Celebrating the 81st Birthday of the Lions’ Clubs in NQ & PNG

Lions International is a not for profit, volunteer organization conducting community and humanitarian work throughout the world. In 2023, there are approximately 1.4 million members world-wide.

Lions Australia (Lions International District 201) is Australia’s largest service organization with more than 1300 clubs in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

District 201 Q2 covers the large and geographically diverse area of North Queensland (reaching as far south as Sarina) and Papua New Guinea. Currently there are 64 Lions Clubs, 3 Branch Clubs and 6 Leo Clubs working with the community throughout the district. In Papua New Guinea there are 5 Clubs in Tabubil, Port Moresby, Madang, Lae and Lae Lioness.

In 1942 the first Lions Club for District 201 was established in Buna, Papua New Guinea followed by North Queensland with the formation dinner held in October of 1956 for the Cairns Lions Club.

Colin Ryan (District 201 Q2 Historian & Archivist) with Bronwyn McBurnie (Manager, JCU Library Special Collections) and one of the Lions' History Albums at the Donor Appreciation event held in February, 2023 at the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library.

In 2022, District 201 Q2 kindly donated to JCU Library Special Collections 5 large Albums each housed in their own custom-made box. In addition, District 201 Q2 generously funded the digitisation of the Albums by professional photographer - Rob Parsons of Through the Looking Glass Studio. 

This kind act was facilitated by Colin Ryan (District 201 Q2 Historian and Archivist) and has enabled the Special Collections team to present the digital versions in NQHeritage@JCU – (the online repository for the Special Collections) granting access to a global audience.  Now researchers, no matter where they are, can explore the history of this important, charitable organization and its long and productive presence in our part of the Pacific (ie North Queensland and Papua New Guinea).

Trisha Fielding (Special Collection's Library Officer) reading one of the Albums in the Helen May's Reading Room at the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library.

Each Album presents a chronological history of various Clubs’ events and projects through a compilation of information from a variety of sources including District Governor’s reports and notices, meeting minutes, occasional newsletters, photographs, news articles, event invitations and programmes.

In total the Albums document the history of the Lions Clubs in this region of Australia and Papua New Guinea from 1942 up to 2003. They include the activities of Clubs in District 201 Q2 and 201 Q4 as during this time (1991) the geographical boundaries were adjusted to remain in line with Lions International’s operating rules.

Explore all of the Albums online in NQHeritage@JCU today.  Click on the links to each individual Album in the Related Links area of the NQHeritage records.