Lions of Georgia MD18
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|OUR HISTORY||STATE CONVENTION||STATE DIRECTORY|
IN DISTRICT 18
STATE OF GEORGIA
OF LIONS INTERNATIONAL
1917 - 1948
The State Council of Multiple District 18 of Lions International, recognizing the value of tradition, at a meeting on January 12, 1948, authorized the preparation of this brief history of Lionism in Georgia.
May it help preserve the accomplishments or our early Lions and also serve as an incentive to us to carry on the work they have done so well.
Percy Plant, State Historian
Multiple District 18, Georgia,
Georgia State Council 1947 - 1948
Joe B. Davis, District Governor 18A
J. T. Baxley, District Governor 18B
G. W. Register, District Governor 18C
W. J. Andrews, District Governor 18D
luncheon clubs and other organizations of business men were founded and operated
chiefly for the purpose of assisting the members to help one another in a
business way. Memberships were limited to a certain number of people in each
business or profession with an understanding that members would receive benefits
through business reciprocity.
early as 1914 Melvin Jones, the present Secretary-General of Lions
International, conceived the original idea of changing this and of uniting
unaffiliated business men’s clubs on a basis of UNSELFISH SERVICE. It was not
until 1917, however, that approximately fifty independent clubs assembled in
Chicago, Illinois, and founded The International Association of Lions Clubs.
Later in the year, on October 9-11, the first convention, attended by about
twenty-five clubs, was held at Dallas, Texas.
convention adopted a constitution which included two important concepts:
“That no club shall hold cut as one of its objects financial benefits to its
“To create and foster a spirit of ‘generous consideration’ among the
peoples of the world.”
founders, with remarkable vision, realized that if the new association was to be
an outstanding success, it must think beyond the prosperity of its individual
members and render a real service to others, to the country, and to the world.
this original conception, Lions International rightfully claims the
distinction of being the “FIRST SERVICE CLUB.”
growth of Lionism can be attributed in considerable measure to a leonine
individual who is still roaring. His name is Melvin Jones.
heavy white-haired man of impressive dignity, benign yet aloof — truly the king of the wilderness
— Mr. Jones, as Secretary-General of Lions International, is still headman
of the organization he conceived.”
January 10, 1948
THE PIONEER OF THE SOUTHEAST
Atlanta Lions Club was the first Lions Club in the Southeast. On December 17,
1920, just a little over three years after the founding of Lionism, the Atlanta
club held its first meeting.
order to have Founder Melvin Jones as a guest, the charter night was delayed
until March 1, 1921. This was indeed a gala affair! Practically all of the 117
charter members were present and Thomas W. Hardwick, Governor of Georgia, was on
the program. The meeting was climaxed by the presentation of the charter by
Secretary-General Melvin Jones, a man of ideals and vision.
that day the Atlanta club has carried on the ideal of service of those early
Lions. It has shown, in addition to numerous other activities, a special
interest in providing milk for needy families and in helping under-privileged
children. Several thousands of dollars have been raised for these purposes by
lectures and shows featuring noted commentators and entertainers.
District 18 is greatly indebted to the Atlanta club for blazing the trail and for setting an example of constructive Lionism.
H. E. ALLEN
the Atlanta club was chartered in 1921, Georgia was in the old Fifth
District, embracing eastern Texas, Louisiana, and at times Mississippi,
Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Because of the rapid growth of Lionism, the
country was redistricted at the Oakland, California, convention in 1921 — Alabama, Florida and Georgia being placed in the 18th District.
At that time there were only three clubs in Georgia—the Atlanta club, the Macon club and the Americus club. These three clubs met at Macon in December 1921 for the purpose of establishing a governing body. Lion H. E. Allen, of Americus, was elected “Acting Governor of the Georgia Division.” While not appointed by the International president, he was recognized as the de facto District Governor and was earnest and vigorous in organizing new clubs. In the meantime, Alabama had organized a club at Montgomery, and Florida had organized one at Orlando.
