photo, Lion Lisa has started collecting bras to raise funds for 'Against Breast Cancer', a very worthy cause.
Friday 2nd-Sunday 4th September
Annie and I had a lovely catch up with family and celebrated the engagement of my youngest nephew, Matthew to the lovely Amy. We also surprised our 2 little great nieces, Skye and Eden by picking them up from school, it was lovely ☺️ We also managed a cheeky catch up with DG Chris Hibbert and his wife, Sue from District 105CE, and heard all about how they are doing since we returned from the International Convention in Canada.
Thursday, 1st September
Today I had a zoom meeting with the Convention committee and the Holiday Inn, Portsmouth - we're just finalising the contract for Convention 2023, then it will be all systems go!! (keep an eye on the website…)
Sunday, 28th August
Held a new Global Membership Approach (GMA) meeting on zoom, facilitated by DG Kav from District 105A, as they were the pilot district last year. This was a really interesting and informative brief on how to regenerate existing clubs, build new clubs and plan for the future. Thank you DG Kav for your time, District - look out for this coming in during the year and it will be part of the seminar on October 16th in St Leonards.
Friday, 26th August
Started early on my day off, sorting emails and replying to Lions on various subjects. Then had a lovely relaxing morning at Stonor Park at the Craft Fair near Henley with Annie, a stunning location. Finished off at the Cheese Shed in Nettlebed for lunch where they make their own cheeses and serve the best cheese toasties ever!
Wednesday, 24th August
A sad day…Attended the funeral of Past Council Chair David Hitchens of the Lions Club of Reading, who was a founder member of the club of 57 years. The funeral was very well attended, a lovely service and tributes from his family and the Lions. Our deepest condolences go to Eileen and family.
Following the funeral, I attended a Zone meeting in Bournemouth, which was well attended. Everyone present participated in the meeting, giving their views on membership, retention and also we had an interesting talk by Lucy, from a volunteer charity. Thank you Lion Barry and members for a good meeting.
Tuesday, 23rd August
Attended Didcot Civic Centre along with Lions Jarvis, Lesley and Brian, for a follow up meeting after the membership drive earlier this month.
Sunday, 21st August
Up early as it was a beautiful day and drove down to Southsea where we had a lovely breakfast at the Southsea Beach Cafe, looking out over the sea. Onwards to GunWharf Quays for some retail therapy for Annie, where we watched someone ab sail down the Spinnaker Tower for their charity. Please note I will not be doing this for Annie's charity! Then stopped off for afternoon tea with my brother who was visiting Winchester and then homeward bound - a lovely relaxing day…
Friday 19th-Saturday 20th August
Today I went out into our local car park and completed the tidying up of the wild flower bank - unfortunately I got stung 7 times by an undiscovered wasps nest, but it was a job well done! Litter pick also completed, the car park is now looking clean and tidy.
Thursday, 18th August
Attended District Convention team meeting via zoom, chaired by PDG Patrick Hamblin. Plans were made for hosting our Convention in March 2023 in Portsmouth, a great enthusiastic team - watch this space!
Wednesday, 17th August
Attended Zone Chairs meeting via zoom, which was hosted by IPDG Brian. A very good first meeting of all the Zone Chairs, who showed a keen interest in their roles and the future of the District.
Sunday, 14th August
Today, Annie and I should've been presenting medals at the Bob Cook Games in Swindon, an event held annually by Chippenham Lions Club. Unfortunately, due to the extreme weather, the games have had to be postponed until next year. This was very disappointing for all concerned, but the health and welfare of competitors and volunteers must come first. We look forward to attending next year.
So instead, I got up really early before it got too hot, and went into the car park across the road from us, where previously we had planted a bank of wild flowers, to tidy up. The bank of flowers, which we naively thought were ground spreading turned into a jungle (!), so I only managed to do half today before I nearly melted away! I also litter picked the car park, this is a little project we do regularly for our community.
