Lions began in Western Australia on 22nd September 1962, with the formation of the first club, CITY OF PERTH (HOST), which was the 70th Club in Australia at that time. It was followed by VICTORIA PARK on 17th April 1963, then MORLEY on 14th November 1963.
The early days were hectic, with the strong desire to promote Lionism to every area in the State, so Lions Clubs were formed rapidly. Originally, our District was joined in with Clubs from South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales in District 201F, with the District Governor being Frank Litchfield and City of Perths first President being Lion Tom Chappell, who also acted as Zone Chairman for Zone 2. Later our District became District 201J, joining with only South Australia. At this time the District Governor was Bevan Rutt, followed by John Le Cornu.
The early extension program was instigated by the then Australian Secretary, the late Jim McLardie, ably supported after his appointment as International Representative and City of Perth (Host) member, Joe Mason, who both did a dedicated and wonderful job in difficult circumstances due to the tyranny of distance, and lack of air travel around the state. 1966-67, saw this District become an entity in itself, so Western Australia became District 201L, with a City of Perth (Host) member becoming our first District Governor Lion Malcolm Levinson. At that stage there were 30 Clubs, all doing a myriad of projects in support of their respective communities.
1967-68 saw the late Ken Scampton as District Governor and the District with 33 Clubs. The following year, under the leadership of Tom Cameron, the District increased to 40 Clubs.
During 1969-70 Dr Jack Hoffman was District Governor and the total Clubs increased to 43. Around this time the City of Perth (Host) Club was conducting large scale Glaucoma Screenings in a specially fitted out caravan, which heralded at the District Convention in Albany, the motion to form the LIONS SAVE SIGHT FOUNDATION of WA. In addition to their expanding Screenings Program. The foundation tackled the task of putting together sufficient funds with which to endow a Chair of Ophthalmology at the University of WA., which saw the appointment of Professor Ian Constable OA. PDG Dr Jack Hoffman was elected the first Chairman of the Foundation with PDG Terry Price as Secretary. The following year, 1970-71 the District increased to 55 Clubs under the leadership of Mac Mitchell.
The following year, 1971-72, saw Terry Price in the chair with a staggering 64 Clubs to visit from Esperance in the South to Wyndum in the north. A decision was made to split Western Australia into two Districts, 201L and 201R, at the end of his year. The monumental work and travel carried out by our early District Governors and Club members helped to give this District 201W1 the foundation to be the force that it is today and that they gave their talents, time, and their means above and beyond what was required of them. We will always salute them as The Pioneers of Lionism for our wonderful District of 201W1 as we are known today.
1972-73, saw the formation of the new District 201L, with Brian King at the helm, with 37 Clubs, which encompassed in the Northern region of the state from Perth to Kalgoorlie to Wyndum. In 1974 the Lions Miss Personality Quest was embraced. Over the years it grew in strength and popularity, with over $4.5 million being raised for the chosen beneficiaries, as well as giving 734 young ladies the opportunity to be involved in personal development, improving their confidence and awareness, thus enhancing the opportunities in their chosen career paths and also in their personal lives.
1977 saw the formation of the Lions Help to Hear Foundation of Western Australia, whose prime purpose is Hearing Conservation and work for the Deaf, and with the principal aim dedicated to a campaign against deafness and hearing impairment. To this end the Foundation has continually conducted Free Hearing Screenings in many areas of Western Australia. In 1984 it started the Centre of Excellence and a Professional Clinical Service known as the Lions Hearing Centre, based at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital, and in 1988 another centre at the Joondalup Medical Campus.
In 1978 The West Lion came into existence under the editorship of Lion Murray Fletcher, a position he held for 17 years.
1984 Lion Noel Smith introduced Camp Quality to this State. The Lions of this District have continued to underwrite each camp, which provides each child who attends, an unforgettable childhood experience on which they can draw on in their fight against Cancer. This was the second â€œCamp Qualityâ€ Program established in Australia. In the same year, the then District Governor, Joe Mason, instigated the Lions Children of Courage Awards, which today, is heralded as one of the â€œgreatâ€ projects run by Lions Clubs in support of children. Following the Multiple District Convention held in Perth in 2000, which included the Annual presentation of the Awards, many other Lions Districts have picked up the idea and now run similar Programs in their own Districts.
The Lions Eyre Institute was opened in August 1988, under the Directorship of Professor Ian Constable of the Lions Chair of Ophthalmology. And signaled the completion of the first phase of the Institute and the full commissioning of all Research and clinical facilities. PDG Brian King was elected chairman of the Board of Governors after 19 years as Chairman of the Lions Save Sight Foundation WA Inc
1990 saw the formation of Western Australian Lions Drug Education Foundation and its strong work in the community developing Drug Education Workshops and supply of literature in efforts to combat a growing community problem of immense proportions.
PDG Rick Sullivan, as District Governor during 1991-92 introduced the Lions Exemplary Service Awards, which recognize the dedicated and outstanding service given by non-Lion volunteers in our Communities.
Lions in District 201W1 have a very proud history of Service to their communities and this state of Western Australia. This page is but a small thumbnail sketch of the legacy left by our forefathers in District 201W1.