ALABAMA, FLORIDA, GEORGIA
first district convention of the 18th District of Lionism, composed of the
States of Alabama, Florida and Georgia, was held at Macon, Georgia, on
October 12, 1922, with Governor Allen presiding. M. J. Witman, of Macon, was
elected District Governor, but was forced to resign immediately after the
convention because of removal of his residence to New York. Under the
constitution, Deputy E. W. Rosenthal, of Savannah, succeeded to the
District Governorship and immediately assumed office.
second annual convention was held at Savannah on May 25-26, 1923. Lionism
was growing rapidly and Georgia itself now had fourteen clubs with a
membership of 635. Richard C. Jordan, of Macon, was elected District
May 21-24, 1924, the third convention of the three states was held at
Montgomery, Alabama. At this convention a motion was passed allowing
Alabama to withdraw from District 18. International shortly confirmed this
separation and Alabama became District 34. The delegates from Florida and
Georgia, after the withdrawal of Alabama, held an election and chose William
C. Parker, of Waycross, as District Governor. A few months after the
convention International allowed Florida to withdraw also, leaving the State
of Georgia as District 18 of Lionism.
CLUBS OF DISTRICT 18
THE STATE OF GEORGIA
18 -- THE
STATE OF GEORGIA
1925, District 18, the State of Georgia, held its convention at Augusta.
Fifty delegates from nine of the fifteen clubs elected as District Governor,
George H. Conklin, of Augusta.
JACQUES O. PARTAIN
fifth annual convention met at Macon on May 21-22, 1926, with ten clubs
represented by accredited delegates. W. A. Mann, of Macon, was elected
District Governor. None realized that the health of the new District
Governor had broken—he passed away after only a few months in office. His
term of office was finished by Jacques 0. Partain, of Atlanta.
1927 convention was held at Albany. Jacques 0. Partain, of Atlanta, was
elected to serve as District Governor for 1927-1928.
The seventh annual convention of Georgia Lions was held at Athens on May 17-18, 1928. The convention voted unanimously to provide three years’ support of the Juvenile Braille Magazine for the blind children of the state. Records in the International Office show that Lionism in Georgia during this period showed an increase of nearly ninety percent in clubs and over fifty percent in membership. Joseph W. Popper, of Macon, was elected District Governor.
Valdosta entertained the eighth annual convention on May 2-3, 1929. Thomas A. Curry, of Dublin was elected District Governor.
The 1930 convention at Griffin transacted much business of an important nature. A petition was made to the State Legislature to create a State Blind Commission to survey the number and condition of the blind people of the state. Channing Cope, of Atlanta, was elected District Governor.
the difficult year of 1930-1931, under Governor Cope, the district lost no clubs
and showed only a slight decrease in membership. The convention was held at
Atlanta on May 28-29, 1931. Resolutions were adopted to carry on the blind
work, to present the Braille magazine to the blind and to see that blind boys
were kept in school. The convention elected Geoffrey B. King, of Savannah, as District Governor.
GEOFFREY B. KING
Savannah convention of 1932 was one of the most successful held by the district.
Over 134 Lions were registered and many more, with guests and families, were
in attendance. Marvin G. Pound, of Sparta, was elected District Governor.
June 12-13, 1933, Waycross was host to the Lions of District 18. The convention
was featured by a number of excellent speeches, a Presidents’ Breakfast, a
Secretaries’ Breakfast and a Model Luncheon. George S. Johnson, of LaGrange,
was chosen District Governor.
Lionism made wonderful strides during the year 1933-1934. District Governor
Johnson made forty-four visits to the clubs in his district, eighteen new clubs
were organized and the total membership in the district was increased by 340.
The convention was held at Decatur on June 20-21, 1934. Music for the convention
was supplied by the Decatur Girls’ High School orchestra and the Decatur
Boys’ High School band—the first projects of the Decatur Lions Club. William
T. Ray, of Athens, was elected District Governor.
H. A. STALLINGS
District Governor Ray the number of clubs increased from fifty-one to
sixty-three and the membership to an all-time high of 1,555. The convention at
Columbus on May 28-29, 1935, was unusually constructive—important matters
were discussed, five-minute talks were given on various phases of Lionism, and
a resolution was passed urging the construction of a highway through the Okefenokee
Swamp. As evidence of the high esteem in which Georgia Lions held
his leadership, District Governor Ray was presented with a watch and endorsed
for the post of Chairman of the Board of Governors of Lions International.
