Ah, the good ol’ days: a new house cost $7,700, gas was 16 cents a gallon, bread was 14 cents and the average wage was just over $2,900. This same year Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated: Scrabble was introduced: Israel was declared a state and the first Polaroid Land Camera was sold.

And in good ol’ Espanola, an enthusiastic, civic minded group of men got together an obtained a Charter to begin a Lions Club. The year is 1948! And things have not changed. Seventy years later, we remain an enthusiastic, civic minded group of men and women.

Twenty years ago was obviously the Club’s 50 yr. celebration. Up the that point, it was estimated the Club had contributed over $1,200,000 to the community. The ball fields, the outdoor pool, Espanola Little Theatre, the hospital were always top priorities. In 1998, attention was focused on the new Regional Complex and in particular the replacement of the outdoor pool with a larger indoor one. The needs of the community are ever changing and so too the response from the Club today.

Who knew on that cold February evening, 70 years ago with over 300 people in attendance, that the goals and activities would change little with time. With the signing of the charter, 62 members became the Lions Club and for the first time would don the purple and gold: purple for loyalty and gold for sincerity and integrity.

To obtain a Charter to form a club, there were strict guidelines which had to be met. Elections had to be held. Dues had to be paid. Reports had to be submitted. Meetings had to be held regularly. But the most important requirement was: “The advancement of civic, cultural, and moral welfare of the community.”

Today, the Lions Club pay their dues, submit reports, hold regular meetings and hold elections. But most important we respond to the needs of our community. It was crucial in 1948 and remains the cornerstone of everything we do today.