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New Council Chairman of New Zealand Lions

New Council Chairman of New Zealand Lions from Taranaki

Basil Dodunski from Toko was elected Council Chairman of Lions Clubs New Zealand at the Annual Convention of Lions Multiple District 202, which covers New Zealand and the South Pacific, in Queenstown at the weekend.

Basil begins his 12 month appointment on 1 July, replacing current Council Chairman Terry Hemmingsen. Basil’s role will include chairing the 10 member Lions Council and representing New Zealand at the July International Convention in Detroit, USA. His tenure also coincides with the 50 years of service celebrations next year.

“The 50th anniversary is an ideal time to celebrate, as well as reflect on the past to develop new and innovative directions for the way forward. We’re a ‘people’ organisation that needs passion and pride,” says Basil.

Basil believes Lions have turned a corner with membership recruitment. “Service organisations throughout the world have been faced with falling memberships and Lions is no exception. Our focus now is on the recruitment of keen and enthusiastic younger members aged from 20 – 35 years in New Century Clubs and we’re succeeding. These clubs, which include some University based groups, are fairly independent and are bringing fantastic new ideas to the table. An example is the way in which they run their meetings; some are over the internet or over breakfast.”

Basil, a Senior Lion member of Toko & Districts Lions Club, and his wife Sue, have been dairy farmers in Toko area for over ten years and says being a Lion has been very rewarding.

“Recently our district has started up a Kids & Us programme, taking groups of needy children out on character and confidence building activities. I get great satisfaction from helping turn their lives around.”

For his service to Lions, Basil has received the 100% President’s Awards and four district Governor’s Appreciation Awards. Since joining the Toko & Districts Lions Club in 1993 Basil has held positions of Tail Twister, The Bulletin Editor, Director for 3 years and served as President in 1999-2000. That year saw the club induct many new members, and for the first time, women were invited to join the club.

For the Lions District Basil has been Leadership and District Trainer for two years, Region Chairman and Membership Chairman as well as MERL Chairman. Basil has also assisted at the Lions Leadership Institute in Wellington and at the Institute in Adelaide Australia.

Lions is New Zealand’s– and the world’s - largest service club with over 1.3 million members internationally and more than 12,500 members nationally.

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