The History of Lions Pins
It is very difficult to be precise as to when and where the first Lion pins were produced. It is known that pin trading started back in the early 60's so it safe to assume they were being made before then. These pins were called "FRIENDSHIP PINS" and were being produced by certain Multiple Districts and States in the USA. Pins, plus bannerettes were of equal importance when meeting and greeting members of the Lions family.
The Lions International Trading Pin Club (LITPC) was formed in June 1973 at Miami, Florida USA during the 56th International Convention. Its purpose was to foster and develop the hobby of collecting, and trading, to further strengthen International Lionism through International "Friendship".
The British Isles and Ireland Trading Pin Club (BI & ITPC) began in January 2000. A member of the LITPC who attended the 1998 International Convention, held in Birmingham, UK wanted to see a pin club formed in Europe. The following year, at the 1999 International Convention, held at San Diego USA, a request was made to start a club in MD105. Some Lions in 105EA were approached and it was decided to form a club.
Over the years since its formation the British Isles & Ireland Trading Pin Club has been very active in the pin trading world. It is now recognised as being an integral part of pin collecting and trading, and has gained the admiration of others worldwide, especially in the field of producing first class, award winning pins. Pins have been introduced which feature the British Isles and Ireland, and often in a series, based on a single theme.
Part of the fun in collecting is to have pins individually sponsored by club members. These can be in the form of a single pin, or in a set in which all the sponsored pins are required to form the particular theme
The future is looking good for pin collectors as the interest worldwide is growing. Hopefully the Lions Districts within Europe, where there is room for expansion, will start to recognise this friendship.