Jay Copp 2017-08-17 10:40:29
We’re Lions. We’ve been Lions since the day Lions Clubs began. A name chosen so long ago might easily have become old-fashioned or out-of-date. But a lion is such a potent symbol, resonating with positive qualities. The name transcends both eras and borders. So here is everything you need to know about the origins of our name, why it’s apt and how Lions have used it and continue to use it to our advantage. How We Became Lions In 1917, Chicago insurance salesman Melvin Jones was the leader of the Business Circle, a businessman’s club. At his urging, members of the Optimists, the Wheels, the Royal Order of Lions of Indiana and 20 other clubs met at the LaSalle Hotel on June 7. Skilled at negotiation, Jones convinced 20 delegates from more than two dozen different clubs to form an association. The one sticking point was a name; each group favored its own. Jones knew he had to give up the name of his own group if he expected other groups to give up theirs. Prepared for disagreement, he had done some research. He told the delegates the name he favored was widely associated with strength, courage, fidelity and action. On a secret ballot the delegates voted for his suggestion: Lions. The unity over the name lasted just two years. At the 1919 convention in Chicago a bloc of dissatisfied Lions proposed a name change. They wanted something better, something catchier. Attorney Halsted Ritter, a prominent Denver Lion, rose to defend the name. “What a glorious meaning it has,” proclaimed Ritter, who later became a judge. “Its name is more significant than any other. It spells not only the king of beasts, typifying all the qualities we love to extol; it stands not only for fraternity, good fellowship, strength of character and purpose, but above all, its combination of letters, L-I-ON- S, heralds to the country the true meaning and basis of American citizenship—Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety.” Since 1919 there has never been any movement to change or alter the name. And Ritter’s creative formulation of the name has lived on. Not sure of its exact origin, clubs stumble across it on the internet or one Lion tells another of it. Lions also have proposed alternative formulations, most notably 2010- 11 International President Sid L. Scruggs III of North Carolina. He championed Loving- Individuals-Offering-Needed-Service. Lions regularly leveraged their name. Philadelphia Lions inducted a movie star cub in 1931, California Lions barbecued lion steaks in 1933, the international president served as a lion tamer at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1934 and Oklahoma Lions “kidnapped” four cubs from the zoo. Read these stories at lionmagazine.org. LIONS MINGLE WITH lions Pride on Parade: Like a multitude of other clubs, Fillmore Lions in California like to parade Lion-style A Puzzling Hobby: Peshu Irani of the Lincoln Hills Lions Club in California made a challenging 1,000-piece puzzle as a tribute to Lions. Surf on Turf: Lions in southwest England publicized their annual convention by the sea last year in Lionistic fashion. King of the … Road: A cute stuffed lion is awarded to the winner of the Traveling Lion contest in District 45 in Vermont. The latest club with the prize invites members of other clubs. Traveling clubs are awarded points in a formula based on the size of their club, the number of visiting members and the distance traveled. Cubs from Clubs: As a comfort to children who have become lost or are in an accident, the Bloom-Carroll Lions Club in Ohio donated stuffed lions and other stuffed animals to the police department. Dramatic Moments: Lions Clubs International made a clever short film about Lions serving in Oz for the 2014 International Convention in Toronto and staged an uplifting “Lion King” musical segment at the 2015 International Convention in Hawaii. MARKING OUR TERRITORY Lions proudly leave their paw prints in public spaces. BEAST VS. HUMAN HEARING lion: Movable ears provide good hearing, enabling a lion to hear prey a mile away. ✔ Lion: Whether a president or guest speaker is concise or longwinded, Lions still attentively listen. Clubs also absolutely rely on the ability of members to follow spoken instructions for project tasks. ROAR lion: A roar can be heard as far as five miles away. ✔ Lion: