History 1980-1990 Part 4

District 18-D

July 1,1980 – June 30,1990


Council Vice-Chairman
District Governor 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
District 18-D
District Governor, 18-D
Council Chairman
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
1980-81 1981-82
District Governor, 18-D
Council Treasurer
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
District Governor, 18-D
Council Secretary 
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
1982-83 1983-84
District Governor, 18-D
Council Chairman
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
District Governor, 18-D
Council International
Convention Chairman
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
1984-85 1985-86
District Governor, 18-D
Council International
Convention Chairman
District 18-D
Cabinet Sac.-Treas.
District Governor, 18-D
Council Vice Chairman 
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
1986-87 1987-88
District Governor, 18-D
Council International
Convention Chairman
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
District Governor, 18-D
Council Treasurer
District 18-D
Cabinet Sec.-Treas.
1988-89 1989-90


Preface and Acknowledgments

In the development of a historical overview it is imperative that the material be drawn from a repository of accurate and pertinent factual information. One valuable resource is the Membership and Activities report that is filed monthly by the Cabinet Secretary. Another is the District Governor Bulletin that communicates current activities and promotional items of interest. The District Librarian is indebted to these two district officers for their diligence and attention to detail,thereby assuring that the activities of District 18D could be recorded for future generations of Lions.

In recognition of the foregoing, appreciation is extended to the following:

District Governor
Cabinet Secretary
Donald R. Hardigree Tommy Lee
W. Myers Banister Bud Parker
Conny H. Shirley Byard Roper, Jr.
Millard F. Havener Donald L. Hix
Bob G. Pinson Lincoln M. Hicks
Dr. William D. Bellamy  William E. Mundy
Loyd C. Prewett Michael Higgins
George W. Blackburn  Lewis deJarnette
Thois Masters Alfred Wright
C. L. Wilson Dwight Oliver


During the decade of the eighties the Lions of District 18D distinguish themselves in their diligent pursuit of the cause of Lionism. Those positions of leadership inspired confidence and generated a degree enthusiasm that led to levels of
accomplishment only dreamed of in the past.

Humanitarian service is a powerful motivator. The range of human need from providing sight services to meeting the needs of the victims

Hurricane Hugo – were responded to with the open hearts and willing hands of the Lions of District 18D. These efforts are the ones that make headlines. However, it is well to remember and to record in the history of our District the many local needs that were met by the Lions clubs in their local, communities – the eye examinations and eyeglasses that were provided for the less fortunate, the hearing molds and audiograms that were paid for, to World Service Day projects that were carried out, the senior citizen activities that were provided, the youth groups and activities that were sponsored -these and others too numerous to mention are testimony to the fact that as Lions we are serious about our motto “We Serve.”

The attention of the reader is directed to the appendices that are a part of this history. It is worthy of note that during W’s ten year period contributions to the five causes showed a dramatic increase. Particular attention is called to the Georgia Lions Lighthouse ten year contribution total – a figure that exceeded one million dollars. This figure is greatly increased from a service point of view when professional donated services are added to it. Then, note the total contributions for the five service program areas – $1,503,909.44. These figures leave little doubt that the Lions of District 18D are committed to the improvement of the quality of life for those hundreds of citizens that have been helped when they could not help themselves.

One might ask “Where do we go from here?” A review of the trend in membership indicates that attention must be given to increasing the number of Lions in our District and improving our record of retention. In and of themselves, numbers are not the most important concern. Rather it is the potential for good that increased membership will make possible. The equation is simple-more members plus increased project activity equals greater resources to use in the service of mankind. The challenge that each Lion should accept is to recruit a new member each year. The more hands that we have working the greater our potential for good.

In her address to an early Lions International Convention, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to be Knights of the Blind.” This District 18D has done. We have seized the opportunity to serve, we have increased the number of people assisted, but we cannot rest on our laurels- If history is a window to the past then it must, for the Lions of District 18D, become the door to opportunity during the decade of the nineties.

1980 – 90


On Sunday, March 16, 1980 Lion Donald Hardigree was elected District Governor. This was the first time in 20 years that a member of the Winder Lions Club had been elected District Governor. The Annual District Convention was held in Dahlonega, Georgia. Hardigree’s first appointment was Tommy Lee of the Winder Lions Club to serve as the Cabinet Secretary-Treasurer. Hardigree had served as a Zone Chairman, Deputy District Governor, Associate Director to the Lions Lighthouse, and, District Membership Chairman.

