The History of the West Seattle Lions Club

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.

The following are PDF file downloads.


  1. Preface
  2. About Lions International
  3. Founding of the West Seattle Lions Club
  4. Charter members
  5. First President 6
  6. Past Presidents and meeting locations 7
  7. Other West Seattle Clubs 8
  8. Anniversaries 9
  9. Zone and District Officers 20
  10. Distinguished Service Award 23
  11. Melvin Jones Fellowships 23
  12. Sponsorship of the White Center Lions Club 27
  13. Women and Lions 28
  14. Club newsletter "Lionnews" 32
  15. Perry and Corrine Wing 36
  16. Conventions 38
  17. Fund Raising Projects Easter Breakfast 43
  18. Charity Shows 45
  19. King Lion 47
  20. Auction 49
  21. Tail Twister 52
  22. Frances Medley 53
  23. Christmas Auction 52
  24. Entertainment Books 52
  25. Inventories 53
  26. Light Bulb Sales 53
  27. Meat Raffle 53
  28. Dahlia Sale 53
  29. Seattle Skyline Pictures 54
  30. New Car Auctions 54
  31. Gum Ball 54
  32. Mints 54
  33. Gambling Night 55
  34. Rummage 56
  35. Apple Sales 59
  36. Perry's Pennies 59
  37. Social Events Summer Picnics 60
  38. Installations 64
  39. Progressive Dinners 65
  40. Special Parties 66
  41. Christmas Parties 67
  42. Miscellaneous 68
  43. Sports Events Golf 69
  44. Bridge Tournaments 70
  45. Salmon Fishing 73
  46. Horse Racing 74
  47. Spagetti Dinners 75
  48. Lion Songs 76
  49. Quartets 79
  50. Rafting 1,
  51. P 79
  52. Community Projects Yankee Clipper (Sea Scouts) 80
  53. Scholarship Program 91
  54. Youth Programs 96
  55. Currency 97
  56. Campaign Sightfirst 98
  57. Youth Exchange 99
  58. YMCA 101
  59. YWCA 102
  60. Sanitoriums 105
  61. Poinsettas 106
  62. Operation Phone Books 107
  63. Hearing Foundation 108
  64. Halloween Carnival 110
  65. Drug Awareness 110
  66. Boys State 110
  67. Care 110
  68. Driving for the Blind 112
  69. Wescoya 113
  70. Scouting 113
  71. Little League 114
  72. Vision Screening 115
  73. Miscellaneous 116
  74. Millionaire Club Lions Vision Clinic 127
  75. Band 129
  76. Youth Exchange 129
  77. Sight Projects 130
  78. White Cane 132
  79. Eye Glasses for the Needy 134
  80. Veggie Extravaganza 135
  81. Hi-Yu 137 40
  82. Exchange with Japaneses Lions
  83. Annual Highlights 141 144
  84. Memorabilia 145


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!

Al Watts


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.

MELVIN JONES (1879-1961) Founder of Lions International
  • 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. To aid my fellow men by giving my sympathy to those in distress, my aid to the weak, and my substance to the needy.
  8. 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.