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, Switxerland, 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.
1986-87 Dean Gary
1987-88 Mike White
1988-89 J.R. Lloyd
1989-90 Vic Amey
1990-91 Sam Carey
1991-92 Pat O'Malley
1992-93 Rob French
1993-94 Bob Benson
1994-95 Peter Roskovich 1995-96 Sam Ennis
1996-97 Tim Church
1997-98 Bill Houlihan
1998-99 Paul Hooker
*1999-00 J.R. Lloyd
2000-01 Mike Schaffner
2001-02 Charlie Dolbey
2002-03 Carlos Mir
2003-04 Bob Hortie
*2004-05 Bob Hortie
*2005-06 Pat O'Malley
2006-07 Bob Anderson
2008-09 Bryan Adkins
2009-2010: Bob Anderson*
2010-2011: Jeff Atkins
* Secound time Serving as King Lion