BPOE 433, Part 8 – 1954-1960

Front row, left to right: James Trimble, David W. Damewood, Ned Jones, Harmon Wolfe, Frances E. Snodgrass
Back row: Edgar Draper, Raymond Williams, Ross Hearing, C. J. Sharb, Ronald Walk, ?, Walter “Buzz” Fulton, Ray Winters

In April, 1953, Powell Graham was elected Exalted Ruler and for a program at his installation the Blue and Gold Singers from EOCE performed. The Lodge held the Annual Picnic at Riverside Park in July of 1953.

It was in September that a new Elks Lodge was Chartered in Ontario. The House Committee decided to serve dinners from 6:00 p.m. and that bingo would begin at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evenings. A bingo committee of 24 was appointed.

In December the Otis Elevator Company cancelled the 5 year contract on maintenance. They would take only one year at a time and at a higher monthly rate.

In March, 1954, La Grande Lodge tried out a television set in the lobby — not too satisfactory.

In April of 1954 Ned Jones was elected Exalted Ruler. Hermiston needed to build a new Lodge building and offered to sell bonds to Sister Lodges at 5% interest in order to finance their building. La Grande voted to buy $5,000.00 in bonds to help them with their project.

Brother Clark Holscher, who was a ranger in the Forest Service and had been working on a cooperative exchange in Italy, returned to La Grande and gave a very interesting report on his work and conditions there.

It was voted to cooperate with the La Grande Country Club and have an Elks Invitational Golf Tournament. It was so successful that it is still being held today.

James Trimb1e, second Vice-President, Oregon State Elks Association, is shown on left presenting a $2,900 cheek to Dr, Kenneth G. Swan of the University of Oregon Medical School. This money was bequeathed to the Elks Eye Clinic by Bro. Bryan W. Hibbetts, former member of the La Grande Lodge No.433, to be used to purchase ‘the Zeiss Operating Microscope’ shown between Dr. Swan and Bro. Trimble. “Just what the doctor ordered,” remarked Dr. Swan. The plaque in the background was placed there when the Elks Eye Clinic was dedicated in 1949.

The American Legion had an excellent Drum and Bugle Corp in La Grande in 1954. Our Lodge paid expenses for them to go to Ontario to help raise money for the Elks Eye Clinic of Oregon.

In September, 1954, the Grand Lodge dictated that we add “Under God” to the pledge of allegiance.

At the first meeting in September, 1954, Exalted Ruler Ned Jones gave an interesting report of his trip to Los Angeles for the Grand Lodge Convention. The Oregon State Elks Association honored 433 with two appointments at the Summer Session. PER Bob Carey was appointed Chaplain and Bill Peare was appointed to the Elks Eye Clinic committee.

La Grande Lodge went to Pendleton for a visitation and to conduct the initiation. Two buses were chartered to take our Brothers over, but 47 Brothers all crowded into one bus where the refreshments were available. The bus company sent us a bill for fare for the seven extra Brothers on the one bus.

Harmon Wolfe was elected Exalted Ruler in March, 1955. It was voted to change the by-laws regarding Life Members to state: “Any member who has paid dues for 40 years and reaches the age of 65 shall become a Life Member.” During this period of time, visitations between Lodges were quite popular. The Lodge would charter a bus and members did not have to drive home. La Grande went to Enterprise and two weeks later Enterprise came here and conducted initiation.

An inventory of our Lodge facilities was taken in conjunction with our budget and insurance program. No. 433 had 874 members, $400,000.00 in savings, and our Temple was valued at $534,400.00.

The ritual was changed at Grand Lodge Session to omit using the blindfolds on the candidate throughout the obligation. The raps were also changed; three raps meant re» moving the blindfolds; changed to mean “all Brothers rise.”

In October, 1955, Exalted Ruler Wolfe gave a report on his trip to Grand Lodge Convention in Philadelphia.

A program of father, son and daughter dinners and show was started to interest our youth. The Boise Elks Gleemen put on a show for the schools in the afternoon, then performed at our Lodge in the evening.

When Pendleton Lodge came for a visitation and initiation, 225 members were present at Lodge because the 2nd degree was also performed.

