A potted history of Lions clubs

Formed in 1917 by an American by the name of Melvin Jones the Lions Clubs organisation is today the largest Service Organisation in the World, with over 1.5 million members belonging to nearly 42,500 Lions Clubs in over 178 countries and geographical locations, with new clubs being formed more recently in Albania, Republic of Belarus and Russia.

England saw the first Lions Club being formed in London shortly after the war, which has now grown to almost 1,000 Clubs in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire comprising around 21,000 members, collectively known as Multiple District 105 (MD105) and split into Districts (this district being MD105C).

The Queen Mother is acknowledged as the catalyst for the introduction of Lions Clubs into this country, when in the war many Canadian servicemen visiting London were appalled by the way the children of the Blitz lived, with poor food, few clothes, frequent danger, Mums serving in the factories and Dads fighting overseas and so many homes destroyed. Some of these Canadians were members of Lions Clubs and they decided they wanted to help.

Funds were raised in Canada and at first it was thought that the money would be distributed by British Lions Clubs but there weren’t any!

The Queen (now the Queen Mother) was at the time the patron of the Church of England’s Children’s Society and arranged for the Society to distribute the funds on behalf of the Canadian Lions.

After the War the Queen sent Lord Leconfield to Canada to thank the Lions for their help, he asked if there was anything he could do in return, to which he was invited to visit the Chicago Headquarters of Lions Clubs International, they wanted Lord Leconfield to see what Lionism meant and so impressed was he that shortly after his return a group of professional and business men got together and formed the first Lions Club known as the ‘Host Club’ in London.

Their Aim. To Help those in need and to spread Lionism throughout the British Isles, and although the needs of the community have changed since the Blitz, the Motto ‘WE SERVE’ holds as true today as it did then.

2000/2001 was the 50th anniversary of Lions Clubs in the United Kingdom.

Lions Clubs are open to anyone over 21 years of age and although originally Male only clubs these are now becoming mixed as more Ladies express a wish to help their Local Community through organisations like Lions Clubs International.

The Lions of Multiple District 105 are delighted to announce the appointment of HRH The Countess of Wessex as their Royal Patron.

More than half a century, 54 years to be precise, after Lions Clubs International was introduced to our shores at the instigation of Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, we have a Royal Patron