Elks Summer State Convention To Be Held In Sidney

On July 14-16 members of the Sidney Elks Lodge are proud to host the Montana State Elks Association’s Summer Convention.

There are 26 Elks lodges in Montana. Every year they bid on which ones will host the yearly Summer Convention and Mid-winter Meeting. This year, Sidney’s Elk Lodge won the honor for the Summer Convention. At the conventions, members from all across the state come together for business and educational opportunities. During this convention, annual budget, state business, updating the bylaws, and the various state projects will be addressed. This year’s state major project is to bring aid to rural volunteer fire departments in Montana. Local, state, and national speakers are coming. On July 4- 6 the Elks National Convention was held in Atlanta, GA, where a new grand exalted ruler or national president was elected. Montana is always the first stop for the new grand exalted ruler. Two of the past national presidents along with several other state presidents will also be in attendance.

According to their website, http://www.elks.org, the Elks started as a group of theatrical people that began meeting for their amusement in New York under Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian’s leadership. A loose organization was formed to make sure the larder was well-stocked for these gatherings. They first called themselves the Jolly Corks. When one of their members died shortly before Christmas in 1867, leaving his wife and children destitute, the Jolly Corks decided that in addition to good fellowship, they needed a more enduring organization to serve those in need. On Feb. 16, 1868, they established the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and elected Vivian to head it. Its social activities and benefit performances increased the popularity of the new order. Elks traveling to other cities spread the word of the Brotherhood of Elks. Soon there were requests for Elks Lodges in other cities. In response to these appeals, the Elks asked the New York State legislature for a charter authorizing the establishment of a Grand Lodge with the power to establish local Lodges anywhere in the United States. When the Grand Lodge Charter was issued, the founders then New York Lodge No. 1 was born March 10, 1871.

Sidney’s own Ryan Laqua is Montana’s current state president. He said, “It’s an honor for the Sidney lodge to host the Summer Convention and we thank all the local businesses for supporting us while holding the convention.” The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is a fraternal order founded to promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship. A person must be invited by a current member to join.


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