IT HAD been 21 years since the Lions Club held its last multiple district convention in Bacolod City.

And so last May 24, after two decades, the City of Smiles was more than ready to welcome all brothers and sisters in volunteer service.

The Lions Club made a roaring night as over 2,500 delegates and family members from nine districts all over the Philippines converged at the L’Fisher Hotel for their 65th Lions Multiple District Convention Proclamation Night and Governor’s Ball.

They made a roaring applause as they inducted their new set of district officers at the La Proa Ballroom of the hotel.

Gracing the Governor’s Ball was Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella who congratulated the Multiple District on their successful convention.

He thanked the Lions Club for choosing Bacolod as this year’s convention site, thus helping tourism and bringing revenue to the city. He capped his message with his rendition of Louis Armstrong’s It’s A Wonderful (Lions) World.

The program then proceeded to the proclamation and confirmation of the duly-elected candidates for district governor, first and second vice district governors for each of the nine districts.

For Lion Year 2014-2015, Rolando Layson of Iloilo Metro Lions Club was elected the District Governor for the hosting District 301-B1, which covers the islands of Negros and Panay.

Elected First and Second Vice Governors were Celia Ferrer of Mt. Kanlaon Lions Club and Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog of Iloilo Host Lions Club, respectively.

Following the proclamation was an accomplishment report and valedictory message delivered by outgoing Council Chairperson Em Ang, who is also a councilor of Bacolod.

In her report, Ang shared the accomplishments made in the Lions during her term, such as close to 10-percent increase in membership, relief operations and housing development in Tacloban, hosting the visit to the country of the top four highest international officials of Lions Clubs International, active participation of Philippine Lions in international events and OSEAL forum, and Philippine clubs placing in world-wide competitions such as the World Lunch Relay and the Peace Poster Contest.

She also gave her blessing to the incoming Council Chairperson, Nestor Chua of District 301-B2. The ceremonial passing of the council chair banner was commenced. PDG Nestor Chua then responded with his acceptance speech.

Another highlight of the evening was the keynote speech of International First Vice President Joseph Robert Preston. IFVP Preston, from Arizona, USA, was introduced by Past International Director Michael So.

Preston is the incoming president of the association, which has now close to 1.4 million members in 208 countries around the world.

The officers the announced that Cebu City will be the official venue of the 66th Multiple District 301 Convention with DG Fr. Eduardo Ventic taking the helm from Convention Chair IPDG Faustino Yuson, who led this year’s convention.