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Below are two histories of CLPTA. The first one is titled “The Walking Bear” and the second one is titled “History of California Lions Pin Traders’ Catalog”. Enjoy!

THE WALKING BEAR

Most pins have a story behind their creation. Could be an event, a place, a personal experience, a project, or an identity. In any case, if we took a real close look at our pins, a multitude of stories and history would emerge. Such is the case with our Walking Bear two-pin set. (Walking Bear Pin – Image Credit: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/yewAAOSwjkxbdaMh/s-l400.jpg)

Back in early 1983, I was coming in as Cabinet Secretary for Hal Talavero (later elected Council Chairman). Lion Al Stack was the District’s Pin Chairman and had come up with an idea for a district pin, two golden bears on a log and walking toward each other. On the log were the words “4C7 CAL” and the Lions’ logo. Lion Al came to me with his idea, and together we went to our incoming Governor, Lion Hal. Lion Hal liked the idea and agreed to support this District’s pin. However, Lion Hal told us that his 1983-84 budget had been set by the delegates at the convention, so he couldn’t finance the pin, nor could the District realize any profit from the sale of the pin.

Lion Al was still enthusiastic about the pin and decided he would finance the venture. The pin was a great success; so much so that Lion Al even had a miniature of this set created. A problem however: What to do with the profits? Lion Al and I had conversations regarding this pleasant situation, and the idea of a California Pin Traders Club was born. We could use the proceeds to promote and finance this organization. We took the idea to Governor Hal, convinced him that this would be a great boost for California Lions, especially those involved in pin trading. At the February, 1984 Council Meeting, Council Chairman Hal gave me time on the agenda to make a presentation and ask the Council to endorse the California Lions Pin Trader Association. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to so endorse.

The next step was to get the word out. As Cabinet Secretary, I had all 16 California Governors’ directories and was able to type labels for every Lion, Lioness, and LEO club president in the state – over 900 labels. We were able to arrange a September, 1984 date for a meeting in Fresno and put together some other material to start to stuff envelopes. This was all done in Lion Al’s shop. We used his copy machine and the three of us (Lions Al, Kaye, and myself) put the mailings together. The expenses were covered entirely by the Walking Bear’s profits. According to Lion Al, his copy representative passed out when he came in to service the machine. He hadn’t seen any meter with these kinds of numbers. He thought the unit was defective.

The mailings were all done up in 5×8″ envelopes. After fingers and tongues healed, it was time for the first meeting of the CLPTA. Considering we mailed out to over 900 clubs, the response was a bit disappointing. I believe we had about 12 Lions in attendance. The result of this meeting was an enthusiastic “YES” to CLPTA. Lion Al was elected President, Lioness Kaye Treasurer, myself Secretary, and I believe Lion Virgil was a Vice President.

The first year was a formation year. We argued with a somewhat inane convention committee; formulated a Constitution and By-Laws, looked for and found a Bulletin Editor (ole Mike) and prepared for our second meeting in Fresno. The second meeting notice was also completely covered by Walking Bear’s profits. From our second meeting in September, 1985, this Association has been, sometimes with a groan or two, on its own financially. The rest is history. We’ve grown to be a proud, successful organization. It has been a leader, in many ways, to other pin trading clubs in promoting Lionism through pin trading. http://clpta.org/

The next time you trade for a pin, ask about its background. You may develop a completely different appreciation for the pin in your collection. May all your trades be happy trades.

~ PDG John Holland, Director

HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA LIONS PIN TRADERS’ CATALOG

Lions Harvey and Patsy Rose decided to put together a catalog of their California’s club pins in the early 2000’S. They were members of the Lions Club in Poway and other clubs in District 4-L6. Lions Al and Kaye Stack, from Santa Rosa, California, would drive to their friends’ home and Lion Kaye would help Lion Harvey separate his many pins and organize them by district, clubs, etc. Later, Lions Fred and Marie Bunch from Oakhurst, California would also visit and help to get the pins in order.

Lion Patsy passed away in 2003 and Lion Harvey stopped working on the catalog. Lion Harvey passed away in 2006. Lions Fred and Marie remembered that Harvey would often write out checks, donating to the Children’s Lions Camps around the United States. He would also send large boxes of pins to the camps for them to use for their projects and fundraisers.

Nothing was done on the catalog until a few years later, when Lions Fred and Marie decided to continue LIons Harvey’s and Patsy’s work. They had no idea how to do it and only had very basic electronic equipment. But they had a determination to make it work. They added all their available pins to the collection. Lion Fred decided that they should put the pins they had on the internet so other pin traders could see their collection – and could add their pins to the website too.

So, Lion Fred convinced Past District Governor Ron Raines (District 4-A1) to help him build a website. Lion Fred got permission from the California Lions Pin Traders Association’s (CLPTA) Board to put the catalog on the internet.

Members of the Association would give or send their pins to the Bunch’s. They kept adding them to the catalog until it grew into thousands of pins! They put many, many hours into that project.

When the CLPTA.org website needed updating in 2020, Lion Gail Cates, District 4-A1’s Technical Chairperson, contacted Past District Governor Brad Weeks, Secretary of CLPTA. She offered to transfer the information from the old website’s format to the new one. They worked together to add more pins to the website.

***NOTE:  If you have anything to add: trading pins, photos, or memorabilia, contact PDG Brad at pdgbrad@cox.net.

Lions Fred and Marie Bunch would like to thank Lion Joe Hinton (4-C1), Lion Jay Puls (4-C1), Lion Mike Okamoto (4-A1), and Lion Greg Martella (4-A2) and other members of the Association for all their help over the years.

“Let’s all do our part in keeping the FUN and CAMARADERIE going for years to come. Thank you, Lions.” ~ Lions Fred & Marie Bunch

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