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By P.D.G. Shimshon Zelbiger, District Committee Chairman

Frenchman Antoine de St. Exupery, author of the book 'The Little Prince', asked through him this question: What is the difference between an ordinary day and a holiday? The answer without hesitation is "the ceremony".

The ceremony is the business card of the organization and the club, a stage for giving a speech and greetings with special value, beyond the day to day experience. The reason is the festive ambiance that accompanies these events.

We will define here the various types of ceremonies and protocols that over the years have taken root in Israel and around the world.

  1. Presidential Changeover Ceremony

The event is divided into five main parts:

1. This part is devoted to summing up the past year by the outgoing president, and includes salutations and handing out awards.

2. The ceremony of transferring the gavel

3. Incoming president's remarks

4. Greetings from guests at the presidential table

5. Greetings from other clubs representatives and others

B.   Preparations for the ceremony

1. Responsibility for planning and organizing the presidential changeover ceremony rests with the incoming president, the club's  management and the events committee.

2. A date must be set, the venue and if possible a cultural interlude.

3. An MC must be appointed to run the event in a respectful manner, preferably someone from the club with experience.

4. V.I.P.s should be invited, such as the mayor or head of the community or representative, the D.G. and other District representatives, chairman of the zone, other club presidents.

5. A formal invitation to the event should be sent.

  1. Hall preparations

1. The presidential table is of utmost importance. Calling dignitaries up to the table is disruptive and distracts the audience.

2. The presidential table should be decorated with Lions emblems and flowers; the names of the dignitaries should be on display, and water and glasses provided.

3. The seating arrangement is as follows (from right to left): zone chairman, outgoing president, the mayor, the D.G., the incoming president and the MC.

4. The hall should be decorated and items of equipment can be borrowed from the District, such as a stand for the national flag, the Lions flag, the club flag and possibly the municipal flag.

5. Audio visual equipment and the microphone should be rechecked just before the ceremony and the artistic performance should be coordinated.

D. Ceremony proceedings

1. The V.I.Ps invited to the event should be formally greeted as they arrive and escorted to their reserved seats.

2. The ceremony should start on time.

3. The MC should open the event by welcoming the participants and inviting a representative of the club to recite the Lions Prayer.

4. The MC should invite to the top table in the following order: outgoing president, incoming president, D.G., city mayor, zone chairman.

5. The MC should give a brief overview of the club and the organization.

6. The outgoing president will give a speech, followed by a handing out of the awards.

7. An artistic interlude

8. Presentation of the new president, including a few anecdotes

9. The transfer of the gavel – speech and proclamation

10. Granting of Lions pins to the incoming president, the mayor and the outgoing president.

11. The incoming president gives his speech and grants the outgoing president an award on behalf of the club's members.

12. Bouquets of flowers are awarded to the spouses of the outgoing and incoming presidents.

13. An artistic interlude

14. Greetings from the top table: the zone chairman, D.G., mayor and a family representative.

15. A toast is made to the State of Israel, Lions Israel, the club and the new president.

16. Greetings from other clubs and exchange of club flags.

End of ceremony

The event can be concluded with songs and dancing.

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