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The History of the Lions of Georgia

Multiple District 18

In 1964 the Lions of Georgia seeing the need to preserve the history of the Lions in Georgia, created the position of State Historian. The following articles were presented over the years as a report to the Lions of the history within the state of Georgia. Each year the District Governors are requested to submit a report of their service to the State Historian. Report of the State Historian is compiled by decade with the latest decade published, 2000-2010.

Articles for this website are made possible by MD 18 State Historian Olin C. Newby PCC. Conversion to the Internet by Rick Mizell, PDG.   Webmaster of this site.

A Chronology of Georgia Lions

1st club formed in Georgia, December 17, 1920 in Atlanta, Georgia

The following are the first Districts in Lionism, District 1 Illinois, District 2 Texas, District 3 Oklahoma, District 4 California, District 5 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and East Texas.

1921 District 18 is created with Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

1924 Alabama and Florida form new districts, Georgia remains in District 18, 15 clubs, 579 members.

1934 The position Deputy District Governor was created. This position was used to assist the District Governor.

1937 Georgia redistricts to MD 18 with 3 sub districts called 18 – A B C. The position Zone Chair is created.

1947 Georgia redistricts to 4 sub districts called 18 – A B C D

1948 Georgia Lighthouse (Now Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation) is formed. The first State Uniform was approved.

1949 The Past District Governors Association is organized.

1951 Recording for the Blind (Now Learning Ally) is formed.

1955 Georgia redistricts to 6 sub districts called 18 – A B C D E F. The District Governors Contest was created to foster club competition.

1963 Georgia Lions Eye Bank is formed.

1964 State Historian position is created. Eugene Sanders served as first State Historian.

1965 Council of Governors formed. State Secretary position is created. Alcee F. Maxwell was the first State Secretary.

1966 State Lion Tamer position is created. Rupert Gay served as first State Lion Tamer.

1968 Lions of Georgia sponsored the first Peach Bowl game in Atlanta for the benefit of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.

1974 Lions Membership in Georgia peaked at 11,704

1976 M E R L is developed, Membership, Extension, Retention and Leadership. Georgia Lions adopt Leader Dogs for the Blind as a State Project.

1977 Council of Governors adopt the practice of wearing the Red Coat at official functions. Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind is Organized. The Peach is adopted as MD 18 symbol.

1986 Linda Selby becomes the current State Secretary.

1987 Number of Lions Clubs peak at 314, Women join Lionism.

1989 State Newsletter was started. The Region Chairman position is created.

1994 The position Vice District Governor was created. Was called Deputy District Governor

1995 Georgia redistricts, moving clubs from 18-D and 18-E to 18-F to redistribute membership.

1997 Georgia Lions Eye bank is no longer a Lions project. Children’s Eyecare Center at Emory is created.

1999 Lion Jim Ervin becomes the first Lion from Georgia to serve as International President.

2004 Georgia Council of Blind Lions is formed.

2005 5 of 6 sub districts now below 1,250 members.

2006 District 18-D regains 1,250 plus briefly.

2009 The Position of Vice District Governor was revised to 1st and 2nd Vice District Governor.

2011 GLT GMT positions are created replacing M E R L. Global Leadership Team and Global Membership Team.

2013 Georgia redistricts to 4 sub districts called 18 – L I O N.

2016  MD 18 membership drops to 5,257 with 221 clubs, lowest number of members since 1945-46 when the Lions of Georgia had 4,716-6,059 with 135-142 clubs and 3 districts. 1 District is now below 1,250 members. A new constitution and By-Laws was adopted to comply with Lions Clubs International CBL. The elected positions of State Historian and State Lion Tamer became appointed positions, appointed by the Council of Governors.

Activities are the life-blood of a Lions club. Without activities a club dries up: with activities it grows and prospers. A Lions club to justify its existence and to deserve the name, LIONS CLUB, must do something to help unfortunate individuals, to improve its community and to assist its country. Things to be done are on every hand if we have the energy to look for them and to go about doing them.

Some of these activities require money. A Lions club should not call upon its members for the money but should raise the necessary funds from the general public by worthwhile projects. THE LION magazine will also show the latest money-raising plans of Lions clubs all over the country.

Programs that are entertaining, interesting, instructive and inspiring are necessary if your club is to have good attendance and develop a spirit of Lionism. By all means, at meeting should open with group singing, a salute to the flag and an invocation. Much of the spirit of the meeting depends upon the tail-twister – he should go into action during the meal if possible and see that the crowd gets in a good humor.

Speakers and entertainers for the program can often be found in your own club or in nearby Lions clubs – use them if possible. Good speakers can be located among youth leaders and the clergy, in the legal, medical and educational professions; and in business establishments, factories and military posts.

A group of busy people, giving up their time to attend a Lions club meeting, deserve a constructive program.

Fellowship grows and expands through work and association. Unless a Lion is actively engaged in doing something with other Lions, he does not get to know them well and does not develop a spirit of real fellowship. Regular attendance is necessary also – a member who is weak in attendance never gets in the swim and feels like he is standing on the bank watching the other fellows have the fun.

Click on the links on the right side of this page to see various articles about the Lions History.