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Lions Clubs International Logo

About Us

Our Club History

The Burnside Lions Club was chartered on the 4th of May in 1962.

We give to the Club whatever we can manage in time, labour and means – remembering that the demands of our families and careers always take precedence.

We have opportunity to develop our skills in leadership, management and public speaking by volunteering for the many and varied tasks that come our way.

We have the opportunity to present our own ideas to a likeminded group and we get the chance to follow our ideas up with action.

We have fun.  Not all the activities are just related to work.  There is a varied social programme in which we and our families and friends can also participate.

We network with other Lions throughout Australia and in many Countries throughout the World.

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Founding Members

The first Australian Lions Club was formed in the northern NSW town of Lismore on July 1st, 1947, largely through the efforts of William R.Tresise. While serving as National President of Apex, and nearing 40, the compulsory retirement age of that organisation, Bill Tresise unsuccessfully urged the formation of a senior Apex movement.

A chance 1946 meeting in the US with a past International President of Lions (Fred Smith, from California) led quickly to interviews with Lions Past International President Ed Barry, of Arkansas, and then with the Secretary-General and Founder of the Lions Association, Melvin Jones, in Chicago. Tresise was appointed a provisional District Governor, with power to form Lions Clubs in his home country.

He called a meeting of the business and professional men in his hometown of Lismore, where he operated a plaster and hardware business, to hear the Lions story. An eloquent speaker, Bill Tresise soon convinced enough members to form the club. The first President, Jim Brown, proudly received the Club’s official Charter in September of the same year. Melvin Jones cabled: ” Congratulations to the 18th country to enter the International Association of Lions Clubs.”
The second club, Murwillumbah, was formed on August 3rd, 1948, but it was after the formation of the third club, Melbourne, on March 19th, 1952, that the rapid development of Lions Clubs, throughout Australia began, by 1976, there were 1,000 Clubs. Much of the credit for this expansion is due to the professional officers appointed by Lions Clubs International during this period.

Gordon Smith served a one-year term from 1952, during which several clubs were formed in northern NSW, as well as in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Terry Fairburn, an ex-army officer and Vice President of Sydney Lions Club, served from 1953 to 1960, followed by James McLardie from 1960 to 1987. During this period Joe Mason, another tireless worker, was employed in extension work. The energy and dedication of these men was an essential factor in our expansion. This tradition has been continued by the current international appointment, Bob Allen, who has served since 1973.

Of course, they could not succeed alone. The early Lions Club members themselves played an enormous role, at a time when the one Lions Club District took in all of Australia. To list their names is to risk offending those who are not mentioned, something our pioneering Lions would not countenance.

Bill Tresise was made a Member of the British Empire for his services to the Community. He died in Lismore on June 15th, 1975. His widow Fonnie was presented with his Melvin Jones Plaque in August 1977.

Lions History

The Lions are men and women dedicated to serving those in need, whether in their own community or half-way around the world. In addition to humanitarian service, they enjoy fellowship and develop leadership skills.
Lions began in the United States in 1917 when a group of independent clubs responded to an idea presented to them by a young Chicago insurance agent, Melvin Jones. He believed that local business clubs should expand their horizons from purely professional concerns to the betterment of their communities and the world at large.

This was heralded as a departure from the trend current at that time of forming clubs basically with a commercial motive –Jones’ own group was the Business Circle of Chicago. An organisational meeting was held at a local hotel on June 7, 1917, and from this meeting the organisation was born.

The association became “international” with the formation of the Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Lions Club in 1920. From that time on clubs were formed worldwide.
The guiding force and founder Melvin Jones was the first acting secretary of the association, thus beginning an affiliation with Lions that only ended with his death. He served the association from 1917 until his death in 1961. Melvin Jones, who was born on January 13, 1879, in Fort Thomas, Arizona, is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
The first annual convention was held in Dallas, Texas, at the Adolphus Hotel, October 8 – 10, 1917. Thirty-six delegates representing 22 clubs from nine states participated, approved the ” Lion Clubs ” designation, and elected Dr. William P. Woods of Indiana as their first president.

That first convention also began to define what the association was to become. A constitution and by-laws were adopted, the colours of purple and gold approved, and a start was made on the Objects and Code of Ethics.