In March of 1956 Pendleton built a new Lodge and club facility. Our Lodge donated a new drinking fountain to them.

In April, 1976, Dave Damewood became Exalted Ruler. The Oregon State Elks Association raised the per capita dues to 97 cents per member.

In May it was voted to put a ventilating fan in the Lodge room. At the Summer Convention Brother Ed Wheaton won a beautiful golf trophy at the Seaside convention for our Lodge trophy display.

Exalted Ruler Damewood went to convention in Chicago.

In June of 1976 Little League Baseball was being started in La Grande. It was voted to buy uniforms for one team (cost of $900.00). There were over 300 young people involved in the program.

In October, 1976, it was voted to change the “kitty” drawing. Members would pay 27 cents per meeting night and at the end of the month 20-25-15 percent would be paid out.

In January, 1957, our Lodge was informed that 60 members and wives from Salt Lake City would visit Baker, La Grande (on the night of our Annual Ball), and Pendleton Lodges. Our Lodge voted to buy 70 round cocktail tables for our Annual Ball because 60 members and wives from Salt Lake City were going to be visiting that night. The cost of entertaining them came to $1450.00. The Ball cost $1050.00. The father, son and daughter banquet had been such a success in 1956 that a committee was appointed to do it again.

The Lodge voted to increase the secretary’s salary to $200.00 per month. Our Lodge received an invitation to the institution of a new Lodge in Milwaukie, Oregon.

In April, 1977, Francis “Honce” Snodgrass was installed as Exalted Ruler by Past District Deputy Victor Eckley.

It was decided to advertise at the Summer State Elks Convention that La Grande would host the Mid-Winter Session in January, 1979. The Chamber of Commerce and 433 would cooperate on brochures and display. At that convention PER Bill Thomas was appointed Tiler.

Exalted Ruler Snodgrass went to the Grand Lodge Convention in San Francisco. It was decided to host the Third Annual Elks Golf Tournament in cooperation with the La Grande Country Club. Exalted Ruler Snodgrass explained how a new indoctrination committee for new candidates would work, teaching our new candidates the basic charities and privileges of being an Elk.

In October, 1957, Esteemed Loyal Knight Edgar Draper placed first in the ritualistic contest. He was asked to go to the Mid-Winter Session for the all-state team.

In January, 1958, a station wagon was bought by the Alaskan Territorial Elks Association for use by the Cerebral Palsy Children’s Program of a Portand hospital. It had to be delivered from Flint, Michigan, to Portland, Oregon. Fifty-four Exalted Rulers drove it from one town to the next to get it there. Exalted Ruler Snodgrass drove it from La Grande to Pendleton.

A report was read on the Student Loan Fund. La Grande Lodge No. 433 had made a total of $15,318.00 in loans with only $745.00 being outstanding. On a visitation from Baker Lodge, La Grande was overwhelmed by 66 Brothers coming for a feed and initiation.

In April, 1958, Brother Jim Trimble was installed as Exalted Ruler beginning a long Elks career. He later was appointed District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler and also was elected president of the Oregon State Elks Association. At the Summer Convention of the Oregon State Elks Association in 1958, it was announced that the Mid-Winter Session would be held in La Grande on January 2-3-4-5 . The Grand Exalted Ruler would be present on January 5. It was voted to set $2000.00 aside for convention expenses.

The Elks Hides for Veterans program was voted in at the Summer Oregon State Elks Association Session. It started off here in La Grande with a bang. At the end of elk season in November over 300 deer and elk hides had been salted. It was quite a messy job. We now sell the hides and turn in money to the Veterans Hospitals.

In December of 1958, the first year of the Elks Hides for Veterans program, a count of hides turned in showed 537 deer hides, 102 elk hides and 11 Hereford cow hides —— 649 total.

PER Honce Snodgrass moved to Portland to work with the Portland Chamber of Commerce, thereby vacating a position on the Board of Trustees. PER Ned Jones was elected to serve out the 3-year term as Trustee.

