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Wildwood 2003

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41 - 45 West 34th Street
Bayonne, New Jersey 07002

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(201) 823-3649 (201) 858-9555
 Membership Information

Membership in the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a privilege, not a right. Applications can be furnished by the Secretary of a Subordinate Lodge only to a member in good standing who will be sponsoring the applicant who meets the membership requirements under the current revision of our Constitution, Statutes, and Subordinate Lodge By-Laws.

Bayonne Elks Cyber Lodge 434 2003

Designed by Graphic Concepts

  The Elks Point Of View

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a nationwide organization of well over a million of America's finest citizens. We love our country and desire to preserve its cherished institutions, traditions and values; respect our neighbors and constantly seek to promote their well-being; love and enjoy life and believe this enjoyment is increased by sharing it with family, friends and all with whom we come in contact.

To Elks, laughter is better than tears, and a kind word more powerful than a frown. The dream of a better world becomes reality when shaped by enough willing hearts and hands.

We seek to bring into our family only those who delight in wholesome associations with congenial companions, who possess a deep sense of patriotism, fair play and dedication to noble causes - persons who find the fulfillment of their existence in service to humanity, feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, aiding those in distress; providing themselves to be true friends to all in need.

We question no one's religion, nor do we exclude anyone because of creed, race, ethnic origin, educational attainment, vocation, sex, material status or physical stature. We measure character by what one is and does, not by titles or position. We do not ask you to change any beliefs, nor interfere with your present life, nor act contrary to the dictates of conscience. In point of fact we encourage you to put your personal beliefs into practice more strongly in these areas; your associates what you to enjoy life more by becoming a better American and humanitarian.

With membership, you are joined with millions of fine and noble American Elks who have helped the destiny and way of life for countless thousands in our country for over a century and a quarter. Generosity is without fanfare and often even without the recipient's knowledge. You may even have been helped at some point along the way. We have always been there, quietly providing help and encouragement. As an Elk it will be your turn to be one of America's quiet humanitarians, a nationwide family of good neighbors, to begin giving your life new purpose and fulfillment.

Special Services

The Order of Elks is motivated by deep feelings of reverence for the Family, our Nation and its Flag, and our sworn duty to our colleagues. Very early is our existence, these strong sentiments resulted in the creation of special rituals which are required to be performed in every Lodge at specified times of the year. These ceremonies of incomparable beauty occurring almost simultaneously in cities, large and small, all across our continent wherever the benevolent influence of Elkdom has taken root in a community, bind our hearts together with spiritual cords, and renew the commitments to service which we bring into reality throughout the rest of the year. No examination of the published laws of our Order will discover a particular rule or statue that makes attendance at these special service mandatory, for the simple and self-evident reason that no such explicit directive has ever been felt necessary - If you are an Elk in name and in your heart, you will be with your Elk associates on these sacred days.

MOTHER'S DAY - 2nd Sunday in May / Meeting Closest

The reasons behind this observance are self-explanatory, and existed long before the Order began, but our desire to add our sincere endorsement to tributes to women who shape our won individual destinies, as well as that of the entire world, moved us to make this a mandatory ceremony in 1925, a most gracious gesture as our Lodges had been voluntary conducting it for a great many years prior strictly on the merits of its spellbinding pageantry and eloquence on behalf of these, the first heroines in each of our lives.

FLAG DAY - June 14th / Meeting Closest

History reveals that the first Flag Day ceremony, written by a Wisconsin school teacher, was conducted by him on June 14, 1885, commemorating the Flag's original adoption by Congress on that date in 1777. Long before 1885, however, our Rituals within the Order had incorporated various expressions of loyalty and respect for the Flag as part of our meetings and activities year-round almost from the first day of our existence, and continue to do so while the awareness and popularity for this special observance were still in their infancy.

In 1896, an enormously significant milestone was passed. The Grand Lodge session in Cincinnati adopted a recommendation by Arthur C. Moreland, New York Lodge No. 1, that "the Altar drapery shall be the flag of the United States, upon which the Bible shall rest, surmounted by the antlers." This was the first official use of the national flag by the Order. James R. Nicholson, a Grand Exalted Ruler and outstanding figure in Elkdom for many years wrote of this change: "The placing of the American Flag on the altar of our Subordinate Lodges was a significant and far-reaching act. It was a great factor in the successful growth of the Order, for it out the visible stamp of patriotism upon every Lodge and associated the banner of our country, the Bible and our Order's emblem in an immortal trinity." In 1956, the Order ceased draping the Flag on the Altar and moved it to its own distinct position of honor at the right of every Elk Lodge's Altar.

