The origins of LCI go back to 1912 when the Business Circle invited a 33 year old insurance salesman Melvin Jones to attend. The Business Circle likes hundreds of contemporary clubs throughout the USA, was comprised of prominent figures from local trade and industry, whose aim was simply to promote each others’ products and services.
Under the guidance of Melvin Jones, the Association extended into Canada. The first club formed outside North America was China in 1926. Lionism did not reach Europe until 1948 when a club was formed in Stockholm, Sweden. It took a further year to reach the British Isles and Ireland with the formation of the London Host Club.
A year later, Melvin Jones founded the Melvin Jones Insurance agency, and was asked to join the circle and in 1915 he was elected Secretary. With a growing membership now of 200 businessmen Melvin Jones asked why the potential of this self-interest group could not be directed towards other sections of the community.
Although Lions Club International sprang from a group of businessmen, Lions Club International is a community-based service organisation whose membership is open to men and women from all backgrounds in the community.
On the 7th June 1917, Melvin Jones invited 20 delegates representing over 30 similar clubs, to meet at a hotel in Chicago. The consensus favoured the formation of an association of these clubs and Lionism was born.
Currently there are over 1.4 million Lions Club members in the world and Lions is the largest service organisation