Serving on the District 18D Cabinet for the year 1980- 81 was Cabinet advisor Dr. John F. Pearce of Dahlonega, District Librarian Hugh Inglis of Athens, and State Historian Eugene Sanders of Decatur. Serving as Deputy District Governors were Johnny Vickery of Royston, Morris Thomas of Forsyth County, Kermit Jeffers of Winterville, Roger Vonland of Dunwoody, and Jim Ragsdale of Lithonia. Serving as Zone Chairmen were Albert Millford of Hartwell, Jimmy Jackson of Elberton, Bud Parker of Town County, Bob Pinson of Gainesville Lanier, Wilson Donehoo of Athens, Lamar Harrison of Monroe, Marion Strickland of North Dekalb, John Fowler of Druid Hills Larry Janney of Lawrenceville, and Larry Todd of Stone Mountain.

The District membership at the beginning of the year was 1,854. The year closed with an increase of 96 members at 1950. The District consisted of 57 Lions Clubs and 9 Lioness Clubs.

The District Lion and Lioness clubs gathered a total 13,049 used eyeglasses North Dekalb Lions Club was recognized as the number one club in the District, Decatur Lions Club number two and the Gainesville Lanier Club number three.

The District received a number of State Awards at the State Convention Athens earned one first place and two second places, Bethesda one first place Cornelia one first place, Druid Hills three first place and five second places Gainesville two first place and four second place, Jefferson one first place Lanier eight first place, North Dekalb four first place, Stone Mountain one second place, and, Union County one first place. Fifty one percent of ail state awards were received by clubs in District 18D.

The top ten clubs in the district were: first place North Dekalb, second place Decatur, third place Lanier, fourth place Athens, fifth place Laurel Ridge, sixth place Gainesville, seventh place Druid Hills, eighth place Towns County, ninth place Union County, and tenth place Cornelia.

District rally awards were won by the Gainesville Club for the large club category of 51 or more members; the Lanier club in the medium category with 26-50 members; and Laurel Ridge in the small club category with 25 members and under. The Lanier club received an award for the greatest net gain in membership and the White Cane contribution award. In the District Scrapbook competition, Lanier and Town County tied for first place; Athens was third place and North Dekalb received honorable mention.

The Dunwoody Lioness Club received first place in the District Governors contest and the Outstanding Service Project award went to Duluth Lioness Club. The District pledged $76,900 to the Georgia Lions Eye Bank at Emory CITE program. Of this amount, $11,260.35 was contributed during the 1980-81 year. With the forwarding of $600.00 to his
successor, District Governor Hardigree balanced out the District Administrative fund.


Lion Myers Banister was elected February 22, 1981 at the District 18D convention held in Georgia Mountain Center, Gainesville, GA to serve as district Governor for the year 1981-82. He selected Bud Parker to serve as his Secretary-Treasurer and the following who served as Deputy District Governors: Jimmy Johnson, Elberton; Bob Pinson, Gainesville-Lainer; Lamar Harrison, Monroe; Roger Vonland, Dunwoody; and Larry Todd, Stone Mountain.

The District Rally was held at the Holiday Inn, Gainesville, GA. The featured speaker was International Director Beauford W. Robinson of Missouri.

Extension was the major emphasis of the District Governor and under the capable leadership of Lion Ray Cox, Bethseda Club, serving as Extension Chairperson, three new clubs were chartered: Athens West, October 5,1981; Banks County, November 23, 198 1; and Clermont, February 12, 1982.

The District did exceptionally well at the State Awards contests. Of the thirty-five award categories, 18D received twenty-three first place awards and sixteen second place awards. The Outstanding Blind Award went to the entry submitted by the Gainesville Club. Gainesville won first place in the Scrapbook Award with Lanier and Town Counties tying for second place. The number one club in the state was Gainesville, and North Dekalb and Lanier were second and third respectively.


Lion Conny Shirley was elected District Governor on March 7, 1982 at the Georgia Mountain Center, Gainesville, GA. Lion Byard Roper of the Clarkesville club served as Cabinet Secretary and Lion Hugh Inglis of Athens was District Librarian.

The following Region Officers served with distinction:

Region I Deputy District Governor – Ray Stowe -Martin
Zone 1 Chairman – Clyde Vaughn – Royston
Zone 2 Chairman – Ray Howell – Elberton

Region II Deputy District Governor – Ross Martin – Cornelia
Zone 1 Chairman – Thois Masters – Clayton
Zone 2 Chairman – Melvin Cooper – Gainesville

Region III Deputy District Governor – Howard T. Green, Jr. – Monroe
Zone 1 Chairman – James Lance – Athens
Zone 2 Chairman – Owen Gresham – Winder

Region IV Deputy District Governor – Y. T. Abernathy – North Dekalb
Zone 1 Chairman – Lawrence Pinson – North
Zone 2 Chairman – Rhea Sumpter – Druid Hills

Region V Deputy District Governor – Larry Todd – Stone Mountain
Zone 1 Chairman – James Shore – Norcross
Zone 2 Chairman – Doyle Bell – Northlake

Lion Shirley was sworn in as District Governor at the 65th International Convention in Atlanta, GA. During the Convention, the International family was hosted by Emory University to observe a corneal transplant procedure. Also, the first installment of $300,000.00 was made on a building program at Emory that would house the Georgia Lions Eye Bank Research Center at Emory.

