Sacha Walters-Gregory, Staff Reporter
Outstanding. That's the word Anthony Williams strives to live by. Williams is the immediate past lieutenant governor for division 23 West - Middlesex South, of Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District of Kiwanis International.
His office walls are covered with plaques, telling the story of his climb up the ranks of the Kiwanis Club. Soon he will have to roll up his sleeves and find new spots for more plaques. At the 95th annual Kiwanis District Convention in Bridgetown Barbados in May, he was awarded the top lieutenant governor and his division received the most awards.
"I haven't even found space to hang them as yet," explained the lawyer, while showing the new plaques, each still safely draped in a protective film.
The six awards received were the Kiwanis International Distinguished Division Award; Kiwanis International Distinguished Lieutenant Governor Award; the Glen Bagnel Award/Mel Osborne Fellow - Top Lieutenant Governor with the highest membership growth in at least 50 per cent of the clubs in the division - 70 new Kiwanians were inducted in 17 clubs; Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District Distinguished Lieutenant Governor Award of Excellence - most outstanding/exemplary Lieutenant Governor of the 28 Divisions throughout the Caribbean and Eastern Canada, Governor's Award- Top Lieutenant Governor with the highest percentage of Service Leadership Clubs formed; Governor's Award- Top Lieutenant Governor with the highest percentage of Distinguished Clubs 94 per cent throughout the district.
These awards were bestowed on Williams and his district for work done during his one year stint as lieutenant govenor, 2010- 2011.
That year was dubbed the Year of Fire by the Kiwanis international body. But long before Williams knew the theme, he decided that his year as lieutenant governor would be an impactful one, an intention he expressed when interviewed by The Gleaner's Flair Magazine before he took up the post.
"I was called the fireman lieutenant governor. I even walked around with a gas container and a fire hat and I visited my 17 clubs, preparing my team. I told them to perform fireworks," he said explaining that fire produces results.
Similarly, Williams has used his drive to propel himself and his club, The Kiwanis Club of Spanish Town. Since joining in 1995, he has held positions such as distinguished secretary and president.
"From I went to the very first meeting, I was sold. The camaraderie, I felt very welcomed," he said of the all-male club.
But all his hard work and commitment to the club boil down to one thing, his desire to serve.
"With Kiwanis, you have to do a number of projects and in doing the projects, you offer service to the community. I did several projects along the way. We worked with boys' homes, we worked with the indigent. As a lawyer, I spent a lot of time with inmates in the prisons," notes the 47-year-old father and husband.
"I felt good when I went to the places of safety and the home for the aged and presented them with a stove so that they could cook. It made me feel good." He explained that with an influential service organisation such as Kiwanis, he can have more impact than if he were to perform the charity work on his own. This means a lot to him as when he joined the club, he wanted to go beyond just living his life through work, home and church but wanted to serve others.
Going forward, Williams holds the position of the district chairman with responsibility for young children. He oversees each club's responsibility for undertaking projects that benefit children.
Williams does not intend to stop here as he's aiming for the highest position in the organisation.