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Due to the determined effort of Australian Secretary for Lions Clubs International, Jim McLardie OAM, the first South Australian Lions Club was formed in 1961.

The Initial Reward

July 1961

The Lions Club of City of Adelaide was chartered by District Governor Dr Howard Waters of District 201C on 1st July 1961. The Club Charter was presented to Charter President Bevan Rutt, OBE; other officers of the club being Charter First Vice President Colonel Ron Hone and Charter Secretary John Minks. Club projects were undertaken immediately with the first being the printing of 111,000 copies of a pamphlet aimed at making children aware of the threat of molestation. 

The Rapid Growth

April 1962

Following another visit by Australian Secretary Jim McLardie and with the assistance from those first charter members, Bevan Rutt, Colonel Ron Hone and John Minks, the second club - Lions Club of Adelaide Light - was formed in April 1962. In the same year the three clubs of Burnside, Edwardstown and Marion were formed with all three charters being presented by District Governor William R. Tresise, MBE, the recognized founder of Lions in Australia. 

During this time of growth the number of Lions Clubs throughout Australia was escalating at the rate of about 50 per year with Colonel Ron Hone and Bevan Rutt playing leading roles in the South Australian expansion. 

District Structuring


Lions Clubs are structured into districts; in the early years the South Australian Clubs formed part of a Victorian district with the designation 201C. At the time there were five districts within Australia. Because of the rapid growth of the Lions movement in Australia, new districts were continuously being formed and in 1964 the number of districts had leapt to 9 with the South Australian Clubs being in District 201J under the guidance of the first South Australian District Governor, Bevan Rutt. The first Northern Territory Club, Alice Springs, was formed in 1964.  


In 1971, the 80 chartered clubs of South Australia were divided into two districts - 201J and 201N. By 1977 the number of districts in Australia had increased to 21 and a major restructuring of the district numbering system was made. The number in South Australia had swelled to 124 and so a third district was formed in the state. The three South Australia districts were then designated as 201S1, 201S2 and 201S3. 

The last District Governors for 201S1, 201S2 and 201S3 were Don Currie, George Rajkovic and Bob Rowell. 
In 2001/2002 it was structured into two (2) Districts, 201C1 and 201C2. The first District Governors were for 201C1 Joan Ceely and for 201C2 Bob Radford. 


Sight Projects in South Australia & Northern Territory

July 1965

Dr David Tonkin AO, chaired a committee which included Dr Bob Coulthard AM and conducted the first Save Sight week in July 1965. In 1966 Dr Tonkin was appointed by District Governor Ralph Knox as the first Save Sight Chairman in South Australia. 
The glaucoma screening programme continued and in 1967 the new Save Sight Chairman, Dr John Slade AM, achieved a greater coverage of glaucoma than any similar population in the world. The first National Save Sight Committee Chairman was Lindsay McNamara of the Lions Club of Unley.

Lion Firsts for South Australia

  • First Club: Lions Club of City of Adelaide 1 July 1961 

  • First Club President Bevan Rutt, OBE 

  • First Club Vice President Colonel Ron Hone 

  • First Club Secretary John Minks 

  • First Club Project Printing of Pamphlets re avoiding children molestation 

  • First District 201J 1964 

  • First District Governor Bevan Rutt, OBE 1964 

  • First District Convention Glenelg 1964 

  • First Multiple District Convention Adelaide 1965 

  • First Multiple District Chairman John LeCornu 1966 

  • First International Director Colin Ringer 1972

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