11 Ash Street
Oshawa Ontario
905 723-0931 
 
Click for Mailing Address

About Us and Lions International
 
 

Lions Clubs International - Triumph of an Idea

The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago insurance man Melvin Jones, who wondered why local business clubs -- he was an active member of one -- could not expand their horizons from purely business concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.

Jones' idea struck a chord within his own group, the Business Circle of Chicago, and they authorized him to explore his concept with similar organizations from around the United States. His efforts resulted in an organizational meeting at a local hotel on June 7, 1917.

The 12 men who gathered there overcame a natural sense of loyalty to their parent clubs, voted the "Association of Lions Clubs" into existence, and issued a call for a national convention to be held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of the same year.

Thirty-six delegates representing 22 clubs from nine states heeded the call, approved the "Lions Clubs" designation, and elected Dr. William P. Woods of Indiana as their first president. Guiding force and founder Melvin Jones named acting secretary, thus began an association with Lionism that only ended with his death in 1961.

That first convention also began to define what Lionism was to become. A constitution and by-laws were adopted, the colors of purple and gold approved, and a start made on Lionism's Objectives and Code of Ethics.

One of the objects was startling for an era that prided itself on mercenary individualism, and has remained one of the main tenets of Lionism ever since. "No Club," it read, "shall hold out the financial betterment of its members as its object."

Community leaders soon began to organize clubs throughout the United States, and the association became "international" with the formation of the Windsor, Ontario, Canada Lions Club in 1920. Clubs were later organized in China, Mexico, and Cuba. By 1927, membership stood at 60,000 in 1,183 clubs.

In 1935, Panama became home to the first Central American club, with the first South American club being organized in Columbia the following year. Lionism reached Europe in 1948, as clubs were chartered in Sweden, Switzerland, and France. In 1952, the first club was chartered in Japan.

Since then, the association has become truly global, with clubs in more than 170 countries and geographical areas worldwide.


 

Lions Mission Statement

To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation.

Lions Objects

TO CREATE and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.

TO PROMOTE the principles of good government and good citizenship.

TO TAKE an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.

TO UNITE the Clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.

TO PROVIDE a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest: provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by Club members.

TO ENCOURAGE service minded men and women to serve their community without personal financial rewards, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry professions, public works and private endeavors.

Lions Code of Ethics

TO SHOW my faith in the worthiness of my vocation by industrious application to the end of that I may merit a reputation for quality service.

TO SEEK success and to demand all fair remuneration or profit as my just due, but to accept no profit or success at the price of my own self-respect lost because of unfair advantage taken or because of questionable acts on my part.

TO REMEMBER that in building up my business it is not necessary to tear down another's: to be loyal to my clients or customers and true to myself.

WHENEVER a doubt arises as to the right or ethics of my position or action towards others, to resolve such doubt against myself.

TO HOLD friendship as an end and not as a means. To hold that true friendship exists not on account of the service performed by one to anther, but that true friendship demands nothing but accepts service in the spirit in which it is given.

ALWAYS to bear in mind my obligations as a citizen to my nation, my state and my community, and to give them my unswerving loyalty in word, act and deed. To give them freely of my time, labor and means.

TO AID others by giving my sympathy to those in distress, my aid to the weak, and my substance to the needy.

TO BE CAREFUL with my criticism and liberal with my praise; to build and not destroy.

Lions Creed

I BELIEVE that hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a person's character. Through example my children are learning values that will last a lifetime.

I BELIEVE that the best things in life are free, the sunrise, the autumn colors, the beauty of spring.

I BELIEVE that by my toil I am giving more to the world than I am taking from it, and the world is just a little better for my having passed through it.

I BELIEVE that my life will be measured by what I have done for my fellow man and by this standard I fear no judgment.

I BELIEVE that when a man grows old and sums up his days, he should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life he has lived.

I BELIEVE a man plants a tree knowing he will not live long enough to enjoy its shade and beauty. That with the help of about one and one half million Lions, I can do my part to make this a better world for future generations.

Lions Motto

The motto of every Lion is simply "We Serve". What better way to express the true mission of Lionism?

Lions Slogan

The slogan of the association is "Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety (LIONS).

Lions Name

The proper name of the association is "The International Association of Lions Clubs." Many Lions, however, prefer the use of the shorter form of "Lions Clubs International."

Lions Emblem

Throughout the world, Lions are recognized by the emblem they wear on their lapels. It consists of a gold letter "L" on a circular purple field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two lion profiles at either side facing away from the center. The word "Lions" appears 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. Lions wear their emblem with pride.

Lions Official Colors

The royal colors of purple and gold were selected as the official colors when the association was organized in 1917. Purple stands for loyalty to friends and to one's self, and for integrity of mind and heart. Gold symbolizes sincerity of purpose, liberality in judgment, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purpose toward humanity.