On March 15 the Forks Elks Lodge will mark its 40th year in our community.
From a front page story from March 13, 1975, Ed Marion told the story of how it all came to be. This is a portion of the column.
by Ed Marion
“Well, we are down to two more days before we are a regularly instituted lodge of the Elks. It has been a long, hard fight, but we won.
Forks will now have its own Elks Lodge. At first when this all started there were moments of doubt in the minds of everyone, including me. But for a few weeks now we have known that we were going to make it all the way and that everything would be OK.
We just needed to build our membership up to the point where our income as a lodge was large enough to take care of all the needs of the lodge. We now have that membership.
Our income will take care of all the needs of the lodge and provide for our community projects, with enough left over to start our growth program, our own lodge building.
This lodge will belong to the community, not just a select few. We will be taking applications up until the last moment on Saturday. If you get your application in, know you will still be a charter member of the lodge.
As our organization committee is phased out and the lodge takes over, there are a few people that we should recognize for their hard work that has made this lodge. First of all Gordon Otos who served as chairman, Dick Streeter who served as our first treasurer, and Roy Ullas who took over from Dick. To Bruce Hausle who served as our chaplain. To Speed Browning, Art Stacy, Al Anderson, Tom Kraft, Jim Caudill, Gary Cross, Harry Broadbent and others that worked on the investigation committee. To Gary Cross, Gary Fisk and Lawrence Vail for their work as the social committee.
Then there are all the other men who have served on other committees, men whose names would take up an entire page to name them all.
And last but not least those wonderful wives for being so understanding during all this. Thanks girls, you have done a most outstanding job, and thanks to all the men who have joined the lodge, you have made our dream come true. Forks Lodge #2524 is now here to stay.
On Saturday, March 15, 1975, Forks Elks Lodge will be instituted.”
At 3:30 Saturday, March 15, 1975, the first installation of officers took place. A reception at the Vagabond followed and then later that evening a dinner and dance took place at the Hangar at the Quillayute Airport.
The Elks later built a lodge at 941 Merchant Road. A few years ago the Forks Elks Lodge was facing what many lodges around the country were facing, low membership and fear of closing.
But, members rallied and the Elks lodge is back stronger than ever.
Each month the Elks have multiple activities at the lodge in addition to supporting youth activities and scholarships the Elks continue to make a difference in our community.
Thanks Elks and Happy Anniversary!