Nearly 150 years have passed since the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks first sprang to life.
It was a zany cast of characters in New York City – a cohesive group of actors and entertainers – who subjected the first inductees to blindfolds and trickery. Initiates today needn’t worry about walking over glass (actually eggshells) or having guns fire (with blanks) behind their backs. Horseplay isn’t condoned in today’s initiation ceremonies. They’re solemn affairs with important objectives at stake. In fact, by the time Mission established an Elks Lodge in 1926, several traditions, such as the secret grip and the password, had also been eliminated.
Over the years, the Mission Elks Lodge has initiated several charity events and helped support a host of other organizations, such as cadets and scouting.
The annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Elks Picnic, Mothers’ Day Breakfast, Old Car Sunday in the Park, and the Elks Golf Tournament continue to benefit the Mission community. Involvement runs high in amateur sports, the Christmas Bureau, feeding the homeless, drug awareness programs in schools and the annual Soap Box Derby.
This past weekend’s initiative, Bail for Jail, raised more than $2,300 for post-secondary education for Mission youth. Although some funding has been allotted to national events in the past, the focus for Mission Elks Lodge #30 remains closer to home.
“Our pattern has been to put money into local charities,” says Brother and Exalted Ruler Roy Archer. And though Archer has given 28 years of service to Mission as an Elks Member, he attributes today’s success to a member base of more than 120 caring souls.
“It should be noted that this is not a one-man show,” said Archer. “It takes a lot of time and labour from lots of volunteers and members.”
Canadians installed their first Elks lodge in 1912 and henceforth became our country’s largest all-Canadian fraternal organization. Membership at the Mission Elks Lodge is on the rise. Patrons of this now successful lounge establishment no longer fish cold beer out of the creek. The club’s current building on 2nd Avenue recently saw a host of long awaited repairs and upgrades (including bar plumbing) come to completion.
Join in the fun this Saturday night, March 12, as the Elks celebrate the club’s 90th birthday.
– Information provided by Catherine Roberts.