The University of Southern Mississippi -- McCain Library and Archives
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Collection Title: Hattiesburg Lions Club Records
Collection Number: M273
Dates: 1928 - 1993
Volume: .8 cu. ft.
The Hattiesburg Lions Club was organized in January, 1928, and received its charter on February 28, 1928. The Club was formed by converting the Young Men's Business Club consisting of forty six (46) members into a Lions Club. At the Charter Night Banquet, the Hattiesburg Lions Club Charter was presented to President R.C. "Chet" McMullan by Irving L. Camp, President of the Lions Club International. Among the Charter Members present were Harry Buchanan as Secretary, Stanton A. Hall, Treasurer, C.R. "Red" Bradley, serving as Lion Tamer, and Earl L. Wingo as Tail Twister.
Since its inception, the Club has been very active in the Hattiesburg community. In fact, the Hattiesburg Lions Club has followed the Lions motto, "We Serve" and has served its community well for nearly 65 years. The Club serves Hattiesburg by providing eye examinations and other eyesight assistance to area residents. This emphasis on vision has become the hallmark for Lions Clubs worldwide and the Hattiesburg Lions Club is no exception.
The Club has spent thousands of dollars to provide eye examinations, treatment, and eyeglasses to needy children in this community for several decades as a part of the Lions Club program for eyesight preservation. Further, the Club has supported other vision projects and has provided individual help on a case by case basis. Organizations who have received financial help from the Club are Arkansas Enterprises for the Blind, Mississippi Lions Eye Bank, Lions Sight Foundation, and Mid-South Sight Services. The Club has also provided travel money for a needy Hattiesburg resident to fly to Memphis for eye surgery and for another to attend Leader Dog School in Michigan. Additional money was given to help pay for a local resident's eye surgery at Forrest General Hospital.
In addition to these vision projects, the Club also supports our nation's children, both locally and nationally. The Hattiesburg Lions Club has donated regularly to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital, the Lions Youth Camp, and the local Science Fair. They also sponsor candidates every year from the Hattiesburg area to both Boys' State and Girls' State here in Mississippi. In another statewide program, the Club provides assistance to local high school musicians selected for the Lions All-State Band. The Club takes an active interest in the University of Southern Mississippi by providing scholarship money and other equipment as needed by USM students.
They support the local efforts of the National Drug Awareness Program and regularly contribute to Special Olympics. The Club helps needy individuals on request and has done so since its beginning by purchasing a wheelchair for a local child, a hearing aid for a local needy person, a battery for another local resident's wheelchair, and by donating money to assist a local family devastated by a residential fire.
At Christmas time, the Lions Club donates money to the Salvation Army and provides manpower to assist in the bell-ringing program at various locations around town collecting money for the less fortunate. The Club donates to the Tree of Hope, the Meistersingers, the Convarest Nursing Home and the Action Line for Christmas Baskets. In its early history, the Club sponsored the Christmas Doll and Toy Fund which regularly provided gifts to over 2000 local needy children every year and became a Hattiesburg institution.
The Hattiesburg Lions Club has a distinguished record of service to Hattiesburg, the state and the nation and continues to build on its record of achievement as the needs of underprivileged residents increase.
This Collection consists of 2 boxes of historical records on the Hattiesburg Lions Club, dating from its Charter on February 28, 1928, to the present time. The documents range from general correspondence, membership records, and official minutes to pamphlets relating to Lions Club membership. The original charter, dated February 15, 1928, is in this collection, along with printed programs from the Charter Night Banquet (February 28, 1928) and the 50th Charter Anniversary Banquet (February 21, 1978).
Also included in this collection are three narrative documents relating to the Hattiesburg Lions Club. First, there is a three page "Early Background History" that tells of the Club and its service projects. Second, there is a five page narrative report from the Hattiesburg Lions Club delegate to the 1947 International Lions Club Convention in San Francisco. Third, there is a two page narrative report on the activities in 1957-58 filed by Joe Greene, the outgoing president. The remainder of the collection consists of photographs, official records and standard forms associated with the active operation of the Hattiesburg Lions Club. These include such items as membership rosters (1958 - 1990), monthly membership and activities reports (1978 - 1991), board of directors minutes (1979 - 1988) and correspondence (1980 - 1993). There are also several editions of the International Association of Lions Clubs Constitution and By-Laws in pamphlet form (1978 - 1991).
In the book, Hattiesburg, A Pictorial History, by Kenneth G. McCarty, Jr.,(M246 Hattiesburg Historical Photographs) several Hattiesburg Lions Club members are pictured in photographs on topics unrelated to the Club. Copies of the book are available in the McCain and Cox Libraries, call number F349.H36 H37 1982.
On page 107, there appears a photograph of the 1926 YMCA Twilight Baseball League Championship Team which includes Lions Club member Paul Talley.
On page 140, there appears a photograph which includes Lions Club members, Ed Currie, Sr., Lester Clark, Clyde Easterling and M.D. Brett.