Elk don’t usually live to see 100 in the wild, but they can do pretty well when they organize themselves in the city.
The Winnipeg Elks Lodge #10, which is based out of the Royal Canadian Legion Elmwood Branch No. 9, is getting set to mark its centennial. The Elks will hold their 100th anniversary gala at the Fairmont Hotel (2 Lombard Pl.) on Oct. 19.
Exalted ruler Bob Palmer, who lives in Richmond West, has held the position for the last two years. He’s appreciative of the opportunity to see the lodge through such a milestone.
"You look back at all the great leaders before, it’s quite an honour to be here and look back at all they accomplished," Palmer said.
He said the Elks had a hall on Wall Street, but sold it approximately 20 years ago and have been somewhat nomadic since. The lodge currently has a home in Elmwood, meeting at the legion for the past year and a half.
Palmer said the local lodge, which has about 35 members, is working to make community connections in Elmwood.
"We’re developing a relationship with the legion," Palmer said, noting the two held a successful fish fry together this past spring. "We realized we can’t do it all on our own, so we’re looking for partnerships."
Palmer noted the Elks are getting set to approach community groups and schools to find out how they can be of service within Elmwood.
The lodge will continue to have an impact in other areas of the city, though, as the Central Speech and Hearing Clinic in Waverley Heights will continue to be a major beneficiary.
"Historically, the national organization focused on speech and hearing. The Elks were actually instrumental in getting childhood deaf detection (programs) implemented across the country," Palmer said. "Our pet project has been speech and hearing for a bunch of years."
Clinic executive director Pam Campbell said she’s worked closely alongside the lodge for approximately 20 years. She said the clinic, located at 2-1325 Markham Rd., has benefitted from the Elks regularly via gifts of everything from donations of toys and therapy tables to cash donations of $50,000.
"They’ve been able to help us, at the national level, get funding for various pieces of equipment," Campbell said. "Their huge contribution was in 2011. We added to our office space and developed an audiology centre. They came in at about 50% (of the funding) to do leasehold improvements, the furnishings, all of it."
In addition to the Central Speech and Hearing Clinic, the Elks also work to help out organizations like the Movement Centre, the Rehabilitation Centre for Children, and Camp Wannakumbac, while also helping individual families facing circumstances like fires destroying their homes.
Membership is open to men and women 16 and over. Those interested in joining can contact Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org