Sunday, March 22, 2009

Speech given at 25th Anniversary Dinner

25 years ago, a group of dedicated men got together and formed LC of KL Sentul. It must have been a big thing then.

At the club’s charter night in 1984, they even managed to persuade the present Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs YB Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad to officiate the opening.

In these past 25 years, our club has seen many outstanding members. We have many famous specialists, such as

Dr Chin who treat children of royalty,

Dr Vijendran who treat the eyes of sultans,

Dr Foo Chi Chean who tend to our Miss Malaysia, and

Datuk Dr Yeoh Poh Hong who specialise in treating black eyes of the rich and famous.

In these past 25 years, our Club has also an impressive list of achievements. We now have

1 Past Council Chairperson Dr Chin Yoon Hiap

2 Past District Governors Dr Chin Yoon Hiap and
Datuk Alex Nah

and 2 Perspective District Governors if and when Ln Low Seong Lim and RC Cheah Kim Hai decide to run.

The projects carried out by the club’s illustrious Presidents in the past 25 years are too many to list out. But one deserves special mention. PCC Dr Chin Yoon Hiap was instrumental in opening the Kuala Lumpur Hospital Lions Eye Bank in 1986. Countless number of people have benefitted directly as a result. PCC Dr Chin, the people thank you. We thank you.

A few of you may already know this but I will tell you this story again. If not, PCC Dr Chin will tell it to you anyway.

I joined the Leo Club of KL Sentul, 23 years ago, in 1986. And it was at the Leo Club where I met my wife Susan. I was the President, she was the VP.

What you may not know is Susan and I worked long, long hours on projects, usually beyond the call of duty. At that time, Susan was shy and I was young and inexperienced.

One thing I remember clearly was PCC Dr Chin, Region Chairman Cheah Kim Hai, Ln Low Seong Lim and Ln Cliff Low always turning up in our meetings and projects. As if they were taking turns, doing chaperon duty. Because of them, Susan and I could hardly find any time to be alone. So you can say Susan and I got married so soon just so that we can get the 4 of them to leave us alone.

To PCC Dr Chin, Region Chairman Cheah Kim Hai, Ln Low Seong Lim and Ln Cliff Low, Susan and I thank you.

Today, I still see many Lions who were here when our club first started. It has been my privilege and my honour to be given a chance to be President of this club and continue in the Sentul tradition.

It is a privilege and an honour, but it has never been easy. Each project we carry out would somehow be measured against the accomplishments of the club’s 25 years of history.

And history has a habit of making us feel complacent, feel “tidak apa”. So, at the start of my term as President, I adopted the theme “THINK BIGGER” to motivate and re-energise our Lions.

I was not sure if I was over ambitious. But I remember my Immediate Past President Ln Paul Lui encouraging me at that time, telling me “it’s alright, thinking and doing are 2 different things”. IPP Ln Paul, thanks for guiding me these past 2 years. Without those midnight phone calls, I would have been totally lost. Thanks again, Paul.

So, I stand before you now, as I stand before my fellow members, wondering how our club projects over the past 2 years measure up.

I am particularly proud of our club’s Supercar project in February 2008. We got owners of sport cars to drive the paying-public around the Sepang F 1 racing track, and we helped raised some RM260,000.00 for flood victims. For that, I am grateful to PDG Datuk Alex Nah and Lion Rodwin. Without you 2, this project would not have gotten off the ground.

Raising funds for the earthquake victims of Sichuan, China and the Nargis Cyclone victims of Myanmar in May-June 2008 also hold a special place in my heart. In a matter of weeks, this club raised more than RM47,000.00. For that, I am thankful to Ln Cliff Low, Ln Low Seong Lim and Ln Susan Goh. Without the 3 of you, this project would have taken months to complete.

Finally, the Blood Donation drive our club carried out last Sunday. It was a routine project by all means, organised for the 1st time at Leisure Mall in Cheras. This project was different because of 2 reasons.

First reason. It didn’t cost the club anything.

And the second reason. We invited the Malaysian Health Minister Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to the project. To my surprise, he actually came. The publicity generated was priceless. Even Ln Cliff Low appeared on TV that evening. I am indebted to the Organising Chairperson Kevin Kuan for all his work on that project. For a first year Lion, you have managed to out-do many of us. Thanks.

So many projects, so many accomplishments. But, at the end, a club’s strength cannot be judged by its accomplishments or awards.

Over the past 23 years in which I have had the pleasure of being a part of LC of KL Sentul, I have on the whole, found Sentul members to be people of exceptional integrity and kindness. People who believe in giving. People who believe in serving.

Over 200 years ago, the 2nd President of United States John Adams once said

“the integrity of a nation is judged by the collective conscience of its people”.

If I am allowed to paraphrase John Adams, then I say

“the strength of the Lions Club of KL Sentul is judged by the collective integrity of its members”

The strength of the LC of KL Sentul lies in its members. And when I see our club members who have stayed for 25 years, you have shown us what real commitment means.

With members like you, I am certain in my heart that the LC of KL Sentul will remain strong for the next 25 years. Just like PDG Datuk Alex Nah said in his speech, I am sure I will see you all in our Golden Anniversary 25 years from today.

Thank you.

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