The District Governor orientation to the Leader Dog program at their facility in Rochester, Michigan was an overwhelming experience. Adding to the excitement of the trip was the delay in landing in Atlanta, having circled Stone Mountain five times waiting for a lightning storm to subside.

The special emphasis for the year was diabetes awareness.

A number of club anniversaries were celebrated during the year: Decatur Lions Club, 50 years; Dahlonega Lions Club, 50 years; Toccoa Lion Club, 50 years; and Winder Lions Club, 40 years.

The District Rally and Princess Contest were held at the Holiday Hall in Gainesville. The featured speaker, International Director Bill Schooler of Indiana, eloquently impressed the large audience as he spoke of the work of Lionism and its humanitarian service.

Support for the state Lions projects was excellent. Contributions to the Lighthouse and the Camp were up significantly and represented new highs over previous years.

The year ended with the State Convention, which was held in Augusta. Those attending the International Convention in Hawaii did, however, have more fun.

The accomplishments of the clubs in the district was obvious in the number of awards presented at the State Convention. Twelve clubs placed with 67% of those entering winning awards. Two Lioness Clubs entered with one receiving honorable mention. The tally is as follows:

Gainesville – 10 first places (not including # 1 in state) 4 second places
Lanier – 8 first places (not including # 2 in state) 1 second place
Tallulah Falls – 1 first place
North Dekalb – 5 first places 3 second places
Druid Hills – 2 first places 2 second places
North Decatur – 1 second place
Towns County – 1 honorable mention
Bethseda – 1 first place 1 second place
Athens – 2 second places
White County – 1 first place
Toccoa – 1 second place
Stone Mountain – 1 first place 1 second place
District Governor – 1 first place

District Scrapbook Awards went to the following clubs:
Lanier – First place – 100%
Gainesville – Second place – 99.5%
Towns County – Third place – 92.83%

The Top Ten Lion Club Awards were presented to :

# 1 – Gainesville
#2 – Decatur Collected 5,000 pr. glasses
# 3 – North Dekalb
# 4 – Lamer
# 5 – Athens
# 6 – Towns County
# 7 – Union County
# 8 – Laurel Ridge
# 9 – Norcross
# 10 – LaVista

The top Lioness Club was North Dekalb followed by the Duluth Lioness Club.

Known for his dedication to Lionism and to his good friend Governor Shirley, Cabinet Secretary Byard Roper was unexpectedly called upon to make official visits and carry out other district governor duties due to a heart attack which took the governor out of service late in the fall for a period of several months.


Lion Millard Havener of the Athens Lions Club was elected District Governor March 6, 1983 at the Georgia Mountain Center, Gainesville, Georgia.

The first District Cabinet meeting was held July 24, in Athens. Over 200 Lions and Lionesses attended the
meeting. Gov. Havener visited the Leader Dog School in Rochester, Michigan and the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind in Waycross, Georgia during July and began his official visits to all Lion and Lioness Clubs in the district. The Towns County Lions Club sponsored the 33rd annual Georgia Mountain Fair in Hiawassee in August with thousands of visitors. On August 15,1983, the Athens Lioness Club was chartered with Lioness Margie Lyness as its president. The club had 18 charter members.

District Governor Havener attended the USA/Canada Forum in Chicago, ILL in September and visited Lions International headquarters in Oak Brook while there. On November 19 the District Peach Bowl Princess contest was held at the Holiday Inn in Gainesville. Miss Karin Elizabeth Pendley of Stone Mountain was selected to represent the district in the 1983 Peach Bowl festivities. Following the Peach Bowl Princess contest, the District Rally was held at Holiday Hall in Gainesville with International Director Murray Ryan from Maryland as the keynote speaker.

The Lamer Lions Club endorsed Lion Bob Pinson as candidate for District Governor for 1984-85. Lions of District 18D hosted the National Swim tryouts for the world Games for the Deaf to be held in Los Angeles in July 1985. On February 26, District 18D convened its convention at Gainesville and elected Lion Bob Pinson as District Governor for 1984-85. Lion David Sargent was elected Vice-President, Georgia Lions Lighthouse; Lion Bill Corey Vice President, Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind and Lion Tommy Lee, District Librarian. Lion Ken Massingale was endorsed for the office of State Historian.

