In the 67 years since local Elks Lodge #293 was formed back in 1945, the organization has earned respect and a well-deserved reputation of generously supporting numerous worthwhile local community groups and individuals. They also support their national charity, the Elks and Royal Purple Fund promoting the welfare of children, particularly those with hearing and speech disabilities. They also support Camp Elkhaven on Denman Island.
Elks of Canada is the largest all Canadian fraternal organization in the country with over 13,000 members who, like the local lodge, help those in need while serving the communities where they are located. For the past 100 years, the mandate of the Elks of Canada has been to promote and support community needs.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the national organization and the 67th anniversary of the local lodge, several local events will take place.
Already underway is the refundable can and bottle drive. Refundable empties can be dropped off the Honeymoon Bay community hall. A full 100 per cent of the profits collected will go to the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for children.
According to Gordon Croft, secretary treasurer of the local Elks Lodge, other planned events include penny boxes which have been set up at Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay. The Elks secondary school student bursary and the sponsorship of one of the candidates for Lady of the Lake will continue as it has in the past. The organization membership plans to walk with their 100th anniversary banner in the upcoming Lake Days parade and the local museum will feature an Elk Lodge #293 display during June and July.
The local lodge, made up of 12 dedicated members, celebrates its 67th anniversary on April 21. With a membership drive underway those who are interested — minimum age is 16 — are encouraged to consider joining this worthwhile organization. Meetings are currently held on the third Monday of the month at 7p.m. at the Cowichan Lake Senior’s Centre, except during July and Aug. Anyone interested in joining can attend a meeting or call Croft at 250-749-7787.