In Memoriam

grimaldi giuseppe

On January 6, 2024, Former International President Professor Dr. Giuseppe Grimaldi, died surrounded by family. (He preferred to be referred to as “Former International President” rather than “Past.”) Dr. Grimaldi was our eldest living international president and a charter life member of the Enna Lions Club of Enna, Italy. He had a strong commitment to Lions International, having a perfect attendance record for 32 years. He was the first Italian to serve as international president.   

Being a foremost neuropsychiatrist in Italy, he was appointed as the professor of neurology and head of the Department of Neurology at Enna General Hospital. Other professional accomplishments included serving as director of the Italian Medical-Surgical Order and as a member of the Italian Red Cross, the Medical Court of Justice and many international academies. In recognition of his many contributions to his profession and his community, Dr. Grimaldi received the medal of "Grande Ufficiale," one of the highest honors granted by the Italian government, and the Premio Garipoli or "Man of the Year" in Sicily. 

Dr. Grimaldi balanced being a doctor, a Lion, an actor and a civic leader with his family life. He and his wife, Ariane, a citizen of Switzerland, had four sons: Luigi, Giancarlo, Marco and Stefano. While maintaining his official residence and office in Enna, he and Ariane managed to enjoy the charm of both sunny Sicily and picturesque Lugano in the heart of the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland. 

Passionate about Lions clubs, he often said that Lions should have continuous dialogue with the leaders of local government to ensure that their leadership is recognized, and they will know how best to carry out the Lions’ humanitarian mission to serve people in need.  

Dr. Grimaldi spoke from a sense of deep commitment. This was reflected from his years of action as a leader in civic causes and the memory of harsh wartime childhood experiences. He insisted that Lions need to embrace this concept of leadership and meet the challenges they face because of the unique place they occupy in their communities.  

Dr. Grimaldi’s involvement with Lions began in 1968 when he was district governor. Since that year, he attended every Europa Forum and international convention. He was privileged to serve as an international director from 1972-74 during the presidential terms of George Friedrichs and Tris Coffin. In 1976, he offered his name as a candidate for third international vice president and was soundly defeated by his good friend Lloyd Morgan of New Zealand. Not disappointed, he accepted the democratic vote of the delegates and vowed to work even harder on behalf of the association’s global mission. His hard work eventually paid off. Dr. Grimaldi was elected as president of the International Association of Lions Clubs at the 77th annual international convention held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, July 12-15, 1994.   

In recognition of his service to the association, he received numerous awards, including 20 International President’s Awards, the 30-, 35- and 40-Year Monarch Chevron Award, the Humanitarian Partner Bronze - Diamond Award, and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, which is the highest honor bestowed upon Lions. He was also named a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow for his support of Lions Clubs International Foundation. 


mehta ashok

Dr. Ashok Mehta, Past International President (2005-2006), passed away on March 17, 2021.  He was 89 years old.

The late Past President Mehta became a member of the Bombay Sion Lions Club in 1963. True to his presidential theme, “Passion to Excel,” he immediately began to sponsor new Lion members and continued to for the next 57 years. The late Past President Mehta organized more than 30 eye camps in India and Africa. He was dedicated to the success of the Lion Tarachand Bapa Hospital, and mobilized international support during major catastrophes, including earthquakes and super-cyclones in India. His peace mission to Pakistan, promoted by Lions of the two nations, added to the spirit of building bridges between the people of these countries.

During Campaign SightFirst, Mehta served as an International Committee member for South Asia and Africa, contributing to the campaign’s success in raising more than US$150 million.

The late Past President Mehta served the association in numerous roles. He was a regular participant at Lions conventions, Forums, and Lions conferences, served as a member of the faculty at 10 District Governors-elect Schools, and was chairperson of the District Governors Orientation program at the 75th International Convention in Hong Kong.

His numerous awards include the Lions International Key Award for sponsoring 250 new members and 28 extension awards for organizing new clubs, the Friend of Humanity Award, and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest award the association gives to its members. He was also a multi-level Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.

The Jaycees of Mumbai declared him “Man of the Year” in 1986. The government of Maharashtra appointed him to the Senate of Mumbai University, and he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in humanities from the University of the World in Missouri, USA.

The late Past President Mehta enjoyed a successful career as chairperson and managing director of a company in India and was actively associated with more than a dozen major medical, educational, welfare, social, and cultural institutions. His spouse, Kokila, daughter, Sheetal, and extended family and friends mourn his death.


mehta r bw

Past International President Rohit C. Mehta, known as the Father of Indian Lionism, died on the morning of September 17, 2020. He was 91 years old.

The late Past International President Mehta became a Lion in 1956 and after years of dedication and service to the association, became International President in 1992-93. He was the first Lion from India to serve as International President of Lions.

PIP Mehta was the charter secretary of the first Lions Club in his state of Gujarat. He served in numerous capacities and was appointed district governor in 1959-60, elected district governor in 1960-61, and served as a member of the association's board of directors from 1970 to 1972. In 1987, Mehta was elected as the association’s third International Vice President. He served as LCIF Trustee, LCIF Steering Committee Member, Lions Quest Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Lions Quest India Foundation and CSFII PIP Campaign Ambassador.

The late Past President Mehta was also the editor of the LION Magazine in India for many years and was an acting member of Ahmedabad Host Club and Honorary Member of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati.  He was instrumental in the initiative of Sight First and Lions Quest Program. He was also one of the key members to start China Action Program for Sight Conversation, and was the pioneer of several service projects including Lions Karnavati Shantaben Vishnubhai Patel Eye Hospital, Lalji Mehrotra Lions School, Lions Blood Bank, and Lions Kidney Dialysis Center. Until recently, he served as a chairman of the School for Deaf-Mutes Society, founded by Mahatma Gandhi and visited by Helen Keller. He also served as chairman of an educational institute Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; imparting education to more than 4,000 students.

For his dedication and service, the late Past President Mehta was recognized with the Master Key, six Extension Awards, a 50, 55 and 60-Year Charter Monarch Chevrons, Humanitarian Partner Bronze, Life Membership Award, over 20 International President Medals, and the Ambassador of Good Will, the highest honor granted to a member by the association. He was a generous donor to LCIF, including being a Major Donor to both Campaign SightFirst I and II, and he was a multi-level Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.

After losing his parents in an air crash in 1950, 20-year-old Mehta quickly accepted the responsibilities of his family’s textile and pharmaceutical business, and continued to acquire many international businesses and collaborations. Retiring from business activities in 2001, he continued to serve society through various institutions, including serving as the president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Indian Cotton Mill Federation, president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and chairman of Bet Dwarka Temple Trust. He was also the chairman of more than 20 state public sector undertakings and notable amongst them was GNFC, Ahmedabad Electricity Company, and GRUH Finance Bank.

On August 26, Lions around the world celebrated PIP Mehta’s 91st birthday by doing individual Acts of Kindness, and he was delighted to receive a scrapbook that described 100 of these selected acts.

The late Past President was devoted to his family; wife Asha, two sons Rajesh and Anuj, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild, and was proud of the worldwide Lions family. He recognized the needs of others and through determination and kindness improved countless lives.