1945 was a great year. World War II had ended. The troops were coming home.
Lion Harry S. Truman was President of the United States.
Lion Coke Stevenson was Governor of Texas.
Soon to be Lion, George Bransom Sr. was Mayor of Burleson and, soon to be Lion Noble Clark was City Secretary.
The population of Burleson in 1945 was 682. Mr. J. W. Norwood was
superintendent of the Burleson Independent School District. The district
had a total enrollment of 347 in 1945. Mr A. H. Loyless was Scoutmaster
of troop #97.
Also, 1945 was time of transition for Burleson. The shift was away from agriculture to a growth in industry, retail and business. Seeing a need for a community service organization a group of local citizens proceeded to organize the Burleson Lions Club. On December 13th, 1945 Lions International granted a charter to the Burleson Lions club. There were eighteen charter members of the club. Lion R. G. K Deering was elected the first president of the club.
The Lions club is the oldest civic club in Burleson. At a meeting of the Lions Club in 1965, the possibility of organizing a Chamber of Commerce was discussed. The Lions Club agreed. An application for a charter for the Chamber was filed with the Secretary of State in April 1966. The approval of the charter was given on April 18, 1966 and for twenty years and for a time after the charter was granted, the Burleson Lions Club served as the Chamber of Commerce for the City of Burleson. The Motto for the Lions Clubs is "We Serve". The Burleson Lions Clubs fulfills this motto by their participation in the many programs of Lions International such as White Cane day, Eyeglasses for children, Eyeglass recycling, Youth Exchange programs and scholarships, Leo Club, Community service and for the Club's many years of contributions to the 100% programs of Lions International. The membership in the club has grown substantially in the last few years. From a low of 20 to the present membership of 66. One of our members chose to rise in the ranks of Lionism. Lion Past District Governor Ted Whitley became involved in District and International activities and rose from District 2E2 Region Chairman which he held for two terms to District 2E2 Cabinet Treasurer, and was elected Vice District Governor in 2000 and elected District Governor in 2001.
Lion Ted is the first member of the Burleson Club to have been elected to serve Lionism in these capacities. There have been several notable Lions recognized in and by the community. One of those was Lion Bill Stribling. Lion Bill has served in every office of the club and has always answered the call when help is needed. Lion Bill was honored to have a new Burleson elementary school named in his honor.
The Burleson Lions have been active in many civic and community projects. In past years, led by Lion Keith Kelly, the club participated in the Habitat for Humanity program by helping build a house in Burleson for a low income family. Each year we manage the Independence Day Parade. We have great participation from the community with growing numbers of organizations wanting to have floats in the parade.
The Burleson Lions Club has, since its beginning, met in the First United Methodist Church of Burleson. In 1971, the Fellowship Hall at the church building in old town Burleson was destroyed by fire and a few items belonging to the Lions Club were destroyed by fire and water. However, the original charter was saved. It was water soaked; however, the charter is in very good condition. We now meet in the current location of the First United Methodist Church at 590 NE McAlister Road, Burleson, TX.
The Burleson Lions club members have had the good fortune of having the United Methodist Women prepare the meals for the club meetings. They had been doing this for seventy-one years. There is probably not another Lions club who has been this fortunate. But the ladies have had to stop serving the meal due to lack of available personnel to continue doing the great service. We still will meet at the church, but will have catered meals from now on.
The Burleson Lions Club continues to grow and looks forward to continuing its service to mankind and carrying out the Lions world-wide motto of "WE SERVE".