The Newmarket Lions Club received its charter as a member of The International Association of Lions Clubs (Lions International) in March 1931. The International Association of Lions Clubs began as the dream of Chicago insurance man Melvin Jones who wondered why local business clubs (he was an active member of one) could not expand their horizons from purely business concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.
Jones’ idea struck a chord within his own group, The Business Circle of Chicago, and they authorized him to explore his concept with similar organizations from around the United States. His efforts resulted in an organizational meeting at a local hotel on June 7, 1917.
The 12 men who gathered there overcame a natural sense of loyalty to their parent clubs, voted the “Association of Lions Clubs” into existence, and issued a call for a national convention to be held in Dallas Texas in October of the same year.
That first convention also began to define what Lionism was to become. A constitution and bylaws were adopted. The colours of purple and gold were approved, and a start made on Lionism’s Objectives and Code of Ethics. One of the Objectives was startling for an era that prided itself on mercenary individualism, and has remained one of the main tenets of Lionism ever since. “No Club”’ it read, “will hold out the financial betterment of its members as its objective.”