BPOE 433, Part 11 – 1980-1988

1988, La Grand Elks Lodge Bldg, BPOE #433

In July, 1980, at the Grand Lodge Convention, it was announced there were 2,260 Elks Lodges in United States of which 5 8 were in Oregon. There were 1,650,000 Elk Brothers in the United States and 2,260 in Oregon.

The tennis tournament appeared to be an annual event so La Grande Lodge voted to support it again.

The Hide Committee reported that two deer hides had been stolen from our trailer.

The Board of Governors hired Ken Stover as manager. One of his first events was a Southern Pork Party Feed.

A feeder pig was in a pen at the entrance for decoration and it was given away by drawing during the evening. Jean Walker won the pig. She quickly gave it back to the Lodge. Meadowood Speech Camp was $540.00 better off from the event. The pig was taken to Enterprise Lodge to keep until they could raise $541.00 or more for Meadowood. The pig was named “Roto Rooter”!

The Lodge voted to donate the old tuxedos and shirts we owned to the drama class at Eastern Oregon State College.

La Grande Lodge voted to sponsor a Girl Scout Drill team to go to the Portland Rose Festival. J. Dale Standley made an “Elks Lodge 433″ banner for them to carry.

In April, 1981, Skip Beardsley was elected Exalted Ruler. The 10 year debenture bonds our Lodge had sold to finance the remodeling after the 1970 fire, were now coming due in 1980 and 1981.

La Grande High School was invited to go to the Fiesta Bowl for New Year”s football game. La Grande Lodge donated $50.00 to this cause. In October of 1981 Exalted Ruler Beardsley initiated a program of Brother Elks cutting and selling wood to make extra money for our charitable donations. It worked pretty well until the winter weather turned nasty, then the volunteer help disappeared. The effort had raised $590.00 for the Lodge.

The Veterans Hide Program necessitated storing and salting the hides until after hunting season, then bundling them and transporting them to a tannery. In the meantime they layed in a storage shed and got older and riper. We were informed of neighbors near the storage shed signing a complaint that the smell was unbearable. We had to find another place to store our hides and use more salt.

In April, 1982, Arlie Bartmess became Exalted Ruler and when spring came La Grande Lodge voted to winterize a cabin at Meadowood.

In June an Elks Trap Shoot was held at the La Grande Gun Club and it netted our Lodge $1270.00 for charity. At the summer convention the Hide Committee reported $80,000.00 raised for veterans hospitals. It was agreed to sell the hides and then give the money to the veterans — no more salt and no more hide storage would be necessary.

In May PER Foster Sims (1938) passed away. The estate that Marvin Mackey donated to the Lodge included the proceeds of the sale of three cemetery lots. The Grand Lodge Convention changed the order of Lodge business to have initiation come as item No. 4. At the Mid Winter Oregon State Elks Association Convention it was decided that the winter convention would be held in October rather than January because of bad winter weather.

In April, 1983, Keith Walker was elected Exalted Ruler. It was our sad duty to give eulogies for two Past Exalted Rulers: Mike Lynch (1946) and for Les Keffer (1943). Exalted Ruler Walker went to Hawaii for the Grand Lodge Convention. Our La Grande°s Laura Moore went to the state hoop shoot for the third time.

During July, when we closed the Lodge for clean up, we put new lights in the dining room and remodeled the ladies rest room. Our old boiler would not pass state inspection so we were forced to modernize our heating system at a cost of $38,000.00 which we borrowed from Western Bank.

In September Emblem Club No. 518 sent their drill team to the national convention to compete. They won first place. La Grande No. 433 donated $50.00 to their travel fund. Eastern Oregon State College formed a Century Club to support their athletic programs. La Grande Lodge donated $200.00 for which we received four season tickets. These were kept at the bar for Brothers to use for athletic events. Don Turner, athletic director, came to thank our Lodge personally.

The Grand Lodge entered a campaign to clean up the Statue of Liberty. Our Lodge gave our share. The Meadowood Speech Camp was formed in 1963. We helped celebrate their 20th birthday (1963-1983).

The president of the Oregon State Elks Association visited our Lodge over a weekend. The drug abuse program was started by the state and La Grande joined in support. Bud Botting had a beard which he sold for $10.00 a clip. He raised $240.00 for the drug abuse program.

In March of 1984 Exalted Ruler Keith Walker held a mortgage burning dance. The House Committee had built up a bank account of $28,600.00 that Manager Ken Stover turned over to the Lodge to pay on the boiler mortgage. Treasurer Bob Turner scoured the savings accounts to come up with the balance of our Western Bank loan which we were able to pay off and save on interest charge. The chairman of the trustees, J. Dale Standley, held the mortgage over a dishpan while Exalted Ruler Keith Walker lit the mortgage and burned it.