Lions International President Dr. James M. Fowler was guest speaker at a luncheon on March 4,1984.

The Cornelia Lions Club celebrated its 25th anniversary on April 7 throughout the state of Georgia. Georgia Governor Joe Frank Harris proclaimed this day as “White Cane Day” in Georgia. Incoming Officers School was held at Gainesville Junior College on May 5 followed by the fourth District Cabinet Meeting.

Clayton Lions Club celebrated its 50th anniversary on May 3, 1984 at the Ole Clayton Inn and the Clarksville Lions Club celebrated its 50 years of service on June 9. The Norcross Lions Club celebrated 40 years of service on May 4 in Norcross.

The newest Lions Club, South Hall County Lions Club received its charter Friday, March 30 at Fellowship Brown Bridge Free Chapel, Gainesville. Lion Henry Hess was elected Charter President and Lion Jim Reid was elected Charter Secretary.

At the Lions State Convention in Savannah the North Dekalb Lioness Club received the Lioness Club of the year award. The Gainesville Lions Club was named Number One Club in the state. At the convention, District Governor Havener thanked Lion Donald Hix of the Athens Lions Club for serving as his District Cabinet Secretary – Treasurer.

Special recognition went to Lions Howard Miller, Jr. and Chuck Wilson of the White County Lions Club for their efforts in increasing their membership from 31 members in July 1983 to 71 in June 1984. District 18D had a total increase of 142 for this Lions year.


Lion Bob Pinson was elected to serve as District Governor on February 26,1984 at the Georgia Mountain Center, Gainesville, Georgia. He was a member of the Lanier Club and served as State Council of Governors Chairperson.

The District won the State award for highest percentage of clubs making contributions to the Camp for the Blind which was presented by Lion Joe Cox, President of the Camp for the Blind. Lighthouse awards were presented by T. G. Crosby, President – Elect of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, Inc. Highest per capita contribution of a Lions Club – First Place, Lilburn; Total highest contribution of a Lions Club – First Place, Gainesville Lions Club. International Director, Jake F. Watson of Camden, South Carolina was the guest speaker of the District Rally held at Holiday Hall, Gainesville, Georgia.

There were 270 entries submitted statewide for 37 State Awards. The following clubs in District 18D won state awards at the State Convention Westpoint – Lamer and North Dekalb tied for first place; Laurel Ridge Monroe – Druid Hills second place; Murrah – Lanier first place, Druid Hill second place- Ledford-Cartersville – Athens, Gainesville and Town Count tied for first place; Soperton -Athens, Druid Hills,, Lanier, and Bethesda tied for first place; Savannah – Loganville first place; Albany – Gainesville first place; Elkan District Governors award – Gainesville first place; Hamilton North Dekalb first place, Gainesville second place; Canton – Gainesville first place- Northeast Atlanta Key Award – Bethesda first place, Jack Comer – Hugh Inglis – Athens first place Tucker – Lanier first place; Cordele – Athens first place; Dalton – Winder first place, Snellville second place- Dugal Curri Memorial – Winder first place, Gainesville second place; Druid Hills – Lilburn second place; Moultrie – Gainesville second place; North Dekalb – Lamer first place, Gainesville second place; A F- Rolf Memorial – Snellville second place Carrollton – Lamer first place; Ivan H Jackson Memorial – Bob Pinson, District Governor; Peach Bowl – North Dekalb second place; Dr. R S O’Neal Award Athens first place; Georgia Federation of the Blind – Athens state winner; Carl E. Bergman Memorial – Lanier second place; Stone Mountain Deaf Awareness Award – Athens first place, Gainesville second place; Noel H. HaskiI Memorial – Bob Pinson, District Governor; Lanier – Forsyth County second place; Lioness Scrapbook Award – North Dekalb second place.

1985 – 1986

Lion Dr. William D. Bellamy, Dahlonega Lions Club, was elected to serve as District Governor, 18 – D on March 3, 1985 at the Georgia Mountain Center in Gainesville,  Georgia. This, the third cabinet meeting was hosted by  the South Hall County and Lanier Lions Club.

The District and Region Officers contributed much to the year’s success. Assisting the District governor were Cabinet Secretary – Treasurer, William (Bill) Mundy, Librarian, Michael Higgins, Jr. Cabinet Advisor, Bob Pinson Deputy District Governor’s Howard Whitaker Thois Masters, George Breedlove, Alfred Brunetti, and Lawrence Carlin. The Zone Chairmen worked closely with the clubs and rendered an invaluable service to the District. They were David Little, Ray Howell, Byard Roper, Jack Campbell Donald Hix, Kyle Bryant, Ray Rowell, Charles Tarras, Bruce Maney, A. Albert Wollfe.

