History Books of the Elks of Canada

Early History of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the Dominion of Canada and Newfoundland

By Past Grand Exalted Ruler Charles Edward Redeker
Windsor, Ontario

“There is a destiny that makes us brothers,
None goes his way alone.

All that we send into the lives of others,
Comes back into our own.”
Edwin Markham.


Twenty-five years ago the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the Dominion of Canada was founded. For years past many officials of the Grand Lodge requested that I should write my reminiscences of its pioneer days, it being urged that my intimate association with that period, afforded an insight such as a non-participant could not so clearly present; it was furthermore intimated that in the event of my passing on, as have others among the pioneers, many details incident to our origin as an Order might be lost.

When the first Grand Lodge was formed, recognizing the character and earnestness of the men comprising the infant organization, I felt that a kindly Providence would lead it forward into a greater service, and one destined to play a conspicuous part among the Fraternal Societies of Canada. Possessing this faith, I determined to keep a copy of all papers and documents which might in later years be of historic value. Later events proved the wisdom of so doing; it is fortunate, therefore, that definite and authentic data was preserved, so this record is based upon factual information.

Some years before Canadian Elkdom started, an official “History of the B.P.O.E. of the United States” came into my possession. (In it, its author deplored the fact that the records of its earlier years had not been carefully preserved and consequently were incomplete, resulting in an irreparable loss to their organization.) To me this proved an additional incentive to preserve the salient features of the development of our own Order.

In the writing of the early history, I much regret that my name so frequently appears; this has not been intentional and where it could be avoided without destroying the continuity of events as they occurred, it has been done. Circumstances made the writer the “contact man” throughout Canada in the procuring of charters in organization, in fighting to eliminate clandestine bodies, and the instituting official of practically all the early lodges.

A brief review of these events would likely prove satisfactory to the person, not having a penchant for details. But I have deemed it best to leave no date or incident of importance unsettled, since I was able to corroborate same by the documents in my possession and by the personal contact which it was my good fortune to have as the first Grand Exalted Ruler and Grand Organizer. This, I feel, will not be without great value to those who in later years may be called upon to more fully and ably write the history of the Order. Almost six thousand papers carefully preserved for the past twenty-three years were reviewed and no unauthenticated date has been recorded; it will serve as a foundation upon which future historians may build.

While our Order has never been identified with the B.P.O.E. of the United States, or with any of the sporadic attempts previously made in Canada by Elk bodies, I have thought it proper to give a brief history of each, in order to remove any misconception which might be held as to the status of our Order in relation to them.

Attention is particularly invited to the chapter on “CERVUS CANADENSIS.” Careful and exhaustive research has been given to this subject in order to remove erroneous views as to the proper nomenclature of the American Elk.

These reminiscences of early Elkdom cover the years from its inception in 1912 to 1917. No general narration of events subsequent to these years has been attempted.

Windsor, Ontario,
February 21, 1937

“The Inspirational Voice Of Elkdom”

I am a great monument that has come from the highest motives of men.

I am a great milestone that marks the path of progress which civilization treads.

I stand unflinchingly against any invasion by man which would tear down the principles of unselfishness and brotherly love.

I am the concrete expression of an ideal.

I was not given life by men just for themselves, but I represent a vision into the future. Those who nurtured me in my youth can at most enjoy me but a few hours. But they built for generations which are to come.

I am the voice that calls upon men everywhere, of all creeds or race, to give abundantly that others may live more happily.

I am the great voice of Elkdom.

I speak with tender recollection of the lives of those who have gone before.

My voice shall not be stilled, it shall become mightier with succeeding generations.

I shall echo the enabling grandeur of Charity throughout the ages and like jewels in the velvet setting of the night, I shall shine on undimmed by time.

An adaptation and revision (by the author) of
an address by Darwin J. Smith at a Building
Dedication at Sacramento, California.

View entire Early History Book

The Dominion Elk - November, 1913     The Dominion Elk - February, 1914     The Dominion Elk - March, 1914    
The Dominion Elk - May, 1914
              The Dominion Elk - August, 1914        The Dominion Elk - November, 1914


A History of the Elks of Canada 1912-1987

"To all those Brothers who have gone before, building as they travelled along the road of life, we humbly dedicate this book. Without them, we would not be here."


Part 1 Dediation; Table to Contents; Acknowledgements; Foreword; History Book Committee; Past Grand Exalted Rulers; Lady Jessie Stitt; Grand Lodge Conventions
Part 2

Charters; History of Elkdom U.S.A.; Elks Grave Marker; Clandestine Lodges; Color Bar; History of Royal Purple; Charities; Canadian Elk; History of Corby Cup; Provincial Associations

Part 3 Lodge Histories
     - Aberdeen SK to Calgary AB
Part 4

Lodge Histories
     - Campbell River BC to Creighton Lively ON

Part 5 Lodge Histories
     - Creighton Lively ON to Fort Macleod AB
Part 6 Lodge Histories
     - Fort Macleod AB to Jasper AB
Part 7

Lodge Histories
     - Kamloops BC to Lethbridge AB

Part 8 Lodge Histories
     - Lethbridge AB to Morse SK
Part 9 Lodge Histories
     - Morse SK to Pine Point NT
Part 10 Lodge Histories
     - Pine Point NT to St. Walburg SK
Part 11 Lodge Histories
     - St. Walburg SK to Strongfield SK
Part 12 Lodge Histories
     - Strongfield SK to Vancouver BC
Part 13 Lodge Histories
     - Vancouver BC to Winnipeg MB
Part 14

Lodge Histories
     - Winnipeg MB to Zealandia SK
Tidbits & Trivia; 1987 Celebrations; Membership Graph; Grand Executive 1987; Summary; Lodge Index


Special History Book Edition - May 2012 Canadian Elk

Covering the last 25 years of our History. Please note that only Lodges who submitted their history updates are included in this issue.

May 2012 Canadian Elk