Subsequently he was elected to this office at the International Convention in
Mexico City in July 1935. H. A. Stallings, of Waycross, was elected to succeed
to the District Governorship.
The 1936 convention was scheduled to be held in Gainesville, but because of the tornado in that city, was transferred to Macon. With only five weeks’ notice, Macon did an excellent job — it was the general opinion that it was the finest convention ever held in the district. Lion Edward Murrah, of Columbus, was elected District Governor.
The sixteenth annual convention of District 18 was held at Albany on June 6-8, 1937. Lion William T. Ray, of Athens, presented a report in which he recommended that the state be divided into three districts—A, B and C. The adoption of this report was voted upon favorably.
Indoor Future Farmers of America Carnival and Country Store held by the Moultrie Lions Club in 1945.
The project was highly successful and netted a substantial sum.
|1937-1938||W. A. Abercrombie||Athens|
|1938-1939||Dr. H. L. Barker||Carrollton|
|1939-1940||Wade H. Wright||Atlanta|
|1941-1942||Edd A. Burch||Dalton|
|1942-1943||W. Joe Scott||Northeast Atlanta|
|1943-1944||C. Hoke Sewell||Gainesville|
|1945-1946||T. Hamp McGibony||Greensboro|
W. A. ABERCROMBIE
WADE H. WRIGHT
|W. JOE SCOTT
|C. HOKE SEWELL
|T. HAMP McGIBONY
GOVERNORS OF 18B
|1937-1938||D. D. Jackson||Soperton|
|1938-1939||John H. Arnold||Ashburn
|1939-1940||I. Eugene Cook||Wrightsville
|1940-1941||Edward A. Dutton||Savannah
|1941-1942||Ross H. Pittman||Tifton|
|1942-1943||Dr. Fred L. Damren||Augusta|
|1944-1945||R. A. Perry||Soperton|
|1945-1946||Rufus M. Ryon||Hinesville|
|1946-1947||B. I. Thornton||Cordele|
|J. EUGENE COOK
|DR. FRED L. DAMREN
|R. A. PERRY
|RUFUS M. RYON
|B. I. THORNTON
DISTRICT GOVERNORS OF 18C
|1937-1938||Stanley A. Elkan||Macon|
|1938-1939||Turner L. Smith||Albany|
|1939-1940||William F. Loflin||Columbus|
|1940-1941||Arthur S. Boyett, Jr.||Buena Vista|
|1941-1942||William B. Freeman||Forsyth|
|1942-1943||C. E. Boggs||Talbotton|
|1943-1944||C. G. Higgenbotham||LaGrange|
|1944-1945||R. Schaefer Heard||The Valley|
|1945-1946||J. Gorham Garrison||Ochlochnee|
|1946-1947||R. L. Williams||Forsyth|
|STANLEY A. ELKAN
|WILLIAM F. LOFLIN
|C. G. HIGGINBOTHAM
|R. SCHAEFER HEARD
|J. GORHAM GARRISON
|R. L. WILLIAMS
the Cordele State Convention of Georgia Lions in 1944, a committee composed of
Chairman Robert Cowart of 18B, Hoke Sewell of 18A, and C. G. Higgenbotham of 18C
was appointed to prepare and submit plans for dividing the state into four
districts. This was considered advisable, because of the growth of Lionism and
the large number of clubs in each of the three districts.
matter was delayed in 1945, as no state convention was held that year. In 1946
at the Atlanta convention, however, International Counselor W. A. Abercrombie
moved that the plan submitted by the committee, dividing the state into four
districts, be given the approval of the convention. The motion was passed with
the provision that the division become effective July 1, 1947.
