International President Gudrun Yngvadottir with local and national members
The International President of Lions Clubs International, Gudrun Yngvadottir lavished praise on the outstanding work being done by Thurles Lions Club when she paid a visit to the town last week.
President Gudrun encouraged the Club to continue their service to the local community after she visited a number of projects run by Thurles Lions in the town.
She had been received by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar at Government Buildings on Monday April 29 and by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Michael Ring at the Mansion House.
President Gudrun visited Thurles Lions Club on Tuesday and spent some time in Matthew Bourke House where she was updated on the Thurles Lions Social Housing Programme.
While there, she unveiled a bust of Bert Mason, the only Irish Lion to be International President of Lions Clubs International. Following on from Matthew Bourke House the President visited the Blue Door, another Thurles Lions Club initiative.
The Blue Door is a place where anyone feeling burdened, can come. In this homely, cosy, warm environment, that burden can be shared and/or appropriate support can be arranged to help alleviate this burden, be it big or small. The ethos of the project is one of all inclusiveness, confidentiality, decorum, friendliness, warmth and security, with no stigma, no mental health emphasis, just overall wellbeing.
Thurles Lions Club President Joe Putti welcomed the International President to Thurles and spoke about the ongoing projects of the club.
A biomedical scientist, President Gudrun heads the world’s leading voluntary service organisation, which has1.4m members in 47,000 Lions Clubs spread through more than 200 countries and regions.
She is the first native of Iceland to head Lions Clubs International and is also the first woman to hold this office.
She has held many local, national and international offices within the Lions global family and says that her work ethic and unwavering determination stem from her Icelandic upbringing - 'a small but mighty country where the citizens boast a long history of overcoming obstacles and achieving success’
As International President, Gudrun is actively promoting Lions programmes in the areas of diabetes, hunger, childhood cancer and the environment and she spearheads the ‘New Voices’ initiative which recognises and promotes the role of women within Lions Clubs International.
Since 1990 she has worked at the University of Iceland as vice director of the Institute of Continuing Education and she remains active in the Icelandic Association of Biomedical Scientists.
President Gudrun is married to Dr. Jon Thorsteinsson, who accompanied her on her visit to Ireland and they have a son, daughter and six grandchildren.