Financial support for the Georgia Lions Lighthouse exceeded $100,000.00 for the first time in history. President T. Crosby presented the second highest per capita contribution award to the Lanier Club and the second highest total dollar contribution award to the Towns County Club. District Governor Bellamy was presented the Lighthouse
District Governor’s award for best overall support of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation in the state.

The Georgia Lions Eyebank at Emory Cite program received $174308.78 Lion Jim Schwartz, President of the Gainesville Lions Club accepted for his club a sculpture for securing the most eye donor cards of any club statewide. District 18 – D turned in 931 eye donor cards.

There was a significant increase in the Support of the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind. This was due in large measure to the excellent leadership of Camp Vice-President Bill Bennett and District Chairman Jirluny Shore. Eighty percent of the Lions clubs contributed compared with sixty percent the previous year and seventy percent of the Lioness clubs also contributing. Total district-wide contributions of over $28,000.00 represents a 165% increase over any previous year. Support for the Recording for Blind was reported by 48 Lions Clubs and 7 Lioness Clubs and 54
Clubs contributed to the Leader Dog Program.

Throughout the year a good deal of enthusiasm was generated for LCIF’ District Chairman George Whitmore The District was recognized for being the top district in the state for nine of the past eleven years by Lions Club International Foundation. Ten Lions in the District were named Melvin Jones Fellows. This was a 233 percent increase over the previous year. Club. Contributions increased 8.6% and the number of clubs participating increased 18%. Overall contributions were up 108% over the previous year. Lioness Margaret Battle was the first Lady in Georgia to be made a Melvin Jones Fellow. She was a member of the North Dekalb Lioness Club.

The following clubs received recognition at the state convention and accepted state awards for their superior Performance:

Award Club Place
Westpoint North Dekalb, Southside Macon, Lanier First (tied)
Laurel Ridge – Monroe Murrah North Dekalb, Druid Hills, Lanier Second (tied)
Soperton Druid Hills, Lanier Athens First (tied)
Albany Gainesville First
Elkan – DG Lanier
North Dekalb
Canton Clermont Second
Augusta Druid Hills
North Dekalb
LaGrange North Dekalb First
Tucker Lanier
Druid Hills
Cordele Druid Hills
Dalton Winder Second
Dugal Currie Memorial North Dekalb
North Dekalb
North Dekalb Lanier First
A. F. Rolf Memorial North Dekalb Second
Peachbowl North Dekalb Second
Federation of the Blind Plaque Athens Winner
Carl E. Bergman Memorial Lanier First
Lanier Gainesville
Juvenile Community Athens Second

District Governor Bellamy received the Noel H. Haskins Award for the District collecting the greatest percentage of eye will donor cards.

International President Joseph L. Wroblewski presented Dr. Bellay with his International Presidents Award at the 1986 International Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. He also received the 100% District Governor’s Award from Lions International.


Lion Loud C. Prewett, a member of the Dunwoody Lions Club, was elected to serve District 18D as District Governor on March 2, 1986 at the Georgian Mountain Center, Gainesville. Michael Higgins, Jr., served as his Cabinet Secretary – Treasurer.

During the year a new Lions Club was organized in Snellville and a new Lioness Club was also formed. Also noteworthy was the fact that PDG Myers Banister was endorsed as Georgia’s candidate for International Director
at the State Convention held in Savannah May 15-l 7, 1987. International Director K. Kay Fukushima was the featured speaker at the convention and presented ten new Melvin Jones Fellow recipients with their pins and plaques.

The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Awards were presented as follows: White Cane – highest per capita contributions, Lamer, second place; highest total dollar contributions Town County. Lighthouse Presidents awards were received as follows: highest per capita contributions of a Lions club, Lilburn, third place ($174.00 per member); highest total dollar club contribution, Gainesville, second place ($12,110.00); highest per capita contribution of a Lioness club, Queen City, first place ($342.00); highest total dollar Lioness Club contribution, first place ($5475.00).

The District contest for the Miss Georgia Lions Pageant had two contestants. Ms. Laura Haye was sponsored by the Bethesda Lions Club and Miss Sandra Lynn Parrish by the Dekalb Central Lions Club with the latter representing District 18D at the State Convention Pageant.

