About Lions Clubs International
- A Little History
The International Association of Lions
Clubs began as the dream of Chicago businessman Melvin
Jones. Melvin Jones was born in 1879; in 1913 he formed
his own Insurance agency.
He joined a local businessmen's luncheon
group and asked: - "What if these men,
who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition,
were to put their talents to work improving their communities?"
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. Clubs were
not to be social in nature nor were members permitted to promote their
own business interests.
Jones eventually devoted himself full time
to Lions International.
It was under his dynamic leadership that
Lions Clubs earned the prestige necessary to attract civic-minded
members. The association's founder was also recognized as a leader
outside the association. One of his greatest honours was in 1945 when
he represented Lions Clubs International as a consultant in San Francisco,
California, at the organization of the United Nations.
In 1925, Helen
Keller addressed the Lions international convention
in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. She challenged Lions to become "knights
of the blind in the crusade against darkness." From this time,
Lions clubs have been actively involved in service to the blind and
Melvin Jones' personal code was "YOU
CAN'T GET VERY FAR UNTIL YOU START DOING SOMETHING FOR SOMEBODY ELSE".
This became a guiding principle for public-spirited people the world
over. He died in 1961 at 82 years of age.
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