Fairview Elks #277 - Fairview, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member wildwoodke
N 56° 04.094 W 118° 23.051
11V E 413826 N 6214537
Quick Description: The Fairview Elks #277 is located in the Royal Canadian Legion hall in Fairveiw, Alberta.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 6:28:54 PM
Waymark Code: WMDAQC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 2

Long Description:
History of the Elks in Fairview as published in the Fairview Post Article # 2232809.

"Fairview Elks Lodge #277, Sept. 20, 1937 - Dec. 31, 2009

As told by historian Marshall Rolling

It was on Sept. 20, 1937 that the Fairview Elks Lodge received its charter, becoming part of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of Canada and Newfoundland. There were 71 members and Alrick Richardson received a transfer demit from Calgary lodge #4 bringing the total to 72. The lodge was meeting in the Gem Theatre then and for some years after.

Very soon after the lodge was formed they began an annual turkey shoot in the fall months with bow and arrows and rifles to raise money for community projects. This sport and fundraiser lasted for over 35 years, as I remember taking part in them after I joined in 1951.

In the summer of 1938 the Elks Lodge sponsored a musical band called the Fairview Elks Orchestra. In July 1940 they provided the music at the old Gem Theatre for the send off of 33 young men from Fairview who enlisted for the war and were leaving the next day.

Just before the Second World War began the lodge was in need of a hall in Fairview and purchased a building on the east side of Main Street and called it the Elks Hall. It was used by the Elks, for meetings and dances and by many other groups in town. The lodge raised a good portion of their early community funding by putting on dances and socials. These funds were mostly distributed back into the community.

Over the years the Save the Children Fund, both locally and abroad, was always on the Elks' agenda. In 1941 the Fairview lodge sponsored a White Elephant Auction Sale for the overseas Save the Children Fund.

Our lodge realized $1,400 and this donation was the largest of any lodge in Canada in 1941.

It was as far back as 1940 that local needy children and seniors were given assistance during the year, and especially at Christmas. Up until a few years back many hampers would be delivered to needy families before Christmas from Whitelaw to Eureka River. Christmas toys for children in the hospital are still being looked after to this date, at Christmas time.

In 1947 the lodge purchased a small building from C.B. Carignan and had it moved and replaced for the Fairview Public Library. The Fairview branch of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire then managed this library.

In November of 1947, the Fairview lodge paid $75 as a share in the purchasing of a community motion picture projector and this was used in the Legion Hall for years. The lodge would sponsor a free show for the children in the Gem Theatre on Fairview Sports Day in June.

It was about this time, in Nov.1948, that the Elks lodge sold their hall to John Madden and the funds were put in reserve for a covered ice arena. Profits of $322 were realized from the Christmas Turkey Shoot and also went in the arena fund.

It was at a lodge meeting in 1948 that a motion was made to take over and promote the building of a covered ice arena in Fairview.

The Women's institute provided a start of approximately $3,500 plus $500 worth of lumber. The Elks Lodge had almost $1,300 on hand for the arena fund by the end of 1948. In 1949 another $4,400 was added to the fund.

As of June 1949 the membership of the Elks sat at 64 members but climbed to 85 by June of 1950.

During 1950 the arena contribution reached $5,242 with $3,000 of that coming in the form of a bank loan.

One of our staunch lodge members, Levine Peterson, a carpenter, was the man hired to head the covered arena construction, which started in the spring of 1949. Many days, and some evenings, there were as many as 30 lodge members volunteering their time to finishing the building. It was largely due to the lodge's financial contributions and volunteering that the arena was open for use for the 1949-50 winter.

In 1951 our lodge sponsored a dance and social in Bluesky and turned the proceeds over to the Bluesky Curling Club, which had lost its curing rink to fire.

In the following number of years, the Fairview Public Library, the Pee Wee hockey team, Woods Christian Home, the arena, a student to the Banff School of Fine Arts and hampers to the needy were given annual funding.

In 1956, the lodge entertained Down North Eskimos at Dunvegan for an afternoon picnic in July. This was while the group was at the Fairview School of Agriculture taking a transportation course.

This was also the year the Fairview lodge undertook to assist the Fairview Legion by contributing $1,500 and many volunteer hours to install storm windows, drapes for each window and new interior wall covering. Funding was also provided to the Fairview Piano Club to purchase a piano so junior pupils could take music lessons.

One hundred and thirty students and six parents from Ft. Vermillion School were at the college for a function and we supplied a chicken supper free to all. These were the years when the Royal Purple had not organized and one or two brothers would be in charge of supplying a lunch for the members and guests after the meeting. On special occasions there were up to 40 people. (They must have tired of the clean up afterwards.)

