Bedworth Lions Club - A Little History

ORIGINS OF BEDWORTH LIONS CLUB

Bedworth Lions Club was formed on the 18th July 1977 from it's mother club, Nuneaton. Originally there were 20 charter members 2 of whom remain members of the club, Past President John Neal & Past President Steve Allen.
The other charter members were:- Lion Bob Arnold, Lion Stewart Raeburn, Lion Tony Haywood, Lion Pat Smith, Lion Alan Wareham, Lion Tony Smith, Lion Nick Smith, Lion Emlyn Jones, Lion Alex Moran, Lion Paul Copsey, Lion Chris Snazell, Lion Bill Campbell, Lion Ron Foskett, Lion Tony Mileham, Lion John Booth, Lion Jack Curran, Lion Alan Foster, & Lion Doug. Smith.


The first Charter Night At The Weston Hall Hotel was a grand affair; a superb dinner followed by a brilliant cabaret. Entertainment by the late great Dustin Gee. A Special guest the late and sadly missed, "Cheerful" Charlie Chester, broadcaster, comedian & honorary Lion of Harrow Lions Club.



ORIGINS OF LIONISM IN THE UK

After the second world war Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, sent Lord Leconfield to Canada to thank the Lions for their help. During the second world war Canadian Lions wanted to to send financial help to Lions Clubs in England. No Lions clubs existed in the U K & upon advice from Queen Elizabeth's office the funds were administered by the Waifs & Strays Society.
Lord Leconfield asked the Lions he met in Canada if there was anything he could do in return. They asked him to go to Chicago- to the International Headquarters of all the Lions Clubs in the world. They wanted Lord Leconfield to see what Lionism meant.
He was so impressed with what he saw that fairly soon after his return to Britain a group of professional and business people in London got together to form the first British Lions Club - The London Host Club, chartered in March 1950. Over time Lions have been drawn from many walks of life, not just the business community, making clubs representative of the communities they serve, hence our recent additional descriptive phrase, Ordinary People Amazing Things!

Their original AIM?
To help people in need and to spread Lionism throughout Britain.

Now there are some 900+ Clubs in Britain and Ireland, all are trying to live up to the fine example of those Canadian servicemen. The needs of our communities have changed dramatically since the blitz
 but the motto and purpose of the lions remain the same:

WE SERVE


ORIGINS OF LIONISM - THE DREAM OF ONE MAN
Melvin      Jones
Founder of Lions Clubs International

Lions Clubs International was the dream of Chicago insurance man Melvin Jones, who wondered why local business clubs could not expand their horizons from business concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
His idea was taken up with his own business group, the Business Circle of Chicago, he was authorised to explore his ideas with similar organisations around the United States. His efforts resulted in a meeting in a Chicago hotel on the 7th June 1917.
The 12 men who gathered at the meeting voted the "Association of Lions Clubs" into existence, and called for a national convention to be held in Dallas, Texas in October of that year.
There were 36 delegates from 22 clubs from 9 states. At that meeting Dr. P William Woods of Indiana was elected as the clubs first President. Melvin Jones became acting secretary, Melvin Jones remained a Lion until his death in 1961.
Canadian Lions Clubs were formed in 1920. Clubs were later organised in China, Mexico & Cuba. In 1927 the membership was 60,000. 1935 saw the first Central American club. Columbia was the first South American club, formed in 1936.
Lionism reached Europe in 1948, Lions Clubs being chartered in Sweden, Switzerland and France. As earlier mentioned the first Lions Club in England chartered in March 1950. In 1952 the first Lions Club was chartered in Japan.

Lionism spreading throughout the world, the rest as they say is history, or indeed the future.
Ordinary People doing Amazing Things to Serve their communities.

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