Grand Celebration of Christmas by Lions District 317C at Lions Seva Bhavan, Moodubelle

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza
Pics by Ln. Wilson DSouza
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi/M’Belle, 22 Dec 2021: Lions District 317C celebrated Christmas at Lions Seva Bhavan, Moodubelle on a grand scale on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 at 6 pm. The Christmas celebration was marked by the messages of peace, love and harmony by two eminent speakers-Dr. Gananatha Shetty Yekkar, folklore scholar and Principal of TenkNidiyur College and Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo-Bishop of Udupi Diocese, felicitation of Commodore Jerome Castelino for his service in the Indian Navy and participation in the Indo-Pak War (1971), singing of Christmas Carols by Leo members and the arrival of Santa Claus.


The Christmas celebration programme commenced with the arrival of the chief guests Dr. Gananath Shetty Yekkar and Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo who were received and ushered into the venue of the celebration by the canopy bearers.


The Christmas celebration was inaugurated by the dignitaries by cutting the Christmas Cake. There after tribute was paid to late Ln. Veerabhadra- First Vice District Governor and Late Wilfred D’Souza-Past District Governor aand donor of the land on which the Lions Seva Bhavan stands.



Fr. Cyril Lobo-Assistant Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Church, Moodubelle conducted a brief but meaningful prayer service with reading from the Gospel and a hymn in Kannada.


Students of St. Lawrence English Medium High School presented the welcome dance.


The stage programme commenced next with Ln. Vishwanath Shetty-Governor of Lions District 317 C presiding over the programme. Other dignitaries on the dais included: Dr. Gananath Shetty Yekkar, Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Ln. Suresh Prabhu-Past District Governor, Ln. Sapna Suresh-Cabinet Secretary, Ln. Jayaprakash Bhandary-Lions District Treasurer, Ln. Nery Cornelio-Second Vice Governor, Leo Joy Fernandes-Leo President of District 317C, presidents of 5 host clubs-Moodubelle, Parkala, Subhashnagar, Udupi Chetana and Shirva-Manchakal and conveners of the Christmas organizing committee- Ln. Gerald Fernandes and Ln. Anil D’Mello.


Following the welcome address by Ln. Gerald Fernandes, Ln. Suresh Prabhu-Chairman of Honorary Committee Lions District 317C in his introductory remarks pointed out the reason behind the celebration of festivals associated with three main religions-Diwali, Christmas and Eid. He also narrated the circumstances under which Melwyn Jones founded the Lions Club International over a century ago and its aims and objectives, namely, to serve humanity and break the walls of religious, caste, linguistic and cultural differences and promote peace and harmony throughout the world.


Ln. Commodore Jerome Castelino-veteran of Indian Navy who had participated in the Goa Liberation War (1961) as well as the Indo-Pak War (1971) and Charter President of the Lions Club of Moodubelle was felicitated by the dignitaries on the dais. He was introduced to the audience by Ln. Sapna Suresh, the Cabinet Secretary. 


In his reply to the felicitation, Commodore Jerome Castelino said that he was greatly honoured by being felicitated by Bishop Gerald Lobo and Ln. Vishwanath Shetty-Lions Governor of District 317C. Speaking further he said that he had spent 35 years of his youth in the Indian Navy. Speaking of the role of a soldier he said that like any other citizen, a soldier desires peace, but when war is inevitable, he had to fight for the motherland and even lay down his life in protecting the honour of the nation. The engraving at the War Memorials “For your tomorrow, we gave our today” signifies the supreme sacrifice that a soldier makes to his motherland. Continuing further Commodore Jerome Castelino said that though the world has made progress in may ways, human beings do not enjoy peace and good health. Under these circumstances, one should remember that nearly two thousand years ago God sent his own son Jesus Christ who was born in a cowshed to a simple woman, Mary and gave the message of peace, love and brotherhood. This message is quite relevant in modern times when the world is torn apart because of hatred, crime and violence.



In his keynote address. Dr. Gananath Shetty Yekkar said that he was quite elated to take part in the Christmas celebration organized by the Lions District 317C. He stressed upon the fact that for a healthy society and building a strong nation, it is important that all people should live in peace and harmony. For this purpose, the mindset of the people has to change in positive direction. The negative mindset regarding to other religious or caste communities leads to hatred and violence. He further said that all religious texts contain teachings that are positive and for betterment of humanity. The Constitution of India is one of the best constitutions of the world which contain the noble ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity which are included practically in all religious teachings. India is a land of diversity and there is unity in diversity which should be accepted and respected by all.


On this occasion, a donation of Rs.25,000/- was made to the Manasa Training and Rehabilitation Centre, Pamboor on behalf of the Lions District 317C and Rs.25,000/- for providing uniform to the students of Belle Church Aided Higher Primary School, Moodubelle. Commodore Jerome Castelino also donated Rs.100,000/- to the Manasa Training and Rehabilitation Centre.


In his message Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo highlighted the significance of Christmas which is being celebrated throughout the world. He said that first of all Christmas conveys the message of love. God loved humanity so much that He sent His own Son to redeem the world from its sins. Jesus had said “As you love yourself, you love others”. The Bishop further said that every new born child through its innocence gives the message of love. The other important messages of Christmas are peace, humility and sharing.


The arrival of Ln. Sadhana Kini as Santa Claus with entourage heightened the Christmas celebration.



In his presidential address, Ln. Vishwanath Shetty complemented the Lions Club of Moodubelle for hosting the grand Christmas celebration. He recalled the manner in which Diwali was celebrated at Moodubelle in spite of heavy rains. He appreciated the messages of love, peace and harmony manifested in the speeches of Dr. Gananath Shetty Yekkar and Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo.


Ln. Nery Cornelio and Leo Joy Fernandes delivered felicitation messages.


The Leo members sang Christmas Carols in between the programme.


Students from Manasa Training and Rehabilitation Centre presented Christmas Carols and dances.


Fr. George D’Souza, Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Church was present.


Ln. Rajendra Shetty proposed the vote of thanks and Ln. Devdas Hebbar and Ln. Melwyn Aranha compeered the programme.



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