In 1904 San Diego Lodge, aware of the growing practice, held its first Flag Day observance, and in 1907 Grand Lodge encouraged all Lodges who had not done so already to follow suit. This was followed in 1911 by the requirement for mandatory observance in all Lodges, thus making the Elks the first organization in the United States to official do so. As a consequence of our Order's efforts and others, President Wilson in 1916 proclaimed national observance of a Flag Day, and on August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman, himself an Elk, proclaimed June 14th as the yearly official day for nationwide observance. Our Order likewise can take great pride in the fact that the late Joseph Vrtel, an Elk from Florida, was the designer of the current 50-start United States Flag. Our Ritual presents the history and meaning of Freedom's Banner in rich narrative scenes from our past and sparkling oratory, and make this celebration of the Flag's Birthday an unforgettable Elk experience.

ELKS MEMORIAL SUNDAY - First Sunday in December

Because our traditions and triumphs are an intrinsic and natural outgrowth of our shared beliefs, our shared drives and our shared friendship, it also follows that the loss of an Elk would be deeply felt and given a significant place in our Order's Rituals and Lodge observances. At the time of death, proper last respects are given in the deceased member's home Lodge and a special service is provided to be performed during the funeral rites. Each member is urged to join in these whenever possible. The first "Lodge of Sorrow" was held on March 20, 1870, and from this time forward the passing of every Elk was formally commemorated. Memorial services became not only a feature of the Order but on one of the customs most impressive to outsiders.

Once each year, however, in recognition of those who have been taken from our midst in the preceding twelve months, as well as prior years, each Lodge conducts a program of remembrance mingled with hope against a backdrop of music and poetic radiance that ensures every deceased Elk will be remembered as long as Elkdom lives.


Despite the maelstrom of shrinking membership surrounding all service organizations, the Elks continue their agenda of Charity with increased dedication throughout the new millinimum, and the Order passed the One-Billion-Dollar milestone in benevolent expenditures as of 1990.

A unique example of the Elks spirit, the Restoration of the Statue of Liberty, occurred in this period. A gift of the French people in 1886, a centennial program was forming up for October of 1986, but the Statue and Ellis Island around it were in great need of repairs, far beyond the scope of available government funds. President Ronald Reagan announced the formation of the Statue of Liberty Foundation in May of 1982 and appointed Lee Iacocca as the national chairman. Before fund-raising had even officially begun, the Order of Elks was the first organization to pledge its support by telegram to the White House. Shortly thereafter at the national convention gathered in Honolulu, GER Marvin Lewis requested the help of the assembled Elks. Incoming Americanism Committee Chairman Vincent R. Collura (later to become a Grand Trustee and Grand Exalted Ruler himself) presented a Resolution authorizing a donation of One Million Dollars which passed with a resounding ovation. Collura was appointed as the Order's national contributions coordinator, and under his guidance over $1 Million was handed over to the Statue of Liberty Foundation on behalf of the Order and its members, all proud Americans.

This modern testament to the true nature of Elkdom markedly increased the respect held for our Order in the non-Elk world. Then several factors affecting our destiny made their entrance.

America and Elkdom faced the Great Millennium, the Year 2000 head-on. We are both mature partners, having survived great wars and natural disasters through cooperation, and our destinies are linked in respect. Countries around the world, including those of the now-dissolved Soviet bloc, are looking to our Nation to teach them the power of Democracy, and to Elkdom to teach them the power of volunteerism and caring, both vitally necessary building blocks for the future of human civilization. Whatever obstacles may arise, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America, believing firmly in our Creator, the strength of the American family and the capabilities of our youth, and the limitless potential of our Nation, will grow in Charity and thrive in bonds of mutual friendship.

The Obligation assumed by every member of the Order, as an essential part of Initiation, involves certain duties which are implied, as well as those which are expressed outright. An Elk is as much subject to the Statutes of the Order as to the By-Laws of the Lodge where membership is held.

By taking that Obligation, you become a member of the entire Order of Elks, not only a member of your Lodge. The privilege conferred upon you includes the opportunity to attend meetings of other Lodges, and to avail yourself of the social facilities maintained by other Lodges, in accordance with their rules and regulations.

You are entitled to participate in the planning and decision-making in your own Lodge; and it is your duty to attend its meetings for that purpose, unless your other commitments to family, faith and such similar matters take precedence on a given day. You share the responsibility for your Lodge's acts; and should, by your vote and by your influence, attempt to have those acts reflect your own viewpoint. But once the will of the majority has been made known, you are required to accept it with levelheadedness and maturity.

The charitable and community-service acts of your Lodge will require the personal energies of more than just its Officers. Each member should be ready to cooperate with a request for volunteer service within reasonable capabilities.

It is only by continuing such a spirit of cooperation that your Lodge can maintain itself as the source of community service and harmony it is designed and intended to be. And it only by generously putting yourself and your dedication into your Lodge works and associations that you will gain for yourself the greatest satisfaction and happiness possible from your membership in the Order of Elks.

In retrospect it is abundantly clear that the contributions of the Order of Elks to modern American society are major influences on the quality of life for all our citizens today. We have become, in effect, the Bedrock upon which all that is good in our Nation is built . . . and will continue. Other segments of our population may weaken or falter in the years to come; we cannot and will not. This will be your sacred trust as an Elk.


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