Who we are Our history Our History Lions Clubs International was formed in 1917 by a Chicago business leader, Melvin Jones, who wondered what would happen if people put their talents to work improving their communities. As a result of his inspiration, 1.4 million men and women today are members of the world’s largest service club organisation – 12,000 of them based in 625 Lions Clubs in the British Isles. It was thanks to the support of Canadian Lions and the intervention of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, that the first Lions Club in London was founded in 1950. Canadian Lions had provided invaluable support for children orphaned in the Second World War. To thank them, the then Queen sent her equerry Colonel Edward Wyndham (later Lord Leconfield) to Canada. He was so impressed that Windsor (Ontario) Lions Club agreed to sponsor the first London Club, with Lord Leconfield as its founding Charter President. Today, HRH The Countess of Wessex is a member of the Wokingham Lions Club and Royal Patron of the Lions Clubs of the British Isles.