The International Society of Friendship and Good Will was founded by Dr. Stanley J. Drake in 1978. He began thinking about such an organization March 8, 1976, his 60th birthday. He was then president of Fort Lauderdale University en Florida and had started to plan for his future retirement. Dr. Drake discussed the possibilities of such an organization with friends and colleagues in the United State and other countries, and two years later, March 8, 1978, the International Society of Friendship and Good Will came into existence.
The Society was from the beginning a not-for-profit organization, neutral in matters of politics and religion, with the goals of improving international understanding, human rights, peace, friendship, and good will. It welcomed all persons who support those goals regardless of their political or religious beliefs.
The Society’s first president was Dr. John L. Lewine of New York, a teacher, linguist, author, and internationalist. Dr. Drake served as secretary general. Other officers during the first years were Professor Pierre L. Ullman, Mr. Conrad Fisher, Mr. J. Anthony Blum, Dr Richard E. Wood, and Dr. Helen K. Billings.
Four years later, on April 27, 1992, President John L. Lewine died, and on request of the other officers Dr. Drake agreed to be the second president of the Society. Conrad Fisher became secretary general.
During its most active period, the Society acquired members in 189 countries and acknowledged the contributions to its goals made by many persons, from presidents to ordinary citizens throughout the world. It supported and promoted events, among them International Friendship Week, Universal Women’s Week, Human Rights Month, and others. It distributed copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Esperanto.
Dr. Drake remained the chief motivating force of the organization until his death. He passed away December 2, 2011, at the age of 95. Now other past officers of the Society are working to reactivate it.