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District 35-A  Web Site

Lions of Florida and Grand Bahama Island

 MD-35 Lions


    Redland District Lions Club

History of MD-35

The "born on day" for the Lions of Florida and District 35 was December 15th, 1920 if the day for organizing the Orlando Lions Club is used or April 9th, 1922 if the date of charter is used. This first club in Florida was organized by R.J. Lewis of Cincinnati, Ohio. The first Convention of District 35 was held in Orlando, May 28th – 29th, 1925 and there were 13 clubs in the State.

 Franklin O. King was selected as the District Governor by Lions Clubs International for this convention and was then elected to serve again the following year. The following clubs were represented at the first convention of the district.

1. Orlando
2. Daytona Beach
3. Tampa 
4. West Palm Beach
5. Miami 
6. St. Augustine (Cancelled 4/30/36)
7. Jacksonville (Cancelled 5/25/45) 
8. Fort Lauderdale (Cancelled 4/30/34)
9. St. Petersburg 
10. Lake Worth
11. Miami Beach 
12. Redland District
13. Fort Myers (Cancelled 6/30/27)

Even though some of these original clubs surrendered their charter, it is worthy of noting that all organized at a later date and are still providing service to their communities.

By the time the second Convention was held in West Palm Beach, the number of clubs had grown to sixteen with 698 members around the state. The main goal at this convention was to draft and approve a constitution and bylaws for the district.

Millard Conklin was the only District Governor to be elected to two terms of office, 1936/1937 and 1937/1938. He then served as International Director the years of 1938/1940. The only other to serve as Governor twice was the first governor Franklin O. King, who was appointed by Lions International and then elected to serve a second term.

By the time the 15th Annual Convention was held in St. Petersburg, the clubs in the district now total 67 and the number of members stood at 2,097. So a resolution was adopted for Florida to have two District Governors, Districts S (South) and N (North), with the approximate dividing line just South of Orlando, thereby designating District 35 now as Multiple District 35.

At the 23rd Annual Convention held in Sarasota, May 4-6, 1947, a resolution was placed on the ballot that the Gulf Beach Lions would underwrite the cost of a Florida State magazine for the first year, with the members paying $1.50 for a year subscriptions fee. If at the end of the year, it turned out to be a good thing, it would then become a permanent item. This passed and the magazine was born.

At the 24th Annual Convention held in St. Augustine, May 9-11, 1948, with the membership up to 5,609 and the number of clubs at 107, the delegates voted to change and divide the Florida districts into five, L,I,O,N and S.

At the 35th Annual Convention, held in Jacksonville, the membership had grown to 11,542 and the number of clubs was now 289, thereby bringing forth a resolution to divide the State of Florida Multiple District 35 into seven districts, F,L,O,R,I,D and A, which it still is today. During this year fourteen  new clubs were organized.

Although the Multiple District had many International Directors, it wasn’t until 1965 that Dr. Walter H. Campbell, Past International Director from Florida served as our Associations International President.

At the 50th Annual Convention held in Jacksonville May 16-18, 1974 the delegates voted to bring Freeport Lions Club of Grand Bahama Island a part of 35-D, thereby making Multiple District 35 an International District.

Multiple District 35 is alive and vibrant, welcoming many from all over the world daily and inviting all Lions from other areas to become a part of our great tradition when they retire and move to Florida.

For further information on becoming a member, you may contact the Multiple District 35 office in Orlando at 321-299-2748, , or the Redland District Lions Club.

(Borrowed from the MD-35A Website)




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