District 18D clubs won the following awards: Monroe – Gainesville and Gainesville, tied for second place; West Point, North DeKalb and Druids Hills tied for first place; Laurel Ridge – Monroe, Clermont second place; Murrah Lanier second place Ledford – Cartersville, Athens first place, Lanier and Towns County tied for second place, and Gainesville received honorable mention; Soperton, Athens first place; Savannah, South Hall County first place; Albany, Gainesville-first place; Elkan District Governor’s Award Athens first place, Gainesville second place; Hamilton, Clermont first place Canton, Clermont second place; Decatur, LaVista second place; Northeast Atlanta Key Award second place; LaGrange, North Dekalb first r, Athens, Clermont, and Lanier tied for first place, Druid Hills second place; Cordele, Athens first place, Gainesville second place- Dugal Currie Memorial, Gainesville first place; Druid Hills, Lanier first place Gainesville second place; Moultrie, Gainesville first place North Dekalb Lanier first place; A. F. Rolf Memorial, North Dekalb first place, Snellville second place; Carrollton, Cornelia first place; Athens, Athens first place, Clermont second place; R. S. O’Nea1, Cornelia honorable mention; Georgia Federation for the Blind Plaque, Athens first place; Carl Bergman Memorial Lanier first place, Towns County second place; Noel H. Haskins Memorial Loyd Prewett; and, Juvenile Community, Athens second place. The Jonquil Award first place was awarded to North DeKalb Lioness Club and second place went to Athens Lioness club. The second place winner of the North DeKalb Lioness Award went to the North DeKalb Lioness Club.


Lion George W. Blackburn was elected District Governor on March 1,1987 at the Georgia Mountain Center, Gainesville, Georgia. Serving as his Secretary – Treasurer was Lewis DeJanrnette and Eldon Brewster was Bulletin Editor. District Governor Blackburn was an ardent supporter of the Peach Bowl, originated by the Lions of Georgia.

The first lady Lion to be inducted into Lionism in District 18D, a member of the Dahlonega Lions Club, was Ms. Ann Mundy. Also, PDG Myers Banister was elected International Director during this year.

The District Governor’s top ten clubs were: LaVista, Athens, Gainesville, North Dekalb, Duluth, Clermont, Oconee, Hartwell, Norcross, and Lanier. The top five Lioness clubs were: Queen City, North Dekalb, Duluth, LaVista, and Decatur. Fifty-six clubs in the District applied for state awards. Fifty-three percent of those clubs entering won an award. The district won 48% of the state awards state-wide including the top club in the state, Gainesville Lions Club. Those winning awards were Athens – four first places; North Dekalb – two first places and one second place; Oconee – two first places; Gainesville – five first places and seven second places; Town County – one first place; Clermont – two first places and four second places; Lanier – two first places and two second places; Winder – two first places; White County – one first place. Clermont and Towns County tied for first place and Athens won third place in the Scrapbook Award contest.

Lion Albert Baldwin of the LaVista Club and District Drug Awareness chair received the Multiple District 18 Humanitarian Appreciation Award which was presented by International President Brian Stephenson at the State Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.


The District 18D Cabinet meeting was held March 6, 1988 at the Forsyth County High School. Lion Thois Masters, Clayton Lions Club was elected District Governor.

The District Rally was held at the Holiday Hall, Gainesville, November 19,1988 with International Director Helmer N. Lacy of Arkdale, Wisconsin as featured speaker.

The State Convention speaker was International Director Ernie Rizek of Tuscan, Arizona. The District nominee for the Outstanding Deaf Award submitted by the Bethesda Lion Club was Ms. Nancy Kelly Jones. The Outstanding Blind Award nominee was Scott Cruce of Lithonia who was nominated by the Snellville Lions Club. Both of these worthy individuals received the State award in their respective categories.

Special recognition was given Frank Parrish of the Oconee Lions Club who received the diamond addition to his Melvin Jones Fellow pin. There were twenty-two Melvin Jones Fellow recipients in the District this year. 

The Georgia Lions Eye Bank at Emory presented Lions Robert H. Beall and Bill Banks of the Gainesville Club, Bob Smith of the North Dekalb Club, and Jim Panter of the LaVista Club a humanitarian service award for providing sight to the blind in Georgia. The Gainesville Lions Club was awarded a plaque for its service as a club in recognition of its humanitarian service to the blind.

The Georgia Lions Lighthouse recognized the Lilburn Lions Club for the second place Highest Per Capita Contributions in the state and the Towns County Lions Club for the third place in the Highest Dollar Contribution statewide of $10,165.00. The District Governor received the statewide plaque for the Highest Per Capita Contributions to the Lighthouse.

White Cane had significant support with sixty of the seventy Lions clubs and ten Lioness clubs participating.