accordance with this decision, four district governors were elected at the
Albany convention in 1947 and Georgia was divided into Districts 18A, 18B, l8C
|JOE B. DAVIS
|J. T. BAXLEY
|G. W. REGISTER
|W. J. ANDREWS
|Macon (Organization Meeting.).||Dec. 27, 1921
|1. Macon||Oct. 12, 1922|
|2. Savannah||May 25-26, 1923|
|3. Montgomery, Ala||May 21-24, 1924|
|4. Augusta||May, 1925|
|5. Macon||May 21-22, 1926|
|6. Albany||May 5-6, 1927
|7. Athens||May 17-18, 1928|
|8. Valdosta||May 2-3, 1929|
|9. Griffin||May 14-15, 1930|
|10. Atlanta||May 28-29, 1931|
|11. Savannah||May, 1932|
|12. Waycross||June 12-13, 1933|
|13. Decatur||June 20-21, 1934|
|14. Columbus||May 28-29, 1935|
|15. Macon||June 2-4, 1936|
|16. Albany||June 6-8, 1937|
|17. Savannah||June 5-7, 1938|
|18. Clayton||June 10-12, 1939|
|19. Columbus||June 10-11, 1940|
|20. Augusta||June 8-10, 1941|
|21. Gainesville||June 14-16, 1942|
|22. LaGrange||June 6-8, 1943|
|23. Cordele||June 11-13, 1944|
|24. 1945. Business meetings only held separately by 18A, 18B and 18C.|
|25. Atlanta||June 30, July 1-2, 1946|
|26. Albany||June 8-9-10, 1947|
|27. Savannah||June 13-14-15, 1948|
order to help the war effort in 1945, the request was made by Franklin D.
Roosevelt, President of the United States, that no large conventions be held
during the year.
meeting of the Georgia State Council, composed of Chairman Eugene Sanders of
l8A, R. A. Perry of 18B, and Schaefer Heard of 18C was called immediately.
extensive preparations had been made for a state convention, a resolution was
approved suspending the state convention for the duration of the war or until
such time as a convention might be considered helpful to the prosecution of the
of this decision, business meetings only were held in each of the three
districts during the year.
of the success of Lionism in Georgia is due to the stimulus provided by
competition for cups donated by various individuals and clubs.
history would not be complete without listing each of these cups and the
conditions of its award.
M. M. Monroe Cup. Club, meeting weekly, having best percentage of attendance of
active members at all club meetings from July 1st through May 31st of the
current year. Missed meetings may be made up in accordance with Lions
International Contest rules.
West Point Cup. Club, meeting twice a month or every other week, having best
percentage of active members at all club meetings from July 1st through May 31st
of the current year. Missed meetings may be made up in accordance with Lions
International Contest rules.
Gainesville Cup. Club having largest percentage of members winning button awards
in the Lions International Attendance Contest of the current year, based upon
the number of active members shown on the secretary’s report of September 1st
to Lions International.
Columbus Cup. Club having the best quartet, composed of Lions from their own
club, at the state convention.
Murrah Cup. Club (excluding the host club) having the largest number of
registered delegates at the state convention.
Ledford Cup. Club having the best club publicity from the beginning of the
previous state convention up to the current year’s state convention. A
Publicity Book of material and clippings is to be submitted.
Soperton Cup. Club having the best attendance of officers and directors, as
specified by Lions International, at Directors Meetings from July through May of
the current year, at least one Directors’ Meeting, separate from the regular
club meeting, to be held each month.
Savannah Cup. Club having the largest net gain in membership from July through
May of the current year.
Albany Cup. The best safety program throughout the year.
Elkan Cup. Club whose various completed activities from July 1st through May
31st of the current year are judged most worthwhile.
Cartersville Cup. Club (excluding the host club) having the best report of the
state convention of the previous year in local newspapers.
Hamilton Cup. Club having the largest number of members visiting other clubs
from July 1st up to the state convention. A letter or card confirming each
visit, signed by an official of the club visited, to be submitted.
