Bundaberg Lions Introduction Manual
LIONS CLUB of BUNDABERG Inc
AN INTRODUCTION TO LIONISM
Lions was formed in USA in 1917 by Melvin Jones, an insurance broker. It is now the largest service organisation in the world with 1.4 million members in 174 countries, including a number in the former Eastern Bloc. Our standing is such that we are honoured by the United Nations in the form of an annual Lions Day.
Our parent organisation is known as Lions International and is based in Oak Brooke, in Illinios, USA. There, a paid staff of 400 coordinate international programs, organise an
International Convention at a different location in June of each year, and keep track of Clubs world-wide, the work they do, their membership and financial situation.
Oak Brooke is financed by the international dues that form part of the six-monthly dues that we pay. The administrators are headed by an unpaid International President and Vice Presidents who are elected annually at the International Convention.
Each country is referred to as a Multiple District; Australia with the addition of Papua New Guinea is in Multiple District 201. It, like other MD's, has a small paid staff, and is located in Newcastle.
The Multiple District is divided into Districts with the aim of having a minimum of 1200 Lions in each. Districts are broken up into Regions and then Zones, which cover 4 to 8, Clubs. Our District is known as 201Q4.
A District Governor presides over each District. District Governors are confirmed annually at the International Convention after at least a year of preparation and planning, and after being elected at District Conventions held in October-November the previous year.
District Governors have a board of directors that is called a Cabinet; positions include Cabinet Secretary, Cabinet Treasurer etc.
District Governors are assisted by Regional Chairmen (or in our District â€“ Regional Liaison Officers) who administer part of a District, and they in turn are aided by Zone Chairmen who liaise with the President and Secretary of each Club.
Dress standards for dinner meetings allow us to wear our Club shirts year round. Alternatively, open necked shirt or shirt with tie may be worn. Shorts and long socks are permissible year round.
You must apologise by 10:00 am on the day of the meeting if you cannot attend. The phone number to call is in your Club diary. If an emergency should arise after 10:00 am that will prevent your attendance, you should telephone the Club Secretary. It is not acceptable to phone an apology to the venue.
If you do not attend and do not apologise, you will be charged a dinner fee. The Secretary assumes any Lion who does not apologise will be in attendance and orders a meal accordingly; this meal must be payed for.
Lions are rostered on as "Duty Officers" for each dinner meeting. Duty Officers are required to collect dinner fees and ensure that every attendee has signed the attendance sheet. This is important, as it is an official record for insurance purposes. Of course, Duty Officers have the opportunity to greet each Lion and welcome him with a warm smile and familiar handshake.
All Clubs have rules and standards, and ours is no exception.
Dues are payable by January 1st and July 1st each year.
All clubs operate to a uniform Constitution. Information and statistics from each Club moves up the administrative chain by means of the Monthly Membership Report (MMR) that each Club Secretary provides to the Cabinet Secretary by the 20th of each month.
The M M R lists membership, new and lost members, service work that the Club has carried out, collective hours worked and the funds raised. The account that the Club receives for International and District dues each January and July is based on the membership listed in the April and November M M R.
Club Secretaries also fill out an accurate list of members and addresses each July and January. This forms the mailing list for the Lion Magazine and serves as a cross-reference to an address if a Club makes an insurance claim for a Lion or Lions Lady injured on Lions work. We are all covered at meetings and projects as well as travelling to and from, similar to Workerâ€™s compensation cover. Each Club has an elected Board of Directors. The names of our Board members are listed on page three of our Club diary. For our Club, the Board meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Any member is welcome to attend Board meetings as an observer, and it is a recommended exercise for new members.
As Lions, we undertake International, District and Club projects eg. Sight First is an international project that aims to eliminate preventable blindness in this decade. If achieved, it will improve the lives of forty million people worldwide who are needlessly blind. The project has a budget of $US130 million.
Lions interest in the blind is longstanding. It was a member of a US Lions Club who proposed the use os a white cane by the blind. This aid is now recognised worldwide.
