Lions Clubs International History

Lions Clubs International
The world's largest service club association, Lions Clubs International has 1.3 million members in 205 countries and geographic areas. Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes. Founded in 1917, the association's motto is

"We Serve."

Mission of Lions Clubs International
Lions Clubs International is dedicated to helping those less fortunate in their communities and around the world. Cutting across all national, racial and cultural boundaries, activities have included sight conservation and work with the visually impaired, youth programs including drug education and prevention and volunteer programs, diabetes detection and research and work for international cooperation and understanding.History of Lions Clubs International

The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago businessman 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.Jones' own group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed. After contacting similar groups around the country, an organizational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago. The new group took the name of one of the groups invited, the "Association of Lions Clubs," and a national convention was held in Dallas in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objects and code of ethics were approved.Just three years after its formation, the organization became international when the first club in Canada was established in 1920. Major international expansion continued as clubs were established, particularly throughout Europe, Asia and Africa during the 1950s and 60s.

Perhaps the single event having the greatest impact on the association's service commitment occurred in 1925 when Helen Keller addressed the Lions at their international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio USA. It was there that she challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." They responded, and Lions are now best known for their sight-related programs, including SightFirst, the world's largest blindness prevention program.



Melvin Jones
Founder of Lions Clubs International

Melvin Jones was born January 13, 1879 at Fort Thomas, Arizona, the son of a United States Army captain who commanded a troop of scouts. Later, his father was transferred and the family moved east. As a young man, Jones made his in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm, and in 1913 formed his own agency.

He soon joined the Business Circle, a businessmen's luncheon group, and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely to promoting the financial interests of their membership. Because of their limited appeal, they were destined to disappear. Melvin Jones, however, had other plans. "What if these men," he asked, "who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?" Thus, at his invitation, delegates from men's clubs met in Chicago to lay the groundwork for such an organization and on June 7, 1917, Lions Clubs International was born. It was stipulated that clubs were not to be social in nature nor were members permitted to promote their own business interests.

 

Multiple District 2

 

One of the first tasks of the Directors of Lions International was to divide the U.S.A. into Districts for their organization and administration, and to appoint a District Governor over each.

In the first sectioning, there were nine districts, nationwide. Some parts of the country where there were no Lions Clubs had no districts at all. The first nine districts were created right along with the Association of Lions Clubs on June 7, 1917. Lionism spread rapidly, to even include states not attached to any district, and in some areas the number of Lions Clubs was too great for any one Governor to handle.

 

In 1921 our entire nation was re-divided into seventeen districts and subsequently renumbered.
The original (1917) plan had the districts numbered geographically from the Pacific coast, with ascending numbers eastward. But in 1921 the district numbering revision set Illinois as the Lion's " District" and numbered Illinois as District #1. Since then, numbers were granted on the basis of a region's membership ranking. Texas, having the most clubs and members became District 2.  Closely behind was Oklahoma (District 3). This was the method that all seventeen districts were renumbered. In general, the districts are organized along national, state and provincial lines.  Where warranted by the number of clubs and Lions, districts can be broken down into sub-districts. In this case, the original district is called a multiple district.

 

In 1930 District 2 was sub-divided into five districts 2T, 2E, 2X, 2A, and 2S.

 

 

Currently there are 16 districts in the State of Texas:
2-T1, 2-T2, 2-T3, 2-E1, 2-E2, 2-X1, 2-X2, 2-X3, 2-A1, 2-A2, 2-A3, 2-S1, 2-S2, 2-S3, 2-S4, and 2-S5

 


District 2-S2