Hanover Elks Lodge #763
Elks Facts
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Elks Facts

ORIGIN – The Benevolent and  Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America was organized February 16, 1868 in New York City by 15 actors, entertainers and others associated with the theater.  Within a few years B.P.O. Elks were initiating others not associated with the theater, when they recognized the Order’s value and fine work.

PURPOSES – The Elks’ constitution states that the Order was founded “to promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to pro-mote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.”

WHO THEY ARE – The Order is non-political, non-sectarian and strictly American.  As of March 31, 1978 there were 1,634,488 Elks.  Median age was 50.6 years and his median income is $23,100.  Eighty-eight percent (88.7%) were married;  89% homeowners;  97% own an automobile;  46.2% are college educated;  49.7% are professionals executives and proprietors;  36.2% play golf, 26.4% enjoy boating, 25.6%  are hunters and 36.6% are bowlers…..LODGES – There are more than 2200 Lodges in the U.S., Canal  Zone, P.R. and Philippines.

WHAT B.P.O. ELKS ACCOMPLISH – The Order spends more than $16,000,000 a year for benevolent, patriotic and educational programs.  Great concern is shown for physically-handicapped children through diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention.  The Elks National Foundation, with assets of more than $32,000,000, devotes its entire income of more than $1,000,000 to charitable projects, with emphasis on college scholarships.  Elk programs also embrace Youth Leadership, Scouting, athletic teams and national “Hoop Shoot” Free Throw Contest.  Elk Lodges provide entertainment and recreation at all Veterans Hospitals and they contribute such items as cash, playing cards, hides, leather, electrical appliances and materials for occupational therapy.

Each Elks Lodge observes Flag Day, June 14, every year, a tradition started in 1907 and later adopted as an official observance by the Government.

HEAD OF THE ORDER—The top national executive of the Order is known as the Grand Exalted Ruler.  He is elected for a one-year term and serves without pay.  A new Grand Exalted Ruler is elected each year during the Order’s National Convention in July.


While the Lodge is primarily a charitable institution, it nevertheless strives to promote good fellowship and brotherhood among its members.  Our facilities are used by members and community alike for entertainment, receptions, class reunions and civic organizational meetings.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is an organization formed in 1876 by a band of members of the theatrical profession for the promotion of a closer friendship, social interaction and mutual protection with the Golden Rule as their motto: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  The small acorn planted by the founders has grown into a gigantic oak, with those noble characteristics of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity shedding radiance of relief from sturdy branches that have spread forth from the parent root forming a golden chain that encircles the United States.  The milk of human kindness is the nourishing element that gives life to the body and light to those basking under its benign influence; writing the faults, of the unfortunates who fall by the way, in the sand while their virtues are inscribed on the tablets of love and grateful memory, inscribed with indelible characters that neither time nor tide can efface and will live until time will be no more.  The Order was christened by Charles Vivian, the actor, and the name of the animal (Elk) was used because it is fleet of foot, strong of limb, timorous of doing wrong and never known to engage in combat--except to defend its young and to protect the weak and defenseless.  A clearer conception of the objects of our Order, the pen fails to record.

On the first Sunday in December of every year Memorial Services, for those who have passed beyond, are held wherever a Lodge may be situated.



  “The Vacant Chair”  

We shall meet, but we shall miss him,

There will be the vacant chair,

But though we no more possess him,

Still our hearts his memory bear.

But a while ago we gathered,

Friendship beaming in each eye,

Now the golden cord is severed,

He has passed to realms on high.


On February 16, 1868 the B.P.O.E. was founded.
National Convention
In July of every year the National Convention is held to discuss B.P.O.E. business.

Copyright 2016
B.P.O.E. Hanover Lodge #763
All rights reserved

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