Westport Lions Roar
By Bob Reddick
Throughout the world, many people recognize the Lions Club International symbol. Have you ever wondered what the emblem represents and why the name Lions was adopted? The logo has changed and evolved over time, but has always represented our motto, We Serve.
The first emblem in 1917 was a single lion’s head facing the observer. The lion is holding a wooden club in its mouth with INTERNATIONAL written across the club. It is interesting to note the visual pun of lion club.
In 1920, the black and white logo was changed to two lions facing in an east and west direction, and a monogrammed “L” encased in a circle.
In the most recent version, colour has been added, consisting of a gold letter “L” on a circular blue field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two lion profiles at either side facing away from the center. The word “Lions” appears at the top, and “International” at the bottom. Symbolically, the lions face both past and future – showing pride of the past and confidence in the future.
On June 7, 1917 at the invitation of the founder, Melvin Jones, delegates met in Chicago. The only point of contention was the selection of a name for the new organization. Melvin Jones researched the idea of calling the new organization Lions. He believed that the lion stood for strength, courage, fidelity and vital action. On a secret ballot the name Lions was chosen over several others.
The January 1931 issue of THE LION Magazine featured this interpretation of the association’s name:
Our name was not selected at random, neither was it a coined name. From time immemorial, the lion has been the symbol of all that was good, and because of the symbolism that name was chosen. Four outstanding qualities – Courage, Strength, Activity and Fidelity – had largely to do with the adoption of the name. The last mentioned of these qualities, Fidelity, has a deep and peculiar significance for all Lions. The lion symbol has been a symbol of Fidelity through the ages and among all nations, ancient and modern. It stands for loyalty to a friend, loyalty to a principle, loyalty to a duty, loyalty to a trust.