WHO ARE THE
They are volunteer members of clubs grouped under an
International organization, where they enjoy fellowship, and
dedicate part of their free time to help those in need all
over the world, while making their individual communities a
better place to live in.
Lionism began in the United states in 1917 when a group
of independent clubs responded to an ideal presented to them
by a young Chicago insurance agent, Melvin Jones.
The ideal was one of service as a group to their fellow
men without regard to politics, religion, race, or in any
way the personal interests of the members. This was heralded
as a departure from the trend current at that time of
forming clubs basically with a commercial motive. A
conference was called of some 25 independent clubs on June
7, 1917 and from this meeting the organization was born.
The official name of "Lions" is: "The International
Association of Lions Clubs" or simply "Lions Clubs
It consists of a gold letter "L" on a circular purple
field. Bording 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 &endash; proud of the past and
confident of the future.
It is the unwritten obligation of every Lion to wear and
display his emblem with pride.
"Liberty, Intelligence Our Nation's
To Lions, purple stands for loyalty to country,
friends, and 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 his
Although the youngest, The International Association of
Lions Clubs has grown to be the largest service club
organization in the world, as of January 31, 2000 it is
represented by over 1,413,431 members in 44,616 clubs in 741
districts in 185 countries and geographical areas.
The Association's headquarters is located in Oak Brook,
Illinois, U.S.A. The Association is governed by an elected
Board of 33 members from all parts of the world. This Board
includes 28 Directors, 2 Vice Presidents, the Immediate Past
President and is headed by the International President.
A Lion joining a club for the first time pays an entrance
fee to the Association. His/Her annual dues to the
International Association, the District and home club
constitutes financial commitment other than the meeting
A Lion member may transfer to any club in the world,
subject ot the new club's acceptance. It is a requirement
that a Lion complete the transfer within six months
following the date of termination of membership in their
Club meetings are held at least twice monthly. One
meeting may be devoted to business and the planning of
projects and the other to a dinner meeting often with a
The required attendance of members (either at club
meetings or at activities), type of program, formation of
committees, etc., are all decisions finally taken by the
local club based on the broad recommendations of the
Lions Clubs elect their officers annually and work
through club committees.
All monies for a Lions Club activity are raised by the
efforts of the members through whatever legal fund-raising
projects they may devise.
The Basis of Membership
Any person of legal majority, good moral character and
good reputation in their community may be granted membership
in a duly authorized Lions Club. Membership is by
Service to the Community
From the start, the emphasis has been on service in all
forms to less fortunate members of the community. The club
constitution, as recommended by the Association, may be
adapted by the local club to suit its own particular
requirements while keeping within the principles of the
Association and its International constitution. This
autonomy allowed to the individual clubs and the
concentration on practical service have perhaps been the two
principal factors which maintain the momentum of the
Association's growth and progress.
At the same time the completely international nature of
the organization, with the possibility of frequent and
ever-increasing contact between the members of the clubs
around the world based on their common interest in community
service, has always been a feature to catch the imagination
and the enthusiasm of the broadest of minds.