In 1957, the lodge arranged for a dishwasher to come in and clean up to put the kitchen back in order after meetings.

Some of our fundraising events included summer carnivals, games of chance at Waterhole Old Timers picnics, turkey shoots and a New Years dance.

In February of 1958 disaster struck the Fairview community when a portion of the arena collapsed under a heavy load of snow.

The decision was to build a new one and once again our lodge took up the task to help finance the construction of a new covered arena. In June of 1958 our lodge pledged $5,000 to this cause. By Aug. 7 that year, the planning committee had $17,000 in cash and pledges from different community groups.

The Elks put on a car bingo in August of 1958 to raise funds. This was held at the Waterhole Old Timers Sports Grounds. The car bingo profited $646, and an auction and barbecue that year raised $1,200. So with those projects, turkey shoots, a New Years Eve dance, a camping equipment raffle, a few furniture bingos and a pig raffle held in 1959 (which profited $127.50) the arena fund kept growing.

Work started on the new arena in September of 1959, and was ready for the 1960-61 season. The different organizations formed a common front to raise arena finances and called itself the 'Associated Organizations'. This group remained active raising funds until the artificial ice was in and paid for. In October 1972 the final payment on the artificial ice was made.

By this time the Fairview Royal Purple ladies had reorganized and were assisting the Elks in many of their endeavors.

In 1962 the Elks lodge took over the operation of the arena and the senior hockey club and renamed them the Fairview Elks.

In 1964 we commenced with regular weekly bingos in the Roxy Theatre.

We were now sponsoring the senior and the midget Elks hockey clubs as well as keeping our annual community groups funded.

And we certainly needed funds to keep the arena in the black and two hockey teams to finance. In addition over the years we gave the Purple Cross Fund National Charity over $20,000 for the never forgotten children and families in need. We have made many, many yearly contributions to this fund.

In 1966 our lodge pledged $10,000 toward the artificial ice in arena.

In the 1970s we Elks held weekly bingos in the Legion Hall. Total profits from the weekly bingos reached $4,405 in 1975 and $6,635 in 1976. In 1977 our lodge pledged $6,000 to the Golden Age Society building which was to be paid over three years.

For the next few years of activities I will just indicate some of the community organizations and groups that received financial assistance from our lodge — the lodge purchased 100 chairs for use in the Legion Hall; provided $200 toward the hospital sitting room; $335 went towards purchasing a new arena public address system; $1,000 went to the golf club for cupboards in its new building; and $1,000 was given for the Fairview Fine Arts building.

For many years the Elks contributed to the Fairview Agricultural Society's annual seed fair. The Fort Dunvegan Historical Society received $300 for promotions and the Boy Scouts got $1,500 to erect a building for storage.

The Fairview Food Bank, the Fairview Band, minor baseball, the Fairview Olympic Swim Club, the Fairview senior hockey club, Fairview Women's Centre, the Nordic Ski Club, peewee hockey and the Fairview Figure Skating Club are a few of the organizations that were helped financially by the Elks lodge and I must certainly give credit to our ladies of the Royal Purple who were always giving their assistance.

Some later donations handed out in needy times were for the Ambucraft van for the Fairview Hospital — $5,000 which came from the Alberta Elks Foundation and $22,000 from the Fairview lodge. The Fairview College Foundation received $10,000 for a recreational complex; $4,000 went for the Kinsmen Shining Light Fund; the Heart of the Peace Recreation Society received $5,000; the Fairview indoor swimming pool was given $25,000; and the new playground in northwest Fairview received $14,000.

I could go one and on but this report gives you a good idea of the contributions the Elks and the Royal Purple lodges have made to Fairview and the area.

It was not all work – there were fun nights, curling fun spiels, bowling, golfing, yearly barbecues, camp-outs, and sports challenges to other town organizations.

Bingos and other small fundraising programs stopped or slowed down considerably since most of our finances are now derived from casino nights in Grande Prairie. And, although the present initiatives appear strong enough, membership attendance is dwindling and we are finding most of our members are seniors and younger members are not coming forward to fill in. So, at our October 1, 2009 meeting, a motion was passed that the Fairview lodge relinquish its charter, effective Dec. 31, 2009.

Over the past 72 years I know the members of the Fairview Elks Lodge have been direct contributors to the betterment of Fairview and area, and have to be proud of their accomplishments."

See: (visit link)
Physical Address:
103rd Avenue and 110 Street
Fairview, Alberta Canada
T0H 1L0

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