We are quite lucky to have a compilation of the history of the Lions Club of West Seattle. This was compiled by long term member Al Watts, who joined the club in his late thrities and now, in his nineties, is still very active. We will start with a PDF copy of his actual work and progressively convert it into a web styled document. This is a work in progress, so, don't be surprised when you come to a dead end. Just come back later to follow it though a little further.
Over the sixty seven years since the West Seattle Lions Club was chartered there probably have been many people with intentions of compiling a history of the club or a scrap book of some sort. One such documented attempt mentioned in the West Seattle "LIONEWS" on September 7, 1972 states as follows:
IF YOU'VE GOT IT; FLAUNT IT Among other things that Tom O'Neill did last meeting was to bring a rare collection of old pictures of west Seattle Lion activities as a contribution to our historical album which is in the process of being prepared. S4rely some of you, including those living a happily retired life in distant places, have some you'd like to donate. Please send or give them to Bob Nuber, together with as much information as you can, particularly date (approximation if nothing else), and the names of those in the picture the best you can recall as well as the event.
This historical album is missing along with almost all other historical information. A committee of West Seattle Lions , LeVerne Baliewig, Moe Beerman, Jack Hanning, Don Swanson and yours truly have interviewed many of our older members trying to collect information. Helen Sutton has also been very helpful. We have also searched the club records and storage areas but the information is very scant. The one source of some information is the West Seattle Herald and Bonnie Beerman has spent many hours scanning old newspapers and having the Newspaper duplicate them for us. We owe her our thanks. In more recent years the Scrapbooks that Corrine put together each year are loaded with information. It is hard to believe and unfortunate that a service club that has served a community so well over so many years has left such a undocumented trail for the first 30 years.
I have assembled the following pages of information about our club based on the information that was available and with the realization that probably many important details are missing. West Seattle Lions Club occupies a special place in my life and I consider all present and past members as my special friends. It has been fun and challenging to work on this project!
About LIONS INTERNATIONAL
Before we begin on the history of the West Seattle Lions Club I believe it is important to first look at the history and growth of Lions International. The International Association, of Lions was conceived at a meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on June 7, 1917 under the direction of our founder, Melvin Jones. From that meeting came a call for the association's first annual convention, which was held October 8-10, 1917, in Dallas, Texas, where by then 23 clubs participated. Lions International was organized with the idea of uniting on a basis of unselfish community service, business men's clubs that had no other affiliations. This was a distinct departure from the practice of forming business men's organizations primarily for business purposes and personal gain. By 1927, two years before West Seattle Lions Club was formed, the number of clubs had increased to 1,183 and the membership to 52,965. As of July 31, 1995 Lions Clubs International had 1,406,794 members in 42,692 clubs in 713 countries and geographic areas. The spirit of unselfish, cooperative service which inspires Lions has made Lionism a powerful force for understanding amona peoples of the world.
The official publication of Lion's International is "The Lion" magazine mailed to all Lions members each month.
The official colors of the association are purple and gold.
The Motto of Lions is "We Serve".
The emblem consists of a gold "L" on a circular purple field. Bording this L is a circular gold area with two conventialized lion profiles at either side facing away from the center. The words "Lions" appear at the top and International at the bottom. The emblem represents a lion facing both past and future-- proud of the past and confident of the future.
The Slogan -- "Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations Safety".
The Lions Code of Ethics and the Lions Club Objects probably are one of the reasons that Lions is the largest and most active service club in the world. These have remained unchanged since the beginning. I think that it is appropriate that they be included.
To show my faith in the worthiness of my vocation by industrious application to the end that I may merit a reputation for quality of service.
To seek success and to demand all fair remuneration or profit as my just due, but to accept no profit or success at the price of my own self-respect lost because of unfair advantage taken or because of questionable acts on my part.
To remember that in building up my business it is not necessary to tear down another's; to be loyal to my clients or cus, tourers and true to myself.
Whenever a doubt arises as to the right of ethics: of my position or action towards my fellow men, to resolve such doubt against myself.
To hold friendship as an end and not a means. To hold that true friendship exists not on account of the service performed by one to another, but that true friendship demands nothing but accepts service in the spirit in which it is given.
Always bear in mind my obligations as a citizen to my nation, my state and my community, and to give to them my unswerving loyalty in word, act and deed. To give them freely of my time, labor and means.
To aid my fellow men by giving my sympathy to those in distress, my aid to the weak, and my substance to the needy.
To be careful with my criticisms and liberal with my praise; to build up and not destroy.
Lions Clubs International OBJECTS
TO CREATE and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.
TO PROMOTE the principles of good government and good citizenship.
TO TAKE an active interest in the civic, cultural, social and moral welfare of the community.
TO UNITE the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship and mutual understanding.
TO PROVIDE a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest, provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members.
TO ENCOURAGE service-minded men to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors.