Tributes to Kiwanis world leader
The Kiwanis Club of St George's – along with Kiwanis clubs around the world – mourn the passing of the 2018-19 Kiwanis International President, Florencio “Poly” Lat.
He had served as the president of Kiwanis International since October 1, 2018, until his death this past week. He was 62 years old.
At the recent Kiwanis International Convention in Florida, held at the end of June, President Lat gave a hint as to medical challenges he was facing. He vowed at the time that he would not resign due to health reasons, but would continue in office.
Under Kiwanis policies, all elected officers take office on October 1 each year, and President Lat is due to be succeeded by Daniel Vigneron.
President-elect Daniel Vigneron said Lat would be remembered for the joy and compassion he brought to Kiwanis. “Poly was a true servant leader and Kiwanis is a better organization for his membership and leadership,” Vigneron said. “As the organization moves forward, we will continue to realize Poly's dream of making Kiwanis a great organization.”
Lat joined Kiwanis in July 1988 and became president of the Kiwanis Club of Inter-City Homes, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, in 1991; lieutenant governor in 2000; district governor in 2011-12 and was a Kiwanis International trustee from 2013 to 2016. He was elected president at the 103rd Annual Kiwanis International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis clubs of Inter-City Homes, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila; Manila Bay and Fort Bonifacio Global City.
He was one of the distinguished district governors honored at the 98th Annual Kiwanis International Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was a recipient of the Presidential Inspiration Award and Legion of Honor. The Kiwanis Asia-Pacific region conferred awards as a Champion in New Kiwanis and Service Leadership Programs Club Building in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Philippine Luzon District also won the Asia-Pacific region's Best Service Project Award during his term as district governor.
Under Poly's leadership, Kiwanis received The Outstanding Philippine Leadership Excellence Award in Philanthropy (TOPLEAP Award) for Environment from a joint project of the Rotary Club and Jaycees International. At the 2015 Kiwanis Asia-Pacific Convention, he was presented the Centennial Award, the first for members in that region.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; three children, Diane, Dan and Geline; and three grandchildren, Iñigo, Nica and Lia.
Kiwanis St George has forwarded condolences to the family of the late President Lat.
• Press release from the Kiwanis Club of St George's