WHO ARE THE LIONS?
|The Lions are men and women
dedicated to serving those in need, whether in their own community or
halfway around the world. In addition to humanitarian service, they
enjoy fellowship and develop leadership skills.
Lions began in the United States in 1917 when a group of independent clubs responded to an idea presented to them by a young Chicago insurance agent, Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
This was heralded as a departure from the trend current at that time of forming clubs basically with a commercial motive - Jones' own group was the Business Circle of Chicago.
An organizational meeting was held at a local hotel on June 7, 1917, and from this meeting the organization was born.
The association became "International" with the formation of the Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Lions Club in 1920. From that time on clubs were formed worldwide.
It consists of a gold letter "L" on a circular purple field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two conventionalized lion profiles at either side facing away from the center. The words "Lions" appear at the top and "international" at the bottom. Symbolically, the lions face both past and future -- proud of the past and confident of the future.
It is the obligation of every Lion to wear and display this emblem with pride.
Developed at the 1997 International Convention in Philadelphia and included in the masthead of THE LION Magazine beginning with the October 1997 issue.
"To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation."
"Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety."
The guiding force and founder Melvin Jones was the first acting secretary of the association, thus beginning an affiliation with Lions that only ended with his death. He served the association from 1917 until his death in 1961.
Melvin Jones, who was born on January 13, 1879, in Fort Thomas, Arizona, is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
FIRST ANNUAL CONVENTION
The Annual convention was held in Dallas, Texas at the Adolphus Hotel, October 8-10, 1917. Thirty Six delegates representing 22 clubs from nine states participated, approved the "Lions Clubs" designation, and elected Dr. William P. Woods of Indiana as their first president.
That first convention also began to define what the association was to become. A constitution and bylaws were adopted, the colors of purple and gold approved, and a start made on the Objects and Code of Ethics.
The official name of "Lions" is "The International Association of Lions Clubs" or simply "Lions Clubs International."
Purple and Gold To Lions, purple stands for loyalty to country, friends, one's self and the integrity of mind and heart. It is the traditional color of strength, courage and tireless dedication to a cause. Gold symbolizes sincerity of purpose, liberality in judgement, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purse toward those in need.
THE BASIS OF MEMBERSHIP
Any person of legal majority, good moral character and good reputation in the community may be granted membership in a duly authorized Lions club. Membership is by invitation only.