Lions Club of Enna
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"The year was 1961 and I was very interested in becoming involved in some manner of community endeavor" recalls Dr. Grimaldi. "A friend interested me in the possibility of forming a Lions Club in Enna and upon learning what the Lions do and how they relate to their communities, I immediately fell in love with the philosophy of Lions Club International. Oscar Hausmann, the extension representative of Switzerland, helped me to organize the Lions Club of Enna and I had the honor of being its charter president. At first, we had 15 members, but once our goals became known, we soon grew to 20."

Initially, the Enna Lions endeavored to understand the greatest needs which existed in the community. This accomplished, the club's first service project was to help elderly people who lived in substandard housing.

Soon the young club, led by Dr. Grimaldi, was addressing a number of pressing needs in the community. And they did it in a most dramatic manner. A list of civic needs was drawn up and presented personally to the mayor of Enna by the Club President, Dr. Grimaldi. The challenge - and it was just that - was clear: either the city answered these needs or the Enna Lions Club would have. Quite obviously, the mayor was startled, then impressed.
Speach of Pino
The Enna Lions Club, 15 members (soon to be 20) strong, had established itself as an integral part of the community.

The Club most certainly had the capacity to offer this challenge, for -as Dr. Grimaldi says - it represented individuals who were at the very highest level of their individual professions - lawyers, doctors, business leaders…

"If something needed to be done," recalls Dr. Grimaldi "all we had to do was pick up the telephone. Our Club was respected for its influence and the individual prestige of its members. As it concerns civic responsibility," he says with a smile "we were, in effect, somewhat of a shadow government". He recalls that one of his club's earliest projects was to sponsor and conduct educational seminars for university-bound students.

Dr. Grimaldi was at first a steady attendee at his club's meetings ("I never missed on") and functions, but, he admits, his attendance became somewhat less than 100 percent as he became more involved in district affairs. "I missed my Club responsibilities," he says "but they conflicted, I'm sad to say, with my district level duties".

He became zone chairman and, in 1968-69, served as district governor (at 39 years-of-age, one of the youngest in the association he's happy to admit). His district - 108-Y - was most impressive. Not only did it include all of Sicily, but every plot of land South of Naples and that's a considerable amount of territory to cover. It was one of the largest districts in the association (700 km from Naples to Ragusa in the South of Sicily).

As a leader at the district level, what type of activities does he most remember as fulfilling his visions of civic responsibility ? His district became involved in programs he encourages Lions everywhere to adopt. "Lions at every level should promote the civil rights of all its citizens and, when necessary, take on the roles of a public defender or ombudsman. Lions must study the laws of their land and work, using their prestige as Lions, on behalf of the passage of laws they believe as serving the common good. This is not 'politics', but our duty as citizens of a democratic society.

Download Prof. Dr. Grimaldi's curriculum vitae (.pdf file, 79 Kb)
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E-mail to Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Grimaldi