History of Lions Clubs International


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 organizational 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, objects and a code of ethics were approved.


Within three years, Lions became an international organization. Since then, we've earned high marks for both integrity and transparency. We're a well-run organization with a steady vision, a clear mission, and a long – and proud – history.


Read more at Lions Clubs International: Click here


History of Lionism in New England


The oldest existing club in New England is the Bridgeport, CT club, organized February 28, 1921. The first Lions Club in Massachusetts was organized in Boston on December 31, 1920, but cancelled in 1942. The second club was in Springfield on May 16, 1922 with 50 Charter members. Worcester (Host) remains the oldest active club and celebrated its 80th anniversary on July 13, 2002. Later in 1922, clubs were organized in Pittsfield, Holyoke and Lynn. At that time, all New England was considered a part of District 23 and included Connecticut and Rhode Island.


In 1923, New England formed District 33, which contained seven clubs in Massachusetts, one in Maine, and none in Vermont or New Hampshire. The membership of eight clubs was 422. In 1928, Maine became separated from the other states in District 33 and became District 41. In 1939-1940, District 33 became Multiple District 33 composed of Sub-Districts 33-A, 33-B, 33-C and 33-D with 83 clubs and 2,619 members. The clubs in 'D' were located in New Hampshire or Vermont, whereas the clubs in A, B, and C were in Massachusetts. At the 1945 District Convention, Sub-District 33-D became separated from Multiple District 33 and became District 44.


At the 1949 convention, held at Magnolia, Massachusetts, June 17-19, a resolution proposing the division of District 33 into five sub-districts, to be known as 33 Y-A-N-K-S was adopted.