Pin Trading History

PIN TRADING IN LIONISM
 
by PCC William A. Smith

 Background

The first "friendship pins" were introduced in the late 1940's and 50's and were, for the most part, little plastic replicas of States or items from the various States. Many were thrown from the floats that were entered in the big Lions parade that traditionally kicks off the Lions Clubs International (LCI) conventions. Because they were disposable, these items have now become some of the most sought after collectibles in all of Lionism.

Trading pins as we know them today, arrived on the scene in the late 1960's and 70's. At the present all 50 States and Multiple Districts within the U.S.A. and within most of the provinces of Canada issue at least one so-called State/Province pin each year to commemorate the site of the LCI convention. In addition to all of these pins, almost every known country or geographical location within Lionism issues pins. Further, individual Districts and Clubs issue pins, as well as scores of individual Lions and Lionesses. The number of pins issued each year is not known, but it is safe to say that there are literally thousands upon thousands produced on an annual basis. Not to be overlooked are the special or so-called prestige pins that are issued from time-to-time by many of the aforementioned sources. One of the unique experiences that one can have at an LCI convention is the opportunity to collect pins from all over the world. Thousands of attendees become pin traders for at least the week they are enjoying the convention activities.

Lions International Trading Pin Club

The Lions International Trading Pin Club (LITPC) was "born" on June 27, 1973 during the LCI Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. From the less than 50 Lions, representing 11 States and Provinces who signed up in 1973, the LlTPC has grown into an organization with a membership from 50 States, the District of Columbia, most Provinces of Canada and 18 other Districts/Multiple Districts from outside of North America. The membership has grown to over 800 Lions and Lionesses. However, this is not a true measure of the total interest in the hobby of pin trading.
In January 1982 LITPC members from the State of Virginia organized the Pin Traders Club of Virginia for the main purpose of encouraging more of their fellow Lions and Lionesses to become interested in the hobby. Since then, 38 other Multiple District pin clubs have been formed with a membership of several thousand. The LITPC membership rolls have benefited tremendously from this expansion of the interest in the hobby.

The LITPC was organized for the purposes of fostering and developing friendship, good fellowship, and mutual under­standing through the avocation of trading and collecting Lions friendship pins, which are more commonly referred to as trading pins. The founding fathers of the LlTPC hoped that this association would have a lasting and continuing influence on their desire to strengthen international Lionism through international good will. There is no doubt that this objective has and continues to be achieved. These are individuals who are dedicated to the principles of Lionism and are prone to remind all that they are Lions and Lionesses first and pin traders second. The organization is proud to count among their membership several Past International Directors and current District Governors. More than 25% of the membership are Past District Governors. This is truly an organization of members who permeate the very fibers of our great International Association of Lions Clubs.

Membership in the LITPC is open to all Lions and Lionesses who are active members and in good standing in their respective Clubs. Obviously, an interest in the collection and trading of Lions pins is important. However, just as important is the exposure that one can get in developing friendships with Lions families all over the world. A membership application form may be obtained from PCC William A "Bill" Smith, PO. Box 2369, Centreville VA 20122-2369.



 

 
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