The History of The Biloxi Lions Club

An excerpt from the 1960 Roster Book

The Biloxi Club was organized in the fall of 1923 and chartered February 18, 1924.  it was the fourth Lions Club to be chartered in Mississippi.  Today, it stands as the oldest and longest running club in the state.  The idea had been brewing since the previous year when an organizer from International canvassed the situation in Biloxi.  Dr. B.Z. Welch was the first president and the charter roster had twenty-seven names.  The Rotary Club in Biloxi had been organized several years before, followed by the Kiwanis Club which subsequently gave up its charger and became the Biloxi Business Men's Club. 

The club had twenty-seven charter members and the initiation fee was $25.00.  During the years, the membership has varied.  In 1930 the membership dropped below 18 but some of the members got busy and the club again began to build up its membership.  The highest number of members reached exceeded eighty members during the 1990's - 2000.  

During the depression at a meeting held in Dr. Welch's office a committee representing the club met and decided that the luncheon fee would have to be reduced to fifty cents per meal and that we would guarantee 20 lunches.  We were eating at the Hotel Biloxi at that time and Lion George Stannus was the manager.  The hotel agreed to the proposed price of fifty cents per meal.  And believe it or not, we got the best meals then in the entire history of the club, - filet mignon was not uncommon.  Some of the places which have catered to the club are:  The Rieviera, Buena Vista, French Restaurant, Tivoli,  the Biloxi , the White House, Emerald Beach, Mary Mahoney's and the Biloxi Yacht Club.

To become a member of the Lions Club, one must be invited to join.  First the prospective member is a guest of the Club.  

The Biloxi club has been represented during its entire history with at least one delegate to every state convention and usually by a delegation representing at least its voting strength.  

In our endeavor to live up to the motto - 'The Livest Service Club on the Coast" - whenever any matter of a controversial nature has come before the community, town or state, we have tried to secure informed speakers to shed light on the subject.     MORE HISTORY TO COME, PLEASE CHECK BACK.