Prime Minister Freundel Stuart identified support for the community and the selfless service as two elements that distinguish the Lions Clubs across the world. (FP)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has lauded the Lions Clubs for their “sterling humanitarian efforts” here and abroad.

Mr. Stuart praised the service organisation on Saturday night while delivering remarks at the Lions Centennial Dinner – Black Tie Affair – at Hilton Barbados Resort.

The Prime Minister identified support for the community and the selfless service as two elements that distinguish the Lions Clubs across the world. He stressed that their work had contributed in no small way to the development of individuals, families and communities the world over, including Barbados.

“In a world in which the practice of a rather crude individualism has been gaining momentum, the ideals of community and good neighbourliness seem to be constantly under threat. Those who promote and espouse the cause of the individual have raised voices which are now so loud that those voices seem to be drowning out the voices of those who believe that there must still be scope for community solutions.

“While the claims of the individual must never be allowed to recede into an invisible background, the truth is that, as individuals, our relevance and indeed our humanity derive from how we are able to relate to others in society. In being able to rejoice with others when they rejoice, and to weep with those who weep, we provide eloquent evidence of a genuine humanity,” Mr. Stuart told the packed room.

He expressed the view that by their acts of benevolence, the Lions had brought comfort and hope to many who might otherwise be left to believe that their life’s limited options were a choice between disillusionment, despondency and despair.

Lions Clubs were formed in 1917 and the first one was created here in 1961. The Prime Minister highlighted their well-known work over the years with the Association of the Blind and Deaf in Barbados, as well as with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Eye Care Centre, and said they were now “part of the social protection framework for the vulnerable” in Barbados.

He added that Lions Clubs in Barbados and the world had excelled in the unending battle to eradicate blindness as “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness”.

Lions International now forms the largest service club organisation in the world, with over 1.3 million members, in more than 45,000 clubs, in over 200 countries and geographic areas.

During the evening, Centennial Service Awards were presented to Lion Carlyle Harewood, Lion Cynthia Hall, Lion Joan Jordan, Lion Ilene Tull, Lion Margo Clarke, Lion Nigel Williams, Lion Stanton Gittens, Lion Wendle Sealy and Leo Tanisha Graham.

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