LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL was founded in 1917 in the United States by businessman Melvin Jones who felt that successful people like himself and his colleagues should devote some of the energies which had enabled them to succeed in business to serving their local communities. Appropriately he chose “We Serve” as the Lions’ motto.
Lions Clubs now exist in more than 170 countries (including the newly democratic countries of Eastern Europe and Russia) and more than 2.5 million men and women wear the distinctive lapel pin.
Our 46,000 clubs and 1.4+ million members make us the world's largest service club organization. We're also one of the most effective. Our members do whatever is needed to help their local communities. Everywhere we work, we make friends. With children who need eyeglasses, with seniors who don’t have enough to eat and with people we may never meet.
It was thanks to the support of Canadian Lions – and the intervention of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, that the first Lions club in London was founded in 1950.
Canadian Lions had provided invaluable support for children orphaned in the Second World War. To thank them, the then Queen sent her equerry Colonel Edward Wyndham (later Lord Leconfield) to Canada. He was so impressed that Windsor (Ontario) Lions Club agreed to sponsor the first London club, with Lord Leconfield as its founding Charter President.
Today, HRH The Countess of Wessex is a member of the Wokingham Lions Club and Royal Patron of the Lions Clubs of the British Isles. The support of the Countess has included carrying out the opening ceremony for the Lions shelter at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Lions Clubs in Ireland have long received the backing of the country’s President, most notably at Eric’s Party in Dublin, which first began in 1962 and is now attended by over 500 homeless people. President Michael D. Higgins and his predecessor, President Mary McAleese, have both been a proud Guest of Honour at the event.
Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That's because we help where help is needed – in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.
The World's Largest Service Club Organization
St Albans Lions Club
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