GEORGIA LIONISM IN THE DECADE OF THE SEVENTIES
The sixties merged into the decade of the seventies with few regrets. There were high hopes of escaping the effect of the preceding decade with its holdover of influencesamounting to a definite trend, if not a decided change in our social structure, our attitudes, and way of life.
At the beginning of the decade of the seventies, Lionism in Georgia was almost fifty years old. Born of World War I it may represent the unconquerable human spirit to rise in the best and highest sense to the nobler needs of man, just as the era around the great depression of the thirties saw a wide proliferation of Lions Clubs, because men needed help, and wanted to help others in need.
This has been the distinguishing hallmark of Lionism, the one thing which in spite of its failures in whatever form, has caused Lionism to grow, to prosper, to become noble, widespread and universal.
The first Lions Club organized in Georgia, which now constitutes the Eighteenth District of Lionism, was that of Atlanta, which held its first meeting on December 17, 1920. The only surviving charter member is Lion Victor Todd, who was honored by the club on Friday, November 9, 1979, after a noble and distinguished life in Lionism, which has endeared him to all who know him. He was ninety-two years of age December 26, 1979.
The decade has been referred to as the "surprising seventies, the shocking seventies", along with other characterizations less flattering. Certainly this decade has been different, but it has grown upon the stalwart body of Lionism which was begun in this state fifty years earlier.
Since the fiscal year in Lionism begins on July1 each year, the decade of the seventies was ushered in under the influence of the year 1969-70. This was the year that W. Richard Bryan, of Doylestown, Ohio was President of Lions International, David A. Evans, of Houston, Texas was Immediate Past President, and Robert D. McCullough, D. O. of Tulsa, Oklahoma was First Vice President. Joe B. Davis was our Immediate Past International Director, 1966-68; and Marvin G. Pound, Sr., 1954-56, was our only other living Past International Director, although four other Georgians had held that office: Thomas H. Halliburton, 1924-28, from Macon; George S. Johnson, 1940-42, LaGrange; Dr. Homer I. Barker, 1949-51, Carrollton; and Ivan H. Jackson, 1958-60, Cartersville. Dr. Don W. Schmidt of Cedartown became International Director in 1971-73, followed in 1979-81 by International Director Edwin C. Daniel, of Chamblee.
It was at this state Convention in 1969 that George P. Crumbley, Jr. of the Atlanta Lions Club became the District Governor of 18A. He was to become International Director 1974-76 in San Francisco, and as Executive Director of the Peach Bowl from 1968 was to lead it to the crowning success which thrilled all Georgia Lions the last day of 1979, when Clemson and Baylor played to a sell-out stadium crowd with more than 57,000 in attendance.
In the spring of 1981, Emory University announced that Lion George Crumbley received the Award of Honor, the highest distinction bestowed by the Alumni Association at Alumni Day, May 2.
Having distinguished himself in community service, George Crumbley also served his alma mater in a unique way. As a liffetime Director of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse for the Blind and as Executive Director of the Peach Bowl, he was instrumental in establishing the Peach Bowl as the only postseason football extravaganza with charitable objectives.
In that role he has helped to build a relationship of cooperation in Atlanta among business, civic, educational, and health leaders. Through these initiatives, growing support has come to the Georgia Lions Eye Bank at Emory and to the programs of teaching, research, and patient care in sight preservation and restoration in Emory's Eye Center which are now being thrust into International prominence.
Lion Jimmy Carter, who was to be elected Governor of the State of Georgia in 1970, and President of the United States in 1976, was Council Advisor, having served as Council Chairman the year before, and as president of his Lions Club of Plains in 1957-58, after joining the Plains Lions Club in l953. An article Carter wrote, published in THE LION, is reproduced in Appendix A for its constant value. Then, years later, speaking at the White House to a large group of Past District Governors from Georgia who had gathered in Washington to honor him on March 31, 1979, he changed his former title of Lion President" to "President Lion".
In his message from the District Governor to the clubs in his district, District Governor Jimmy Carter stated that "the achievements of Lionism must originate within the local clubs, that individual Lions deserve the credit for great work, and they also deserve the blame for failure to take advantage of service opportunities." As every District Governor should be able to say at the end of his year of service, Jimmy Carter, past President of the United States of America, said, "My dedication to the principles of Lionism has been strengthened."
In July 1969 there were 278 active Lions Clubs in the six districts. Since the first club in 1920 there had been organized in this state 509 Lions Clubs.
This ratio of active clubs to the total organized shows the constant surge of Lionism back and forth, the struggle for existence, expansion and success. Of the first 50 clubs organized in Georgia, 3l were cancelled and 22 were reorganized, according to early reports, during the first dozen years. Moreover, it is true that of late years most of these clubs have been reorganized. The population increase and suburban build-up have changed the growth pattern, so that many formerly barren places are now thriving, while other areas have suffered a loss. The constant growth in the number of Lions Clubs and the number of members attest the vigor, value, and vitality of the Lions International organization, although before the decade was over there was to be a change of emphasis, as world conditions change rapidly in international growth, pressing clubs in the United States to greater activity.
Next Previous History 1970-1980 Main Page History Main Page Lionnet Georgia MD18