Sunday, February 25, 2007

ON BEING A LIONS CLUB HONORARY MEMBER

Yours truly was just bestowed the privilege of being an honorary member of a Lion's Club in town.

This is a happy result of continuous collaboration between the Lions Club and the Foreign Student Club that yours truly founded ten years ago...

I always marveled at the way the Japanese folks hold their meetings...

They almost always start on the dot of time, as was this one...

The chairman hits the gong... they sing the national anthem, all eyes set high on the flag with the rising sun... and almost immediately, the Lions song...

Followed by a series of speeches... yawn...

Then, the award ceremony... was presented with this bulky, framed A3 sized certificate, plus a heavy box of something (have yet to open it), thanking me for all that I have done for the Lions Club and the Japanese community at large...

Hmmm... actually, I should be thanking them...

Don't recall much of my 'thank-you' speech... think I mumbled something like... in my early years as a graduate student, I found Japanese society a hard nut to crack...

Then, the closing gong and it is party time...

The food is always exquisite... fresh squid, tuna, and yellow tail sashimi... ummm, my favorite... steaks that somewhat melt in your mouth... delicate seafood cocktails... mouth-watering soya-sauce stewed chicken... yummy... eel sushi... woooh... may I just say, it is just food, wine, women, yes women members, songs, comedy skits... and as always, the closing song 'mata au hi made' (till we meet again...) as everyone, yes everyone, forming a large circle, rhythmically raising and lowering the hands of the person next...

Now that I am back in my office, I begin to wonder what the heck an honorary Lions member is...

This is what I found from the Lions Club constitution...

HONORARY: An individual, not a member of this Lions Club, having performed outstanding service for the community or this Lions Club, upon whom this club desires to confer special distinction. This club shall pay entrance fees and International and District dues on such a member, who may attend meetings, but shall not be entitled to any privileges of Active Membership.
Hmm... sounds good to me...

By the way, am due to shoot off to Perth and Melbourne tomorrow for a few days of 'fact-finding'...

Shall be poking my face into three universities there...

Of course, am also looking forward to catching up with friends and sinking my fangs into that tender fillet mignon...

Woooaaah...