Our visit to the Lions Convention for District 24B in Williamsburg, Virginia was smooth from wheels up to wheels down in Norfolk. Past International Director Wayne Davis and his wife, Lion Marge were there to pick us up and we toured eastern Virginia as we successfully wove our way around a major traffic jam to historic Williamsburg.
The local Lions under the leadership of Lion Bill Daniels (Fall Conference Chair) had our room ready and a lovely dinner planned as we arrived at the hotel.
We enjoyed the local a cappella group from William and Mary College. All but one of the vocalists was from Virginia and it was clear that they were well received by the applause and calls for an encore!
One of the exciting moments for the Virginia Lions at the convention was the introduction of PID Wayne Davis as a candidate seeking endorsement for 3rd Vice International Vice President to run in Chicago at the convention in 2017.
PID Wayne E. Davis from Stephens City, Virginia, USA, was elected to serve a two-year term as a director of The International Association of Lions Clubs at the association’s 90th International Convention, held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 2-6, 2007. He is hopeful that Chicago will be good to him again in 2017! It takes a great commitment to be willing to serve at the executive level and whatever lies ahead, Kathy and I admire him and Lion Marge for their commitment to serve.
As part of my visit, I held a Q&A with the cabinet, presented a workshop on using effective communication skills to enhance your leadership, and as has been our tradition, I inducted a new member: Lion Karen Bridgewater. All of the Lions present pledged to support and welcome their newest Lion to the club and district. It is always a wonderful experience to see the excitement and joy on the face of a new Lion!
The Lions of MD 24B are committed to building their district’s membership and have a focus on developing their leaders for the future. DGE Marty Alford from District 24E presented an excellent session for membership and club development based upon the Blueprint for a Stronger Club program.
Kathy wrote about our recent visit to Williamsburg:
Flying into Norfolk, VA, on Friday afternoon offered a beautiful view of the busy harbor. This weekend was expected to be an emotional one for families of deployed naval personnel who returned to port after nine months’ at sea. Both the airport and seaport showed a lot of activity and the view of the largest ships was memorable.
From Norfolk, we drove 45 miles to Colonial Williamsburg, part of the Historic Triangle with Jamestown and Yorktown. Once Jefferson moved the government center to Richmond, Willaimsburg remained a small town. This surprised me because I knew a little about the College of William and Mary located in Williamsburg and thought that America’s second oldest university must be located in a large metropolitan city. This is not the case. However, Williamsburg’s population of 14,000 boasts a city budget (of $36 million) with a two million dollar surplus. Our hotel, the Ft. Magruder, sits on a site of a battle in the Civil War.
Mayor Clyde Haulman, an economist, explained at Saturday’s breakfast program that Colonial Williamsburg is America’s largest interactive historic museum. Later that day, I had the opportunity to visit Colonial Williamsburg and take several photos of the Governor’s Palace, the Armory, and several original buildings that served as book stores, taverns, gardens, general stores, candlemaking, etc etc.
Costumed actors recreate dialogues between military recruiters for the Revolution, apothecary customers needing medicines, residents expressing their concerns over British taxes, for example. I truly enjoyed the “living history” experience here.
Leaving the downtown area and the Colonial period, it was unique to go back to the hotel witness the lobby display of this location’s connection to the Civil War era. I learned that this battle involving roughly 70,000 soldiers took place on May 5, 1862. Union General Hooker attacked this earthen embankment, but this offensive failed. The Confederates’ counter attack also failed, making this battle inconclusive. No matter because it is still historical, especially to me.
The Lions Convention held here at the Ft. Magruder offered several sessions for developing leadership and membership. One was led by a career law enforcement officer whose presentation on leadership could have applied to any organization or institution, so I found relevance in his seminar. I met a lot of people at this convention who have lived their whole lives in Virginia and enjoyed listening to their verbal expressions, their jokes, and more than one referred to us as “Yankees!” Meeting new and diverse people is the best part of our travels. I gain new perspectives all the time from the visits and Virginia lived up to my expectation.
We can truly say that our hosts, PID Wayne and Lion Marge were so kind and generous. Likewise, Lion Jane Daniels (wife of DG Bill) was especially helpful. Wayne and Marge brought us back to the airport on Sunday morning and later checked in with us to make sure we got home without any difficulties. Throughout our visit, it was clear that this was an historic convention for many reasons and we experience southern hospitality!
Best wishes to all who serve!