BAYONNE ELKS LODGE CIRCA 1900
BAYONNE LODGE No. 434
Bayonne Elks Lodge No. 434 was instituted
on April 18th, 1898, at the old Masonic Hall located at Avenue C
and West Eighth Street. The installation ceremonies were
performed by District Deputy Fort of Camden, who was assisted by
officers of Jersey City Lodge 211 and Hoboken Lodge 74 with
Thomas F. Garrett installed as the first Exalted Ruler, and
initial membership of 329.
Bayonne Lodge was the first fraternal organization in the City
of Bayonne to own it's own home and club rooms, the former
Newark Bay Boat Club, located at 41 West 34th Street - a site
still occupied by the Lodge to this day. The building, pictured
above had four bowling alleys on the first floor, a reception
hall, billiard parlor and cafe, on the second floor there was a
commodious hall, ladies parlor and committee room.
THE JOLLY CORKS
1867, Charles Vivian formed the "Jolly Corks", a loose, social
organization that was to become the forerunner of the Elks we
know today. The spirit of benevolence came quickly to these
revelers. Just before Christmas in 1867, one of their members
died leaving his wife and family destitute. These men recognized
the need to form a more enduring organization to help family
members in need. On February 16th, 1868, the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks was established.
Since that day in February 1868, the B.P.O. Elks have become an
integral part of our communities nationwide. It was the Order of
Elks who were first to observe June 14th as Flag Day in 1907.
President Harry S. Truman, an Elk himself, declared it a
National Holiday in 1947. During World War I, Elks funded and
equipped the first field hospitals in France. They built medical
centers and community houses here in the United States. It was
the Order of Elks that first loaned money to 40,000 returning
veterans for rehabilitation and education, the precursor to the
modern G.I. Bill. The Elks recruited construction workers for
the military in World War II, donated millions of pints of blood
during the Korean War, helped wounded soldiers in Vietnam, and
undertook letter writing campaigns to support the men and women
of Operation Desert Storm. The tragedy of September 11th saw the
over one million membership of the Order collect needed
emergency supplies and money in excess of $1.2 million dollars.
The legacy of Charles Vivian continues to this day. The
Brotherhood of Elks serves youth and others in need through a
variety of programs like the annual "Soccer-Shoot" and
"Hoop-Shoot." Scholarships and grants from the Elks National
Foundation are second only to the Federal Government, State
Major Projects help handicapped children and bring health care
to where it's needed. Elks Drug Awareness programs sponsor
P.E.E.R. and D.A.R.E. groups and distribute booklets and
pamphlet to our grade school children. The extensive charitable
works of individual lodges and members enrich the lives of
millions of Americans each year.
Our story is long; our work is humble; our history is proud. Our
rich and distinguished heritage over the last 135 years bodes
well for the future - what we've come from is only half of what
we will be in the years to come!