The New Voices Team
PID Teresa Mann
Starting in 1993, my first Lions experience came when I joined Lions Club of Hou Kong in Macao as a chartered member, the same year all 3 of my children left home to study abroad. Some might say that me becoming a Lion was somewhat a result of ‘empty nest syndrome’. And what a syndrome it was! A decade later, I had the honour of taking up the position as District Governor of D303 Hong Kong and Macao, China, and later transferred my membership to the newly chartered Lions Club of Hong Kong Shouson Hill in 2009.
On an international level, I was given an opportunity by PIP Tam to be a Board Appointee in 2011-2012, and subsequently ran my election in 2013 to begin my journey as the first Chinese female International Director.
International exposure of this kind has given me a whole new experience, knowledge and understanding within the big family of LCI. One thing I do not want to leave unmentioned, especially in a time where people are fighting for gender equality around the world. During my second year as ID, I was invited to a district convention in Denmark as their keynote speaker on the topic of female membership and leadership. The positive response and support I received has given me an extra boost of motivation to continue championing for this important cause.
People often ask me to share my favourite project or experience as a Lion, but this is like asking me to pick my favourite child! Having said that, Sight First China Action has always had the most impact on me. The mere scale of the project still overwhelms and humbles me at the same time. It makes me realise how much we can still do to further our reach and deepen our roots in some of the most impoverished areas of China. On a personal level, having my children and grandchildren with me at the convention for my installation as International Director in Hamburg in 2013 had to be one of the most memorable moments. It was important for me to share these milestones with them, while showing them the crucial work we do as Lions all over the world.
Speaking of experiences,visiting affected areas a week after the devastating earthquake in Sichuan in 2008 was a life-changing experience in my life. Witnessing first-hand the magnitude of the damage was painful, but it was inspiring to have met the brave survivors and families. They never gave up hope. The humanity that was shown there has shaped me into the person I am today. I am most honoured to say that some of the people I met 10 years ago have become my good friends, and we continue to support and encourage each other.
Whenever I reflect upon the past quarter of a century of my life as a Lion, a word always comes to mind – grateful. Grateful to have the opportunity to be involved in so many amazing projects around the world. Grateful to have widened my horizons through meeting the many dedicated Lions in every corner of the world. Grateful to have developed my leadership and organisational skills, and to have given myself a different perspective on life.
Looking ahead into 2018-19, my personal goal is to strengthen our effort in recruiting more female members, as well as attracting the younger generation to join our Lions family. It is also crucial to keep up with the current needs from our society and in turn, carry out timely and effective service projects for people who are in need.