​How the Tigers Were “Really” Founded…




A long time ago, in District Nine, Jaycees were building membership, doing community service and having a great time. Chapters were spread out and driving hundreds of miles to visit other chapters was the norm.


It was on two such trips to a neighboring states (Arizona) board meetings that an idea was conceived. It seems that the Arizona Jaycees had an

 inner organization ,the Gila Monsters, that recognized the work it took to hold

 certain offices and would induct these hard working folks into this coveted organization, Sometimes, as in the case of our two members, an honorary membership and pin were given.


Later, after a “New Presidents School” in East Yolo (way up in Northern Calif.) a group of enthusiastic Jaycees sat in a local tavern waiting to catch their flights home, the group included the Past State Chaplin/new State President (Dick D.), and others, including one of the newly pinned honorary GILA MONSTERS.


To pass the time the group decided to have some fun at the expense of the new STATE PRESIDENT. An attractive young woman was enlisted to help, and when the signal was given, she came over and sat on the Presidents lap and repeated a message from one of the many Match Book Covers on the table. To the surprise of the, very red faced




 State President she purred, what was to become our secret greeting, “HI TIGER”.


Later the conversation turned to a more serious subject, how to motivate more Jaycees to accept an active role in leadership? The honorary Gila Monster shared with the group his experience in Arizona, and suggested that this kind of approach might work for us. The idea was well received by all and before we left we had set up membership criteria, established the initiation, accepted an offer from Dave (of San Diego) to design and cast the pins, established our start up cost and fund raising (brought all in attendance plus all district 9 presidents and state directors into the newly named “CALIFORNIA JAYCEE TIGERS”


It wasn’t long before our membership was attracting new and excited members who, thanks to Jaycee leadership training, were willing to take the pride to new levels and eventually to what it is today, the best of the best.


As we look back on those times we are reminded how great things come from such simple beginnings. Who would of thought that a LIZARD, a MATCH BOOK COVER, and a JAYCEE WITH AN IDEA, could evolve into such a great organization.


With The Pride In Mind,

Gary Murphy, Tiger #1

"Hi Tiger"