The official name of “Lions” is “The International Association of Lions Clubs” or simply “Lions Clubs International”.

It consists of a gold letter “L” on a circular purple field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two conventionalised lion profiles at either side facing away from the centre. The words “Lions” appear at the top and “International” at the bottom. Symbolically, the lions face both past and future – proud of the past and confident of the future.

It is the obligation of every Lion to wear and display this emblem with pride.

Developed at the 1997 International Convention in Philadelphia and included in the masthead of THE LION Magazine beginning with the October 1997 issue.

“To create and foster a spirit of understanding among all people for humanitarian needs by providing voluntary services through community involvement and international cooperation.”
“Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety.”
Purple and Gold to Lions, Purple stands for loyalty to country, friends, oneself and the integrity of mind and heart. It is the traditional colour of strength, courage, and tireless dedication to a cause. Gold symbolises sincerity of purpose, liberality in judgement, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart, and purse towards those in need.
Any person of legal majority, good moral character and good reputation in the community may be granted membership in a duly authorised Lions Club. Membership is by invitation only.

2023/24 Club Executive Members

Michael Neal


Michael Neal

PresidentMichael Neal (0400 246 803)
Immediate PresidentRob Crookall (0413 002 445)
SecretaryBarry Taylor (8332 7106)
TreasurerIndira Seimon


Barry Taylor

Past Presidents

2022 - 2023Rob Crookall
2021 - 2022Bob Rowell/ Rob Crookall
2020 - 2021Bob Rowell
2019 - 2020Michelle Alexandrou
2018 - 2019Michelle Alexandrou
2017 - 2018Trevor Denman
2016 - 2017Barry Taylor
2015 - 2016Barry Taylor
2014 - 2015Barry Taylor
2013 - 2014Sandy Royal
2012 - 2013Sandy Royal
2011 - 2012Bob Rowell
2010 - 2011Julie Denman
2009 - 2010Trevor Denman
2008 - 2009Trevor Denman
2007 - 2008Sandy Royal
2006 - 2007Rob Royal
2005 - 2006Brian Sawley
2004 - 2005Barry Taylor
2003 - 2004Wally Williams
2002 - 2003Barbara Rowell
2001 - 2002Julie Denman
2000 - 2001John Tuffley
1990 - 2000Jim Rootes
1998 - 1999Bob Rowell
1997 - 1998Bob Rowell
1996 - 1997Trevor Denman
1995 - 1996Rob Royal
1994 - 1995Barry Taylor
1993 - 1994Henry Michels
1992 - 1993Doug Lang
1991 - 1992Wally Williams
1990 - 1991Nick Vanderschaal
1989 - 1990John Hillier
1988 - 1989Guy Harley
1987 - 1988John Hill
1986 - 1987Peter Swanson
1985 - 1986Keith Fawkner
1984 - 1985Peter Elder
1983 - 1984Jim Garsden
1982 - 1983Jack Lawrence
1981 - 1982Bob Rowell
1980 - 1981Russ Harris
1979 - 1980Ron St John Sweeting
1978 - 1979Rod Weidenhoffer
1977 - 1978John Tuffley
1976 - 1977Ray Michell
1975 - 1976Brian Sawley
1974 - 1975Ian Schafer
1973 - 1974Kevin O’Brien
1972 - 1973John Hill
1971 - 1972Brian Fricker
1970 - 1971Tom Duffey
1969 - 1970Ron Charlton
1968 - 1969Geoff Laird
1967 - 1968Allan Cousin
1966 - 1967Russ Barry
1965 - 1966Bill Madigan
1964 - 1965Hal Morgan
1963 - 1964George Demasius
1962 - 1963Des Pearce
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When caring people join together, roll up their sleeves and take action to make their community better, it’s a beautiful thing—and an incredible feeling for everyone involved. That’s Lions. Being a Lion is about leading by example, building relationships and improving the world through kindness. It’s 1.4 million caring men and women serving together so they can make a lasting impact and change more lives.

Lions serve. It’s that simple, and it has been since we first began in 1917. Our clubs are places where individuals join together to give their valuable time and effort to improving their communities, and the world.

Our Lions Club is Supported by