This year marks the 60th year that the Terrace Lodge No. 425, of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) has been in the community.
No. 425 began on October 6, 1957, meeting in the IOOF Hall and the Civic Centre, with a membership of 76.
These Elk were from all walks of life, local businessmen, managers, loggers. Everyone was, and is, welcome.
In 1962, the BPOE purchased a hall from the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on the corner of Davis and Sparks, and in 1980 they purchased another building from the same – the present Elks Hall on Tetrault St., in Terrace.
In July of 1960, the first Kids Day was introduced – a day that Terrace and surrounding area children still enjoy, now in a park named for the Elks, on Agar Avenue.
The park was acquired in 1972.
The Elks have been quietly doing things for the local community, as well as provincial and country-wide charities.
The Elks, for many years sponsored a May Day Parade in Terrace.
They regularly donated to the March of Dimes and in the early days held dances for teens, monthly, at the Civic Centre, located where the George Little Park is now.
There were teas held for the seniors – a Strawberry Tea on Valentine’s Day, and there was a Grad Tea for the girls in their last year of high school.
They supported Terrace Minor Baseball, sponsoring a team; they contributed hugely to the Canadian Save the Children Fund; the Deaf Detection and Development Program, later to be the Purple Cross Deaf Detection.
They have been instrumental in furnishing wards in Mills Memorial Hospital; speech and learning therapy equipment for the Terrace Child Development Centre.
In the late 90’s, The Terrace Elks purchased and ran the Sleeping Beauty Lodge, near the hospital, for those patients and families who needed a place to stay.
They have since sold the property to Mills Memorial Hospital.
The Elks/Royal Purple host an annual Santa’s Breakfast, free for local families, in December, with Santa in attendance, pancake breakfast and pictures with the jolly fellow.
The main charitable activity in these past 30 years has been the Purple Cross Deaf Detection.
They provided mobile testing facilities and subsidized anything from hearing aids to hospitalization for low income families.
The Elks Order of the Royal Purple #216 for ladies was started in 1958, mainly being the wives of the Elks.
In 2016, the BPOE #425 accepted women into their lodge.
They also work hand in hand with the Royal Purple.
The Elks are still active in their charities, and welcome any new members!
Happy 60th BPOE No. 425!