Protocol - Dignitaries - Club Visitations


The following is the official protocol policy of The International Association of Lions Clubs. Only the principal speaker is required to acknowledge all dignitaries present.

Order of Precedence

Lions shall be recognized in the following order:

  1. International president
  2. Immediate past international president
  3. International vice presidents (according to rank).
  4. International directors (a)
  5. Appointees to commiftees on the LCI board.(a)
  6. Past international presidents (b)
  7. Past international directors (c)
  8. Chair, council of governors (a)
  9. District governors (a)
  10. Association executive administrator
  11. Association secretary
  12. Association treasurer
  13. Past council chairs (c)
  14. Elected vice district governors (a)
  15. Immediate past district governor (a)
  16. Past district governors (c)
  17. Multiple district secretaries (volunteer) (a)
  18. Multiple district treasurers (volunteer) (a)
  19. District secretaries (a)
  20. District treasurers (a)
  21. Region chairs (a)
  22. Zone chairs (a)
  23. District chairs (a)
  24. Club presidents (a)
  25. Immediate past club presidents (a)
  26. Club secretaries (a)
  27. Club treasurers (a)
  28. Past club presidents (a)
  29. Multiple district secretaries (staff) (a)
  30. Multiple district treasurers (staff) (a)

Explanation of notes used above

(a) When more than one is present, they shall be recog-nized according to the Roman alphabetic order of the first letter of their fully used family name. If the first letter is the same, go to the second letter, and so on. If the last names are identical, the same process should be followed with the first given name. In the unlikely event that the two names are identical, the one with the longest association membership shall be given precedence.

(b) When more than one is present, the one who served most recently is given precedence, and so on.

(c) When more than one is present, precedence should be the same as for past international presidents (see (b) above). In the event more than one past international director who served during the same term is present, then criteria specified for (a) should be used.

General Comments - When a Lion holds more than one title, he or she shall be recognized for the highest one. In areas that have positions in addition to those listed above, they should be recognized in accordance with local customs, provided that elected officers always have precedence over appointed ones. It is recommended that Melvin Jones Fellows be recognized as a group. In introducing speakers, their status as Melvin Jones Fellows should be mentioned.

Non-Lion Dignitaries

Non-Lion dignitaries should be given precedence in accordance with local protocol and/or custom, keeping in mind that if the non-Lion is the principal speaker, then he or she should be seated directly to the right of the chairman (see below)

Head Table Seating

The presiding officer or meeting chairman must always be seated at the most central seat at the table when there is no central podium, shown as seat number one in the following diagram (figure 1). The principal speaker would occupy seat number two, then other Lion dignitaries in accordance with the general order of precedence. If possible, there should be the same number of seats to the right and left of the chairman or presiding
officer (who would normally be the club president, district governor, council chairman or international president).

Figure 1

7 5 3 1 2 4 6

As shown in figure 2, seating at a head table with a podium is essentially the same, except the meeting chairman or presiding officer is always seated at the left of the podium (facing the audience) and the principal speaker at the right.

Figure 2

7 5 3 1 Podium 2 4 6

When spouses are present, they should be seated to the member's left when on the left side of the table, and to the member's right when on the right side of the table.

Master of Ceremonies and Meeting Secretaries

At some events, the master of ceremonies (emcee) will be someone other than the chairman or presiding officer. In such cases, the emcee should be seated in accordance with local customs, or at one end of the head table. If, however, his or her place in the general order of precedence dictates a specific seat (e.g., a past international president at a district function), then that should rule. On rare occasions, there will be a meeting secretary; again local customs should rule.

Multi-Head Tables

If there is more than one head table, the table at the highest level shall be considered the primary one. Care should be taken not to seat Lions of the same rank at
different tables.

Head Table Introductions

Introduction of the head table should begin with the meeting chairman or presiding officer, then continue from the person with the lowest rank on the order of precedence to the person with the highest. When spouses are present at the head tables, they should be introduced with the member (e.g., Past International Director John Doe and his wife Jane:).

National Anthems

When official representatives of the International Board of Directors (whether or not currently serving on the board) from another country are present at an event where national anthems are normally played, they should be extended the privilege of having their anthem played.

Club Visitation Protocol

Borrowing of Club Paraphernalia

Although the "borrowing" of club paraphernalia by
visiting Lions can add to healthy interclub rivalry and
can build lasting friendships, it can also cause friction
when inappropriate items are removed.

The practice of "borrowing" is neither endorsed, nor
discouraged. However, if it is to take place, we strive
to have this activity benefit fellowship, not cause rifts
or friction of any nature.

The following guidelines are intended to form the basis
for an understanding of what is "appropriate" and what
is "off limits" when considering "borrowing" items
belonging to another club.

Club Flag Set
Club Banner
Club Charter
Podium/Speakers Stand
Club Fine Box
Club Awards
All items hanging on a wall
All items displayed in a case
All items having historical or sentimental value

Club Gavel
Club Gong
Stuffed Animal
Other small items not vital to the Club's operation

Clubs are encouraged to purchase a gong for everyday
use and put away their charter gong and gavel. Also
make sure your club's name is clearly engraved on
each piece of paraphernalia.

 2003 Lions District 20-E2, All Rights Reserved