In recognition of Black History Month, the Daily Journal is highlighting the noteworthy achievement of this Richmond County native. — The Editor
A local man is the first African American District Governor, for 31-D, for the North Carolinas Lions, Inc.
Howard Wallace became the first African American District Governor, for 31-D, when he was sworn in at the 95th Lions Clubs Annual International Convention in Buscan, South Korea, in June 2012. He was one out of eight members to be sworn-in and the only African American from North Carolina.
The International Convention is held in a different country every year and it is where the District Governors are installed. The next International Convention will be held in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2013.
Wallace will be the District Governor until June 2013 and he governs the counties of Surry, Stokes, Rockingham, Yadkin, Forsythe, Guillford, Davie and Randolph.
Born in May 1943 in Rockingham Township and raised in the Beaver Dam community, Howard Wallace attended Mineral Springs High School in Ellerbe before moving to New York and graduating from John Adams High School in 1961.
Wallace joined the Lions Club in 1993 before retiring from AT&T as the Project Manager in 1995 after more than 30 years.
He said that one of the jobs of District Governors are to be administrators that make sure membership is growing. “If any president of the club needs assistance, then they come to the District Governors and we assist them,” he said.
Wallace said that District Governors are also expected to regularly visit the presidents of the clubs in their district to make sure membership is growing and to discuss problems that presidents face.
“It is great to be a part of a country in which a person can rise from the rural and important development in Beaver Dam, and go on to being active in a wider area which includes the international organization of Lions,” said Wallace.
Wallace, who lives in Archdale, N.C., is married to Barbara Wallace, and is the father of two children and three grandchildren. One child, a son, lives in Olathe, Kansas, and the other child, a daughter, lives in Powder Springs, Georgia.
Wallace said he encourages the youth to better their education and wants them to realize that the world is waiting to see more of Richmond County’s wonderful people.
The Lions Club is an international organization that began in 1917. Today, the organization has more than 46,000 clubs in 194 countries and geographical areas.
Lions in North Carolina are involved with prevention and cure with the formation of the Wake Forest University Eye Center, Duke University Eye Center and the new Diabetes Eye Research Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information about the North Carolina Lions Club, visit www.lionsclubs.org.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.