Monday, October 14, 2013

37916. The Elks

It's an elk! The Quincy Lodge of Elks, No. 943 has not only a stone with names and dates an the Elk toast "An Elk is never forgotten, never forsaken," but a flagpole and a huge statue of an elk. How cool!

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (that's BPOE, or "Best People on Earth") formed in 1868, splitting off from another group known as the Jolly Corks, a group of New York minstrel show performers who were A) trying to avoid taxes and B) known for using cork tricks to win free drinks in bars. Somehow, out of all of this, they came to the idea of doing great things for their communities, and today there are about 1 million members nationwide. Looking for a charismatic species of megafauna as their symbol, they voted 8-7 to stand behind an elk instead of a buffalo.

The list of famous Elks is a mile long, and includes six United States Presidents, a slew of politicians and everyone from Lawrence Welk to Babe Ruth to Clint Eastwood. Here in Quincy, the Elks own one of the most well-known gathering places in the city, the Tirrell Room, named for the first Exalted Ruler of the Lodge, Fred Tirrell. The Quincy Elks are as active as they ever were, and still doing wonderful things for the South Shore of Boston. And with their memorial at Mt. Wollaston, they will never be forgotten!

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