Lion C. L. Wilson was elected District Governor at the Cabinet meeting held on March 5,1989. Serving District 18D in the 1989-1990 year was Lieutenant Mike Higgins from the North Dekalb Club, Dwight Oliver, Cabinet Secretary-Treasurer, Clermont Club, Howard Miller, District Librarian, White County Club, and Thois Master, Cabinet Advisor, Clayton Club. Region Chairmen and Zone Chairmen are as follows: Region Chairman Region One M. C. Stowe, Zone
Chairmen Zone One J. R. Phillips, Zone two Allen White, Region Chairman region two Don Wagner, Zone Chairmen Zone one Bill Owens, Zone two Clarence Lambert, Region Chairman region three Bobby Reynolds, Zone Chairmen Zone one Dave Helwig, Zone two Donny Canup, Region Chairman region four Jim Panter, Zone Chairmen zone one Oscar Battle, zone two Ralph Parrish, Region Chairman region five Rob Mitchell, zone chairmen zone one Marion May, Zone Chairman zone two Marcus Johnson.

The Lions of District 18D began the Lions year with a total membership of 1,945 Lions and ended the year 1990 with 1,942 Lions for a net loss of three Lions. The Chinese American Lions Club, was chartered on September 30, 1989 at a ceremony held at the Chinese Community Center in Chamblee Georgia. The incoming president was Roger Lin. The presentation of their charter was made by International Director Myers Bannister from Towns County. The installing officer was District Governor Chuck Wilson. Twenty-eight Lions were charter members of the dub. The actual charter date was issued on August 8,1989. The First Vice President of the new club was Joseph Liang. The Second Vice President was Peter Wu. The charter secretary was also Peter Wu. The charter treasurer was Frances Lai, charter directors Eugene Yen, Li Lin, James Yu, and Corina Huynh, the Chairman of the Charity Fund was Lily Yu, the Chairman of the Scholarship was Eugene Yen. The Program Committee Chairman was Joseph Liang. The Public Relations and Special Events Committee Chairman was James S. Yang. Serving as Masters of Ceremonies for the evening festivities was Past District Governor George Blackburn. Twenty-four Melvin Jones Fellows were named during the year- and the support for LCIF represented an increase over the previous. year. The Georgia Lions Eye Bank at Emory contributions totaled in excess of $20 thousand dollars for District 18D.

One hundred percent of the clubs participated in providing associate director to the Georgia Lions Lighthouse. Club contributions for the 1989-1990 year are as follows: Regular club contributions $70,141.27. Memorial contributions $5,649.00. White Cane contributions $54,767.35. Other contributions $2,697.00. For the grand total of $135,254.62.

The 69th Annual Convention was held in Columbus, Georgia at the Columbus Iron Works on May 18-20 of 1990. President of the Council was Council Chairman Lonny Roberts, District Governor from 18A Hart Gates, District Governor from 18B Inman Davis, District Governor from 18C Jimmy Black, District Governor 18E Donald Norris and the District Governor from 18F Nil1 E. Shurling. The Council Advisor was Johnny W. Bagwell.

The Convention tallies indicate that approximately 1,125 Lions were present for that convention. Part of the Georgia Lions State Convention wrap-up for 18D was the naming of the top ten clubs in district 18D; number one was Winder, number two was Gainesville, number three was a tie between North Dekalb and Towns County, number four club was Forsyth County, number five was White County, number six was Clayton, the number seven club was Athens West, the number eight club was Snellville, the number nine club was LaVista and the number ten club was Lilburn. The top four Lioness clubs in District 18D: number one North DeKalb, number two was the Queen City Lioness, number three was the Snellville Lioness and number four was the Decatur Lioness Club.

A total of 38 clubs entered the state awards contest. Sixteen of those clubs were from District 18D which accounted for a total of 42% of the total entries. Twelve clubs from District 18D placed for a total of 54% of the awards given. Those winning club awards were as follows: Gainesville won four fist place awards and ten second place awards, Winder won three first places and one second place award, Clermont won three first place awards and one honorable mention. The Oconee County Lions won three first place awards. North Dekalb won two first place awards and two second place awards, Athens West won two first place awards and one second place, Bethesda won one first place and one second place, Athens Lions Club won one second place award, Banks County won one first place award, Toccoa Lions Club won one first place award, Towns County won one first place award, White County won one first place award. Winning Lioness Clubs: North Dekalb Lioness Club won two first place and one second place award; Decatur Lioness Club won one first place award. The number on club in the state of Georgia for 1989-90 was the Gainesville Lions Club.

Contributions to the Leader Dog Program statewide were in excess of $55,000.00, the largest in the history of Leader Dog for the state of Georgia. The total number of individuals buying hospitality books for the Georgia Lions State Convention total 241 not including courtesy books which gave District 18D a total of 276 paid hospitality books. Our 33rd annual District Rally was held at Holiday Hall in Gainesville on November 18, 1989. The guest speaker was International Director Dr. Franklin G. Mason and his lovely wife Lucy from Mullens, South Carolina. Introducing the
guest speaker for the night was Past International Director John Pearce, and making the response to our speakers address was Past International Director Ed Daniel.

