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History of Lions Clubs International


The International Association of Lions Clubs started as a dream  in the mind of a young Chicago insurance agent, Melvin Jones, who envisaged the consolidation of several independent service clubs into one strong unit with the aim of service to humanity.

A meeting of the leaders of several independent groups was held in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A on 7th June 1917 and from that meeting a convention was arranged and held in Dallas, Texas, 8th-10th October 1917, from which meeting was conceived and founded the world's largest most active and most representative service club organisation known today as Lions.

The second country to introduce the organisation was Canada in 1920 and the third was China in 1926, with Mexico and Cuba following in 1927. 

Eight years later Central America entered the fold and in 1936 the first South American club was formed in Colombia. 

The first Lions Club in Europe was organised at Stockholm, Sweden, in March 1948.  Australia formed their first club in 1947, Philippines in 1949, and New Zealand in March 1955, followed by India in 1956.  Japan opened up in 1962.

By 1927, some ten years after the first club had been formed back in Chicago, membership had grown to 60,000 in over 1183 clubs and with a steady and continued growth of three new clubs almost daily.

The membership of Lions International reached a total of one million by late 1973. 

There are now 1.4 million members in 185 countries and geographical areas.

The International Association of
Lions Clubs


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 matters of public interest, provided, however, that partisan politics an d sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members

TO ENCOURAGE service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavours

Did you know?

There are
1.4 million
lions members
in 185 countries
and geographical areas worldwide?

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