History of Lions

History of Lions

In 1917, Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, told members of his local business club they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Jones’ group, the Business Circle of Chicago, agreed.

After contacting similar groups around the United States, an organisational meeting was held on June 7, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The new group took the name of one of the invited groups, the ‘Association of Lions Clubs,’ and a national convention was held in Dallas, Texas, USA in October of that year. A constitution, by-laws, objectives and a code of ethics were approved. And the rest is history.

Our 100th anniversary in 2017 is a reason to look back on our long and proud tradition of service and the numerous achievements of our association and Lions around the world.

LCI Historical Highlights

1917: Melvin Jones and fellow Chicago businessmen found Lions Clubs to improve the community.

1920: Lions Clubs become international by chartering a club in Windsor, Canada.

1925: During the international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, Helen Keller charges Lions with becoming knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

1930: Lion George Bonham paints a cane white with a wide red band to aid the visually impaired after he witnesses a blind man having trouble crossing the street.

1931: Lions head south and establish a club in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

The first international convention outside of the U.S. is held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

1935: Local Lions donate a Talking Book machine to the Milwaukee Public Library, allowing the blind to hear books.

1939: Members of the Detroit Uptown Lions Club turn an old Michigan farmhouse into a school to train guide dogs for the visually impaired, helping to popularise guide dogs worldwide.

1944: The world’s first eye bank is created in New York City. Today, most eye banks are Lions-sponsored.

1945: Lions assist in drafting the United Nations Charter, starting a lasting bond with the U.N.

1947: In October, Lions celebrate the 30th anniversary of the association at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. It had become the world’s largest service club organisation at the time with 324,690 members in 19 nations.

Lions are given consultant status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council.

1948: Only three years after World War II, Europe sees its first Lions club in Stockholm, Sweden. Geneva, Switzerland, follows suit just days later.

1954: After an international contest among Lions, an official motto is chosen: ‘We Serve.’

1956: The Detroit Lions Club gives 6-year-old Stevie Wonder a Christmas gift – a drum set.

1957: Lions launch youth programs, including the very successful Leo Clubs.

1968: The Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is established. Since its founding, LCIF has given more than US$826 million in grants to support the humanitarian work of Lions.

1972: LCIF sends out its first grant – US$5,000 to assist victims of flooding in South Dakota.

1973: In February, the association welcomes its one millionth member.

1977: Lion Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer from Georgia, becomes president of the United States of America.

1985: LCIF awards its first Major Catastrophe Grant of US$50,000 for earthquake relief in Mexico.

1986: Mother Teresa accepts the Lions Humanitarian Award.

1987: The association amends its bylaws and invites women to become members. Women are now the fastest growing segment of new members.

1990: SightFirst is launched, eventually raising more than $415 million dollars to help eradicate major causes of blindness.

1995: LCIF partners with The Carter Center, led by former US president and Lion Jimmy Carter, to combat river blindness in Africa and Latin America.

1999: Nilofer Bakhtiar of Pakistan is elected as the first female international director of the association.

2002: Lions charter two clubs in China, the nation’s first voluntary membership group since the 1950s.

2003: Through SightFirst, Lions and The Carter Center record their 50 millionth river blindness treatment.

2004: Lions mobilize more than US$15 million for South Asia tsunami relief following the disaster.

2007: The Financial Times ranks LCIF as best non-governmental organization worldwide to partner with.

2010: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation contributes US$5 million to the One Shot: One Life campaign, and Lions raise more than US$10 million to support measles efforts over the next two years.

2011: LCIF awards its 10,000th grant – bringing the total amount awarded to US$708 million.

Lions help administer 148 millionth dose of Mectizan to treat river blindness.

Following the Japan earthquake and tsunami, Lions mobilize over US$21 million for relief efforts.

2013: LCIF partners with the GAVI Alliance to protect millions of children from measles and rubella. LCIF commits US$30 million for immunisations, matched by US$30 million from UK Government and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, bringing the total to US$60 million.

Colombia eliminates river blindness with the support of Lions and The Carter Center partnership.

2014: Lions launch the Centennial Service Challenge, a global initiative to serve 100 million people around the world.

2017: Lions celebrate their 100th anniversary and first century of service!

Who we are

Who we are

Lions Club Erasmus is the only English-speaking club belonging to the Lions Luxembourg District 113 . We are one of the few clubs that has a mixed membership, i.e. women and men. Although English is our working language, our members are of many different nationalities and backgrounds. It is this diversity and richness which makes our club special.

History of the club

The club was founded in the year 2000 by Leo de Waal, a member of Lions Club Europe, who brought together a small group of people from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and occupations. The same year, Lions Club Erasmus decided on its main project – to fundraise for children’s projects in Luxembourg a

nd abroad.

Taking advantage of the changeover to the euro, it set up its Coins for Kids campaign, where collecting tins were placed with companies and individuals to collect all the old currency coins. These were then sorted manually by the club members and exchanged for euros.

Why Lions Club Erasmus?

The following two Erasmus quotes can stand as a sort of mission statement for Lions Club Erasmus in Luxembourg.

“I am a citizen of the world, known to all and to all a stranger.”

“That you are patriotic will be praised by many and easily forgiven by everyone; but in my opinion it is wiser to treat men and things as though we held this world the common fatherland of all.”

They appeal to us:

  • to transcend borders, both physical and in the mind, in other words, to value openness, tolerance and to accept our common citizenship of the world;

  • to be responsible for others, to serve those weaker and less privileged everywhere;

  • to be mindful and protect our physical environment, since it does not belong to us individually, but to all humanity.

Interested?

If you would like to know more about becoming member, visit our page How to become a member.

More information

If you would like more information about our club and activities, please get in touch with us via our Contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!

What we do

Introduction

The club’s regular meetings are held twice a month.

Fundraising

Our main fundraising activity is through the Coins for Kids compaign.

Support through actions

In addition to fundraising, the Lions Club Erasmus has frequently participated in other charity events such as a charity quiz, supporting the banque alimentaire by eating pizza or organising food collections or decorating shoeboxes to hold Christmas gifts for children in need.

… having fun

While supporting children in need in our key activity, we also like to have fun.  In the past we have organised cultural trips for members, partners and friends, including wine-tasting on the Moselle, a trip to Aachen,  a country walk and a visit to the Chambre des Députés. 

How to become a member

Helping others and meeting new people

Are you interested in helping others and meeting new people? As a Lions Club Erasmus member you will:

  • Use your talents to make an impact locally and around the world

  • Acquire new skills

  • Meet people from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds

  • Cultivate new friendships

You can volunteer your time to help those in need through fundraising and other activities.

…And have fun while you do it!

Our Lions Club activities can fit your lifestyle

Being a Lion allows you to help change lives locally and abroad.

We are, however, aware how little time most people have because of professional, personal or family commitments. You can commit as much time as you wish and as your schedule allows or as your circumstances change.

Our club lets you volunteer your help to fit your lifestyle, whether you are looking to lend a helping hand or later to pursue a leadership role.

Meetings

Our regular club meetings are twice a month, on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings.

Interested? Find out more

For more information about becoming a member, please get in touch with us by email at contact@lionscluberasmus.lu or use our contact form.