In April, 1984, Tom Martin became Exalted Ruler. He reported that $54,000.00 had been donated to the Meadowood Speech Camp and that PER Bill Kubler gave free physical examinations at the camp. A new Lodge was formed at Gold Beach, Oregon. La Grande donated $50.00 to their Lodge.

A motion was made to buy a pig at the Union Livestock Show at the 4-H sale, trade it for sausage, and give the Brothers a free sausage feed for the first meeting in September each year.

The 1984 District Ritualistic Contest was held in La Grande- $600.00 was voted for extra expenses for the participants. The report of the annual picnic came within 24 cents 0f the budget – over, that is! La Grande Lodge received $2500.00 from the estate of Grover and Stella Grimmett, farmers who lived north of La Grande in the Mt. Glen area. Past president of the Oregon State Elks Association, Bill Flatt of Condon, Oregon, donated his debenture bond back to La Grande Lodge to be given to Meadowood Speech Camp.

In October, 1984, the Grand Lodge began to print our membership cards on their computer system. The Past Exalted Rulers Association bought a microwave oven and put it in the stag bar.

On January 2, 1985, our area experienced a devastating ice storm, toppling trees, tearing down many miles of power lines and breaking off power poles. La Grande Lodge voted to donate $200.00 to a wildlife feeding fund. Because of the crusted conditions on the snow, wild life was unable to find food.

In April, 1985, Oren “Corky” Walker was elected Exalted Ruler. It was in May when the Oregon Legislature voted to allow raffles to be held in non profit clubs for charity.

A rowing machine was purchased by La Grande Lodge and installed in the locker room. A road map was issued and sold by Corvallis Lodge. La Grande Lodge bought 400 of them to sell.

Measurements of our old bull elk, Taft, were taken and sent in to Boone & Crockett. He placed among the top 20 bulls.

Past Exalted Ruler Kelly Moore (1969) passed away. Due to small attendance at Lodge and several lucky winning Brothers, our Big Jug Kitty had gone from a high of $3600.00 four years ago down to $860.00 in 1985.

Brother PER Bob Gregory had been appointed chairman of the Oregon State Elks Scholarship program. The custom was that the contest would be in the chairman’s home Lodge so La Grande hosted the scholarship’s competition in February, 1986.

In April, 1986, PER Jack Laurence was elected Exalted Ruler again and the Lodge bought new jewels for the officers. Meadowood Speech Camp was bequeathed 45 acres of land in Wheeler County. A campaign was started to sell tickets to raffle off this property.

An Ontario, Oregon, girl, Ramona Lee, won first in Oregon in our scholarship contest. She also went on to win first in the nation. Bob Gregory, as chairman for Orcgon, went to the Grand Lodge Convention in Denver to present her at the convention.

In September PER Elmer Hansen (1941) passed away. La Grande Lodge received an invitation to the dedication of a new Lodge Temple for Portland Lodge No. 142. In October PER Homer Leffel (1942) passed away. The Grand Lodge reported that our Elks National Foundation was second only to the United States government in providing student scholarships.

In November, 1986, PER Honce Snodgrass (1957) passed away. A wheelchair ramp was built inside the Lodge entrance and also to the walk outside down to the alley. lt was all done with volunteer labor. Liability insurance rates were extremely high and insurance companies didn’t want to cover our Lodges so the Grand Lodge offered a coverage for all subordinate Lodges at a cost of $3.50 per member.

La Grande Lodge voted $1200.00 for the drug awareness program to educate young people to the problem. La Grande Lodge was No. 2 in the hide program with a sale of hides amounting to $1115.00.

In April, 1987, Brother Jim Botting became Exalted Ruler. He announced La Grande Lodge had received a plaque for the most new enrollees in the Elks National Foundation Scholarship program in Oregon Northeast District. La Grande Lodge voted to rent a booth at the Union County Fair to give out educational material on drug abuse. La Grande voted to give $25.00 to a charity trust for the wife of Past Grand Exalted Ruler Frank Hise.

Brother PER Keith Walker donated a set of elk horns for the emblem of the Lecturing Knight Station. PER Tom Martin, who was trustee, announced his resignation because he had been transferred to Salem.

The Grand Lodge announced the liability insurance coverage would be raised from $4.00 to $4.50 per member. La Grande Lodge No. 433 was instituted in March, 1898, and this year (1988) would be our 90th birthday. We would celebrate all during the year and until March 31, 1989.

Bill Fitzgerald was elected Exalted Ruler in 1988. Our La Grande Lodge has had its share of trials and errors but we can all be proud of its standing for 90 years in our community.