With the issue of this 75 XPF stamp designed by Michel Fangeaud, a member of the Noumea Lions Club, OPT-NC is marking the Centennial of Lions Clubs International, the world's largest service club organisation.
The International Association of Lions Clubs was founded in Chicago on 7 June 1917 by Melvin Jones, a 38 year old insurance entrepreneur who convinced the members of his local business club that they should reach beyond business issues and address the betterment of their communities and the world. Similar groups around the United States rallied to the same cause: encouraging people to put their talents to work to improve their local communities and the wider world community.
More clubs were established outside the USA: in Canada and Mexico. After the end of World War II, international growth accelerated, with new clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa. Lions was one of the first NGOs invited to assist in the drafting of the United Nations Charter. More recently, Lions has expanded its global reach to establish clubs in Eastern Europe and China. One hundred years after it was founded, Lions Clubs International boasts 46,000 clubs, with more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries and geographic areas. New Caledonia’s first Lions Club was founded in Noumea in 1961; there are now 12 clubs with nearly 250 members.
Lions Clubs International constantly extends its mission of service, with humanitarian and public service projects in a vast range of areas, including sight, health, youth, the elderly, the environment and disaster relief. The organisation is involved in service initiatives on a local, regional and global scale, through its network of Clubs, Zones and Districts, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation.
If you’d like more information about Lions Clubs International, go to: www.lionsclubs.org