Sharon and Greg Hart, members of the Clarke County Lions Club, recently returned from the Lions Club International Convention in Busan, Korea. During the convention, Sharon Hart was installed as District Governor with responsibility for the 52 Lions, Lioness, and Leo Clubs in the area from Winchester to Lexington to Charlottesville. Greg Hart will serve as Cabinet Secretary for the District.
Lions Clubs International is an association of 1.4 million members from around the world. More than 60,000 of these Lions, including about 40,000 from China and Korea, attended the Convention. While at the Convention the Harts attended District Governor Elect and Partner-in-Service training with about 750 other District Governor’s Elect from around the world. They had an opportunity to meet and speak with leaders in Lionism including Immediate Past President Wing-Kun Tam from China and the 2012-2013 President Wayne Madden from the United States.
They also participated in the Lions Clubs International Parade of Countries. Dressed in traditional colonial costumes, they were immediately recognized as George and Martha Washington. Arriving at the parade line-up, they were surrounded by Lions from around the world who called out to “George Washington” by name and wanted to be photographed with George and Martha. The Harts said that they had thousands of pictures taken during the parade line-up before finally stepping off on the parade route. While on the parade route, parents brought their children into the street for pictures with George and Martha. The Harts handed a miniature American Flag to each child who had their photo taken.
While all meetings were conducted in English, real-time translation was provided in eleven different languages. However, a smile and the sharing of Lions friendship pins often occurred without a common language. The Harts said that the Lions who attended the Convention shared a common bond of service to others, friendship, fellowship, and camaraderie in spite of the many different cultures and languages .