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THE LIONS CLUB OF RAYLEIGH

Charity Trust number 1021517


Lions Clubs International

The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago insurance man Melvin Jones, who wondered how local business clubs (he was an active member of one) could expand their horizons from purely business concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large. Jones' idea struck a chord within his own group, the Business Circle of Chicago and they authorised him to explore his concept with similar organisations from around the United States. His efforts resulted in an organisational meeting at a local hotel on 7th June 1917.

The 12 men who gathered there overcame a natural sense of loyalty to their parent clubs and voted the "Association of Lions Clubs" into existence.  They then issued a call for a national convention to be held at Dallas, Texas, that October. That first convention also began to define what Lionism was to become. A constitution and by-laws were adopted, the colours of purple and gold approved, and a start made on Lions Objectives and Code of Ethics. Community leaders soon began to organise clubs throughout the United States and the association became "international" with the formation of the Windsor, Ontario, Canada Lions Club in 1920. 
Clubs were later organised in China, Mexico, and Cuba.  By 1927, membership stood at 60,000 in 1,183 clubs.

Lions reached Europe in 1948 as clubs were chartered in Sweden, Switzerland, and France. In 1952, the first club was chartered in Japan. Since then, the association has become truly global. The proper name of the association is "The International Association of Lions Clubs."  Many Lions prefer the use of the shorter form of "Lions Clubs International."

The Emblem.
Throughout the world, Lions are recognized by the emblem they wear on their lapels.  It consists of a gold letter "L" on a circular purple field.  Bordering this is a circular gold area with two lion profiles at either side facing away from the centre.  The word "Lions" appears at the top, and "International" at the bottom.  Symbolically, the lions face both past and future - proud of the past and confident of the future.

The motto of every Lion is simply "We Serve"

The slogan of the association is "Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation's Safety (LIONS).

The royal colours of purple and gold were selected as the official colours when the association was organised in 1917. Purple stands for loyalty to friends and to one's self, and for integrity of mind and heart.  Gold symbolises sincerity of purpose, liberality in judgement, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purpose toward humanity.