YOUR GUIDE TO THE GREAT WORK WE’RE DOING AROUND THE WORLD Lions Embrace Gifted Pianist Giuliano Graniti grew up under modest circumstances in Italy. He took piano lessons, displaying rare talent. In 2005 he attended the Lions Sound of Music Youth Camp in Austria, where Austrian Lions were bowled over by his virtuosity and humble demeanor. Today Graniti, still studying music in Florence, plays benefits for Lions and Leo clubs in Austria. “During a visit to Italy, I noticed how difficult it is to finance a university education there or to have the opportunity to perform, which is why we wanted to give him the opportunity to perform in Austria,” says Fritz Drobesch, youth chairperson for District 114 M. Lions of Ischl recently sponsored an evening of piano music in a historic beer hall of the former imperial city. Graniti performed Beethoven’s “Sonata Op. 22,” “Children’s Corner” by Claude Debussy, Prokofiev’s “Sonata Nr. 8” and closed with the “Three Preludes” by George Gershwin. It was “a program that demanded everything from the artist,” according to the Austrian LION. Graniti was up to the task: he “proved to be at once sensitive, technically brilliant and feeling in both intonation and tempo.” Publicans Take to the Streets Once a year pub owners and their regulars in Dover take their fun out into the streets. Dressed up in silly costumes and making a racket, they march along the seafront to raise money for the Dover Lions Club in England. The Annual Publicans Walk has been a cherished tradition in Dover, famous for its White Cliffs, since 1974. A few Lions have been known to frequent the pubs on occasion. But the club holds its meetings in a social club, and members have no special connection to the city’s dozens of bars. “As with most Lions’ fundraising I think it was just an idea that was conceived and tried. It worked, so we’ve held it every year since,” says Marion Baker. Walkers raise funds by signing up sponsors. The club uses the funds for a Christmas lunch, including door-todoor transport and entertainment, for seniors. Last year the first place winner in the group fancy dress category was Old Endeavour pub. Its patrons pulled a replica of the HMS Endeavour, commanded by James Cook on his epic voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand in 1769. Lions on the March The Lord Mayor’s Show in London bills itself as the oldest, longest, grandest and most popular civic procession in the world. But what’s a parade without Lions? A large pack of Lions from Multiple District 105 (left photo) joined the newly elected Lord Mayor of London as he left the city for Westminster to swear loyalty to the crown. King John began the ritual as a precaution nearly 800 years ago, but today the tradition is an excuse for a colorful procession of pomp and unrehearsed circumstances. History also oozes from the streets of Piura in Peru, founded in 1532, making it the oldest Spanish city in South America. Parading down its streets in a Lions parade (top right) were Cubs, a relatively new addition to Lionism. Cubs are children or relatives of Lions. The city of 370,000 has 178 Lions in seven clubs. Lions in Australia also like to come out of their dens: members of the Hannans Goldfields Lions Club took part in the festive St. Barbara’s Day Parade (bottom right). Olive Garden a Labor of Love A stone sign near a quiet road on Shodo Island in Japan reads: Lions Forest–Shodoshima Lions Club. Each October the forest comes alive with Lions: they gather amid the olive trees to handpick tiny olives. The work is laborious, but Lions find it fulfilling. “Out of all the activities, this one involves the most physical exercise. I think working together using our hands and bodies helps our club develop the harmony and solidarity that we have,” says President Kohgi Kohno, 41, the youngest in his club. Kohno owns the land. Lion Masahiro Tamura owns the processing facility where the green olives are brought to remove the bitterness. The end results are prized packages of pickled olives. Since the tasty olives are not mass-produced, buyers are willing to pay a premium for them. A few years ago the club enjoyed a rich harvest and sold about 1,000 packages for 360,000 yen (US$3,700). The olive forest was planted in 2005 as the club’s environmental project. Lions carefully nurtured 100 seedlings through tri-annual weeding and fertilizing, summer watering and winter pruning. The club started to make pickled olives within two years. The olives are sold in packages with the Lions logo at a festival or purchased in advance. The proceeds help underwrite a music festival where children on the island perform with homegrown musicians. Funds also help pay for a day trip for children with disabilities. Lions Day Raises Awareness Few Italians know who the Lions are. District governors planned a nationwide Lions Day to let their countrymen know about Lions’ service in Italy and worldwide. In Florence, Lions set up a stage at the Piazza della Repubblica, a busy city square near the Duomo (the city’s main cathedral). Posters and videos showcased Lions projects related to the environment, children’s health, vision and Lions Quest. Lions held a guide dog demonstration, blood donation, an eyeglass collection and vision and hearing screenings. Three concerts took place: a gospel chorus and blues in the morning, performers from a popular musical in the afternoon, and pop, jazz and rock for the younger crowd in the evening. Florence guides and friends of the museums agreed to coordinate visits to lesser known parts of the city. Leos held a walk to call attention to their service. Italian Lions used this street logo on Lions Day. Walking a Waka Lions in a small New Zealand town literally took matters into their own hands to help preserve history. Morrinsville Lions learned that the cost to relocate a prized historic waka (a Maori canoe) and its shelter from a closed museum to a new heritage center across town was tens of thousands of dollars. That wouldn’t do. “Everyone called a mate,” says Lion Grant Jury, chairman of the Morrinsville Lions Civic Improvement Committee. Eschewing a costly crane, about 50 Lions and others hoisted the waka on a truck. Then they carried the shelter 500 meters (about 1/3 mile) along Canada Street to the Morrinsville Heritage Center. The shelter was “a bit heavier than we thought,” says Jury, and the next morning there were a few aches and pains. But the relocation cost was only $10,000 (US$8,500), a third of the cost if a contractor had been used. The 17-meter-long waka was found on a farm in 1901 and then used to transport flax to a mill until the Ngati Paoa people donated it to the Morrinsville Historical Society in 1968. Maori blessed the canoe after Lions relocated it. Big Brazilian Barbecue Tres Lagoas, a city of 100,000 in Brazil, is known for its robust civic spirit: its elaborate festivals and rodeos draw large crowds. The 33-member Tres Lagoas Lions Club also does things in a big way–its barbecue beef party fed hundreds.
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