Saturday, 13th August
Joined GMT lead, PDG Lion Jarvis, IPDG Lion Brian, Lion Presidents Lesley (Abingdon) and Ian (Reading) plus members from Reading Lions club Paul and Karyna and Carrie-Anne in a membership drive in Didcot. We are hoping to get enough interest to start a new club in the town where I was born (!) as Didcot has grown over the last few years with much new housing and opportunities.
Friday, 12th August
Annie and I had a lovely afternoon with Lion Tom and Juliet, organising my Prostate Cancer presentation for the Europa Forum in Zagreb, Croatia in October. Juliet cooked a wonderful meal and we enjoyed some social time in their garden putting the world to rights! Thank you both for all your hard work, it is much appreciated.
Thursday, 11th August
Had an evening zoom meeting with the new multiple district Prostate Cancer officer, Lion Rosie, where we discussed the future role of the Prostate Cancer officer and forward planning.
Sunday, August 7th
Held DG team meeting with 1st Vice David and 2nd Vice Sandra, where we discussed the forthcoming year and how we can help the district move forward after the past 2 years of the pandemic.
Thursday, 4th August
Spent a lovely evening thanks to the members of Poole Lions Club, who arranged a Poole harbour trip, a lovely fish & chip supper and finished off with a fantastic fireworks display. On board were around 150 Lions, their families and friends and it was a wonderful evening, thank you Poole Lions.
Monday, 1st August
A very sad day today when I lost a Lion, friend and mentor when Lion PCC David Hitchens passed away. He was a charter member of Reading Lions Club and a personal friend, and I will greatly miss his friendship, support and wisdom. As he would say, "Hitchens, Reading", rest in peace my friend.
Friday 29th July-Sunday 31st July
This weekend I joined my fellow District Governors at our first Council meeting of the year, held in Warwickshire. It was great meeting up again with them and our partners after the International Convention in Montreal and hearing how we are all getting on. Present during the weekend were Council, Vice council, PID's Phil Nathan and Geoff Leeder and the meeting was very ably chaired by Council Chair, Alastair Joel, assisted by Council Secretary Peter Burnett and Council Treasurer Philip Goodier. 2 good days of business were conducted, along with dinners with our partners in the evening where there was a chance to catch up with friends old and new.
Sunday, 24th July
Attended Council meeting run by Council Chair Alistair, along with Past International Directors, Council secretary, treasurer and seven other District Governors.
Thursday, 21st July
Held a Global Action Team (GAT) meeting with Lions Jarvis MacDonald, Linda Picton, Brian Donovan, David Taylor, Sandra Manktelow, Peter Burnett and Tom Sayers via zoom. Lots of matters were discussed including updates from Global Service, Leadership and Membership teams and it was a very positive meeting.
Monday, July 18th
Tonight (and on one of the hottest days of the year!) I was made very welcome at Salisbury and District Lions Clubs business meeting. During the meeting I had the pleasure of joining Lion President Jeremy Tidswell in inducting 2 new members to their club, Lion Yvonne Chick and Lion Brian Richards, watched proudly on by their sponsors, Lions Joe and Ann Rooney. Welcome Yvonne and Brian to the Lions family and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Tuesday, 12th July
Met with PDG Lion Jarvis MacDonald from GMT, Lion President Lesley Donovan from Abingdon Lions Club and Lion Carrie-Anne to discuss the exciting possibility of forming a brand new Lions Club in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Monday, 11th July
Visited the Convention Hotel with Convention Chair Patrick Hamblin, and Tom Sayers and Juliet Browne from the Convention Team. The hotel is nicely appointed, the food is good (well, I had to test it) and the staff are warm and friendly. I think it'll be perfect for us.
Sunday, 10th July
I had a great first Cabinet.
Then a nice lunch followed by the Handover Ceremony. IPDG Brian Donovan passed the DG chain of office to me - thanks Brian. I then presented a First Vice chain to David Taylor and a Second Vice chain to Sandra Manktelow.
A great start to my year!