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.

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 walking toward each other, and on the log were the words “4C7 CAL,” and the Lion’s 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 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, 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 [pin] 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.

These 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 results of this meeting was an enthusiastic “YES” to CLPTA. Lion Al was elected President, Lioness Kay Treasurer, myself Secretary, and I believe Lion Virgil was a V.P..

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 profits. From our second meeting in September, 1985, this Association has, sometimes with a groan or two, been 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 with other pin trading clubs, in promoting Lionism in pin trading. http://clpta.org/

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

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Walking Bear Pin – Image Credit: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/yewAAOSwjkxbdaMh/s-l400.jpg