An added highlight to the activities of this year was the formation of the first Leo Club in Barrow County. It was chartered on Thursday, September 13, 1990. Responsible for the chartering was the President of the Winder Lions Club, A. Lamar “Buddy” Ouzts, who presided over the function. The induction of its new members and the installation of its club officers was conducted by District Governor Wilson. The guest speaker for the night was International Director Myers Bannister from Towns County. The presentation of the Certificate of Organization was presented by Past District Governor Donald Hardigree. Serving as Multiple District 18 Leo Chairman was President Buddy Ouzts. The District 18 Committee Chairman was Dan Stewart from Oconee County. The charter was presented at the Winder Lions Hall in Winder, Georgia.

Added footnotes for the year: The Town County Lions Club celebrated their 50th anniversary on March 8, 1990. Immediate Past International President Austin P. Jennings gave the, keynote address. Introducing the guest speaker was International Director Myers Bannister and giving the response was Dr. John F. Pearce, Past International Director from Dahlonega.

Additional footnotes – Later September, early October of 1989 hurricane Hugo passed through Southern South Carolina and in its path left destruction stretching for many, many miles. Lions from District 18D launched a program of financial allocations as well as food and blanket allocations from the District. It is anticipated that the Lions from District 18D contributed a total of over $40 thousand plus in disaster relief which was given directly to the Lions of Multiple District 32 in South Carolina for their disaster relief find. District Governor Wilson personally carried two truck loads and a trailer load of material goods such as blankets, pillows, food stuffs, candles, etc. to South Carolina to aid in the disaster relief.

At the conclusion of the year Governor Wilson was presented to the coveted District Governors Award which was presented by the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation for the best overall support to the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation. He was also the recipient of the Ivan H. Jackson Memorial award which is awarded each year to the District Governor and the multiple district whose district excels in membership development and retention during their year. A sad footnote is that we lost 27 Lions throughout the year to death. One added thought for awards, District 18D was awarded the highest percentage of participating clubs awards with 83% participation to the Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind. The District Governor also received the Melvin Jones Fellow award which was presented at the District Rally and an International Presidents Certificate of Appreciation for humanitarian services.


The world of Lionism had the opportunity, on two occasions during the decade of the eighties, to have two distinguished Lions from District 18D join the leadership ranks of Lions Clubs International as International Director Each of these Lions served with distinction during their terms of office and continue to enhance the cause of Lionism both in their district and throughout the State of Georgia.

DR JOHN F. PEARCE 1983 – 1985

At the State Lions State Convention in 1981, District E proposed a candidate for International Director and the motion was tabled. During the 1981-82 Lions year, five of the six Georgia Districts endorsed candidates for International Director. After two withdrew, three candidates remained on the ballot at the State Convention in 1982. Past District Governor John Pearce won on the first ballot but his name was not on the International ballot in 1981 since the International Convention was held in Atlanta ( a candidate cannot run when the International Convention is in his home
Multiple District).

Georgia’s candidate for International Director did win at the Hawaii International Convention in 1983 and served a two-year term on the International Board. He was assigned to the Finance and Headquarters Staff Committee and served as Chairman his second year on the Board. This Committee was responsible for an operating budget in excess of $26 million and a Headquarters staff of 325.

Past Director Pearce was a popular speaker throughout the United States (35 states), Canada (6 provinces), and England (two trips). He and his wife, Carolyn, traveled to speak at Lions conventions and forums most non holiday weekends during those two years on the Board. They continued out of state speaking engagements for eight to fifteen weekends per year during the remainder of the 1980 decade.

Past Director Pearce conducted leadership and drug awareness seminars in many Multiple Districts, was on the Planning Committee three years and a presenter at many USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forums, and led numerous special seminars at International Conventions. He also taught in the District Governors-Elect Schools for several years at International Conventions.

Past Director Pearce has received the Ambassador of Good Will Award, several International Presidents Awards and two International Leadership Awards. His Dahlonega Lions Club honored him as a Melvin Jones Fellow.

W. Myers Banister 1988 – 1990

Prior to his election as an International Director in Denver, 1988, Past District Governor Myers Banister was endorsed by the Lions of Georgia after defeating Past District Governor B. I. Thornton of Cordele. He served on the Membership Committee of the International Board during 1988-89 and as chairperson during 1989-90.

During his tenure he and his wife Fran spoke in one half of our United States and made four trips to Canada. Since his retirement from the Board he has been invited to speak at a number of Lions functions.

PID Banister is the recipient of three International President’s Awards, the Ambassador of Good will Award, and the Towns County Lions Club, his home club, presented him with a diamond addition to his Melvin Jones Fellow pin.