The First Lions Club in Sri Lanka “LIONS CLUB OF COLOMBO HOST” was inaugurated on 15th April 1958 and was chartered on 27th August 1958 with 24 members as a Club of Sub-District 304 – South India.
Colombo South Lions Clubs was inaugurated as the second club.
Colombo North Lions Club was inaugurated as the third club.
Lions Clubs of Dehiwela, Mount Lavinia and Jaffna were inaugurated.
With six Lions Clubs and 235 Members, Sri Lanka was demarcated as a Provisional District on 20th May, 1966. District 306 was formally inaugurated with Lion K Satchithananda as the First District Governor.
The number of clubs grew to 18 with 544 members
The First Leo Club “THE LEO CLUB OF WATTALA” was chartered. The number of Lions Clubs also grew to 25 with 811 members.
With mandatory 30 clubs and a membership of 882, Sri Lanka was carved our District 306 – SRI LANKA.
The FOURTH AFRICA AND SOUTH WEST ASIA LIONS FORUM was held in Sri Lanka.
The District 306 with 82 Clubs and 2592 Lions was divided into Two Sub-Districts as 306A and 306B with PIP Mahendra Amarasuriya and Lion M Manoharan being elected as the respective District Governors.
Lion Chuck Wijenathen entered the portals of Lions International as the first Director from Sri Lanka to the International Board for the period 1981/1983.
The First Lioness Clubs formed in Sri Lanka were:
1. Lioness Club of Colomb West – District 306A
2. Lioness Club of Nuwara Eliya – District 306B
The 11th Africa and South West Asia Forum was hel in Colombo from 10th to 13th November, 1983.
Camilla School for Mentally Handicapped Children opened at Mattegoda (7 acres) by Prime Minister R. Premadasa on 23rd June, 1984.
On 23rd June, 1986 the Lions Activity Centre at Vidya Mawatha, Colombo 7 was ceremonially opened on 23rd June, 1986.
District 306 C was formed covering Kandy, Moratuwa, and Nawala w.e.f. 1st July, 1989.
PIP Mahendra Amarasuriya was elected as International Director for 1991/1993 at the Brisbane, Australia, convention.
The 26th South Asia, Africa and Middle East Forum was held at Colombo Hilton from 19th to 22nd November, 1998.
Past International Director Asoka De Z Gunasekera was elected as the second International Director from Sri Lanka at the Year 2003 International Convention.
MCC Marcella Silva and Late Lion Soma Edirisinghe were elected as the First Lady District Governors of District 306 A and District 306 C respectively.
The first ever International Workshop for Women in Lionism (ISAAME Women’s Workshop) was held in Sri Lanka from 11th to 14th December, 2004.
On 26th December, 2004 Sri Lanka was devastated by the Tsunami. The lives lost were more than 40,000. Sri Lanka was given US.$.7.5 million as aid. With these fund the number of houses built were 1464.
The Multiple District 306 A, B and C were further sub-divided as A1, A2, B1, B2 & C1 & C2 at the Multiple Convention held on 13th March, 2005 effective 1st July, 2005.
On 30th October 2005 Lions District 306 B Sight First Hospital, Hendala, the brain child of District 306 B Governor 2003/4 Dr. Rohan Perera was declared open by District Governors of B1 and B2.
Gift of Sight Hospital – Panadura – was declared open on 13th December 2005 by International President Dr. Ashok Mehta and Minister of Health Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva.
On 2nd July 2006 at the Boston International Convention Lion Graetian Gunawardhana of District 306 B2 was names as the Best District Governor of the World in 2005/2006.
The District 306 A2 under the leadership of District Governor Rohantha De Fonseka adjudged as one the three best Districts in the world.
Leo Club of Colombo, Wekanda, won the Academy Award as the Best Leo Club in the world. The Leo Club President was Leo Janaka Peiris.
2007 On 6th July 2007 Lion Mahendra Amarasuriya from Lions Club of Galle was installed as the 90th President of Lions Clubs International at the International Convention held in Chicago, USA.
The 35th ISAAME Forum was held in Sri Lanka from 5th to 8th December, 2007 with Lion Mahendra Amarasuriya as the International President.
Golden Jubilee – On 6th October 2007 Multiple District 306 Lions celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Lionism in Sri Lanka with International President Mahendra Amarasuriya gracing the occasion as Chief Guest.
The Lions Quest Program was launched in Sri Lanka by PCC Mahesh Pasqual as the District Governor under the guidance of International President Mahendra Amarasuriya.
Lions Golden Jubilee Eye Hospital Kadawatha, Sri Lanka opened by Hon. Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna on 4th April, 2009
The District 306 A2 Leadership Institute was established in 2009 to provide training to Lions to become knowledgable members.
Lion Nimal Rajapakse was recognized as one of the three Best District Governors of the world at the Minneapolis International Convention.
The District 306 B 2’s Leadership Institute was formed in 2010.
On 8th July 2011 PCC Lion Sunil Watawal from the Lions Club of Negombo Host was elected as Director of Lions Clubs International for a term of two years at the International Convention in Seattle, Washington.
The Lanka Lions Foundation was established by PIP Mahendra Amarasuriya in December 2012 to carry out poverty alleviation projects through Lions Clubs.
Nethsetha Lions Vision for Sight Hospital, Ratnapura, was opened to the public in 2012 under the leadership of then International Director Asoka Gunasekera.
The Chuck Wijenathen Training Institute for Emerging Leaders (CWTIEL) was initiated in 2012, and it was named in honour of Past International Director Chuck Wijenathan in 2013 just 3 months before he passed away.
From 30th November to 4th December, 2016 the 44th ISAAME Frorum was held in Sri Lanka at the BMICH with International President Robert ‘Bob’ E Corley gracing the occasion.
The Centennial Grand Walk was held on 11th March, 2017 with a Galaxy of Past Leaders and over 4000 Lions from the Multiple District. Internation First Vice President Naresh Agrawal, then Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, Past International President Mahendra Amarasuriya, Past International Director Sunil Watawala and Past International Director Asoka Gunasekera also taking part in the walk.
(Acknowledgement: Some of the information were extracted from The Pride of Sri Lankan Lions, a book compiled by the Publications Committee headed by PDG Neil Seneviratne to mark the installation of PID Mahendra Amarasuriya as the International President on 6th July, 2007: and the book The Centennial of Lionsim 1917-2017 complied by the Centennial Committee under the guidance of PIP Mahendra Amarasuriya with PDG Neil Seneviratne serving as the Editor to mark the centenary of Lionism. )
Compiled by Boniface Fernando – LC Negombo Orient 306 B1