Who are the Lions?

- In Canterbury

The Lions Club of Canterbury was formed in 1965 by a Group of about 20 local men who wanted to help those people who were less fortunate than themselves.

Our Club is just one of over 46,000 in the International Association of Lions Clubs which is the largest Service Club organisation in the World.

The members of The Lions Club of Canterbury come from all walks of life, and all do their best to uphold the Lions International Motto, which is 'We Serve'

Like all Lions Clubs, We Serve our local community in any way we can,  particularly those who are unable to help themselves or who deserve assistance with their own projects. 90% of our service is within the local Canterbury area, with the balance in Kent, or Nationally or Internationally through  Lions Clubs International and Lions Charitable International Foundation.

All the Money we spend is raised through the generosity of the local people of Canterbury.

The effort by the Members and their partners, who play a full part in all aspects of fund-raising, for serving the community in which they live provides a fellowship and feeling of satisfaction which we enjoy, and is a very important aspect of Club Life.

The Members also share an active and varied social life, communicate with our Twinned Clubs in France and Italy and with Lion friends Worldwide.

- In The UK and Ireland

There are over 800 Lions clubs throughout the UK and Ireland. Every club adopts the Lions International Ethics and Purposes.

As we begin the third Millennium, Lions of Multiple District 105 are celebrating the Jubilee of the establishment of Lionism in the British Isles and Ireland. London (Host) was officially chartered on 1st March 1950, and Tonbridge and Brighton followed in quick succession.

MD 105 Lions have a "royal origin", courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who sent her equerry Colonel Edward Wyndham (later Lord Leconfield) to Canada to thank the Lions for providing substantial funds for children orphaned during the Blitz. Colonel Wyndham was so impressed with the Canadian Lions that he decided a Club should be established in England. Subsequently, Windsor (Ontario) Lions Club sponsored London (Host), as the first Club in the British Isles. Lord Leconfield was the Charter President, and meticulous in attending every meeting, where his tall, genial presence added distinction to their functions.

Lions expanded rapidly throughout England. By 1953 the first Lions Club in Scotland was chartered in Glasgow and by 1955 the first Lions Club in Ireland in Dublin. In 1961, District 105 became a Multiple District with two Districts A and B. Today, MD 105 consists of 13 Districts, 944 Clubs and 20,000 men and women throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

The birth of Lionism in the British Isles and Ireland is truly a success story. We have a lot to be proud of, but in this ever changing world there is a lot more charitable work to be done. "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else" (Melvin Jones, Founder of Lions).

- Internationally

Beginning in 1917
Melvin Jones, a 38-year-old Chicago business leader, asked a simple and world-changing question - what if people put their talents to work improving their communities? Almost 100 years later, Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization, with 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea: let's improve our communities.

1920: Going International
Just three years after our founding, Lions became international when we established the first club in Canada. Mexico followed in 1927. In the 1950s and 1960s international growth accelerated, with new clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa. 

1925: Eradicating Blindness 
Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA, and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Since then, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.

1945: Uniting Nations
The ideal of an international organization is exemplified by our enduring relationship with the United Nations. We were one of the first nongovernmental organizations invited to assist in the drafting of the United Nations Charter and have supported the work of the UN ever since.

1957: Organizing Youth Programs
In the late 1950s, we created the Leo Program to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. There are approximately 144,000 Leos and 5,700 Leo clubs in more than 140 countries worldwide.

1968: Establishing Our Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation assists Lions with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects. Through our Foundation, Lions meet the needs of their local and global communities.

1990: Launching SightFirst
Through SightFirst, Lions are restoring sight and preventing blindness on a global scale. Launched in 1990, Lions have raised more than $346 million for this initiative. SightFirst targets the major causes of blindness: cataract, trachoma, river blindness, childhood blindness, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Today: Extending Our Reach
Lions Clubs International extends our mission of service every day - in local communities, in all corners of the globe. The needs are great and our services broad, including sight, health, youth, elderly, the environment and disaster relief. Our international network has grown to include more than 207 countries and geographic areas.

1st and 3rd Tuesdays
The Golden Lion, Mayton Lane, Broad Oak, Canterbury CT2 0QJ