Plans were being made for the Oregon State Elks Association Convention which would be on January 2-3-4-5. This included buying three blackjack tables and a table for a 4-5-6 game. The La Grande Chamber of Commerce came forth to offer assistance for the convention. Housing seemed to be the biggest problem. Exalted Ruler Jim Trimble announced that initiation at the convention would be conducted by the all-state winners of the individual stations. Grand Exalted Ruler Horace Wisely was present at the convention on Saturday. The receipts of the convention showed a profit of $4800.00.

Hermiston Lodge paid back $5000.00 plus $200.00 interest on the building bonds No. 433 had bought when Hermiston built their new Lodge building. In February of 1959 the Basketball Hoop Shoot Contest, started by the Oregon State Elks Association and entered by La Grande Lodge, was won by Murph Karns, son of Brother Harry Karns. He also went on to win the state finals shoot-off.

In April, 1959, Edgar Draper was elected Exalted Ruler. This was also the 100th birthday of the State of Oregon. Lodge 433 voted $500.00 to support the local county-wide Centennial Celebration and to help buy Centennial Memorial Coins as souvenirs.

At the Summer Oregon State Elks Association Conven» tion PER James Trimble was elected 4th vice president for the Northeast District.

In July the Grand Lodge Convention was held in Chicago. La Grande Lodge voted $500.00 to assist Baker Elks Lodge send their Drum and Bugle Corp to the Convention.

PER Bill Thomas was appointed District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for the Northeast District. In October, 1959, Enterprise Lodge sold bonds to build new facilities. La Grande No. 433 voted to buy $10,000.00 worth of their building bonds.

In November a new Lodge was instituted in Springfield, Oregon, and at Milton Freewater, Oregon.

Before the Mid-Winter Convention in 1960 it was de» cided to outfit the Lodge officers with a distinctive logo on their jackets to identify La Grande Lodge. The Blue Mountain Boys were quite popular in La Grande at that time so a logo of a Blue Mountain Boy was selected for our officers’ jackets which we still use today.

In December a motion was made to dissolve the savings fund that we had built up from the use of slot machines. This was done because of changes in IRS laws regarding non-profit organizations receiving interest from savings.

In December of 1959 the Lodge voted to install a speaker system in the building and put in a record player/tape recorder system to provide music for entertainment and dances.

An alarm system was installed at the entrance with speaker and buzzer for more convenient entry.

In January, 1960, Enterprise had completed their new Lodge building and invited our Lodge to come to their dedication ceremony. Since it was the middle of winter a passenger train was arranged to transport our members there for visitation.

In April, 1960, Walter “Buzz” Fulton was elected Exalted Ruler. His first duty included a trip to Milton Freewater to the dedication of their new building.

In our Lodge report at year’s end in April we had 941 paid-up members, up from 650 since we had opened the membership in February of 1952.

In June, 1960, La Grande hosted the first Elks Regional Swim Meet at La Grande in the new swimming pool. It was to be self supporting and all our Lodge needed to do was to furnish volunteer help.

At this time in history, Hot Lake Sanitorium was being used as apartments for the elderly. It was voted by our Lodge to help set up a beauty parlor in one room and help pay for an operator.

In July Exalted Ruler Fulton went to Grand Lodge Convention in Dallas, Texas. In addition to paying his way, the Lodge voted to pay the balance of PER District Deputy Bill Thomas’ cost of attending the Grand Lodge Convention also.

In September, 1960, the City of La Grande revealed plans to improve Pioneer Park by putting in five baseball diamonds. All service and fraternal organizations were asked to help. Our Lodge voted to donate $500.00 toward helping with our youth activities.

The new 50-star flags were replacing the old 48-star models. Our Lodge bought two new 50-star flags.

The Building Committee submitted plans to the Lodge to build a new kitchen on the first floor and to change the front entrance at a cost of $95,000.00. Because of changes in the IRS laws regarding savings accounts the idea was put forth that we should spend some to remodel.

It was at this time that the county assessor put our property on the tax rolls. Brother Ross Hearing reported to the Lodge on our non-profit status and the procedure necessary to keep that status.

It was in November, 1960, that PER Ned Jones died of a heart attack at the age of 45.