FOUNDER OF LIONISM
Some found Religions, some establish Kingdom, some build economic empires while others invent and discover, some go lengths to reform others with a vision and mission of serving the mankind. Melvin , the noble soul , too founded an empire of different sort, an empire armored with Fellowship and service , extending beyond the high mountains and deep seas, binding closely people of all religions races and languages , thus making every man a world citizen and make him realize that he is needed to serve the needy as much as satisfy his needs, Selfless service and sacrifice , devotion and dedication towards the cause of less fortunate made a man truly great. One such truly great man was our founder Melvin Jones.
Founder Lion Melvin Jones was born on January 13, 1879 at Fort Thomas, Arizona, USA in the family of a United States Army Captain. After his father was transferred, the family moved east. Melvin Jones made his residence in Chicago, Illinois, became associated with an insurance firm and in 1913 formed his own agency firm named Melvin Jones Insurance Agency.
Soon after he joined the Business circle, businessmen’s luncheon group and was shortly elected secretary. This group was one of many at that time devoted solely for promoting the financial interest of their members. Because of their limited appeal they were destined to disappear. Melvin Jones , however, had other plans. “What if these men”, he asked, “who are successful because of their drive, intelligence and ambition, were to put their talents to work improving their communities?”Thus at his invitation, delegates from men’s clubs met in Chicago to lay the ground work for such an organization and on June 7 , 1917 Lions Clubs International was born. It was stipulated that Clubs were not to be social in nature not were members permitted to promote their own business interests.
Jones eventually abandoned his insurance agency to devote full time to Lionism at International Head quarter in Chicago. It was under his dynamic leadership that Lions Clubs earned the prestige necessary to attract civic minded men.
Melvin Jones , the men whose personal code “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else”, became a guiding principle for public spirited people the world over. He died on June 1, 1961 at the age of 82. His vision is an inspiration.