Moose Jaw Elks celebrate 105 years with official visit from National President
The Moose Jaw Elks Lodge #7 celebrated its 105th anniversary on Tuesday, October 9 at the Legion Hall. Grand Exalted Ruler (National President) of the Elks of Canada officially attended to recognize the significant milestone.
The official visit of the National President, Brother Ron Potter is a first for Moose Jaw in nine years! To mark the occasion, the Moose Jaw Lodge also recognized volunteers and initiated two new members, as well as presented a cheque of $2,700 to the Elks of Canada Children’s Fund.
The Elks of Canada is the oldest and largest all-Canadian fraternal charitable organization, with 250 Lodges and 11,000 Members throughout the country. There’s about 40 Lodges and 1,800 Members in Saskatchewan.
The mission of the Elks of Canada is “a Canadian volunteer organization of men and women serving communities” with a vision “to be the best volunteer organization in Canadian communities.” “Nationally, we have the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for Children, which provides financial assistance and programs for medical needs of children with hearing and speech disorders. The National Office is in Regina. Provincially, we have a Foundation which provides financial assistance for adults with medical needs where no funds are available from other sources. We are the main sponsor of SPARC, the Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation Centre (Children’s hearing centre) through our annual Walkathon. We also now have 135 Seniors’ Homes in eight communities across the province, helping seniors remain in their communities near their family and friends in well-maintained low-rent homes. We have homes in Moose Jaw, on Maple Street East,” said Harold Claffey, District Representative for District 7 (Regina and Moose Jaw area).
Claffey says Moose Jaw Elks are heavily involved in the community. “Locally, our Lodge is heavily involved in Moose Jaw. We have concession stands annually at Park Art and 15 Wing Show and Shine. We cater barbecues for organizations all over town all summer. We have a Chili Challenge every February. We have Meat Draws every week. We contribute funds to many local needs, including the Health Foundation, the Food Bank and the Soccer Association. We provide Scholarships to the high schools. We provide personnel to the Salvation Army to operate the Christmas Kettles. We sold our building years ago and invested the funds. The growth from the investments pays our expenses, so we donate 100% of the funds we raise. We were the seventh lodge in Canada, founded in 1913. We have over 100 years’ experience in serving Moose Jaw, and tonight we celebrate our 105thAnniversary,” outlined Claffey.
Grand Exalted Ruler Ron Potter, who is the 2017-18 president says he is happy to be in Moose Jaw to celebrate the 105th anniversary. Potter joined the Elks in 1992 and has served in all the executive positions in his home lodge, in the Provincial Association and in Grand Lodge. His theme for his term as National President is “Looking Back – Driving Forward.” Potter has a burning passion for Elks of Canada, so much so that he has a tattoo of the Elks logo over his heart! “Elks are very much involved in the life of communities. There is not a community that you visit that there’s not an Elks ball park, playground or community hall that the Elks have built and run. We want people to know that we’re here and we are making an impact, so part of my official visit is to raise awareness. We do so many things in communities and across Canada,” said Potter. “My goal this year is to go to as many lodges as I can across the country to raise this awareness by meeting with community members and Lodge members and get the word out there on the numerous activities we contribute to in communities that keeps the community active and viable.”