History of Lionism
The International Association of Lions Clubs started as a dream in the mind of a young Chicago insurance agent. The man was Melvin Jones; the dream was the consolidation of several independent clubs, already in existence, into one strong, influential unit for service to humanity. This dream was presented to the leaders of various independent groups at a meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on June 7, 1917. From that meeting came a call for the Association's annual convention, which was held October 8-10, 1917 in Dallas, Texas, with 23 clubs participating. Thus was conceived and founded the world's largest, most active and most representative service club organization.
The Association did not become international in fact until 1920 when the first Lions clubs were organized in Canada. The third, fourth and fifth Lions countries were China, Mexico and Cuba in 1926 and 1927. Eight years later Central America entered the fold, and in 1936 the first South American club was established in Colombia. The first Lions club in Europe was organized in Stockholm, Sweden on March 24, 1948. Although the largest by far, the Lions are the youngest of the major service club organization.
Today our Association is in practically all countries of the world. On every continent it is working through hundreds of thousands of Lions of all nationalities and creeds.
The Lions believe in club meetings where good fellowship and harmony prevail; in developing projects and activities geared to the needs of their communities; in broad participation in an international program of brotherhood and fellowship, based upon service wherever the need exists; in service to humanity without thought to race, creed, nationality, religion or politics; in the ultimate leadership of Lionism, but not at the expense of or in conflict with the programs of other organizations which, with different methods, seek the same goal of unselfish service to mankind.
The large letter "L" standing for Law – Liberty – Labor – Loyalty – Love – Life – Lions; on a circle representing Lions and Lions Clubs all bound together into one; Lions profiles looking two ways, representing a Lions looking in every direction for an opportunity to give unselfish service, with the word "Lions" at the top representing the Association, and the word "International" at the bottom indicating it is an international Association. It is the unwritten obligation of every Lion to wear and display his emblem with pride.
Purple and Gold. To Lions, purple stands for loyalty to country, loyalty to friends, loyalty to one's self and to 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 judgment, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purse toward his fellow man.
I pledge allegiance to my country and to the cause of peace throughout the World.
I believe in the principles of Lionism as contained in the Lions Code of Ethics.
I am proud to be a Lion dedicated to the service of others.
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