The great blind crusader Helen Keller addressed the Lions International Convention of 1925 and challenged Lions to become "Knights of the Blind." She would no doubt be pleased.
BUNDABERG LIONS CLUB
Our Club was formed on 14th October 1965 and was chartered in February 1966. We are the 337th Lions Club formed in Australia. Our Club has been active in promoting Lionism in our area and was responsible for chartering the Lions Clubs of Childers, Gin Gin, Bargara and Bundaberg City (later to change its name to Bundaberg Hinkler).
Four of the charter members of our Club are still active in club activities. For their services to Lionism, the community and the Club, they were made life members in 1998.
Examples of our Clubâ€™s activities are the establishment of the Bundaberg Meals on Wheels organisation, building of the Independence Incorporated / Asthma Foundation facility, establishment of the Lions Park by the bridge at North Bundaberg, and the Lions Remembrance Park (incorporating the Rats of Tobruk Memorial) in Takalvan Street.
Major projects like these are supplemented and supported by fundraising activities such as food sales at the Bundaberg Show and the Melbourne Cup Sweep.
AUSTRALIAN LIONS FOUNDATION (ALF)
Many years ago our Multiple District established the Australian Lions Foundation to aid in times of natural disasters in a similar manner to the LCIF. Examples are the Newcastle earthquake, Western Qld floods, and the NSW bushfires disasters. Aid donations have also been made to disaster areas in the Solomon Islands and PNG, such as the PNG tidal wave disaster.
There are two awards for donations to the ALF:
The honoured title, William R Tresise Fellow, is awarded in recognition of a once-off donation of $2000. This award recognises the Lion who brought Lionism to Australia and was the president of the first Australian Club at Lismore, NSW. He is recognised as the Founder of Lions in Australia.
James D Richardson Award: This award recognises the second District Governor to be elected in Australia and the first Australian to serve as a Director on the International Board of Directors. This honour award is presented to a person, club or organisation in return for a donation of $500 to the Foundation.
Seeing Eye Dogs, Glaucoma Clinics, and the Save Sight program that did much good work some years ago.
Lions mints and the Miss Personality Quest are examples of District Programs. Australia-wide, mints raise over $1 million per annum. Funds raised by this project assist the Hart Walker program that provides the specialised equipment to youngsters with cerebral palsy, enabling them to walk - often for the first time.
The Miss Personality Quest operates in Qld and Northern N S W. It helps to fund the Lions Medical Research Foundation that operates at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. The Lions building at that hospital has been built, equipped and staffed by the Foundation, which is wholly funded by Lions Clubsâ€™ donations and programs. The funded research comes about through a very special relationship between Lions, the P.A. Hospital and the University of Queensland. Indicative of this relationship is that certain university staff carry the title â€œLions Professorâ€.
Some results from our P.A. Hospital facility have been of worldwide significance. Much work has been done on kidney disease, and has led to the P.A. Hospital becoming an early kidney transplant centre. Research into heart disease, diabetes and eye disease have also been funded, the latter leading to corneal grafting and establishment of the Qld Eye Bank. A more recent development is the establishment of the Chord Blood Bank. From the current research into cervical cancer a vaccine is almost ready for release.
A District Program that typifies Lionsâ€™ goodwill to other Lions was the funding by South Korean Clubs of six Lions from the fledgling Moscow Club to attend the Brisbane International Convention in June 1991.
LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION (LCIF)
LCIF is managed from Oak Brooke. Money donated in minimum $US1000.00 sums by individual Lions and Clubs worldwide is invested to generate interest and dividends that is used for aid projects and in times of natural disasters.
Examples are the funding of centres for blind children in India, installing clean water systems in African villages, and donating large sums quickly to aid victims of eg the Mexican City earthquake, the Columbian, Cameroon and Philippines volcanic eruptions, the Bangladesh floods and the Ash Wednesday bushfires.
Any Lion or Club may donate to the LCIF. Donors are granted the honoured title, Melvin Jones Fellows.