Elks service honors memory of new ‘absent members’
STEVENSVILLE — On Sunday, Dec. 6, six members of the Kent Island Elks, Lodge 2576, who died in 2020 were remembered during the annual “To Our Absent Members” memorial service, which is held at every lodge across the U.S. on the first Sunday in December. Those members were: Alice Beck, George Price, Joseph Johns, Mark Hulme, Michael “Mickey” Gibson and Louise Defeo.
During the ceremony, each deceased members name was called aloud, as a symbolic final roll call.
Lodge Exalted Ruler Jim Cox said, “In vain we call! They have passed through the valley of the shadows into the sunlight of eternal morning; the places that have known them shall know them no more, but upon the tablets of love and memory, their names hall endure forever.”
Several flowers were placed at the altar, each representing something significant for those who had passed on. From the ceremony: the forget-me-not, typifying charity, which teaches us to remember only the good that has been done; then, the amaranth, emblem of immortality, the just reward of true and upright lives; and finally, clinging ivy, symbol of brotherly love.
Following the laying of the flowers, the Exalted Ruler said, “To the memory of our departed members, may we be inspired to a life pf service to the living. Any may the Grace of God enable us to derive from this ceremony renewed confidence that beyond the shadows there is life everlasting.”
Chaplain Doug Bishop included in his prayer, “Enable us to read the tablets of love and memory, and learn from the records of our departed members how best to live our own lives.”
The ceremony was closed with prayer. Everyone attending was invited to celebrated the memory of those departed members with a small meal. Face masks and social
distancing were practiced.
The KI Elks, Lodge 2576, was founded 43 years ago in Stevensville. The Elks national motto is “Elks Care, Elks Share.” Lodge 2576, as all Elks lodges nationally, focuses on what it can do to better serve the local community, members say.
Currently, Lodge 2576 has just over 800 registered members.
In the first 42 years of the lodge’s existence, it has given $6.1 million back to the community in charitable donations.
For information about joining the Elks, call the lodge at 410-643-2221.