Can’t you hear those Lions roar? Sure, you can—Chicago, New York, London, Paris, wherever. Lions’ service is known far and wide. PRIDE lion: A pride usually consists of 15 lions. ✔ Lion: A club can’t be chartered unless it has at least 20 members. ACTIVITY lion: The laziest of big cats, lions sleep as much as 20 hours a day. ✔ Lion: Lions plan to serve 200 million people annually by 2021. MONIKER lion: King of the Jungle ✔ Lion: We Serve. It’s better to serve, than be served. Better to be a servant than a king. SIGHT lion: With eyes six times more sensitive to light than human eyes, a lion sees particularly well at night. ✔ Lion: Humans have among the sharpest vision of all animals. But even better, Lions give the gift of sight to others. SMELL lion: A lion has a well-developed sense of smell. ✔ Lion: Clubs carefully consider a variety of projects and can smell a stinker a mile away. HEART lion: A male lion typically tips the scales at 420 pounds; its heart weighs a mere 2.5 pounds—less than 1 percent of its body weight. ✔ Lion: Lions are all heart. GENDER ROLE lion: Females do almost all the hunting. ✔ Lion: All jokes aside, both female and male Lions pride themselves on being active and involved. RANGE/POPULATION lion: About 20,000 lions roam in 27 African nations and in India. ✔ Lion: There are more than 1.4 million Lions in more than 200 nations and geographic areas. SPEED/ENDURANCE lion: Can reach a speed of 50 mph but only in a short burst. ✔ Lion: Quick to the table when the buffet line opens. More seriously, Lions show great stamina—flipping pancakes and screening vision for hours on end is no easy task. RATING LIONS OF POPULAR CULTURE It’s a jungle out there. Since time immemorial, lions have appeared as characters in films and books and elsewhere within our culture. The beasts of the jungle seem to speak volumes about the world of humans. So what well-known lions are of the same lineage of Lions and remind us of ourselves? Our roar-a-meter rates famous lions. Detroit Lions Twenty-five seasons without a playoff victory. Enough said. Cowardly Lion, “Wizard of Oz” Sure, he’s a sympathetic character, but he’s cowardly. MGM Lion (Leo) Positives: great vocal chords and regal bearing. Negative: Fake enthusiasm— forced to roar about many movies that were clunkers. Richard the Lionheart He’s commonly overrated. Pious and brave, the 12th-century English king also could be reckless and arrogant. Leos (people born between July 23 and Aug. 22) Leos are creative, passionate and cheerful but also sometimes stubborn, self-centered and lazy. Elsa, the Lioness from “Born Free” Thanks to Joy Adamson, she learned to live on her own and made the most of her freedom. Alex, the Madagascar animated films Voiced by Ben Stiller, Alex is funny, flamboyant and friendly. Best of all, he’s a people person: “Here come the people! I love the people.” Aslan, C.S. Lewis’ “The Witch and the Wardrobe” What’s not to like: he’s wise, compassionate and the benevolent protector of the beleaguered children who visit Narnia. Simba, “The Lion King” Simba overcomes his faults and becomes a great leader. His rise to greatness is the ultimate story. Song Leaders HOT 10 Lions love to sing—about Lions. And songs about lions have climbed the charts. So here is LION Magazine’s completely unscientific, totally subjective Top 10 Lion songs. 1. Don’t You Hear Those Lions Roar Joseph W. Thurston/Robert Kellogg 2. Roar, Lions, Roar Ed Chenette 3. Hail, Hail the Lions are Here Unknown 4. Lions Roar Lion Roy L. Burtch 5. Lions Everywhere Lion Roy L. Burtch 6. The Lion Sleeps Tonight The Tokens 7. Circle of Life Elton John/Tim Rice for “The Lion King” 8. Wondering Where the Lions Are Bruce Cockburn 9. Little Lion Man Mumford & Sons 10. Oh England, My Lionheart Kate Bush Extra Digital Content Early Lions proudly reflected on why our name was appropriate. A Lion from San Antonio, Texas, expounds on a lion’s “courage, strength, fortitude and superiority in every department of his life” in the December 1921 LION. An editorial in the January 1931 issue notes how “our name itself was not selected at random.” Sing, Lions, sing! The Songs for Lions special issue of the LION in December 2008 showcased three dozen beloved Lions songs.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/A+Name+With+Legs/2851655/430248/article.html.