Canton Cup. Club entertaining the most visiting Lions at their regular meetings
from July 1st up to the state convention. Satisfactory evidence, such as a guest
register, is to be submitted.
Decatur Cup. Club with the most worthwhile single activity in keeping with the
program of Lionism of the current year.
District Governor’s Cup. The best all-round club in the state, showing well,
especially in 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, whether winning contests or not.
LIONS WHO HAVE SERVED ON THE GOVERNING BODIES OF THE
|1924-30—Thos. H. Halliburton||Macon||Director|
|1929-30—Joseph W. Popper||Macon||Executive Council Board of Governors|
|1933-34—Marvin G. Pound||Sparta||Executive Council Board of Governors|
|1934-35—George S. Johnson||LaGrange|| Executive Council Board of Governors
|1935-36—-William T. Ray||Athens|| Chairman Board of Governors
|1939-40—Dr. H. L. Barker||Carrollton||Vice-Chairman Board of Governors|
|1940-42—George S. Johnson||LaGrange||Director|
|MARVIN G. POUND||GEORGE S. JOHNSON|
|WILLIAM T. RAY||DR. H. L. BARKER|
Governor Ellis Arnall. Standing, left to right : C. J. Smiley,
Liberty County Representative;
John S. Calloway, Greene County Representative; Jones T. Bond, Cabinet
Secretary of 18A; Rufus M. Ryon, District Governor of 18B
1946 the Lions of District 18 sponsored an effort to secure an increase in
school teachers’ pay.
idea, originated by District Governor Rufus M. Ryon of 18B, received the hearty
approval of District Governor Hamp McGibony of 18A and District Governor J.
Gorham Garrison of 18C. Petitions were sent to the various clubs in the state,
signatures secured, and an impressive group of petitions signed by approximately
five thousand Georgia Lions was presented to Governor Ellis Arnall.
the presentation of the petitions, District Governor J. Gorham Garrison of 18C
and Lion N. A. Rogers of the Heard County Lions Club before a crowded House of
Representatives in Atlanta, made stirring addresses calling attention to the
poor pay of the teachers and the alarming effects. All three District Governors
and their Cabinet Secretaries put in much time and effort in promoting the
a consequence the poor pay of the teachers was brought forcibly to the
attention of the public and a fifty percent increase secured. The educators
agreed that the additional money could
not have been secured without the impetus given the matter by the Lions of
ABOUT DISTRICT 18
January 1, 1948, District 18 had the following
number of clubs and members:
ranks 11th in number of clubs and 12th in number of members.
Counselor H. L. Barker, of Carrollton, has attended every International
Convention since the Oakland Convention of 1938 and has missed only one state
convention in the last fifteen years.
also has an eleven years perfect attendance record and holds a Senior Master
far as can be ascertained from the records, only three districts have had a
perfect year in getting all secretaries’ reports to International on time:
W. A. Abercrombie, Dist. Gov., Athens
T. Hamp McGibony, Dist. Gov., Greensboro
B. L. Williams, Dist. Gov., Forsyth
Melvin Jones has made numerous visits to District 18. Among them were Atlanta,
Cordele, Macon in 1921; Savannah, 1922; Decatur, 1932; Atlanta, Columbus,
Savannah, 1935; a tour of the state in 1937 and 1938; Atlanta, 1939 and 1940.
State of Georgia
there is no vision, the
With unusual vision, the founders of Lions International inserted the
following in our constitution: “To create and foster a spirit of ‘generous
consideration’ among the peoples of the world.” For years, Lions
International has been cultivating this spirit of “generous consideration”
among peoples and building friendships among nations.
Today, we suddenly understand the importance of this objective in our
constitution. Alone, District Eighteen can do little to help, but united with
other districts in our great organization, we can do much.
Therefore, let us in District Eighteen realize the urgent necessity of
doing our utmost to support the work of Lions International in fostering
world-wide friendships. Let us have vision—or we perish.
© 2017 Lions of Georgia, Inc., 977-A Madison Road, Eatonton Georgia 31024